I initially came into Ora around the end of May. To ask some general questions about the gym. Find out how they were different. As Keashia would put it “You came off the streets and into our doors” and I haven’t regretted it. Keashia and I started talking and I went into detail about my car accident in November, I was rear-ended by a semi when I was waiting to turn into my driveway. Pain and lack of mobility had become my norm. My depression had become so bad that I stayed in bed for most of the day because being on my feet or sitting down was agonizing. And thus the reason for gaining 50 pounds… 50 freaking pounds. In continuing our conversation Keashia introduced me to Brendan (my trainer now) and also to the Ora 90 Day Challenge that was about to start, she really thought it was something that would be good for me (she was right). I went home and talked to my husband and my parents to get their thoughts and opinions on the matter. They were all supportive and agreed it was worth a try. Two days later I had joined and had my assessment with Brendan.
June 1st I did my starting weigh in and measurements and I honestly wasn’t surprised. Weight: 242.2 pounds, shoulders: 53 inches, waist: 40 inches and my hips: 53 inches (just to name off a few). My physical goal was to lose 30 pounds and to overall be in less pain. Mental goal was to be happier and less depressed. Spiritual goal was to be more patient and to stress less about the little things. Out of all of the goals I was honestly more worried about the spiritual (I am the MOST impatient person… I even find my Christmas gifts before they are wrapped. I know I’m terrible :D).
My first session with Brendan we talked about nutrition and how to get success. He said the percentage of eating clean to treating ourselves, we must treat ourselves sometimes but its best to earn it. Makes sense. Being a carb and sweet snack junky, I knew I had to take that seriously. I kept in mind my portions, what I was actually putting into my body and I didn’t eat a meal after 6-7PM. After a few weeks staying on track with my nutrition didn’t seem hard anymore, it became routine.
I was initially pretty apprehensive about getting back into physical activity. More pain, more muscle soreness was all that came to mind. We started out training one day a week, keeping it easy for the first few weeks. Days that I didn’t have sessions I would take my dog for long walks. Living on 40 acres I’ve never really had to take my dogs for walks, they would just run about on their own. So I really took the initiative to get out and be active with him.
After just two weeks I increased my sessions to two a week. I was still feeling a lot of pain but Brendan would adjust things for me as we went and I was doing new things to try to relieve and manage it differently. Before I knew it I was working out 3-4 days a week. My clothes started feeling looser, my energy was up (even though I would sneak in a small nap before our sessions at the old gym… I miss that), my focus and emotions were different. A change in my mental stability is something I’ve needed for a really long time. Being on anti-depressants has never been enough to stop the suicidal thoughts or manic emotions. The extreme highs and lows I’d experience in a matter of minutes would intensify my pain tenfold. Having those endorphins from exercising again started making a huge difference… Just ask my husband. I was excited I could move more again and it furthered my excitement to get to the gym.
Coming up to the half-way measurements and weigh in I was unsure about my progress. I’m not going to lie I “treated” myself to copious amount of pasta a few times put up to that point. Mmmmmmmmm Pastaaa. On July 25th I weighed 227 pounds. Down 15 pounds (woot!), shoulders: 47 inches (-6), waist: 38 inches (-2) and hips: 51 inches (-2). Thank God the pasta didn’t go to my hips. I was genuinely happy to see results but when I got to thinking about it more the next day I was a little uneased. I was halfway through this challenge and I wanted more “I can do better. I want to do better!” just went through my mind. I finally found that drive that I once had. It was a refreshing feeling.
Just after that I started helping my father in law at the racetrack again. I was harnessing the horses, bathing and stalls again. Being able to work with the racehorses again just made me so happy. I went to the barn everyday and found that working with these beautiful animals was just so therapeutic. I wasn’t as stressed, I was more at ease and content. I now had a work life and a gym life to look forward to.
On August 25th I weighed myself at home. I was truly in disbelief when I saw the scale say 212 pounds. I had already reached my physical goal before the challenge was up! I texted Brendan right away to share the news of our success. As I expected he texted me back with support and pride, which he’s shown me since day one.
Final Weigh In
September 5th was my final weigh in. The lovely Nicole took my measurements. I weighed 208 pounds down a total 34 pounds and lost 26.5 inches! I exceeded my physical goal! As much as I was excited; Brendan, Nicole and Keashia were just as excited for me. Their support, not only that day but through the entire challenge is something I can never repay.
Having to write this summary on my experience with the Ora 90 day challenge has made me smile. I came a long way with my weight, my pain, my depression and my stress in such a short amount of time. I know nothing is “fixed” but I’ve started something and the question for myself now is “whats next?”. Ive talked with Brendan on the next 90 days to come and Ive already set my new goals and I am ready to accomplish them too. Ive been so use to failure over the past few years I forgot how it felt to accomplish something. I’m not going to let that drive go to waste this time.
I really want to thank everyone at Ora! ever since I walked into the gym I have felt welcome, determined and happy. Somethings I haven’t felt in a long time. An extra special thank you to Brendan, my success is your success and this wouldn’t have been possible without you! Love you all my Ora family!
– Jessie Robinson