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By Member of the Month
It brings us such JOY to present Louise, our Member of the Month for August. Louise’s story reminds us that getting fit and healthy is about so much more than just looking good. Enjoy!
I have been coming to LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Yorkdale since the end of February – now five months and counting.
I’m 66-years-old. I was born broken, with a rare congenital heart formation. I inherited my parents’ fear of doctors, who (in retrospect) over-prescribed caution when it came to exertion. They couldn’t assure my folks that I’d be safe and stay alive, so I missed out on a lot of active playing. By habit, I stayed on the sports-and-exercise sidelines as a grown woman too. Decades passed and obesity became another chronic health issue. I acquired an artificial knee, and the other reminded me too frequently that it should be as well.
While I successfully developed and nurtured a strong mind and spirit, I pretty much completely ignored the third side of the Wellness Triangle – an active body. I didn’t move. Truth be told … I didn’t know how to. I was embarrassed, resistant and afraid.
Then, in mid-February, I learned that I’m going to become a grandma for the first time this fall, and everything changed!
My son and his wife live in San Francisco. I looked more than twice at all the steep hills and sidewalks. I couldn’t imagine myself pushing a stroller or getting out of an Uber and carrying the baby, his car-seat and all his stuff up the 72 steps to get to the door. I had enough trouble getting my purse and myself up-hill.
I couldn’t imagine myself getting down to play at little-boy height either, because I knew I would not be able to get back up.
I needed to “Build a Better Grandma!”
That didn’t just mean building a skinnier grandma. It meant building a stronger and healthier grandma … who had much more flexibility and endurance. It meant building a braver grandma too … who could conquer a lifetime’s fear of moving.
I was more than a little intimidated about venturing into a gym for help. “Dr. Google” helped me find LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic. The first location outside of BC had just opened a few weeks earlier, near Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. When I read about the LIVE WELL philosophy, which includes medically-supported exercise, empowered choices, and integrated coaching, I knew the movement stars in the universe had aligned to support my plan.
From Day 1, the whole team at LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic Yorkdale bought in to my vision. They skillfully broke down exercise elements for strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility into a personalized program and they showed me that together we could make it happen. They demonstrated every day that they cared, so I cared too.
Exercise was the catalyst for my body changes, but it wouldn’t get me all the way. With the team’s coaching, I started changing the way I eat too. I’m not dieting, I’m choosing differently now every day. I know that this all has to become a life-long focus if living well is going to be sustainable.
As weeks and months went by, I discovered that after successfully doing one big thing that I’d been afraid of forever, other big things became easier too. Results started to show.
I’ve lost 27 lbs. since the end of February, with a total hip and waist reduction of 7.5 inches to date. I’m down three sizes; and most importantly, I am moving much more confidently. I feel energized, healthier, and stronger, and nothing hurts anymore!
There’s lots more to come in this better-grandma-building.
My three-mornings-a-week LIVE WELL appointments, and the weekly education and coaching have become something I happily look forward to. Who knew it could be so much fun to get up and out and moving?
Every single person here at the LIVE WELL Clinic at Yorkdale has made a brave choice to include exercise to achieve their own visions for their health. We support each other, and we laugh a lot. We sweat, we dance, and we applaud each other’s progress. This isn’t a solitary journey, and it isn’t as hard or as scary as I had feared.
I know that my grandson won’t care if I’m a round Grandma or a slimmer version. He will love me. However, he will care if I can play with him, and if we can happily enjoy years of active adventures. I will too. I am grateful that with LIVE WELL’s support I am already building a better Grandma.
Thank you to Louise for sharing your experiences, we are so excited to be on this journey with you. The whole LIVE WELL family is looking forward to continuing to CELEBRATE your WINS with you as you continue to build a better Grandma. Louise shows us how exercise and healthy habits CAN help you LIVE WELL!