linda - before


linda - after

I’ve struggled with my weight all my life, and yo-yoed up and down the scale so many times that I gave up. And I tried every diet there was, but never really added the ‘exercise’ component because I always felt uncoordinated and clumsy, and I hated being out of breath.

Then, after an angina attack sent me to the Emergency Room, PLUS a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia in 1999 which left me totally disabled and unable to work full-time anymore, I finally realized I had to stop making excuses and JUST DO IT. Despite my pain level my fibro specialist insisted that weight training would help my sore leg and back muscles.

So I started working out…slowly but surely. I even owned a woman’s gym for a short while….and started to believe in the power of exercise and in particular, weight-training.

When my women’s gym closed I had nowhere to exercise, and decided after a time to try Gibsons Fitness. But I felt intimidated by all the equipment and had no idea where to even START…so I signed up for Personal Training and after a time they gave me Marcia as my trainer.

Marcia was wonderful. Her calm reassurances and her support kept me going, even when at times I didn’t really ‘feel like it’. I’d look at my huge stomach in the mirrors in the gym and think ‘I don’t belong here’. But Marcia assured me that I could do it, that I was perfectly capable of improving…and then she proved it by pushing me gently but firmly, towards doing more, lifting more, taking more classes, going further on the treadmill, and even coming more often. All without ever raising her voice or making me feel like I wasn’t ‘good enough’.

And so I tried new things, and I also started a healthy diet (for once, no more fad diets!)….and ate a little protein at every meal, frequent small meals instead of gorging myself on weekends and during the evening. And I found I actually COULD lose weight this way. And I drank more water. And started to go to Body Flow classes where I was stretching my muscles and doing new exercise moves I’d never done before. And I really enjoyed them!

One good thing followed another…as I got better at exercise and was losing weight at the same time, I found I could do more, be more flexible, just a teeny bit every time but I kept improving…and this ‘fed’ into my dieting work so that I realized that when I lost weight I felt better and could DO more at the gym…and it became a GOOD cycle of diet + exercise!

My fibromyalgia is always a challenge, and I still have my ‘bad’ days… but Marcia never ‘blinks’, she works around my problem areas, and is always sensitive to my needs. And she helped me cope by suggesting warm baths and days off in between and taking it slow and easy.

And little by little, week after week, month after month, I started to finally, once and for all, lose the weight.

I’ve lost 78 lbs and reached goal weight on July 24, 2013. And I’m keeping it off (which is the biggest and best news of all!) I’m also doing Spinning class (which I never thought I’d be able to do…I thought those people were ‘nuts’!), and Body Pump group weight lifting class. I’m even doing CX Worx! And I never miss Pilates class.

Today I work out 4-5 days a week. A day without Gibsons Fitness is ‘incomplete’ now! I LOVE it here. I’ve made many friends and I feel and look 20 years younger. My husband says I look better than I did when he married me 30 years ago, and I definitely FEEL better! My family and friends all ask me ‘How did you do it?’ and I point to Gibsons and tell them to just TRY IT. Have some faith in yourself, take a deep breath and do it. You never know what you can do until you TRY!

– Linda Leiby