Stefanie Bennett’s weight loss journey began with the mirror. A dreaded enemy of so many women, her mirror reflected a person who she did not recognize, a woman who she says was no longer beautiful or sexy and no longer the woman she wanted to be. “I was at my heaviest weight ever, 203 lbs,” she says. “I no longer wanted to look at myself in the mirror or in pictures. I couldn’t walk
up the stairs without getting out of breath. I couldn’t play soccer with my husband and kids, and my self esteem was at an all-time low.” Unlike other members of her family who had chosen the path of gastric bypass surgery, Stefanie saw her parents and brother go through so much only to put the weight back on. She decided that a quick fix was not going to do the trick. She needed a total lifestyle overhaul.
In September 2010, Stefanie contacted Live Well Fitness Center and began working with a personal trainer. “I needed the accountability,” she says. “I learned to keep a food journal and track my calories. As a result, I started to learn which foods fueled my body and which foods didn’t.” Stefanie continued working with her trainer for a year, doing a workout combination of cardio and strength training and eating non-processed foods like fruits, veggies and lean protein every 3-4 hours. By March of 2011, after one 5k and an unfortunate injury, she changed her routine and began the sport of kettleball. In addition to a loss of 40 pounds and 21 inches, Stefanie also became a World Kettlebell Club sports coach and even competed at the World Kettleball Lifting Championships. She credits the sport for not only helping her lose weight, but also keeping her motivated.
Stefanie admits that her weight loss journey was not without obstacles. While issues like time and support were not among them, the limitations she would put on herself were. However, thanks to her trainers, she was able to push past those obstacles, challenge her body and her mind and really achieve her goals and stay on track.
While being healthy is certainly a perk of being in shape, Stefanie’s favorite part is seeing how her body has changed. “I love blow drying my hair with just my bra on and watching my biceps flex as I move the blow dryer around. I love seeing my curves again, in all the right places!”
Stefanie encourages other moms to step out of their comfort zones and begin setting goals for themselves. While she recognizes a mother’s need to always put her family first, she believes that taking time for one’s self is important, whether it’s for a workout or just some R&R. She says, “We seem to lose ourselves in our roles as wives and mothers and forget that we’re important too. It’s okay to take time for yourself.” Stefanie also recommends keeping the following ideas in mind when attempting any weight loss goal; #1 – make sure that you are losing the weight for you and no one else, #2 – find a group of women who will support you and encourage your efforts, and #3 – never make too many changes at one time, as overwhelming one’s self will often lead to failure.
So find your motivation, set your goals and achieve them. Do whatever you must to push past what you think you can do and do what you never imagined was possible. As Stefanie says, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”; isn’t it time you started living?