This month I cannot wait to introduce you to Stacy. I guess Stacy is who you would classify as a "normal" everyday woman. I think Stacy represents a strong, motivated and committed woman who has put her health and that of her family as a priority.
Before you read on to Stacy's interview I would just like to thank her. This is exactly why I think she is amazing!
Who is Stacy?I am 47 years old. I have been married to my husband for 17 years and have two daughters ( aged 21 and 19 ) and two step children ( aged 22 and 20 ). For the most part I have been a stay at home mum (although raising four children is a full time job in itself!). When my youngest started high school I decided to re-enter the workforce. I work for an IT company 2 days a week and really enjoy it.
How long have you been a member of a gym / trained with a Personal Trainer?
I joined Fernwood about 6 – 7 years ago with a friend (who went about twice!!!). Being an overweight middle aged woman I was always intimidated by the thought of going to a gym with all those buff bodies and sweaty men so Fernwood was always a good fit for me. I muddled along doing my own thing at the gym thinking that that would be enough to keep me fit and help lose the weight but that wasn’t the answer. About 2 years ago I decided that I had to do something serious about my weight and decided to try PT which I absolutely love and will keep doing forever!Over the last few years you have lost a lot of weight…why did you make the decision to embark on diet / exercise program? How did you start out?
I can’t really remember a specific event/moment that made me realise I had to do something about my weight. I had been very unhappy with my weight for a long time. I just decided that it wasn’t going to go away on its own and that I needed to do something about it before it took a toll on my health. I started by going to a Food Coach at Fernwood once a week and got quite excited by the fact that I could actually lose weight so I built up the courage to take the next step which was to try PT. I had known my trainer for a long time so I think I felt “safe” going to her and that we would work well together. So almost 2 years later and I have lost almost 25kg – only 3kg off my goal!!! The key to my weight loss success is definitely a combination of diet and exercise.
How did you manage to balance family, work, exercise?
I’ll admit, I had spent the last 15 – 20 years doing absolutely everything for my husband and kids so it took a little while for them to get the hang of mum doing something for herself, although they have all been my biggest supporters throughout. I am very much a routine orientated person so I quickly got myself into the habit of getting everybody off to work/uni etc then heading straight to the gym. Nothing gets done around the house until mum gets home from the gym. I go to the gym three days per week (I work Monday and Friday) and my husband and I try to do some exercise over the weekend whether it’s walking our two dogs or playing golf.
A huge part of weight loss as you know is making sure that you keep your diet on track. How did you maintain this balance having to feed yourself and the family? Did they have to make changes also?
I have always been conscious of what I feed my family but I have definitely stepped it up a notch since I started my new healthy lifestyle. The family have slipped into the new “menu” very easily. My husband is fairly health conscious and the kids (whether they like it or not) know the benefits of healthy eating.
You have recently taken part in the Oxfam 100k trailwalk. Why did you choose this as a goal? What was your training schedule like and how did you balance this with the family demands? How did you feel completing the walk and after? I imagine you are extremely proud of yourself and your team mates!
I am the sort of person who likes to have a goal to keep me going and my trainer mentioned to me one day that she had a friend who was trying to put together a team for the Oxfam Trailwalk and that I should have a think about doing it. I had never done anything like that before in my life and wasn’t even sure if I could do it. I thought about it for a few days and then just decided to take the plunge and do it – I figured what could be so hard about walking!!! I think losing my weight and getting fit actually gave me the courage and confidence to believe that I could do it.
After a couple of team changes we started training in early February every second Sunday. We started off by doing one section (about 14km) at a time. In about April we started increasing our walks with our longest training walk being about 40km. We also did night walks in preparation for the event. Walking at night creates its own challenges and we tried to be as prepared as possible. In about April I also started doing an extra PT session every week (which was usually a boxing session) to try to build up my cardio fitness.
We had a great team – we just fitted really well together – with each of us bringing something different to the team. We couldn’t rely on youth to get us through so preparation was an absolute necessity. (A statistic for you Vicki – we had a combined age of 197, 13 children and 2 grandchildren).
|The team at Checkpoint 5 ...|
We had the absolute total support of our families who spent many hours driving around Mt Nebo dropping off and picking us up from training walks. However pretty much everything we did in the months leading up to the event revolved around the trailwalk – normal family life had to be fitted in around training walks.
Completing the Oxfam Trailwalk was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done!!! There were times during the event that every one of us wanted to quit but we kept each other going and with the encouragement of our wonderful support crew we finished it in 44 hours and 20 minutes. Crossing the finish line was amazing – I have never had such a sense of satisfaction in my life. Finishing something like this that was so far out of my comfort zone was incredible – I will remember that feeling forever. We set a goal to raise $1,000 for Oxfam (we actually raised $2,000) and finish as a team of 4 and we did – slowly – but we did it!! ( Ok, I admit that I'm a bit teary here .. Vic x )
|With the welcoming committee ...|
Now that you have finished the trailwalk and have recovered, what are your goals ... for the rest of the year, for the future?
After finishing Oxfam Trailwalk I wanted to spend a few weeks just doing normal things with the family – like sleeping in past 4am on a Sunday morning. I was back at PT on the Tuesday however I gave myself an extra couple of weeks before getting back on the diet. About a month after trailwalk I set myself 3 goals – to learn to run 5km without stopping, get to my goal weight and to plan a mega holiday next year with my husband. I’m 3kg off my goal weight, plans are underway for a trip to Europe late next year and I can now run for about 3km non-stop which is quite an achievement for someone who has never run further than about 5m in her life!
What advice do you have for other women who would like to set some goals and lose weight or embark on a "big adventure"? How do you suggest that they stay motivated and committed?
My advice to women about goal setting is to start small. Don’t set yourself a goal that is too high because you’ll only get discouraged. Don’t be too hard on yourself – we expect much more from ourselves than anybody else and we are way more critical of ourselves.
As for weight loss, what worked for me was to set a total weight loss goal (which started out at about 25kg but has increased to about 27kg) but to take your time doing it – don’t rush it – take one week at a time. If you have a bad week (and I’ve had plenty) just start again and keep going. Having the support of my husband and kids has really kept me going. There have been plenty of tears and frustration but they are always so supportive of me. Being told by your family that they are proud of you is the best incentive ever to keep going. Once the weight started coming off I had more energy and was a much happier person to be around so really everybody wins. I want to be fit and healthy for as long as I can to enjoy my family.
I feel fitter and healthier than I did 10 years ago and I actually think I look better as well. I now don’t mind having my photo taken and I love getting dressed up to go out – two things that I absolutely hated when I was overweight!
Don’t be afraid to do something out of your comfort zone because achieving those things is usually more satisfying. Completing the Oxfam Trailwalk was so rewarding – I never thought I could do something like that, I made 3 really great friends and I’ll always know that if I can walk 100km in 44 hours and 20 minutes without stopping, then I can pretty much achieve anything I set my mind to.
Above all, do it for yourself because you’re worth it!
Well, there you have it everyone, you must admit, Stacy is one pretty amazing lady! I think possibly her most important words are her last ones ...
Above all, do it for yourself because you're worth it!
Thank you again Stacy! You certainly know how to inspire us all!