Coppell Fitness Spotlight of the Month – 52 Pound weight loss
Russel Cowdrey and Diana Guiterrez
1 Name, what you do, and where do you live?
Russell Cowdrey, VP of Innovation with Usability Sciences Corporation, Coppell, TX and Diana Gutierrez, Senior Account Executive with Fiserv, Coppell, TX
2 Why did you decide to join the Get You In Shape program?
Diana: The reason I joined Get You In Shape (GYIS) was because I made the choice to make my health a priority.
More often than not, I believe that so many of us prioritize so many other things in front of our health- when in truth it really needs to begin with us so that we can then be equipped to handle the busy worlds we all participate in. In my specific case, losing my father at the young age of 61, to a massive heart attack, coupled by the thought of prematurely leaving the five amazing sons we are raising together, lead me to that light bulb moment that said the time is now! In fact, I can still remember the summer before I turned 40 that I told my husband, we must do something about our health. So, I began researching the options and the return on our investment; after all, the program we selected to be a part of was going to be just that, an investment. Fast forward to the City of Coppell 4th of July parade, and as we sat watching and cheering on the parade participants, one of our sons was given a GYIS postcard outlining a free trial offering for a “boot camp.” After conducting some additional research and speaking with my husband, we said to one another, no harm in trying, right? So we signed up a year and a five months ago and have loved the program ever since.
Russell: I joined GYIS because I wanted to make my wife Diana, happy. All kidding aside, I also agreed to join because it was really time for me to get in shape. I had been an avid athlete all of my life and truly loved playing basketball. However, as I got older, I noticed my body wasn’t working quite like it used to on the court. Adding age, weight, and then knee surgery…..it was time. I knew that I needed to drop some major weight for my health, ease of mobility, and our future.
Both Russell and Diana: While it’s no secret to those who know us well, we live blessed, but very full lives. So, exercise before GYIS was categorized as a real accomplishment if we managed to get two – one mile “walking” days in a week. As for our eating habits, well they lacked discipline all the way around…from counting calories to truly understanding what an acceptable portion size really meant in our “super-sized” world.
4 What was your first impression from the Get You In Shape program?
Russell. I was a bit unsure of what to expect, but I had agreed to do this and I was going to give it my best. And then came our first workout…about midway through the session, I remember thinking to myself, I’m going to throw up. I was working muscles and body parts that I hadn’t in a long time and my body was yelling at me saying, what the heck have you gotten us into? But, here we are 1.5 years later and I really can’t tell you all the benefits GYIS has helped me realize. As I recently posted on a Google review, the community of both participants and trainers are second to none.
Diana: Let’s take this back to the first communication/interaction I had with our assigned “trainer.” Prior to arriving to our first class, I received a call from Kristi Walthall welcoming us to the GYIS Community. Our conversation together put me at ease with the “experience” we were about to have. You could hear the passion in her articulation not only of the program, but also of her willingness to ensure that the goals we set were achievable and sustainable. Then our first Monday arrived. We had a large group of folks starting when we did, so the trainers made the decision to split the group up. We were placed in the ‘beginner’ group led by GYIS personal trainer Chaney Respondek. It was an awesome workout and I just loved it! I recall peering over to the other 5:30a.m. groups, led by Kristi and Julie, thinking – boy oh boy, I sure hope I can keep up when we move over there. A week later, we moved over to Kristi and Chaney’s group and never looked back. While we haven’t quite made the leap to Julie’s side of the parking lot, Chaney and Tarah definitely push us and keep our heart rates up every week!
5 What have been some of the tools you have used that have benefited you?
Russell: I use MyFitnessPal regularly. I have also had a great deal of success completing the 24 day challenge and cleanse. But, one of my all-time favorite tools has been the group challenge. I am a team player by heart, so anything that allows me to help those around me become better, motivate me as well.
Diana: I would have to agree with Russell that the MyFitnessPal app is effective, more so when you share your log with someone who is holding you accountable. I also use the ABC Travel Exercise card quite a bit due to my work travel schedule and the inability to get my heart rate up to the same point as we do in class, by using hotel equipment. I have also found that using the Advocare Exercise Video has been a great tool for off-day cardio; it’s short, effective and encourages you to challenge yourself.
6. How is the Get You In Shape program different from other programs you have tried before? What makes Get you In Shape different or unique?
Russell: I had had some success back in the day with the Body for Life 12 week program, but I often found the dieting component of the program to be difficult to stick with for 12 weeks. With GYIS, I think the biggest difference for me has been the experience of community. You have people just like me working towards a common goal- to be stronger, healthier, and lose weight
Diana: I have always enjoyed working out with groups, but I think the biggest differentiator with the GYIS program is the trainers. The team Brad and Cynthia have assembled consists of relate-able, genuine, and caring professionals. Don’t get me wrong, their ability to coach from the heart, doesn’t by any means mean they are soft on us, but it sure does make the program special and unique.
7 What results and benefits have you experienced in the Get You In Shape Program?
Russell: In the first twelve months of attending GYIS, I have lost 30 lbs and I have reduced my waist size from a 40” to 36”. Best of all, I received a “better than normal” annual checkup from my doctor and I attribute that to GYIS. While I know that I still have some weight loss to go, knowing what I have achieved and sustained over the past year motivates me to press ahead.
Diana: During my first twelve months, I lost 22 lbs and reduced my dress sizes by 2 sizes. In direct correlation with the weight and inch losses, my energy and productivity levels have just sky rocketed. I was able to complete my first Mud Run (with the help of some wonderful GYIS friends) and participated in two 1,100 ft. vertical elevation climbs during my son’s Boy Scout Camp at Lake George, CO this past summer; both physical tasks that I didn’t think I could complete before GYIS.
8 What would you say to anyone looking at this program?
Russell: I would say….no harm in trying it, right?
Diana: If you are looking for an exercise program where no two workouts are the same, where your body is physically challenged( regardless of your physical level) and the trainers are knowledgeable, certified professionals that coach from the heart….then look no further, GYIS is for YOU! Words simply cannot express how much joy GYIS has brought me personally. I have genuinely enjoyed meeting so many new folks and making wonderful new friendships.