Elizabeth’s Before and After 33 Pounds Lost Weight Loss Photos:
Elizabeth’s Story and Hitch Fit Gym Review:
“I was an overweight kid growing up in Kansas City. (I still remember the doctor looking at my chart and telling me I was “obese” for the first time.) Nevertheless, it was senior year. I had a great family, and great friends, and I was going to a great college in the fall to study acting. Everything seemed to be going well.
I got to college, and suddenly I became all too aware that I had a lot of baggage I’d been carrying around with me without unpacking it and looking at it head on. I wasn’t happy in my own skin, and as a result, I wasn’t owning my height, I wasn’t taking up space in the world…I was making myself smaller and trying to hide in a multitude of (honestly, creative) ways. I was uncomfortable in movement classes. I was constantly pulling my shirt down in class, and fidgeting with my clothes, or hair…I dreaded yoga class, and in circus (you read that right…circus class is a thing for actors), while everyone else was flying through the air exploring silks and trapeze and tumbling, I could barely do the basic moves because I lacked any sort of core strength. These classes became a source of dread, rather than an exploration and time to develop an exciting new skill set. I felt weak, I felt like a failure, I felt embarrassed, and these negative thoughts swirled around me until they became more personal and took the shape of darker thoughts…”I’m ugly. I’m worthless.”
More than anything, I was frustrated. Frustrated at myself because I felt like I was incapable of change. I didn’t know where to turn. I remember my big “lightbulb” moment vividly. I was living in a new apartment, the first year after graduating college. The building had a gym and I had been going fairly regularly, and eating as well as I knew how to. Nothing was happening. I was making no progress. I was stuck. That night, I had gone to the store to pick up a few things…and found myself staring at the frozen section before selecting two pints of sorbet—peach and lemon, and taking them home with me. I had intended to put them in the fridge and ration out a spoonful here or there. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. I opened one to have a bite, and that bite turned into a pint, which became two. I sat in my apartment crying, because I had given up, and I knew it. I remember thinking…”Why even try? I can’t do this.”
And then—I called my grandmother. I needed to hear her voice, maybe? She answered, and the sobbing started up all over again. She laughed and said that she couldn’t understand me, so I tried hard to fight through all the ugly-crying I was doing and explain what had led me to call her, and why I needed someone to talk to. We chatted for a long time—until I calmed down and could breathe again. She helped me to organize my thoughts, and she ended the phone call with an offer. She told me she’d help me with the cost if I decided I wanted to make some changes and get help doing that. For an artist without much of an income to speak of, that was a huge kindness, and one I couldn’t refuse for my career, for my health, or for my self.
I’ve never looked at sorbet quite the same way again.
At my heaviest, I’d weighed almost 250 lbs. When I stared down the bottom of those two empty sorbet containers, I had weighed less…but felt worse.
Elizabeth before her journey to health began.
I made huge changes over the next few years. I saw the scale move and muscles grow as I worked with trainers and prioritized my health and fitness, changed my eating, and discovered new athletic passions—I even became certified and began teaching Spin classes! Things were going well, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being stuck again.
When my grandmother passed away last year, the grief of losing her hit me in unexpected ways. I had lost my other grandparents within a year when I was very young, and it had been a long time since I’d experienced that kind of familial grief. It completely hit me sideways, and I was surprised at how poorly I handled it, despite spending years knowing the inevitable would eventually occur. I carried my grief physically. I gained weight. I softened up. I felt lethargic and depressed, and it made it hard to do much of anything. As the year of her death drew to an end though, I began to emerge from this cocoon. I started heading to the gym again slowly, and began paying more attention to my diet. I thought of how she had empowered me to take charge of my health all those years ago, and I decided it was time once again for me to get un-stuck.
Enter Jamie, and Hitch Fit.
I wrote Jamie an email on March 14th, after stumbling onto the Hitch Fit site. I knew I was ready to change, but I recall also being nervous. In the past when I’d worked with a trainer, I’d always felt so great during our sessions and then…well, I felt like a plane flying down the runway ready for takeoff, but once the sessions wrapped up…it was like I didn’t know how to actually lift-off and fly on my own. What I really needed was to be equipped with the knowledge to continue to maintain all the work I was going to be putting in. Yes, I wanted to achieve new goals, but more than that—I needed to know how to make this a LIFESTYLE. It seemed to me that Hitch Fit might be a great match for that.
Jamie responded so quickly to my initial email, and we scheduled our first workout and a tour of the gym right away! After working out together for the first time, we sat down and chatted about my goals and ya’ll…I knew right then that this was going to be a great partnership! Jamie is an incredible listener, and I felt so seen and understood and encouraged by that first meeting. We dove right in, and got to work!
After taking some body measurements, Jamie sent me my first workout plan and first nutrition plan. Jamie laid everything out for me in the nutrition plan, and outlined all the areas where I could get a little creative to keep from getting bored. We worked out together once a week, but each week I was also responsible for three weightlifting sessions on my own, as well as five cardio sessions. While no major life changes like this are ever easy, there was never any doubt in my mind what it was that I needed to work on. The plan of attack was clear.
Something quite incredible happened to me when I started my program with Jamie. Where before I constantly found myself throwing around the old excuse “I’d love to workout more, but I can’t seem to find the time!” or, “It’s nice to cook my meals ahead of time, but that just takes so much time to do…”, now all of that vanished. As soon as I put myself first, everything else fell into place. I put myself first, which meant I found the time I thought I’d lost to prep my food, or hit the gym. Sometimes that meant waking up early to roast a weeks worth of sweet potatoes, sometimes that meant packing an extra set of clothes to sneak a weightlifting session in on dinner break for the show I was rehearsing, sometimes it meant not staying out late to hang with friends, but I always managed to find the time to put me first.
Another strange thing happened when I began to prioritize myself. People around me took notice, and not always in positive ways. I suppose it’s human for people to feel like they’re an expert—but it amazed me how many folks in my life came out of the woodwork to tell me what they thought of my choices. It was in those tough moments that I had to trust in the plan I was working on, and that the steps I was taking were going to be well worth it!
I’m happy to say, plenty of others came around me with support! My Mom, inspired, started cleaning up her own diet. Coworkers at my day job started to notice physical changes and spurred me on with kindness to keep at my goals. I sent a video to a friend who I knew had walked this road to wellness ahead of me when I really noticed my biceps pop the first time. He replied with much needed cheerleading.
Jamie was the constant in all of this support. Whether it was a quick text of encouragement mid-week, swapping recipes when one of us found something new and fun to try, or checking in on form by sending videos while I was at the gym…she was always right there with me, a ray of sunshine! She saw strengths in me that I couldn’t, even from our very first meeting. She pushed me to push myself, and empowered me to own the process. I also was so grateful to have a role-model. Jamie’s own fitness journey is inspiring, and I always felt lucky to have a female coach to look up to. She walks the walk, and I was so grateful to have her to look to as an example.
I am so excited about where I’m at right now! I put in a lot of hard work, and it’s been fun to celebrate that. The morning of photos and measurements I stepped on a scale for the first time in a while. I have never in my adult life seen the scale say a number in the 150’s. That was a big moment. But the more exciting thing for me is that this is just the beginning! I found out that the only thing standing in my way over the years has been myself. I have the tools and knowledge now to continue this journey, to grow in new ways and set new goals! While it’s difficult at times to be one person living a very different lifestyle than everyone else around you, the rewards are so great!
So what’s next for me?
Right now, I’m working on lifting heavier (I discovered how much I love lifting while working with Jamie!), and am trying to decide how best to inspire and support others on their paths when they perhaps feel stuck, as I did. Maybe I’ll return to teaching! Here’s the real real though…What’s next? A lifetime of hard work and dedication to putting me first, and to continuing to push myself to be better and stronger. And it’s already begun…”
Diana Chaloux is a top personal trainer, professional fitness model, WBFF Pro Diva Fitness Model and World Champion competitor. She is co-owner of Hitch Fit providing one on one personal training in Kansas City and Online Personal Training Worldwide. Diana's passion is fitness and goal is to educate, motivate and inspire others to lead a more fit and healthy lifestyle. www.HitchFit.com www.DianaChaloux.com Contact Diana at [email protected]