This is not your typical Encompass love story.
But it’s my honest story.
I joined Encompass Kickstart program thanks to my bestie, Jennifer, in September 2016.
I was overweight, my blood pressure was out of control, I had headaches, and I was exhausted all the time. I blamed in on my work. I couldn’t imagine adding any more to my day. Who had the time?
But, we started the challenge and I was overwhelmed by all the information.
Unlike many others, I was hungry. All. The. Time. I was mad at all the people who said they couldn’t eat their full portion sizes…. my thought was, stop bragging, bring it to my house, I’m starving.
We also took advantage of the 2 fitness classes per week that came with the program. I hated that too. The cheerful instructors annoyed me. I seriously disliked all the people that could get through the class with a smile. I thought they must be robots. I didn’t want to be there.
I somehow managed to make it through the first month, with what I considered dismal results. A measly 6 pounds. But, I thought, I’ve made it this far, so I tried to follow the program on my own for another month.
With my health in mind, after the KickStart, I signed up for unlimited classes. I still remember Brady asking me how I was liking it. I asked her if she wanted an honest answer, and she said yes. Bad move… I told her no, I wasn’t liking it, but I had to do something, and I hoped that in 6 months I wouldn’t hate it as much as I did at that moment.
The second month was the same…. 6 pounds. I was so angry, so frustrated; I was doing everything they told me to do, and it wasn’t working. I still hated working out, I glared at the instructors, everything sucked. People tried to be nice to me, but I was having no part of it. I whined to Brady… and she told me that consistency was the key. “Just stick with it”, she assured me. When she walked away, I rolled my eyes, and swore under my breath.
Then, something happened. In the third month the weight started to fall off, and the trend continued into the fourth month. Somehow the classes weren’t as bad as they used to be, the instructors were less annoying, and maybe cheerful people weren’t the worst thing in the world.
In less than four months, I had lost 30 pounds, and my blood pressure was down to normal. I rarely had headaches anymore, I was sleeping better, and I had all kinds of energy. Planning my next meals became part of my routine and it wasn’t so overwhelming anymore. The change had been so gradual that I didn’t notice it was happening.
Since then, I have kept up the proper eating habits and exercise. I have committed to me, and I am making sure I am doing everything I can to stay healthy and fit. Since starting I have lost 49 pounds, over 30 inches and have even gained some lean muscle mass. I am proud of who I am, and what I have done.
I won’t lie, I still hate the first 10 minutes of exercise….but I get there, and the Encompass team sincerely cares and wants you to do the best you can do. Whether it’s Kim lurking so she can correct my form, Brady giving me the side eye when I take a weight that is maybe less than I can handle (so I get a heavier one, sigh), Alex making me do level 3 or 4 of an exercise (boo), or Thomas telling me to get lower on my squat…they are always watching, checking and cheering you on, no matter what level you are at.
Change is scary, and it’s much worse when you don’t believe in yourself. I had lost the faith in me. Thank goodness the team at Encompass didn’t listen, and still had confidence in me.
If I could give any advice to anyone thinking about joining Encompass, I would tell them:
· It’s ok to be afraid, but if you don’t take a chance, how will you ever know?
· STAY CONSISTENT
· You can do this, don’t give up on yourself
· If you have lost faith in yourself, let the Encompass team have the faith for you, until you get it back.
· And if you need a friend the first time, call me, I’ll be there.
Sincerely (and with brutal honesty),
Vanessa has been an amazing client and an inspiration for others. Despite her dislike for fitness and exercise and her occasional eye rolling, she has had a positive impact on our fitness community, proving that determination and dedication payoff, even when you don't feel like it.