Success Story: Beth M.

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It is never too late to be what you might have been–George Eliot

This is my motto.

 

Last January (2015) I decided to take some time to take care of myself. It took a few months of soul searching and realizing that I wasn’t happy with my life at that time. I worked 10 to 11 hours a day at a job I liked but through the years had become increasingly stressful. Illnesses hit people close to me and circumstances were that I was the only one who could take care of them. I quit working and was a caretaker full time for my family and best friend for five years. Three of them passed away and I found that I had lost myself, whoever I was, through work and responsibilities over many years. It takes awhile to adjust to changes in life and there was some guilt that I would dare to think about taking care of myself. We usually don’t think of ourselves but there comes a time when we have to stop and see where we are in life and decide if that is all we want, or do we want to care for ourselves as much as we care for others?

I started losing weight the way I always had: starving myself. I was starving and walking two miles every other day for three months but could not go on any longer. I knew that I had to find another way. I had belonged to three other gyms in my life but never went to them more than six months at a time. Despite this, I knew that exercise was going to be the answer for me. I searched on the internet for gyms in Ann Arbor. How did I end up finding AFS out of all the options? I’m just not sure what exactly drew me in but I liked the way the website described how different they were (and are!) However, even though I had chosen them I was stillscared to sign up. I thought I was too fat to go out into the world and have people see me exercise. I finally got up the courage because I was losing hope with my, yet again, almost failed starvation diet. I wrote to AFS and Corbin answered me in an hour. That was my first lifeline: that he would answer me so fast before I could rationalize not going through with my decision. We set up an appointment and I went in to meet him. He was so encouraging and had the hope for me that I was losing for myself. If anyone is reading this who is trying to decide to help themselves, AFS is the place to come for that. You will find everyone here, from the staff to your fellow clients, are so accepting and helpful and understand what you are going through. AFS wants us to be healthy and their methods are based on science and the body. They told me how you can’t starve yourself or your metabolism will shut down and get you nowhere but sick and weak. They told me I needed to eat more calories so I would be able to have the strength to exercise. Who has ever told you to eat more? 🙂

Over the past year I have lost 80 lbs and have gotten off blood pressure meds. I took a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii and hiked up a volcanic mountain rainforest. It was an eco hike and we didn’t realize it was going to be that strenuous; but there was no turning back because we were in the middle of nowhere. The whole time I was thanking God that I had been working out at AFS!

Why have we all been brainwashed into thinking that we have to stop eating food that is bad for us and run a mile a day on our first day of a healthier life? It’s something we have to work on slowly to achieve the goals we want for ourselves and for it to be a lasting change. We can also decide for ourselves what our weight loss goals or strength goals are; no one will tell you what you need to look like or weigh. AFS is a community of like minded people who will make you feel like you belong here.

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