Karen Birong, a member of the Oakdale, Minnesota club, describes how she was successful in physically transforming herself in 16 months by adhering to the basics that Anytime Fitness & Anytime Health stand for: diet, exercise & rest.
Q: Why did you start your journey?
A: I had a laundry list of medical ailments (High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high stress, labored joints, early indicators of diabetes & potential fear of death) & I didn’t want to be that woman needed to be taken care of by a loved one at such a young age.
Q: What was your initial goal?
A: 100 lbs + with an undefined timeframe, but I knew I had to start now or never.
Q: What’s your ultimate goal?
A: To maintain a healthy lifestyle, hit a goal weight of 150, maintain that weight & start to live life & experience the little things I was never able to do.
Q: What does your training schedule look like?
A: Cardio training (elliptical) 5-6 days a week for 30-45 minutes with weight/resistance/functional/HIIT training 3 days a week for 30 intense minutes via circuit/interval-inspired sessions. 1 day hitting my upper body, 1 day hitting my lower body & one day dedicated to core, functional, HIIT “fun training” (Muay Thai, boxing, etc).
Q: What are you able to do now, that was unheard with your previous condition?
A: it’s the little things like comfortably sitting on a plane, moving around, and certain physical things like zip-lining & other fun activities/events. I have run (2 going on 3) 5 k races, which was out-of-the-question in the past.
Q: Most rewarding part of your new condition:
A: Looking & feeling good in my workout clothes & getting peace of mind from my doctor regarding blood work & the detailed tests.
Q: What was the journey you took to get to your previous condition & or was there a life event that you can tie your weight gain to?
A: No, I was always larger, had issues with my weight & I, early in life, labeled myself as a “fat kid”. I was raised in a great family, with a ton of support that led to a positive self image; I just simply over-ate & never worked out.
Q: What have you given up & what are you willing to do to continue your journey & maintain?
A: Pop was a big one (2-3 cans a day with more on the weekends), along with sweets, larger portions, fast food & in eating out 5 + days a week; they all needed to go to ensure success.
Q: Why Anytime Fitness?
A: Simple; flexibility, convenience, “anytime accessibility” (chuckles) friendly & positive environment & her trainer (Thanks DK). I would recommend both Anytime Fitness and Anytime Health to anyone I know.
Q: Tips, advice, encouragement for others who are in your past state?
A: Make it a priority, dedicate some “me time” every day to something that’s SO important, do the basics (diet, exercise & R&R), find what works best for you, find a good trainer/workout partner & implement a proper support system –very important. It’s not about “yo-yo” dieting, but truly about implementing a lifestyle change (sounds familiar to AF/AH as we love this).
Q: Do friends, family, peers, support you, hinder you, enable you?
A: Yes, yes, yes –all of the above. For the most part, most of the intentions were well, but a few folks made it clear they weren’t in support, that this was a fad & some even expressed jealousy. My husband is great, he has been more supportive that I could have ever imagined; extremely critical.
Q: What other changes have you noticed?
A: A physical reduction in weight, body fat percentage, INCHES (yea!) which means all new clothes, shoe size, ring size, but most important, I sleep now, quadrupled my energy levels, increased my focus & my attitude is 100% positive.
Q: Ever going back
A: What do you think –no! I have to admit, I’m scared of the potential of going back to my previous condition, but that’s what motivates me every day & night.
Q: Closing remarks?
A: The start of the journey was tough; I’m not going to lie to you, I cried everyday for the first (2) weeks (I still cry after some workouts today) & I hated it initially, but it was well worth it & I recommend taking this journey for anyone & everyone who wants their life back
Thanks to The Jespersen Family (Oakdale O2i), DK (Karen’s coach & trainer) & Karen for being open, honest & willing to share her story of inspiration to others (even though she’s very humble & looking for no glory).
5/17/2011 at 9:09 PM