After a wonderful holiday season, the 2015 Holiday Extravaganza has finally come to a close! I have been so encouraged by stories from so many competitors, and I had a blast doing this again with you all! 70 people played and over half got their money back! WOW! Congrats to EVERYONE who played! You should be proud of yourself for being accountable over the holidays! Here are the final results:
1 - Beth Greeson
2- Pam Adams
3 - Colleen Pruett
4 - Tina Carpentar
5- Katie Throne
6 - Cynthia Shepherd
7 - Elizabeth Johnson
8 - Amy O'Neil
9 - Brionne Antiwine
10 - Gretchen Bryson
I wanted to do a spotlight on our first, second, & third place winners since we haven't done a Client Spotlight in a little while! I encourage you to read both of these incredible ladies' stories! I was so blessed by both of their words and so inspired by their transformations! Way to go ladies!
Also a shoutout to our AMAZING sponsors! Here are some that were included in the top 10 prize giveaways:
-Fire & Flavor
- The Fresh Market
- The Athens YMCA
- Sonicare & Dr. Glen Alex
- Journey Juice
- The National
- Zoe's Kitchen
First Place - Beth Greeson
My journey to a healthy lifestyle truly began 5 years ago when I found out I had high cholesterol. A routine screening for updated life insurance showed my cholesterol was not anywhere close to what it should be. My doctor told me I had two choices: cholesterol medicine or change my eating. I chose to change my eating.
I chose to give up all meat except for a little seafood like oysters, scallops, shrimp, and clams (basically my “beach vacation” foods). I also chose to give up as much dairy as possible and added some exercise in the forms of strength training and cardio. In one year, I lowered my cholesterol by 70 points, lowered my LDL by 30 points, and raised my HDL by 15 points. I was proud, my doctor was proud, and I felt great.
Over the next few years, I stuck to my new lifestyle. I had always been a big lover of sweets, especially “carb” sweets like doughnuts, scones, muffins, breads, cookies, and cupcakes. With my new eating, I told myself I would only have those if they were vegan, which would mean no cholesterol. It worked…..for a while. But over the years, I found myself slowly eating more and more of them again, even if they weren’t vegan. I also wasn’t dedicated in doing my cardio as much as I had been. My cholesterol started inching up again, my energy wasn’t as great, and I knew I had to do something.
One of my friends told me about Caroline Ward and Transfit. After speaking with Caroline, I knew it was for me. I went and met with her. We spoke in depth and with her guidance I set some goals for myself. My main goals were to get my cholesterol back down, get back to doing cardio for my HDL and heart, and cut out those everyday sweets.
I began food journaling, which for me was a great help. I did NOT want to write down that I ate a muffin, cupcake, or scone. It also helped me see if I was getting enough protein and fiber. What’s funny is I was! I eat a lot of vegetables, tofu, beans of all types, chickpeas, and quinoa to name a few. My problem wasn’t that I wasn’t getting enough of the “good” stuff. My problem was that the “bad” stuff, those sweet carbs with all that sugar, had such a hold on me that I ate them no matter how full I was or how I felt.
It has not been easy. Some days I’ve hated it, especially at the beginning. I would start to say to myself that life is to be enjoyed, and if I enjoy a pumpkin muffin from Starbucks, then I should have one. But then I would think about other things I enjoy, like feeling healthy and having lasting energy. Now when I eat, I picture the food going into my body and (if it’s healthy food) doing good things for it. Eating a scone or cupcake does not give me the same picture in my mind. Am I ever going to eat one of my full-sized sweet carbs again? Um, probably yes! But it will be for a special occasion. Not an everyday thing like it has been in the past.
I had my blood work done a week ago. My cholesterol is down 80 points from where I started 5 years ago, my LDL is down 40 points, and my HDL is up 20 points. I’m barreling toward 50 years old, and yet I feel the best I’ve EVER felt. I have energy (as much as a tired mom can have!!l) and am getting sick less than I ever have (I probably just jinxed it).
There are many other changes I’ve made in my eating to make it more “clean” (switched from Lay’s chips to Beanitos and switched from sour cream and onion dip to a Wholly Guacamole individual serving cup). I would be happy to share more of my substitutions if anyone is interested. The substitutions give me more protein, more fiber, more healthy fat, and less cholesterol. All of those things are a big WIN for me.
Caroline asked me to share a picture of myself. I chose one with my son Luke, because he is the reason I am committed to this. I want to be around as long as possible for him, and I know that the things I put in my body play a big role in that.
My favorite recipe is something that I don’t even have to cook! I go to the Earthfare deli (I do 90% of our shopping at Earthfare) and purchase the kim chi tofu, asian kale, New Year’s salad, herbed sweet potatoes, and tabouli quinoa. I put some of each on a BFree tortilla, heat it in the microwave for 2-4 minutes, and eat. It’s DELICIOUS!
Asking me my favorite exercise is like asking me my favorite tooth that the dentist cleans. NONE! But if I have to choose, I will say that doing wall squats with a big exercise ball makes my quads feel strong, doing planks makes my abs feel strong, and doing bicep curls makes me feel like Linda Hamilton (I close my eyes and pretend).
2nd Place - Pam Adams
I was so excited when Caroline told me I had won 2nd place in the Transfit Holiday Extravaganza! When the challenge was announced in early November I was at a place where I felt like I needed to take on this challenge, having just shared with a group of lady friends that although I was a high achiever and capable of success, I didn’t always give my best, instead hovering around that 85% mark (good enough). So, with determination and planning I set out to do better and see what I could accomplish. I knew last year’s winners had lost close to 7% in body weight. I took my body weight and plugged in the numbers and although reaching that goal would be a stretch for me, it wasn’t going to be an unhealthy amount of loss over 7 weeks. I went to work using MyFitnessPal to daily record the food and drink I consumed, as well as exercise. I shared what I was doing with a few friends and asked them to keep me accountable. And, the scale began to show my effort! When I weighed in this past Friday I had lost 8.2 pounds since the week before Thanksgiving! Being petite this translates to about a clothes size for me. I’m still a few pounds away from where I’d like to be, but I am confident I can achieve this now. It’s a matter of setting my mind on the prize and going for it. As I age I really want to finish the race set before me well and be an example to younger women. I love this scripture from 2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
One thing that’s really been pressed upon me as I’ve been a client of Caroline’s for 2 years is that the body is the instrument God gives us to bring Him glory. I must not neglect it and treat it as an afterthought. That is not honoring. It’s wise to eat healthy and exercise, in order to fight the good fight, in whatever arena God directs. I want my legacy to be when I finish the race that I ran with purpose and zeal, keeping the faith, giving it my all (not the good enough mentality, not the 85%). So, I’m not finished yet! I have work to do. Transformation is always an ongoing thing, but the Spirit promises to help. Thank you, Transfit, for always pointing me to the truth, for your constant life giving words, and for providing a place where women like myself can gather to cheer each other on in mind, body, spirit.
Favorite exercise: chest press :) I get to lay down!
Favorite food: salmon salad from Longhorn :)
3rd Place - Colleen Pruitt
Over the course of the Holiday Extravaganza, I have tried to focus on doing all the things that I have learned from working with Caroline: eat more protein, eat more fruits and veggies, eat fewer sweets, drink more water, and make exercise a priority. I kept a food journal, and while I sometimes missed a day and did not always make the best choices, I kept recording and did not let one bad day turn into a week of bad days like I used to. I drank lots and lots of water and made a real effort to eat more protein which kept me from snacking as often.
While my work schedule prevents me from taking exercise classes at TransFit, I purchased the 14-Day Recharge and did the workouts at home or at the Y. I also used workouts that Caroline emailed out and modified them to do as a family at the park or on the playground. As a family, we made being outside and active a priority, and I made a goal to exercise at least five days a week. Exercising with friends has also kept me accountable!
I am so grateful for Caroline and TransFit and tell her all the time that she is a life changer! I would not have started to turn things around in my life without her motivation and encouragement. I am so in awe of her and so many other women who have shared their inspirational stories. TransFit has helped me focus on living a happy, healthy life and making the most of each and every day. I am hopeful that 2016 will be the best year yet!
Well done to all contestants! I am so incredibly proud of everyone who competed! Remember that the 14 Day Recharge ebook and January Jumpstart mentioned in these testimonies can both still be purchased in the shop! We would love to have you or your sweet friends and family join us in our journey towards a healthy lifestyle this year.