My quest for a healthy lifestyle started in 1999 when In-Shape came to my town. In February of that year, I started walking and could barely walk a block. I was 250 lbs and although I lost some weight by walking, I still had high cholesterol and was boarder line hypoglycemic. If I wanted to live a quality life I needed to make changes. I joined In-Shape in September of 1999. I had my FitStart® with a trainer and he gave me a program to follow. After following the program for about a month I was already feeling better.

One morning while I was working out in the Shapes area a Group Exercise Instructor came up to me and convinced me to take her aerobics class...WOW I was hooked! I did cardio and weight training 3 times a week and took the aerobics class 2 times a week. I couldn't afford to buy a lot of healthy foods so I portioned controlled and bought frozen vegetables. 18 months later and 100 lbs lighter, I felt AMAZING! Here I am 13 years later and I still feel amazing. Unlike the fad diets my Mom put me on as a child and what I did to my body by starving it to lose weight, I have been able to maintain this weight loss. Don't get me wrong, life has made me stumble at times whether it's my work schedule or something else that may distract me, but I get right back into the gym. Even if it is just to do some cardio and stretching, I'm there! Just enough to keep the habit until I can find what I call my groove thing.

My MD, the same doctor who delivered my daughter 27 years ago, just can't believe how my blood tests are extraordinary and my heart he said, “Beats like a 20 year old!” The one thing I always have done was to reward myself one day a week without guilt. This was my kudos to myself for a job well done during the week. Remember you're not alone... we've all been there and know what it feels like trying to reach our goals.  Don't give up on yourself, take baby steps.

Paula Lewis
In-Shape Fit: Ceres
General Manager