October 2016 was a pivotal moment for me. I had just come from a doctor’s appointment where I was placed on a new medication for blood pressure. I was already on insulin and two oral hyperglycemic medications. My weight had ballooned to 258 pounds and I was doing a great job of setting myself up for a heart attack or stroke at 49! I am; in general, a happy and upbeat person who is an eternal optimist, but this moment of fear changed me instantly. I assessed my life and my eating habits and created a plan to begin my weight loss journey that would work for me. A plan that helped me change my relationship with food and to become active. I knew a “diet” wouldn’t work for me. It had to be a lifestyle change that made sense in my busy life. I began a slow journey to control and in January 2017 I felt ready to join a gym. I knew that wherever I went it had to be a wellness focused center where I felt comfortable to move my overweight frame towards my goal. After meeting with Pat Farmer at St. Bernard’s Health & Wellness I entered the gym weighing 248# and instantly I knew that this was my “place”! In this amazing wellness focused gym, I found a group of empowering men and women who encouraged and uplifted me, who challenged me and who nurtured me through this journey of self-discovery and joy… and over 100# of weight loss. Through spin classes I met a group of local cyclists and runners where I connected with this amazing group of people. After a particularly difficult and long bike ride I was introduced to Yoga and this was a complete game changer. Yoga helped me find my “center”, my core strength and in that I learned honor for the hard work my body can give. I learned a lot about myself this past year and I am stronger and way happier than I thought possible. I also learned that this is my race and if I am moving forward I am winning. This is more than a gym…this was a lifeline to health and wellness and the lessons you need are freely offered by this group of staff and fellow gym members.