Sarah Carrick works from her home in Coppell, TX making custom greeting cards and is also an Interior Designer and home remodeler. She has been with GYIS since March 29th of this year.
Q: Where were you at in your life before the Get You In Shape? What did your life look like?
Before Get You In Shape I was unhappy, frustrated and hated the way I looked and felt. I was at my heaviest weight ever, 264 pounds – even while pregnant I weighed 10 pounds less than where I was last December! I was embarrassed for my husband and children when out with them, for them to have to be seen with me, and I avoided making eye contact with anyone because of my appearance. My weight had a huge negative impact of my lifestyle. . I stopped my Interior Design work because I felt I didn’t fit the (albeit) stereotype. I battled to find clothes – especially when living overseas where European clothes are much smaller and the stores certainly don’t cater to Plus-size women. When flying I couldn’t fit into an economy-size seat and I would hide the fact that my seatbelt couldn’t close. I was sure passengers were looking at me hoping that they didn’t have to get squished in next to the fat lady! My friends would go on shopping outings together and exclude me because they were going to “regular-size” clothing shops. I became somewhat of a hermit. Despite sleeping well at night I had zero energy, often needing a nap during the day. Late last year I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – an auto-immune disease where your immune system attacks your thyroid. I’m now on medication but still have to be aware of my body as it puts me at risk for other auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, anemia and more. I knew something had to change and my weight was the one thing I could control.
Q: Why did you decide to join Get You In Shape?
I’d started walking with my college-age daughter in January but felt I needed more accountability and routine, especially since she’d be leaving to go back to University soon. I needed to make sure I would show up every lesson – I was not strict enough on myself to do it alone. I noticed the Get You In Shape car driving through Coppell, I took down the number and decided to call and make an appointment. The cost, schedule and attitude to overall wellness fit my needs. And so my fitness journey began.
Q: What was your first experience with or first impression of Get You In Shape?
Honesty, I was terrified to start. The thought of “boot-camp” was pretty scary! But, from the very first lesson I knew this was the right fit for me. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. Billy was my next-door-mat neighbor on my first day and guided me through many of the exercises. I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete the full amount of repetitions to begin with so I worked on my form instead of speed and quantity. Speed and quantity came over time. I love that every workout is different – no chance of boredom creeping in. I had, and still do have, some limitations that prevent me from doing all the exercises but the trainers (big shout-out to Julie) have always been very helpful in suggesting effective alternatives so I never feel left out or that I’ve not been able to achieve a “complete” workout.
Q: What are some of the tools from the Get You In Shape program you have used that has helped you?
I began a Challenge program about a week after joining GYIS. The challenges are a great boost to your regular routine and really jump started my progress. I also drink the suggested Protein Shake every day for breakfast. It’s a tasty and filling “treat” to start out my day. I’ve yet to do the Community 5k, but that is my long-term goal! I use MyFitnessPal to log my food and exercise. I had been doing this for years in an Excel spreadsheet but MFP is so much more effective, easy to use and I actually enjoy having to log my food and exercise now. I like the Facebook pages as well for information, and motivation from fellow boot-campers.
Q: What do you like most about the Get You In Shape Program?
There are so many thing I like about Get You In Shape….that it’s outside – although I’ve not been through a winter yet so I might be eating my words come February! I like the accountability it provides, the camaraderie of the participants, the awesome instructors who encourage in a non-threatening way, the “overall wellness factor”, the class times….but I would say I like the variety in the workouts the most.
Q: How has the Get You In Shape program helped change your life?
I am making much better choices for myself now. It’s been more of a lifestyle change than a quick fix, which is what I wanted and needed. I’ll now park my car at the farthest spot and walk instead of searching for a spot closest to the entrance. Before I would always be asking my family to get or do things for me instead of doing it myself, I was depressed, short-tempered, generally a not-very-nice person to be around – all of this simply because of the excess weight I was carrying around with me – I was constantly tired. Now I feel energized; I look forward to my day! I can enjoy working in my garden. I can take my dogs for a walk. I enjoy time together with my husband and daughters. I’ve made wonderful friends within the group who understand the challenges we’re facing together so I don’t have to worry about someone sabotaging my progress or leading me off track. Not only am I eating healthier but so is my family. Better choices all round.
Q: What is your proudest moment or result from the Get You in Shape program?
I was fairly proud of myself for making it through the first lesson and actually returning for the second! I don’t know that I’ve reached my “proudest moment” yet. There’s still a long way for me to go, but I’ll get there. I set lots of short term goals which has helped keep me motivated but when I reach the big 50-pounds loss with GYIS I’ll feel pretty proud then. Only 9 pounds to go! And 13 pounds before December 31st to reach my next threshold. I refuse to start the New Year over 200 pounds!
Q: How has the Get You In Shape Program impacted other areas of your life?
My confidence level has increased which has impacted everything – I feel that, although I’m still “big”, I’ve achieved a lot and I’m proud of those achievements. Strangers can think what they want – they don’t know my story and how far I’ve come!
Q: What are the results that you have achieved from the Get You In Shape program and how has Get You In Shape played a role in your results?
Since joining Get You In Shape on 29th March (7 months exactly) I’ve lost over 41 pounds, lost over 28-inches and I’m down FOUR clothing sizes! I had lost about 10 pounds before Get You In Shape but there’s no way that would have stayed off had I not joined Get You In Shape.
So, I consider GYIS responsible for my full 51 pound weight loss!
With less weight having an impact on my knees, I’m now able to do short distances at a slow-jog pace – I could barely walk the same distance when I began Get You In Shape. I’ve started walking with some of the other boot-campers on Thursday mornings – last week we walked 5.6 miles and I felt fantastic afterwards!
Some weeks I notice the inches come down but the scale doesn’t move, and vice-versa, but I know that ultimately it’s all making a difference.
Q: What other benefits or changes have you seen since joining Get You In Shape?
Health wise: My cholesterol level has improved down to 182 from 243, my BMI has dropped 9 points, and my knee-pain is hardly noticeable most days.
MyFitnessPal: I always have a Protein shake for breakfast and in the morning I’ll track my dinner meal, so I know what I have available for the rest of the day. That way I don’t get to suppertime and find I’m short on calories. For the rest, track everything you eat immediately – don’t leave it till the end of the day to try and remember what you ate. And don’t eat your calories burned through exercise!
Diet: Keep it varied – add in different veg