For this months’ Strong and Empowered Women Series we talked with Christina, a member from Delta Life Fitness – Pensacola in Florida. Her story is powerful and her words shed light on so many things we as women experience when it comes to weight struggles. Get ready to grab a tissue because this interview was an emotional one.
Keep reading to find out how Delta Life has supported and empowered her to find her voice and her confidence. She has become a different person today because of Delta Life Fitness. She has become a different person today with the help of Delta Life Fitness.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m from South Georgia. We moved to Pensacola, Florida for my husband’s job. I will be 30 years old next month, and I’m really having a hard time with that one. I’m a stay-at-home mom to two little girls ages 7 and 5. I just recently certified as a doula, and I would love to start my own business. Eventually, I would even like to go back to school to get my midwifery degree.
When I was 18 I went into nursing and was going for my midwifery degree, but then I had my first daughter. I didn’t want to leave her so I never finished. My youngest is starting school this year so that’s what made me decide to go get my doula certification. I’m having a hard time accepting her going to school.
Tell me about your weight lost journey.
I started my weight lost journey a year ago almost to this very date. At the start, I was well over 300 pounds. I could barely function. I was sick all the time. Then one day something just clicked and I said, “I’m sick of this”.
In July last year, I heard about this supplement everybody was taking. I decided to be a guinea pig and just try it. It worked. It helped me lose a little bit of the weight. Then in August, I started seeing Delta Life Fitness popping up on my Facebook page. I messaged Delta Life Fitness to see what it was about. I wanted to know if “bigger” people could go because I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without having to take a break in the middle.
Growing up, I have always been a “dumpling”. My brothers were always super skinny, and I was the fat one. I was picked on for being fat. They were so mean. I remember liking food especially country cooking. I remember one time my mom went into my room and found chicken bones. I had snuck fried chicken into my room.
I always had a problem with eating when no one is watching, secret eating. When I got married, I kept doing it. Nobody is watching so I could eat whatever I wanted. I struggled with that. I joke around and say I’m an emotional eater, I eat when I’m happy and I eat when I’m sad. I am a total stress and junk food eater. I guess, that’s probably why I gained so much weight. During my marriage, like any marriage, you go through struggles. I definitely just ate my heart out especially the first couple of years. I gained weight but didn’t get really big. I think I controlled it pretty well.
I started gaining more weight after my youngest daughter was born. I’m not really sure what happened. I had some health issues after having her, heart issues. I had really high blood pressure when I had her, and it left me with a little bit of heart damage from the birth. I was really tired all the time. I think, looking back at it, I suffered with baby blues, and I just didn’t know that’s what was happening.
Everything kind of just when downhill from there. Then one day, I decided I was tired. I was tired of dieting. I had been dieting since I was 15. The first time I went to a diet doctor I was 15 years old. I was sick of it. It seems that after that, I just blew up. I got so big.
Then, I started having really horrific migraines. I would have them every day, couldn’t get out of bed. As soon as my eyes opened in the morning, I would have a migraine headache. I didn’t know what was going on. I just assumed since my mom had migraines they were hereditary. I figured they would eventually get better. I went to the doctor for a routine eye exam and they looked into my eye and found a pseudo tumor or a fake tumor. My spine had started producing too much spinal fluid and it pumped it straight to my brain. I went in for a spinal tap and it left me blind in my right eye and completely ruined my optic nerve in my right eye. I had never heard of pseudo tumor, but the main symptom is migraine headaches.
After I had my spinal tap I have had problems with my legs. I couldn’t walk for days after it was over. I was told I would have to go do a spinal tap every year, but I haven’t had any more pressure since. My daughter was about a year old then and with my legs being the way they were, I couldn’t function. I got sicker and sicker. It was a constant battle from there. I never realized how sick I was until we moved here to Pensacola. When we lived in Georgia, if you are not an outdoorsy person, there’s nothing for you to do. I have never being outdoorsy, I don’t like to sweat, I don’t like being hot. I don’t like being dirty. I stayed in the house most days. I homeschooled my oldest daughter because we didn’t like the school system there.
When my husband got transferred here, I was excited. I have always loved the beach. However, when we got out there I couldn’t make it to the water. I physically could not make it. My husband helped me out to the water, but I could not get back by myself. That’s when it clicked that things had gone too far. I couldn’t even take my girls to the beach by myself, I had to wait for my husband.
It was awful!
When did you know something had to change?
My experience with the beach was my reality check. The moment when I realized, it’s time to do something. I felt like an old lady. I slept all day. I didn’t even have the energy to go to the pool with my kids. Looking back now a year ago I think what in the world!
Now I can’t imagine not having the energy to do things, to just go. Even after losing a little weight with the pills I still wasn’t able to do those things. I still slept most of the day. Delta Life Fitness has played a big role in changing that.
What was your experience walking into the doors of Delta Life Pensacola for the first time?
The first time I got to the parking lot and sat in my car. I couldn’t get myself to get out so I drove back home. A couple of days later I went back and got out. I walked in and talked to Jessica. I said, “I’m here to sign up for the free week trial and try it out, obviously I have never worked out, ever”. She said “that’s cool, no problem”.
Tiffany was the trainer that day, and they both acted as if they didn’t care that I had never worked out before.
I wasn’t treated differently.
I went to a big box gym once before I had my second daughter. They had mirrors everywhere and the hamster wheel equipment.
I hated it.
I hated looking at myself.
I hated when I worked out and had all the really fit people around me.
I felt so out of place and judged.
I felt worse about myself when I left there.
So, I was kind of expecting the same thing at Delta Life. That’s probably why it took me so long to go.
The thing is Delta Life Fitness is totally different.
There was no judgment.
They didn’t even seem to realize I was fat, which is crazy. They were just super-duper nice. At my first workout, I’m sure everybody was kind of waiting for me to puke but I didn’t. The first lady I connected with was Katie-Jo, and she moved right after. It was so sad because there was just something about her. I remember one of my first workouts the clock ran out before I could finish all my reps, but she came up next to me and helped me finish it. After the workout she said, “you’re going to come back, right? Tell me you will be back.” She is the reason I went back. I didn’t come back the next day because I was so sore, but I came back three days later when I was physically able to go back. Katie-Jo was there. I haven’t stop since.
When did you realize you were changing inside?
I always felt like no matter how skinny I get or how heavy my kettlebell is, I’ll always be that fat person on the inside. My best friend used to tell me, “you have to love yourself now, otherwise even when you are skinny, you will be picking at your flaws.”
I was at the beach with my sisters when I got an email to do this blog interview and I was so shocked. I had to read it a few times, and I couldn’t believe it. I had shared Christin’s story (she was also featured in this series) with my mom one day because it was so fascinating to me. So, I walked up to the shore where she was and showed her the email. I just couldn’t believe that a year ago almost to the date I would get an email to share my own story.
I was so excited.
I called my husband. When I got home I was telling him how a year ago I couldn’t even go to the beach or go grocery shopping on my own. I couldn’t go to the mall with my kids because my legs couldn’t handle the weight and now I am being asked to do an interview for The Strong and Empowered Women Series. I thought Holy cow! I am strong and empowered.
Describe Delta Life Fitness in one word.
When I think of Delta Life the word I think of is liberated.
How has Delta Life Fitness changed your life?
Delta Life Fitness has liberated me.
It brought something out of me, it liberated something inside of me I didn’t even know was there. This person here wasn’t there back in January. I wasn’t this person. I would have never done an interview like this. I was very reclusive, like a hermit. I never went anywhere. If I went somewhere, my husband had to come with me. I could barely check out at the store be myself.
I am not that person anymore. It’s a drastic change.
I have found my voice.
And my voice matters.
I can say yes or no in any situation. I have a purpose. I have choices I can make on my own. I wasn’t raise to be that way. I was just supposed to be the quiet voice behind the man.
What would you say to other women that are struggling right now with getting started?
I know it’s cliché but just do it.
Even if it’s just cutting out one thing at a time in your diet.
I love food! Mexican food is my favorite. Treat yourself to one meal a week and then the rest of the week stay on track.
Go to Delta Life Fitness.
Don’t just sit in the parking lot and go home, like I did. I know it hurts and the workouts are intense. You might not want to go to the gym today but you can do it. There’s a strong person inside of you. We all have to work to find that person.
What would you tell other women that look at you and say “I would never be able to do that” or how did you do it?”
Everybody that knows I do HIIT working with Delta Life are impressed and ask how I do it. They wonder how I am able to get through the workout or how I physically am able to do it. My favorite part of working out is flipping tires. My brother can’t believe that I flip tires.
When you walk out after a workout, you will feel so accomplished.
You’ll say. “I just did that”.
You will feel a little bit bigger and taller after every workout.
It’s a gradual process.
I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t be able to transform her life with Delta Life.
The trainers are so well versed in everything. Even if you are 60 years old with back problems, there are always modifications you can do in place of a movement. Modification is key to everything. I have horrible knee problems. Every workout, my knee cap pops out of place but my trainer knows and she modifies everything for me. So, no matter your age or how big you are or if you have health problems there is always something you can do.
I think, that’s why Delta Life fits for every woman.
You will not feel like a number.
It’s too personal.
Even the members are very close and personal.
It’s like a family.
If one woman is not there one day, you miss them a little bit.
In a big gym, you don’t have those types of relationships with anyone because you never see the same people. No one makes eye contact and no one talks to anyone. I want relationships and it keeps me accountable. That’s why a like the 9 am class. Ladies will message me and check in with me. They will ask me where I was or why I wasn’t at the gym. They hold me accountable.
How has Delta Life made you stronger both mentally and physically?
Before Delta Life Fitness, I don’t know if I didn’t have the strength or I didn’t realize I had strength.
For example, when I started I didn’t even know what a plank was and then I could hold a plank for like three seconds. The first time I held a one-minute plank it was the most glorious day.
Mentally, the whole workout is a mental game for me. I had to realize that.
One of the instructors once told me when you feel like you are done and want to stop, give me three more reps. That stayed with me. I do that with the pushups. Pushups are my favorite. When I feel like I can’t lift myself up anymore, I just try to do three more. Then the next time, you do three more than that.
I’m still improving every day and still modify everything but I do more.
One day, I was at the beach with my younger sisters, and we decided to do a Delta Life beach workout. My sisters, who are very tiny, couldn’t understand how I was able to do so many pushups when they could only do a few. It doesn’t matter what your size is. At my last Benchmark Workout, I did forty pushups, and before I was barely doing 10 or 12. It’s huge mentally and physically.
I have only lost another 15-20 pounds with Delta Life, but the difference in my body is insane. I have gained so much strength, not just physically but mentally, like it has given me a purpose where before I had just lost my purpose and my will to survive.
I don’t know how to put all that into words.
I kept putting it off.
I kept telling myself “I can’t do it.” I just didn’t feel like I was physically able to do the workouts, and I didn’t want to face the reality of out of shape I was in the beginning. I started Delta Life Fitness in January, and I haven’t quit since.
I love it.
I’m addicted to it.
What has Delta Life done to empower you?
It has given me purpose.
It has made me realize my worth.
In my old life, I never felt good enough.
Never felt like I fit in.
Even as a wife, I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I always tried to fit into the mold of a wife, and I couldn’t quite get there. I was always off or a little short.
I always felt like I was lacking or slacking in some way. I would always pick myself apart.
I thought I was worthless.
Now, I have purpose.
My life finally took on a meaning.
I realize I may never fit into a certain mold.
I may never be able to do push up on my toes. I may never be able to run to the road. I may still have to walk inside.
BUT IT IS OKAY.
I don’t have to fit into the ridiculous mold that the whole world is trying to fit into. I may never be Heidi Klum or Khloe Kardashian (body goal for me) and that’s ok.
I’m just going to be the best person that I can be.
I’m going to make my own little mold and be happy there.
Are you ready to make a change in your life? Are you ready to find your self-worth? Are you interested in breaking out of the mold and truly being the best version of you?
Delta Life Fitness is here to help. Click below for your free 5 day trial. It gives you a chance to check out your local Delta Life Fitness and see how it can change your life. Don’t wait for even one more second, click now and you too can change your life with our amazing program.