This is a special blog submission from Iron Tribe Fitness member Laurie Ray, who has found tremendous success by following the Iron Tribe Fitness program. We are so proud of her results and feel fortunate to have her at Iron Tribe!
Nah, at 55, I’m too old for that….and too weak….and too uncoordinated…and too out of shape…and I’ve had back surgery so I could get hurt….and….and….and…
Yeah. I know the drill; so much negative self-talk. It’s the worst.
So, maybe you hear negative voices in your head too. And, maybe you are intrigued and just a little scared. I totally get it! I was THERE! But, I decided to check it out and now, 18 months later, I am here to tell you to stop listening to the voices and GO DO IT! And if you are already a member of the Tribe, but not taking advantage of the nutritional program, GO DO IT!
Let me tell you about my journey.
I have participated in lots of different exercise programs over the years, but I always ended up disinterested or bored. I was totally intrigued by functional fitness, but I was scared.
So, I developed a plan.
I would call a facility and listen to their “spiel.” I would ask specifically about coaching and safety. I would listen, make notes and then, “SURPRISE!”, I would show up unannounced and ask if I could watch a class.
I wanted to see if that great coaching that they ALL described existed during actual classes. At some of the gyms that I visited, the coaches seemed pretty good and at some of the gyms they seemed disinterested and checked out.
But, when I popped in at Iron Tribe it was different. I watched the class, saw the level of coaching and noticed the incredible feeling of a caring community. I decided to look no further. This would be MY place…or at least I hoped it would.
When I first started, I was amazed at the different “types” of people that were there. I had always assumed that “functional fitness” = “elite athletes”. And, yes, there were some elite athletes there, but there were also lots of “not-so-elite athletes” who were working just as hard right alongside them.
When I first started, I was amazed at the different “types” of people that were there.
There were people of various fitness levels, various shapes/sizes and various ages all supporting each other and working alongside each other. The diversity of the athletes was a surprise to me, but there was an even bigger surprise waiting.
As I began the program 18 months ago, I found that I had moments when I absolutely ran out of steam. I felt like I couldn’t continue because I didn’t have the fuel to complete the workout. Erin, the manager and my coach, noticed and started talking to me about how to fuel my body for this type of activity. I was so interested and engaged by what she told me. Every word of it rang true. And, so began my Iron Tribe nutritional journey…
But when you surround yourself with people who believe in you and cheer for you every step of the way, that critical voice quiets and confidence slowly increases.
In January of 2016, I started off by reading a couple of books so I that would better understand the science behind the things that Erin was telling me. After reading them, I knew it was time to start seriously fueling my body and, hopefully, changing my body composition.
So, in February 2016, I began a 90-day cutting diet. I was ALL in. No excuses, just determination and a healthy dose of support from my ITF coach who issued timely “atta-girls” and answered all my questions.
Fast forward 90 days later and I had lost 15 pounds, and I was feeling so much better in the gym. Now the real challenge awaited. Could I keep it off? Once my 90-day diet was complete, I went into a maintenance period where my goal was to maintain my weight with no further loss and no gain.
This was to allow my body to become familiar with its new weight and establish a new “set-point,” a weight at which my body would recognize as normal.
I carefully maintained my new weight while continuing my workouts at ITF and experiencing the on-going support of my coach. And, now, 9 months later, I have kept the weight off and I have no doubt that it will stay off! And, while I’m still not the fastest or the strongest (by a long shot!), I’m faster and stronger than I was. And THAT is what it is all about!
And, now, 9 months later, I have kept the weight off and I have no doubt that it will stay off!
The thing I have learned (and am continuing to learn) is that everyone has a critical inner-voice. Those people who you think have everything together? The ones who are so fast, or so strong, or so fit, or so athletic? Yeah, they struggle too. But when you surround yourself with people who believe in you and cheer for you every step of the way, that critical voice quiets and confidence slowly increases. It is perhaps my favorite thing about Iron Tribe.
So, if this introverted 56-year-old can feel this kind of success, no telling what awaits you! I have never felt better and I am so glad I pushed through my fear and walked through the door at Iron Tribe Fitness. It has truly changed the way I think about health and I am grateful every day for my Tribe!!
Sarah oversees social media and internal communication for Iron Tribe Fitness. Her goal is to share the mission of Iron Tribe so others can be transformed by the program, and ultimately become the healthiest version of themselves.