Prior to joining Ripped, I worked out often - at least 4-5 times a week. In fact, some days I would find myself spinning in the AM and boxing in the PM. I became complacent with my workouts and my routine, until my schedule started to change, and working out became more of an inconvenience than a priority.
I joined Ripped in June 2016 for a few reasons; #1) I started resenting my workouts and routine and hit a plateau, #2) I couldn’t seem to fit in an effective workout with my schedule: I was in grad-school and working full time, and definitely not one to hit the gym floor alone. I need direction and structure in my workout and certainly have no faith in knowing whether what I am doing is right or wrong. Ripped is so much more than just working out; it’s fun, motivating, effective, and most importantly, convenient! No excuses . :)
As cliché as this may sound, I thank God for Ripped. Since joining, I’ve encountered some health problems; problems that my previous workout routine would have never sustained. I suffered a back injury and went through fertility treatments. My back injury took me from running on the treads to lightly jogging or not running at all and lifting heavy to barely lifting. The instructors helped me work through my injury. I refused to feel defeated by my injury and believe any workout is better than no workout, especially at Ripped. However, my biggest struggle was/is going through fertility treatments; taking hormones and medications that list fatigue and weight gain as the primary side effects, not to mention mood swings. Most days I was physically and mentally exhausted, but the after effect of a workout at Ripped kept me motivated. There’s something about blasting great music and being pushed to my limits that gets my blood flowing on days when I would feel emotionally drained. When I had not an ounce of energy due to medications or had a flare-up from my back injury, I knew that I would be able to tweak the workout (with the instructor’s assistance), while still being effective, and for an hour, have peace of mind.
Unfortunately, despite working out four/five days a week, the inevitable occurred and I gained weight. I began working with a registered dietician that was referred to me through Blue Cross. I thought for sure a Dietician was going to solve all of my problems - lose weight/get pregnant/look like a super model. I started tracking my eating for a few months, but didn’t notice any change. When Ripped launched their Nutrition program, I figured what do I have to lose. I looked at the program as getting two different opinions and seeing which worked best for me. I was gearing my focus on my nutrition. In order to continue through with my [fertility] journey, I wanted to be my best self. I wanted to make sure what I was eating and putting into my body wouldn’t hinder any results.
I think as everyday people we get so caught up in life that it becomes difficult to stay on track with healthy eating habits. Not to mention, I was clueless when it came to “healthy eating,” and corporate America is great at marketing. My idea of eating healthy was (an excerpt from myfitnesspal: Set. 14, 2017): Breakfast: beef jerky, hard boiled eggs, gluten free toast with peanut butter. Snack 1: yogurt with granola, Lunch: salad, baked chicken wings, Snack 2: RXBar. Dinner: gluten free pasta with ground chicken. The Nutrition facts for this day: 1900 calories, 87 grams of fat, 40 grams of sugar, 137 carbs, and 166 grams of protein. I thought I was eating healthy, I was under 2000 calories. I had an RX bar and yogurt with granola – that’s healthy, isn’t it (insert sarcastic emoji here). The dietician I was working with seemed to think my logs looked good. It’s amazing how I only gained 5-10lbs with those eating habits and taking medications listing weight gain as the first side effect! Seriously, thank God for Ripped!.
Nutrition counseling is not easy. In the beginning, I had chest pains and would get so stressed out with tracking meals and meal planning, making sure my macros were on point. At the end of the month, I’d say to myself “I can’t do this for another month.” And I did, and it was a little easier. Four months later, it’s still difficult, but it’s gotten much better. The joy is the payoff – down almost 20lbs, some inches and some body fat, up in lean muscle! And the numbers keep getting better. I get so many compliments, which is great and friends and family asking “what are you doing?.” It makes me feel good to be able to give people advice. My immediate response is usually “Macros, the modern-day Weight Watchers.” But in all reality, I would know nothing about macros, healthy carbs, or sugar alcohols, had it not been for my Ripped Fam. I look forward to not just being at the shore this summer, but I am hopeful that my next round of treatments will be a little easier and successful!