SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Time for all those New Year’s resolutions to kick into high gear. Need inspiration? A 55-year-old woman from Sterling Heights lost more than a hundred pounds and overhauled her entire life in a little over a year-and-a-half!
We caught up with Brenda Davis-Bauer in her happy place — pumping out her favorite exercise (the back squat) at what’s become her second home – the gym.
“I enjoy the workout… I’ve made a lot of friends here,” said Brenda.
She’s talking about the Life Time Fitness in Shelby Township – what she calls her village.
She started coming to the fitness center in April of 2017 when her teenage son Colin wanted to start working out. She knew it was time to make some changes herself. She was overweight and out of shape.
“The weight came on over the years mostly due to stress in my life, whether it be family, whether it be work – a desk job. So, I really didn’t move much, and my diet was awful,” she admitted.
So, she met with a team of experts at Life Time for an on-boarding evaluation, and they came up with three-pronged attack.
Number 1 – NUTRITION OVERHAUL
“Clean eating basically. I got rid of all processed foods. I got rid of the sugars. I increased my protein intake. I learned how to eat, when to eat so I could space out my meals.”
Her nutrition coach Natalie Abrhiem said Brenda was very open to transitioning to eating only whole foods.
“Anything in its natural state was permitted. And then we made sure that she ate enough. So that way, her metabolism, once we started hitting her weight loss and we stalled it out a little bit – it’s making sure we continue throwing logs into her camp fire to keep that furnace burning,” said Abrhiem.
Brenda ate before workouts and to recover after workouts. She now eats about 5 times a day.
Number 2 – SCHEDULING EXERCISE
Brenda said she needed appointment exercising or she wouldn’t stick with it. From team classes three times a week – like pilates with Tanisha — to personal training sessions with her coach Justin, she became a regular.
“She was in the gym 2-to-3 hours sometimes almost daily,” said Justin Mane, her trainer.
And all that work paid off – literally! She was a four-time consecutive winner of Life Time’s 60-Day Challenge – and even a national 60-Day Challenge winner – walking away with a fat 25-hundred-dollar check!
In six months, she had already lost 75 pounds!
Number 3 – MANAGING HER STRESS LEVEL
“Learning how to control how I feel. Learning that I needed to take time for myself – whether it was doing yoga to relax, just taking time to sit down and read a book – which was something I never did before,” explained Brenda.
Sometimes she’ll just get up and go for a walk and get some fresh air. She’s learned “Me Time” matters.
A year-and-eight-months later, she’s lost 110- pounds and improved her health on multiple levels.
“My blood pressure is under control now. No medications needed at all. My cholesterol has gone down. My energy level is just 10-fold. I don’t feel like I’m sluggish sitting at my desk at work now. I actually have energy to get through the day,” she smiled.
Now she can run after her 2-year-old grandson!
She’s realized goals she never thought possible and is setting new ones she now knows she’ll tackle.
Her trainers are now telling her not to focus on weight loss anymore. Instead, they want her to focus on her performance goals. And, yes, she is still working out 7 days a week!
If you’re reading this and ready to lose a bunch of weight in 2019, take note. Brenda’s nutrition coach Natalie Abrahiem said her best advice is to change just one habit at a time. Brick by brick. For example, if you normally skip breakfast, make a goal of drinking a protein shake each morning. Once you make it a habit — about 80-percent compliant — then add another goal. YOU GOT THIS! Remember Brenda!