By the time I turned 30 years old my weight had skyrocketed to a dangerous 360 lbs. My pants were a size 30, not always available in even plus sized shops. As a hairdresser working on my feet, I spent more time in pain than enjoying life. I could not fit through a turnstile, buckle a seat belt or even wear jeans. At a mere 30 I felt pretty dang old.

My moment of clarity came when I couldn’t even get myself off the floor from playing with my nephew. HOW RIDICULOUS!! I started my journey by walking to the end of my block, then father, using exercise DVD’s. It wasn’t long before I was getting regular exercise and feeling great! I had lost 90 lbs. but was losing my motivation because it was so lonely and boring to exercise by myself.

My life really changed when I joined In Shape. Not only were there many cool classes, at all different levels, but I actually met others who struggle like me. The instructors were really vested and enthusiastic, which is contagious. I’ve been addicted to group exercise, working out like a crazy girl. I have rearranged my schedule so I can attend a minimum of 8 to 10 classes each week. I’ve now lost a total of 130 lbs., 12 sizes and almost 20% of my body fat. I am so amazes at the things my body can do. I move with ease, I feel normal for the first time in a long time. I love shopping in regular stores. I love having unbelievable amounts of energy, I love the reactions of people blown away by my ongoing transformation.

I am so optimistic that I will both reach and maintain my goals. I’ve totally changed my life, I’ve totally saved my life, and I’m so grateful. Perhaps someday I will take on the role of instructor, motivating others as so many have motivated me.

Angela Hartnell

In-Shape City: Santa Maria member