MORE ABOUT SUZANNE
Location: Denver, CO
Occupation: Owner of Workout Nirvana Fitness
The point in life life I realized I was unhealthy and needed to make a positive change was ...
About five years ago I realized my body wasn’t where I wanted it to be anymore. I’d stopped going to strength-training class when my gym closed, and I felt soft and out of shape. I was lethargic and could barely move after dinner. I also had severe digestive problems and pain from an old whiplash injury that prevented me from functioning well.
The change manifested itself after ... I made a decision that I had to go back into the weight room on my own – not in a class, but the way I used to do it before my daughter was born. I remembered how it used to make me feel. So I went to the gym when no one else was there and just started lifting again, remembering the movements I’d done for years before. I also read about clean eating and made a decision to change the way I ate. I gradually cut out the processed junk I’d been eating, did away with daily indulgences, and started focusing on whole, natural foods. I immediately noticed an improvement in my digestive issues and my energy level increased tenfold.
The biggest obstacle I had to face and overcome during my journey was ... losing the muscle definition and strength I’d gained before my daughter was born. Even before that, I was fearful of re-injuring my neck. I was starting over. But I was determined to have it all back. In the beginning, there were days when I just didn’t want to go to the gym. Excuses popped up in my head and I was tempted to skip – I was too tired, I had things to do, I felt “sick,” etc.
But I forced myself to go every time. When I left the gym, I always felt better and was glad I had gone. This positive reinforcement made a huge difference in getting the habit to stick. When excuses came into my head, I remembered how good it felt to strength train. Eventually my passion for strength training was reignited and now I hate to miss a workout.
Changing my dietary habits was a long-term process as well. For awhile I still relied on prepackaged foods. But I began noticing that my stomach was upset after eating frozen burritos, fast food, and that kind of thing, so ate it less and less. Now I rarely eat anything prepackaged or junky and my stomach rarely acts up.
The exercise I most enjoy:
lifting weights. I love the techniques, how strong I feel as a result, the way it sculpts my body, and the self-confidence it gives me. I’ve been able to share my love of strength training in my blog and teach others as a personal trainer, which is an amazing thing.
Social media keeps me motivated to stay active and healthy by... being a very giving community. I’ve been a part of the online fitness community since 2010. I love connecting with my readers on Facebook and getting their feedback about issues that pop up. I strongly encourage anyone who’s on a fitness or weight loss journey to reach out to others on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I’m also part of Fitocracy, which lets you track your workouts and interact with others.
Advice I'd offer someone struggling with weight-loss, self-confidence or unhealthy eating is... Find people to support you. Research shows that people who have a support system are more successful at losing weight in particular. Ask people not to let you off the hook if you make up excuses. If you don’t have a support system yet, get involved in the online fitness community or hire a personal trainer to help keep you accountable.
Thank you Suzanne for sharing your inspiring & motivating fitness story!
Suzanne, myself & Kia at FitSocial in Boulder, CO, this past Sept.