Get Fit Challenge 2016 Grand Prize Winner
"The Get Fit Challenge helped me find myself again, but a better version."
"I hate my body"; four words I would repeat to myself everyday for months after having my son in April 2015. At my heaviest I was 180 lbs, and the numbers would not fall fast enough. Worse than the numbers on the scale was the realization that I was no longer my athletic, energetic self. I lacked discipline when it came to food, so I over ate. I was told after having my son, who weighed only 6 lbs 3 oz at birth, that I ate for two but I didn't share any of it. Working as a night nurse I succumbed to many temptations in the form of snacks, sweets and takeout. I slept almost all day. I tried to remain active, but after 6 months I still struggled with my weight and inability to do the things I used to be able to do. I felt lost. I knew something needed to change. In order to be happy with my life I needed to find myself again, without the extra pounds and with at least the same athletic ability. That was when I decided to do the 2016 XSport Get Fit Challenge.
Not every personal trainer is worth seeing after a 40 minute drive and after working a 12 hour night shift; my trainer Owen Raymundo was worth it. I would never have been able to complete this challenge without Owen. I had moments where the GFC made me feel completely defeated, but Owen always knew how to push me to keep going. There were times when I was too careless and made mistakes during the challenge, and Owen knew how to keep me grounded and focused. To be honest he was not always my favorite person; it became sort of a game during our workout sessions to see when I would whisper under my breath "I don't like you". But of course this was always a good sign because it meant that I was really working hard, something I would not be able to do on my own. Since our sessions during the GFC were only once a week, I was working out by myself most of the time. However I never felt alone; Owen was always a call, text, or email away, and continued to guide me remotely while I worked out. The fact that I trained with Owen before the challenge helped too, because he knew what I was physically capable of before my pregnancy. Working night shift, living far, and having a newborn to take care of made it difficult for me to always see the light at the end of the tunnel. The belief Owen had that I could get back to my old self and beyond really was what kept me disciplined and driven.
Besides strength and conditioning, Owen changed up my diet, which of course was integral for me to reach my goals. I had always kept a pretty clean diet, but my issue was quantity. The MyFitnessPal app made it easy to count my calories throughout the day. Otherwise I know I would have gone overboard. The supplements Owen suggested to me were Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy and Allmax Isoflex protein. Surprisingly to me, all of these tasted great, especially the chocolate peanut butter Isoflex protein. I am obsessed with this protein mixed with almond milk; it really is delicious! I have also had to take Cellucor C4 because after working a night shift, trudging to the gym right after required an extra boost of energy. I believe that the best tool that Owen suggested I use for the GFC however is my A300 Polar watch and heart rate monitor band. I will never workout without this accessory ever again. Before and during my pregnancy, I know that there were moments when I worked out on my own and probably accomplished nothing. With my A300 Polar watch I know exactly how hard I am working every time. I bought my boyfriend his own watch, and have convinced several friends and coworkers to get this accessory; there really is no other way to workout.
The Get Fit Challenge helped me find myself again, but a better version. I am not only leaner and stronger than I was before my pregnancy, I am more confident, driven, determined, and focused. I know I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. The support system consisting of my boyfriend, family, friends and coworkers, in addition to my awesome trainer Owen, my supplements, and my Polar watch, all made my newfound happiness and excitement for life possible. Even though my goal was to return to my pre-pregnancy weight and ability, I have far exceeded both categories. Armed with my Get Fit body and my Get Fit attitude, I am now ready to take on the next challenge. Training for the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be a breeze after the Get Fit Challenge because I now love my body, and my body loves a challenge.