“It’s hard to say where this journey actually began, I have been battling weight loss my whole life. I’ve been on all the diets, exercise fads, you name it, and I did it. I always knew what to do to lose the weight but keeping it off was always a struggle. After I had my daughter in 2013, those things that led to the weight loss were no longer working and honestly I was getting bigger and ended up at the heaviest I had ever been, not pregnant.
I had started seeing a nutritionist in Feb 2015 and lost 15lbs the first few months and kept at that weight for the remainder of the year. We weren’t sure why I wasn’t losing the weight so I started to look for answers with the endocrinologist. They found I had a mass on my thyroid which was biopsied and found to be calcified. I swore that this was my issue, but the doctor said it shouldn’t cause any issues with the thyroid function and we would check back again in a year and see how things were going. Fast forward a year, I went back and insisted that she would find it grew and causing my weight issues. After the consultation, the doc wrote a prescription and handed it to me, it said “See a Trainer”. She said you are healthy, and have no reason to not be at a healthy weight, you need to start moving more.
That night I went home feeling deflated, knowing exactly what I needed to do, but not wanting to do any of it. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and an ad for Tatyana’s Fitness came up. At first, I scrolled past, but kept going back. I gave her a call and scheduled an appointment to see her the next day.
At my consultation with Tatyana, I explained what was going on and she suggested I join the 6 week weight loss challenge or 1:1 training. Being a single mom and working full time in Jersey City, the timings of the class needed to be convenient and I needed child care. I had every excuse in the book, No child care, Tatyana’s answer, bring her with you. Class times are at inconvenient, Tatyana’s answer, what would work I’ll make it happen. I finally gave in and said fine, let’s do this. I signed up for the 1:1 training and committed to going to group classes as well, starting the next day, January 18th.
The first group class was challenging. My daughter wanted me to hold her and was clung on my leg which made it hard to participate. I felt my eyes hot with tears, feeling deflated, and not knowing how it was going to work. I pushed through and convinced my daughter she could sit right next to me. I got through the 30 minute class and haven’t looked back since.
I didn’t realize that by signing up that day, I would not only have a place to learn to be healthy but be introduced to a community of people who encourage you when times get tough, give you recipe ideas, teach you how to eat right, help you to understand what being healthy means, make you laugh, and create an inclusive environment that was so welcoming for people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels.
My daughter walks in and gives a high-5 to the trainers, plays ball with other members until class starts and then sits in the corner with her iPad and snack or some days participates with us. Tatyana has created an environment that allows me, as a single mom, an opportunity to not only make myself healthier but teach my daughter how important it is to be healthy.
It has been just over 12 months since I joined and I have lost 90lbs and am still losing. I feel better than I have ever been, have committed to running a 5K in a few weeks, and am strong. I am living the example I want for my daughter instead of telling her how it should be.
I still have a long road ahead of me until I am at my goal weight, but I know I will get there with the support of Tatyana, the trainers, and all the members that continue to support me in my weight loss journey. The support is what has allowed me to be successful so far and to continue to do so.
This year I turn 40, and the best thing I could have done for myself is join Tatyana’s Fitness. I am going out of my 30s with a bang and looking forward to the best decade of my life……40s!”
~ Eileen O’Neil