Cara Palmer of Willington has been working out at Big Sky Vernon and seeing great results. We asked if she would share her story to help inspire those who are just beginning their fitness journey, and she kindly agreed to do so. Here’s Cara’s story:
“Since October 2014, I’ve lost about 50 pounds and I’ve kept it off. My dress size has gone from a 16 to a 6, and my pant size has gone from a 14 to a 4. I’ve never felt better, either physically or emotionally, and I’ve never felt healthier. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this transformation without the support I found at Big Sky.
Before I could even begin a major lifestyle change focusing on weight loss, I had to reach a place of acceptance with my body and love myself for who I was. Only by getting to that point could I approach weight loss as an issue of health rather than an issue of how I looked to other people. I believe that no one should be judged – by themselves or by others – based on their appearance. At the same time, it’s important to consider the negative consequences of leading an unhealthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to food.
My food choices, in combination with a lack of physical activity and a highly stressful position as a graduate student and teacher, wreaked havoc on my body both physically and emotionally, so I started working out and changing my eating habits. In October 2014 I joined a small fitness club in Willimantic that offered group classes in an atmosphere of acceptance and support for all women of all body types. Taking these classes jump-started my fitness journey.
When I found out that this fitness club was going to close, I joined Big Sky. I was skeptical, because I had never been to a gym where I felt accepted and where the atmosphere was truly characterized by “no judgment.” However, by the time I joined in summer 2015, I was ready for more serious training, so I knew that I needed to give it a try. I had already lost about 25 pounds by the time I joined Big Sky, so in addition to losing another 25 pounds my goal was primarily to burn fat and build muscle – in short, to reach a level of fitness I had never thought possible for myself. I wanted to be proud of myself for more than my academic achievements.
I started personal training with Rob and found the challenge I was looking for. He helped me build muscle through strength training while introducing me to different instability and machine exercises, and he helped me increase the effectiveness of my cardio workouts. I now work with Sarah, who, by incorporating cardio blasts into my strength training, has boosted my metabolism and helped me burn more fat while building muscle, and has helped me increase my endurance during both strength and cardio workouts. I reached my initial weight loss goal in February 2016 while working with Sarah and since then, I’ve been able to maintain my new weight and even lose a little more.
I’m about to move to Washington DC and join a new gym, and I feel prepared to do that because of the routine I’ve established through my experience at Big Sky. I’m proud of the level of physical fitness I’ve achieved and I’m ready to begin a new stage of my fitness journey, one in which weight loss is no longer my primary goal.
If I had any advice for others embarking on a similar weight loss journey, it would be this: Accept yourself for who you are and what you look like right now. If your weight loss is driven by negative thoughts about how you look rather than by positive thoughts about how healthy you can be, it will be harder to sustain. Imagine being proud of your body for all it can do, and being proud of yourself for each step you take toward a healthier lifestyle. You will not only accomplish your initial goals, but you will also accomplish goals that right now might seem inconceivable.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story Cara, and best of luck with your move.
Always remember… Better Gyms, Better Workouts, Better RESULTS !