I’m down 48 pounds, three dress sizes, and I found a fitness community I LOVE.
Growing up, I always struggled with my weight. I wasn’t genetically blessed with a good metabolism, and I have memories of me as a 10-year-old meeting with nutritionists to try and get my weight under control. For years, I tried almost every diet out there. I would “start” a fitness plan, but give up before I had even started. I began to accept a life of being out of shape and overweight, but deep down I knew that type of future wasn’t going to make me happy. Deep down, I knew the best version of me was so much better and stronger.
In late 2016 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can lead to hormone imbalances in women causing lower energy levels and extreme difficulty losing weight. After speaking with my doctor and researching the condition more in depth, I found that many women with PCOS have success losing weight by combining a ketogenic diet with high intensity interval training.
I knew that in order for me to be successful with my health and fitness goals, I needed to first master the diet and then add on the exercise. I needed to not just diet—I needed to make this a permanent lifestyle change. I was tired of starting over and over again. I was tired of talking about it and never finishing. After my first two months of following a low carb meal plan and losing 20 pounds, I was ready to add in an exercise plan. I wanted a motivating community that would challenge me, hold me accountable and give me a routine.
In February 2017, I noticed that my friend and former classmate, Bonnie Kuhn, was encouraging people on social media to come take her class at Shred415. Let me preface this by saying I loathed running. Many of my closest friends are marathon runners, and I couldn’t remember the last time I was able to run even a half mile straight. I was intimidated, but I kept reminding myself that every person in the class started somewhere. Every person has a story.
The first class was hard. I walked some, I ran some, and I sweat a ton. Shred415 put me completely out of my comfort zone, and it was probably the hardest fitness class I had ever taken (until I tried out a Sunday morning Ryan class…talk about pushing your limits in the best way possible). I was hooked. I was completely motivated by everyone in the class running and lifting weights beside me. The energy in the room was contagious, from the others in the class to the inspiring instructors. I started taking weeknight classes with Bonnie, then combined Saturday “run/dance parties” with Katie and eventually added early morning “push past my max” classes with Ann.
In the fall of 2017, I completely the Shred 20×30 challenge. By sharing my journey on social media, I began connecting with Shred415 members from the St. Louis and Chicago locations. We would exchange weight loss struggles, stories, and motivation. I had instructors cheering me on—and holding me accountable to show up to class. They genuinely care about their clients’ goals and success in reaching them. To this day, they are still following my journey and offering encouragement.
By the end of 2017, I was down a total of 48 pounds, three dress sizes, and I finally had some ab definition. I became committed to my health, developed an eating and fitness routine, got a ton of my energy back, and found a fitness community that I LOVE. This is the first year where my New Year’s resolution isn’t to “get skinny.” This year, I have made more than a resolution. I am committed to continue to make myself and my health a priority—living intentionally every single day. I have begun training for my first half marathon, and I look forward to setting and crushing even more fitness and personal goals with the help of my Shred415 family.
To become Shredder of the Month, submit your Shred415 success story to [email protected]. Whomever is chosen will receive an unlimited month of Shred415 classes. He or she will also be recognized on our blog and social media channels.