Coming out of high school, Sylvana M. of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, didn’t quite feel like herself. She felt as if her body “had been stuffed into a tight shell and [she] just didn’t fit.” Weighing in at 156 pounds, and standing at roughly 5’6″, she wanted to feel comfortable in her own skin again. Unsure of where to begin, she started adding walks to her daily routine and watching YouTube fitness tutorials. She cut her calorie count down to 1,000/day and began running. Not before long, the weight slowly started to come off – until she plateaued.
A New Horizon
Sylvana realized that she wasn’t eating the right amount of calories for what her body needed, and admits that her exercise routine was at times, inconsistent. After years of trial-and-error, with varying diet and exercise routines, she came across a bodybuilding website that seemed to help. She started noticing that she was gaining muscle, but with that, came a good amount of fat due to poor dieting.
“I was [consuming] whatever I wanted, full pints of ice cream, bottles of wine, medium fries – and it was showing,” shared Sylvana. With that, the familiar feeling of not fitting into her own skin began to come back. She started feeling insecure and lethargic, and with that, decided something had to be done. In June of 2015, Sylvana walked into an LA Fitness and was determined to make a lasting change.
“I was never the ‘fit’ girl. No one ever ran to me with questions or to seek advice in the gym. But I’m getting there! I’ve lost 10 pounds since last May (2016) and my confidence has soared. Not just from how I look, but how I feel. I know what I put into my body and I know what I put into my workouts. My body is mine and I finally feel at home in it.”
Her original fitness goal was to lose fat, with the intent to become “bikini ready”. However, since first joining LA Fitness, Sylvana shared that she has gained a lot of perspective on what makes her truly happy and comfortable in her own skin. She realized that for her, it wasn’t the way she looked or a goal number on the scale, but how exercise made her feel inside. Although, she did joke that losing over 20 pounds wasn’t a horrible side effect of her newfound exercise routine.
Her goals today are a lot more strength driven. She hopes to become better at burpees, improving her sprint speed on the treadmill, while also tackling pistol squats and pull-ups. She appreciates that her newer goals are not as aesthetically centered, but instead, more focused on how she’s pushing her body into becoming stronger than ever.
Having made strong advances in her fitness routine, Sylvana understood that it was only half the battle. In order to achieve her overall goals, she was going to have to adjust her eating habits too. While diet varies from person-to-person, Sylvana noticed that what worked for her was increasing her veggie and lean protein intake, while completely cutting out dairy, and drastically decreasing her intake of junk foods and red meat. She has noticed a remarkable difference in her body’s health since she made those changes.
A Word of Advice
“My one piece of advice to others on their fitness journey, or just starting out, would be to do what you love. I tried so hard to like spin classes and 6 AM jogs when I started out because I believed those to be the best workouts. But I found it difficult to get myself out of bed knowing that’s what I had to look forward to. I’ve found that I love weightlifting and interval body-weight exercise (like push-ups and jumping squats and even burpees) and that’s what gets me excited to hit the gym! Find what works for you and work it!”
BEFORE – July 2016
AFTER – February 2017
Where Is She Now?
Sylvana continues to work out and eat healthily and credits her boyfriend for helping push her to get out of her sweatpants and into the gym. While Sylvana doesn’t have a trainer, she does appreciate the encouragement from her boyfriend, who oftentimes works out with her at the gym. (Multiple studies have shown that working out with a partner can better increase the chances of you reaching your fitness goals, read more here).