Making Time, Not Excuses: Meet Christine!

It’s a new day and that means a new opportunity for you to take your first step toward that goal you have been wanting to achieve for too long now.  Whether it is to start walking, run your first 5K, implement one new healthy habit, or push yourself a little further than you have been during these cold winter months, TODAY is YOUR day to start.

Christine is a 35 year old Mom of 4 (ages 9, 8, 5, and 4), step-Mom of 1 (age 24), and Grandmother to a beautiful 5 month old baby boy.  I grew up with Christine in Tyngsboro, MA and we played a variety of sports together including field hockey.  After high school, we lost touch, but have reconnected in the last year or so because of our mutual love for health and fitness.  I am so glad we have because, while she may not realize it, she has been an inspiration to me as I have watched her personal transformation take place.

After having her second child, Christine left her job outside of the home and became a full-time stay at home Mom while managing the accounting and administrative work for her husbands’ company from home.  She was working out and running here and there, but not consistently. After having her fourth child, she realized that she was in desperate need of something for herself…some “me” time away from the kids.  She had gained weight, was feeling horrible, unhealthy, and unhappy.  Christine told me, “…as mothers, we always put ourselves aside for our children, our families… and that is exactly what I did.  But, you can’t do that ALL of the time. You NEED to take care of yourself or you may not be around to put them first anymore…”  Hearing this from her, and even writing it now, really hits home for me and I’m sure for so many of you. 

In October of 2013, Christine made the decision to get after her goals.  She started working out at a local gym and committed to group circuit training classes about three to four times each week.  Shortly after, she began running 2-3 miles before or after each circuit training class.  The gym provided daycare so it gave her the flexibility to get her workouts in prior to all of her kids being in school full time.  Otherwise, she would workout later at night after her husband got home from work.  It was her time to get away from it all.  “It felt good.  I loved it.  I couldn’t wait to go!  It got me out of the house for some “me” time.  It was my break.”  Christine was hooked.  She told me that being in a group setting as she began this journey was the best decision for her.  Being surrounded by people who became her friends, helped support and encourage her, and boost her confidence was just what she needed at the time.

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Now that Christine’s children are all in school full time, she has a bit more flexibility with her day.  Like so many of us know though, it is still not easy to find time to fit in workouts.  The key, according to Christine, is not to find time, but to make time!  “You have to make time…otherwise it won’t happen!”  Christine gets her own workouts in in the morning right after the kids are off to school.  There are mornings where she admits she really doesn’t feel like doing it, but she does and she always feel amazing afterward.  She has never regretted a workout, but has regretted missing one.

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When I talked to Christine about where she gets her motivation to continue working out, day in and day out, she told me that she gets her motivation to stay healthy by feeling healthy.  “That feeling of being better than you were yesterday, last week, last year, is satiable.”  She remembers how she felt before starting to work out, and never wants to feel that way again.  “I am a better person, mother, and friend when I workout and feel healthy…We are role models for our children.  I want my children to see that they can accomplish ANYTHING they want to and being healthy is a great start!”  Like me, Christine is also part of the IR4 organization.  Her buddy Brady, has a rare neurological disease called HPX. “There are so many people out there that wish they could do what we are so fortunate to be able to do.  That is a great inspiration for me.  When I see Brady smile after telling him what workout I did for him that day, there is nothing better!”

Over 15 months, Christine has worked hard, maintained her persistence and dedication toward a healthier life, and has seen AMAZING results!  She has gone from 188 pounds to 136 pounds (a loss of 52 pounds!) in this timeframe.  Christine told me that “…It took a solid few months of working out, sweating, and dedication to see results.  It did not happen right away, at least on the outside.  On the inside though,  it happened immediately.  I felt so much better.  I had more energy.  I was happier.”   After about four months, Christine starting to see physical changes and weight loss.  Six months into her personal journey, she was ready to take it to the next level so on top of the circuit training and running, she hired a personal trainer, Michael Hinchcliffe of FEAST Athletics, and worked with him 1-2 times a week.  (Yes, this is the same trainer that I use and the main reason Christine and I reconnected…small world!)  She told me that he has truly been her rock through this journey.  When she said “I can’t”, he would remind her “Yes, you can!”  That little extra push kept her giving it her all!

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By May of 2014, Christine had fallen in love with her lifestyle change, health, and fitness.  She desired to help others take that first step toward change so that they too could begin their journey toward improved health, happiness, and overall well being.  She set a goal of obtaining her ACE Personal Trainer Certification and after relentlessly preparing for nearly 7 months, she reached that goal in December of 2014.  She says, “I will never forget that great feeling of accomplishment after I passed!”  It was another moment of realization that she could achieve anything she set her mind to.  Additionally, she became certified by Maddog as a spin instructor and began teaching at InMotion Cycling studio in Westford, MA on Saturday mornings.  “When I started, there were three to four people faithfully going every week.  By my last class, I had filled all 24 bikes.  It is a feeling I can’t describe. I love my Saturday mornings!”  She also teaches spin at The Workout Club in Londonderry and Salem, NH, trains at Orangetheory Fitness in Nashua, NH, and provides personal training to four clients in their homes.  Can you say WHOA!?!?!  She is one busy woman who LOVES what she is doing!

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As if this isn’t enough for one person, Christine (aka Super Woman!) made another dream become reality when she started last August as the head coach of the Londonderry, NH Middle School girls field hockey team.  For many of these girls, it was their first time picking up a stick, but with Christine behind them teaching them skills, inspiring them, and never letting them doubt themselves or their teammates, they went undefeated and became state champions!   Talk about inspiration!

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“One day at a time.  You will reach your goals, but don’t expect it to happen overnight.  Go by how you feel, not by the scale.  Most importantly, don’t ever give up on yourself.”  This is Christine’s advice to anyone looking to make a change.  Christine has gotten to a point where she has not only lost weight and transformed her body through physical activity, but she has adopted healthy eating habits as well.  She says it was when she made that change, deciding to eat better, that she really began to see results.  “Someone once told me that when I get hungry, I should think of what I could eat to fuel my body, instead of what I could just grab and eat because I am hungry.”  That tip really helped her to realize that eating better made her feel better.  “Remember, it is 80% diet and 20% exercise!”

This is the year of no excuses.  Christine is living proof of this.  She is living proof that if you put your mind to it, goals will be achieved and dreams will become reality.  She has managed to completely change her life for the better and in the process, not only has she inspired me, but I’m sure countless others that she has come in contact with.  She consistently makes time for her workouts instead of making excuses.  You can do the same.  “You will accomplish anything if you put your mind to it and surround yourself with the right people! ”  So what are you waiting for?  Get started today!

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