Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt shares her Get You In Shape journey
I am Karen Hunt and I am a wife, mom, the Market President at Frost Bank in Coppell, volunteer and Mayor of the fair city of Coppell. Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, I attended Southern Methodist University and never went back. My friend and neighbor, Julie McCan was a strong influence in deciding to join Get You In Shape. Watching her growing passion and her success with boot camp made me want to try it…but there was always something that was my excuse. THEN I saw the picture below of me– this was not the person I saw in the mirror every morning.
Before Get You In Shape, I thought I was active because I walked the dog four to five times a week. But the reality was that even that consistent walking did not give me much. My clothes did not fit well – I liked baggy clothes (I called them “comfortable”). My eating habits were poor. I had lost a lot of strength.” During the first couple of weeks, getting through a workout was tough. I am a bit competitive and I wanted to keep up with those around me. When I had the excuse of missing a workout due to an early morning meeting, I took it. After about two months though, I found myself moving the meetings to a different day or a bit later so I could do both. I was hooked.
I did the AdvoCare cleanse not too long into the program – to get me focused on food and nutrition. For me the best tools are the Get You In Shape trainers. They are each knowledgeable, caring and helpful. Have a question – Ask it!! Whether it is “which muscle is suppose to feel this exercise” or “can you help me with an overall routine”, they are ready. willing and able to assist. Get You In Shape Personal Trainer Julie McCan has been a great help to me to work on additional flexibility, nutrition tracking and “learning how to run”.
The friends you meet, the support from your fellow Get You In Shape boot campers, the subtle challenge to push yourself to the next level and the celebration of success – each of these makes the people of Get You In Shape unique and addicting.
My goal was to be healthier at the end of the year that I was at the beginning of the year. Yes, I lost eight pounds in the first several months but the real success is that I FEEL better. My clothes fit better – I am actually pinning up about an inch in my work slacks until I can get them altered. I do sleep better and my energy levels are now pretty constant throughout the day. I feel stronger – I see come muscle definition in arms and legs. I would tell anyone thinking about starting to put those excuses away, jump in and do it.
Howdy! I’m Hal Armstrong, born and raised in Dallas, TX. I work for JP Morgan Chase as a small business loan underwriter. My wife Lisa and I have 2 kids, our daughter Hailey who will be a junior at Texas A & M and our son Trent who will be a senior at Coppell High School.
I know I have a lot of procrastinator tendencies when it comes to making changes in my life and it was no different when was deciding on getting control of my weight and improving my fitness. While I knew that I either could not or would not do anything on my own, I still delayed getting involved with any program. I had seen GYIS participants working out at Andy Brown in the past as well as having seen their advertisements on cars around town, etc. I even remember getting their printed material at the Coppell 4th of July parade in 2012 and thinking that it would be a good program to join. So, of course, being a procrastinator, I didn’t start investigating the program until 6 months later in January 2013.
I took a leap of faith and started in February 2013. I’m not sure why I waited so long but I’m sure it was part embarrassment of how out of shape I was, part fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the others in the class, and part fear of being in a threatening environment. But I was tired of the way I looked and was uncomfortable of having my clothes fit so tightly. I knew I needed to try SOMETHING because what I was doing (or not doing) was making no difference.
The first few sessions were a slap in the face to me and a wakeup call. I could barely do any of the exercises at all, much less the number of repetitions the others in the class were doing. Some exercises I couldn’t do at all because of lack of endurance, strength, and flexibility. I must say after the first week I was in some pretty significant pain. It was not just soreness; unused muscles, tendons and ligaments were screaming at me. I knew the only way it was going to stop hurting was to either quit then or keep going. I probably would have quit had not the trainers been so encouraging to do what I could. I also came to the conclusion that my doing something, regardless of the amount or intensity was better than doing nothing. When I made it through (survived!) the first few sessions, I was motivated and thought to myself, ‘Hey, I can do this!’ So I told myself to just keep showing up and see what happens.
I was also inspired by the other participants who were working really hard as well but were not at all judgmental of me as I was struggling to do even the basics. I was humbled when I realized they were and are way ahead of me in terms of fitness. I saw them struggling and sweating as well and the fact that they kept showing up morning after morning gave me motivation. I knew they were hurting and sore too so there is some camaraderie in that shared feeling. The combined support of these amazing individuals and the talented trainers has kept me coming back, even when my mind and body was telling me how much I hurt and making me doubt myself. I owe a lot to both my workout compadres and all the trainers.
As hard as I was working, I wasn’t seeing a lot of results initially and wasn’t sure what to exactly expect or how quickly I would notice any physical changes. Of course, I was working out hard for the first time in a while and was hurting so I wanted significant results in the first 2 weeks. But I kept telling myself that I’d made a commitment to do this at least 90 days and see how it worked out. In the first month I lost 6 pounds which was quite an achievement as far as I was concerned. It had been quite a while since I’d lost any weight at all so it gave me more motivation to stick with it.
About this time I started the Advocare 24 day challenge to see how if that would help, especially in conjunction with the Get You In Shape fitness program. Changing my nutrition was really a catalyst as I was able to see more results in my weight as well as how my clothes fit. After 2 months of Get You In Shape and a month of the Advocare and nutrition change, I had lost 18 pounds. I was really shocked at the outcome. The results were very uplifting for me mentally, since I had entered the program with a lot of misgivings and uneasiness. Also I was able to do more during the sessions, being able to do some of the exercises that I couldn’t do at all and do more repetitions than what I was able to do initially. One real breakthrough for me was when I finished running a mile the whole way. I was so happy with myself, knowing where I’d come from.
One of the most helpful things with Get You In Shape has been the way I have been treated by the team of personal trainers. It was surprising that the folks knew me by name and would greet me at every session. Their direction has always been encouraging and they have never made me feel embarrassed for what I couldn’t do. I feel that their personal touch probably has made a huge impact on my success and desire to keep coming back to see if I could do better. Their encouragement to do whatever I could and to correct my poor form has truly been helpful.
I’m now at the 5 month mark and have lost about 35 pounds. I feel better overall and I’m able to recover pretty quickly from any soreness or tiredness after a session. I think I look better than I have in years and my clothes aren’t tight anymore. Maybe one of the greatest benefits has been in my mental health. I feel more confident and motivated since I know I have made some significant progress and achievements in my health. I can’t wait to go in for my annual physical and see what my doctor says after years of telling me I needed to get my weight under control. I still have some more goals to achieve weight-wise and fitness-wise but I feel I’m at least on my way, certainly a lot farther along than I was 5 months ago.
Coming from one of the world’s great procrastinators, I can easily recommend the Get You In Shape program to anyone looking to improve their fitness. There is really no reason not to, at the very least, TRY the program. I would assure anyone who has been putting off doing anything that the benefits are there if you are willing to stick with it and make some changes in your exercising and eating lifestyle. The people running the program and the other participants are all wonderful and make the program worthwhile. They help you want to stick with it. While I could probably live happily the rest of my life without doing another burpee and will probably never be able to do the “elbow on the ground” stretch, I’ve been very pleased and satisfied with the whole Get You In Shape experience. As most procrastinators eventually say, I only wish I’d started this sooner.