Delta Life Fitness loves it’s members and wants to share their amazing success. Today for our Strong and Empowered Women Series we talked with Beth Ellerbrock of Delta Life Fitness – Eastern Shore. She has worked extremely hard to overcome so many struggles pertaining to weight loss and overcoming negative mentality. Her mantra is take everything day by day. She believes you can accomplish anything if you focus on simply making small changes to your life every day. Read on to find out how she has lost 30 pounds and changed her mindset.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m almost 30 this year. I’m a stay at home mom of three boys. I have a one-year-old, a three-year-old and an eleven-year-old. I’m a college student. I go to Delta Life and that’s pretty much it.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY
I guess it started, for me it’s kind of a short journey, I guess in 2012 or so when I started to get sick. I lost a lot of weight from that, but it wasn’t in a healthy way whatsoever. It was just because I was sick. [Beth has ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease] I was already a healthy weight, and I lost a good 15 to 20 pounds when I was sick. I was probably about 100 pounds at that time.
I was pregnant at the time when I got diagnosed with that. They put me on medication and everything was great for a year and half. I got pregnant with my third baby, everything was pretty good throughout that pregnancy. After he was born, my auto immune disease came back worse than it had ever been before. I experience a lot of fatigue and gastrointestinal problems. There are also a lot of other weird things that can happen like back in October, I experienced a random spurt of arthritis. I could not even roll over in bed during that spurt.
My ulcerative colitis was so bad they kept giving me steroids and increasing my dose. So I was mean I was sick, had a newborn and was staying at home. The disease had made me homebound On top of the steroids that can already mess up your mood. I was on the steroids for about 7 months and during this time I gained about 40 pounds. So once I could get off of the steroids and once I started feeling better that’s when they took me off of them. I was so excited because I thought I was going to go back to how I was, it will be so good. I’ll be happy. I can do all these physical things again. That didn’t happen, at all.
I got off of them [steroids] and it was just the depression was still there. The weight wasn’t coming off. I just didn’t know what to do at that point.
YOU’D NEVER HAD WEIGHT PROBLEMS HOW DID YOUR SUDDEN WEIGHT GAIN AFFECT YOU?
I had never struggled with my weight before. I had never been a physical person. I hated anything that had to do with being physical. It wasn’t like I was a healthy kind of weight; I was just naturally at a fine weight.
Because I have never had to handle my weight before it was something new mentality on top of what was already going on. It brought new issues like self image issues and self worth issues, all tied into all of it. On top of the weight gain, I had depression and anxiety just from being homebound, and all the hormones are different when you’re on steroids and after you have a baby. It was a whole new thing I had to deal with. It’s a weird thing to deal with as an adult when you never had weight issues because you don’t really feel like you fit into what a fitness and diet program really advertise for. It’s like either you were really fit at one point and you’ve fallen off the wagon or you have an incredible amount of weight to lose or you’re struggling with compulsive eating or something like that and I didn’t have any of that. So it made me feel like “wow, how come and why am I struggling?”
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START LOSING WEIGHT?
During this whole time this was happening, I knew something had to change, just because my health had deteriorated so fast. I got off the steroids and my weight didn’t come off, and then I got hit by this arthritis attack where I could barely move. I knew I had to do something.
I say it all the time, but Jenn [owner of Delta Life Fitness – Eastern Shore] was an angel sent to me. This was all happening to me when she was opening her gym. She was offering this give away for the gym memberships, and I won a membership with her gym in November. Part of the give away process was adding you to the Facebook group for accountability. She went ahead and was giving all the women the meal plans and giving us access to the website. We kind of had a head start on what was happening. So, it was just having that accountability.
I think a lot of it had to do with self worth and self image issues because it was finally like I had other people in it with me. Other women were struggling the same as me. We have this perfectionist way of looking at being a mom and weight loss and it’s all or nothing. It was nice to know that I’m really not a failure if I fail at this one little thing. It’s just one part of my life. It was nice to have other people who saw it that way too.
HOW HAS DELTA LIFE CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS?
It’s wonderful, there is no other type of program that handles everything, not just the diet and fitness aspect of it. Most of the time, programs focus on people achieving this happier state by going through a temporary state of being uncomfortable [a strict and unrealistic diet/workout plan]. Then there is this notion that when you are done you’re going to feel great, you’re going to be happy and be thin. Delta Life takes into account reality and doesn’t want to make women have a temporary state of discomfort just for that self image.
Delta Life Fitness wants women to have a balance life. It doesn’t have to be about being uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to mean you have to miss out on something in life. DLF puts it in balance, and it’s just a part of your life. You just need to take care of yourself and it’s not selfish. They’ve taught me it’s part of what you need to do to be a better person, and you have to stick up for yourself in that.
HOW DID THE ENVIRONMENT CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF A GYM?
There’s no other place where women can go that isn’t affected negatively by the pressure that we feel, you know, the competitiveness that women feel, the cattiness that women bring to something. It’s nice to have women who are able to get together and provide an environment where you all can be vulnerable. You all can be confident, and you can see the best in each other and somehow that makes you see the best in yourself. It’s not a regular gym. No one says, “you’re not doing great enough, you’re not thin enough yet.” No, at Delta Life they say, “I know you can do this because you are strong, and I see it in you and you need to see it too.”
WHAT SPECIFICALLY ABOUT DELTA LIFE FITNESS EMPOWERED YOU TO MAKE YOUR TRANSFORMATION?
I think the biggest thing for me was that I didn’t have to be perfect. I didn’t have to follow everything 100%. If I fell off the wagon, I wasn’t considered a failure, it was just considered reality. It helped me put balance into my life with fitness and nutrition as well as the other parts in my life. It helped me realize that no one is going to be perfect in anything in life. It’s ok. You don’t have to feel like a failure. Your self-worth is not tied to how many workouts you go to. It is just a workout you do one day at a time. It just a mixture of having a balanced lifestyle. If you fail today, there’s always tomorrow.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT JOINING DELTA LIFE FITNESS OR HAVE RECENTLY JOINED?
I guess it sounds cliché because everybody says weight loss is such a mental thing but it really is. You have to be your own best friend before any kind of weight loss or any kind of exercise or diet is going to help you. You have to be an advocate for yourself, and say I’m not going to accept myself any less than the best person I can be. You have to just make yourself accountable. You are worth it, and you deserve to be the best you”. Once that mental aspect comes into play, I think the healthy nutrition and fitness just fall in line and you just do it.
There’s not going to be a moment where the sun comes out and it’s going to be a great day and you’re really going to want to workout. That’s not going to happen. You’re not going to have this epiphany of I’m going be a healthy person. You just have to do it. I mean, if you need a sign, takes this as your sign. You just have to do it. I think that mentally, I started to view what I was doing not has a diet and fitness program that was temporary, instead it was I am going to change my life and keep it balanced. It doesn’t matter if I lose 10 pounds this week, 10 pounds in the next 6 months. It doesn’t matter if I eat all healthy meals this entire week, like none of that matters. It’s only about this day. What am I going to do to better myself today? And that one workout, it’s over and it’s going to take you to the next one. You just go day by day until things get better.
NEGATIVE SELF-TALK IS PREVALENT FOR WOMEN, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHER WOMEN ABOUT HOW TO STOP IT?
It’s all comes back to the mental game. There’s something in you, like if you are uncomfortable with your weight, if you’re uncomfortable with the way you’re eating, that means you know there’s something better for you. If you know that then you have the power to change yourself. You know you need to be better. All you have to do is take one little step. It’s not all or nothing thing. One little step is going to take you to two little steps. Two little steps is going to take you to three.
Nutrition doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Fitness doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You just take it one step at a time. Start where you’re at. It might be just taking sodas out of your diet. That one little thing will take you to another little thing. It may be a long journey, and you can’t have a mindset of weight loss as an instant gratification kind of way because in reality, that’s never going to happen.
You’re never going to be satisfied if you think you’re going to lose 50 pounds in one month. Be realistic with yourself. At this point, for me, after losing 30 pounds and three dress sizes, it’s less about losing weight and more about being healthy, whatever weight that is. It not an overnight, thing, it’s like everything you experience in life, it’s day to day. You wake up and you say, I’m going to be nice to myself when I talk to myself. I’m going to talk the way I would talk to anybody else because I don’t deserve a less version of myself. Each day, the more you talk positive to yourself the easier it becomes, it’s just naturally what happens. I think the great thing about Delta Life Fitness is when you’re at the gym it’s so positive to the point there is no room left for negativity. All you can do is be positive and everybody is going to be positive. So day to day that mental shift of how you see yourself will happen because when you see your Delta sisters working out, you would never say to them what you say to yourself.
I’ve come to the point that I see my Delta sisters in such a positive way. They are so strong, so beautiful, and can do so many things and part of that is when I see it in those women it makes me think that may be true about me too. Day to day, that feeling just grows. I don’t think it’s a thing that happens overnight, I think it’s part of having a balanced mentality, a realistic mentality. You might not like things about yourself, but it doesn’t mean you’re not a great person, it doesn’t mean you’re not a complete person. It just means you need to improve on some things. You look at it like it’s something you need to work on and not something that’s means you’re a failure or are flawed. It doesn’t mean you are broken.
HAS DELTA LIFE MADE YOU STRONGER
Before I even started, I couldn’t even walk a quarter of a mile without being completely winded and done. We started the workouts with running the first 3 minutes, and I couldn’t even run 30 seconds. Now, I’m at the point where I can run all 3 minutes and make it through the whole workout. I can come home, run 3 miles and do P90X with my husband.
I mean, I never thought I would be a person who could ever do anything like that. I just always felt like I was not a physical person. I thought I just didn’t like physical activity. It wasn’t that. My body was just not ready for it, and I didn’t understand it takes time. It comes back to the whole self talking thing. If you stick to the workouts you will realize that what you say to yourself isn’t true. You’ll think look what I can do. I am pretty awesome. It will happen day by day. You just have to work at it.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
I have had to do a lot of self discovery, a lot of self work as an adult more so than other people do. I was 17 when I got pregnant with my first child and got married and had to go through a divorce at 22. I had to go through years figuring out who I was. I was trying to figure out how I was going to make it through. I came to the point that I couldn’t be negative anymore. There’s no more space. I have been negative my entire life. It was time to change from it. Little by little, I started working on myself. I guess, it’s led me here. You don’t even realize what’s happened half the time. You’re just in a bad spot and you claw your way to the top. We have the perfect image of a spouse or a mom or a friend. It’s all or nothing. I’m either the best at it or the worse at it and there’s no in between. I think that once you get out of the negativity, you realize it’s not like that. I was great at certain things, and bad at other things, but I’m here. I made it through
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Did you love this post? If you want more posts like it you’re in luck. The first 4 Strong and Empowered Women Series Posts are below. Just click on each one to get great interviews about the real women at Delta Life Fitness.