Imagine hiking to the top of a rigorous trail in the heart of Yellowstone National Park. While the feeling of accomplishment washes over you, you notice a group of hikers, resting while one member of the group describes a pain in his left arm, one of the initial signs of the onset of a heart attack.
What would you do?
When Miramont Lifestyle Fitness member Bonnie experienced this situation, her hike to the top of the trail had been more than an accomplishment. It was the first time in over 30 years she was fit enough to make the climb.
Rather than enjoy the beauty of the scenery around her, she provided the provisions she had available (aspirin and water), and started jogging down the difficult trail in search of help.
After attempting to use 911 on her cell phone without success, Bonnie came across a park ranger who notified local emergency services and began up the trail with an AED.
As a result of her time spent working with a personal trainer at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, Bonnie was fit enough to run down the hill for help, possibly saving a man’s life. Five rangers and 2 ambulances conducted the recovery effort and transported the man to a local area hospital for treatment.
Less than 2 years ago, 3 minutes of walking on the treadmill left her winded. At 350 pounds, with severe asthma, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and type II diabetes, Bonnie Bowne knew she had to make a change. Bonnie was able to lose 50 pounds on her own, but knew that without a more active lifestyle, she would never succeed. Bonnie joined Miramont because she knew it would be a place that she could learn to live a healthier lifestyle and the correct way to exercise. Bonnie’s journey to health got a great start through training with Pat Raymond and other Miramont Lifestyle Fitness Team Members. Bonnie states, “The team truly has engaged, energized, and inspired me.”
“I felt support every time I walked through the doors at Miramont,” said Bonnie. “Whenever I felt defeated, my trainer helped get me back on track.”
Since the beginning of her fitness journey, Bonnie has lost over 200 pounds and no longer has diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Bonnie continues to train with Pat to lose more body fat, gain muscle, and improve her balance. The most valuable thing Bonnie has learned from her fitness journey is “the key to weight loss and fitness is patience and persistence. I had to learn I wasn’t always going to eat correctly and that I wasn’t always going to feel like working out, but if I screwed up, it was ok. The most important thing is to keep plugging away on this fitness journey and focus on the journey and not the destination.”
Bonnie’s story is truly inspirational. She shares, “If I could lose weight and get in shape, anyone can. It doesn’t matter how heavy, how out of shape, or how old you are, with a little determination anyone can become leaner and healthier.”
Dare to Lose Participant
When I was in high school, dressed out for gym class, there was one person who poked fun at my weight and gave me the nickname “fats.” There was a yearbook entry from another that said “lose weight.” I never have let this go and it’s something that drives me still today.
Thus far, this journey has been crazy. Last year, I lost 46 lbs but during the year put back 35. I lost my focus and my mentality. This year it’s a different story. I have the focus and support at home. That being said, that’s a struggle in itself. My wife is also trying to lose weight and joined the club. We both are eating healthier but the challenge comes with meals. We have a 2 1/2 year old and we know she needs to eat the calories. Here we are trying to cut calories, so we have to find a happy medium. Meal planning is a big part of this process.
I’m 33 years old, and have had 5 knee surgeries. I have had two lateral releases, 3 torn meniscus, and a micro-fracture surgery. Obviously, I come into this journey with my knees on my mind. My first workout was just walking on the treadmill at Miramont. I felt my knee give way but kept pushing through. I told Beano from 99.9 The Point about this as we have been talking back and forth about weight for a few months now. Beano shared the AMT machine with me. I had to look it up to see what it actually was. The next day at Miramont I hopped on and was pleasantly surprised that it did not cause pain but really gave me a great workout. I’m sure anyone will tell you that those are the best machines for working out period.
Working with a personal trainer is something I’ve never done. Bryce Bowman is my trainer and works me like I’ve never been worked before. I don’t know how to explain it, but he smiles at you while you’re working out. To me it’s funny, cause you have a feeling like “I really want to do this, but don’t want the pain, and he’s smiling at the pain.” I know as this journey continues the personal training days will become more intense and when I’m done, I can smile at him and say “thank you.”
I know when this is over, it will all be worth it. I also realize that this is a never-ending journey. Just because you achieve a weight that you desire does not mean you can go back to your old ways. You have to diet for the rest of your life. Even then, being in shape is something great! Miramont has given me the opportunity to be in the best shape of my life as I “Dare to Lose!”
Dare to Lose Participant
Eleven weeks ago I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of the Dare to Lose Challenge and it has been an incredible journey. It was an answer to what I had been searching for because I just couldn’t find the motivation within myself that I desperately needed in order to get out of the rut that I had been in for so long. I had zero energy and zero motivation to exercise. I was eating whatever I wanted and didn’t think twice about what results or consequences it would bring because I truly did not care about myself and I was sad because infertility had taken over my spirit. I was feeling extremely uncomfortable in my clothes and my surroundings, I became so self-conscious about how I looked and felt at 255 pounds. I had really let myself go too far. I knew that I needed to find something to change my attitude towards my body and my future. That’s when I heard about Dare to Lose challenge. What a blessing it was to be chosen and to have this opportunity to make a difference in my life. Innately, I knew once I got back into the habit I would be right back on track and I am on fire! I love the feeling that I have every time that I step into the gym and the feeling I get when I leave having accomplished what I had set out to do for that day.
I now make fitness a part of almost every day of the week, giving myself a break once a week. It’s been a very long time since I’ve worked out six days a week. It’s not a hassle, it’s a habit. It is hard work, but you know what? It feels so natural to me now and it’s not that difficult once I make up my mind and give myself the push that I need to just do it. I look forward to and have a plan for each day so that I am prepared. It’s making sure that I have no excuse not to get to the gym.
I have changed the way that I eat and view food as a source of power and nutrients to keep me going and giving me the energy I need to feel alive. Before the challenge, typically my first meal of the day was a late lunch and by that time I would eat anything that had substance, healthy or not. I would start my day with a soda instead of a good breakfast. I am logging my food and making sure that I’m sticking to a consistent caloric intake. When I really start to look at the food options around me, I definitely see food and what we get from it in with a new perspective. It takes effort, discipline and creativity.
Looking back on how I let myself get to the point before the competition, I know and realize that I had let the emotional stress of infertility and the sadness of not fulfilling my dreams of having children destroy who I am and who I want to be. It is very difficult to be open about where I’ve been for the past four years but it is a part of who I am now and it is my story. I can never and will never give up on myself again because I am stronger than my disease.
Everyone who knows me and loves me has noticed the change. They have said that since I started this competition I am happier, I smile more, I am less stressed and my countenance is brighter. I am less focused on my inabilities and more focused on what I can accomplish. I am focused on being the wife that my husband is proud of because not matter what, I have to live for myself and for him regardless of how big our family is. All I know is that the results are showing and my hard work is paying off. When it comes down to it, I realize that I’ve worked so hard but on the other hand, a little effort has gone a long way. With one more week to go in the Dare to Lose challenge, I’m not even close to being done. I’m just getting my feet wet…
Dare to Lose Participant
I am going to be 100% honest: I never really wanted to take part in this competition. When my wife asked me to apply because she thought we needed to adopt a healthier lifestyle, I did the ‘husband’ thing and agreed so we wouldn’t have to have a discussion about how she is always right. Well, Rachel, you were right (as usual).
This opportunity came at the perfect time in our lives. We had just gotten married 5 months before the competition started and had started to settle comfortably into our happy domestic life. We were discussing starting a family, and becoming a father was something that had always been important to me. When we had our goal and fitness assessment for this contest, the freight train hit me: if I wanted to live long enough to see my children grow up and have enough energy to keep up with them, I had to find a way to get healthier. From that day forward, I dedicated myself to improving my health with the ultimate goal of having children in mind and living a long and happy time with the love of my life.
It is not easy. As anybody who has lost weight can attest, there are no magic potions and quick-fix solutions to losing weight. There were times where the thought of going to another training session made me physically ill. The idea of choosing another healthy salad over that juicy cheeseburger drove me crazy. But, I will admit, as the days passed and the routine settled in, the process of living healthier was easier to accept. I just want everybody that reads this to understand there will be doubts and regrets and misgivings, but the way you feel once your body adjusts is unbelievable. I feel strong, I feel healthy, I feel like I am 21 years old again.
Luckily, Miramont provided us with some amazing resources including a nutritionist (Amy Lemesiz) and two exceptional trainers that I would highly recommend to anyone (Jenny Gibb and Ethan Townsend). They kicked my butt a million times over but I kept coming back for more. Their encouragement and expertise cannot be understated.
Now, I stand here 30 pounds lighter with a skip in my step and a few more muscles poking through – and I’m not satisfied. This has brought out the hunger I needed to continue on this journey, not just for myself but for the family I want to be a part of for a long time.
“I became interested in participating in the Team Challenge to continue my weight loss and I loved the fact that the challenge ran 12 weeks during the period of time it’s the hardest to maintain, let alone lose weight; Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was able to increase my enjoyment in working out by interacting, training, and competing against fifteen other people, who joined either to decrease body fat, lose weight or maintain weight. In the team challenge setting you had others who could relate to you in both times of success and struggles. I felt that the team challenge set me up well for the New Year to continue my goals. When it came to the price, I looked at this as an opportunity that was well worth it and that I could sacrifice in other aspects of my life since I had been sacrificing my health for so many years. I lost 28 pounds during the challenge and decreased my body percent fat by 4.2%. You will gain a lot in how to live healthier while working with great people and there are prizes!! I promote the team challenge and you will see me participating in the next one wanting to double my results!”