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January 2011 is when I began my weight loss journey and it was terrifying starting out. I have done many different things to lose weight in the past and failed at every one of them. I started walking at Paradise Spring, and the first day I couldn't even make it around the walkway one time without stopping to catch my breath. I was so upset with what I had done to myself - how did I get this unhealthy?

woman celebratingI went home that first day discouraged, but even more determined to change the way I live my life. Soon I began walking at home to a DVD, walking in front of my TV every chance I got, sometimes 12 miles in a day. I soon got bored walking in my family room and that's when I joined the YMCA. This was one of the best decisions I had made in a very long time. I started by taking a group exercise class and I was so nervous that I almost didn't go in. The instructor came up to me before class and showed me some of the exercises, then she watched me in class and encouraged me throughout. Her support helped me stick with the class, and branch out and try some different ones! I couldn't believe the things I was doing! I had never lifted weights before, and now I was really lifting! I will never forget the first time I saw my underarm in the mirror - I couldn't believe I actually had one! Before all I could see was the fat that hung down!

I started doing as many classes as I could fit into my schedule. Swimming, weight lifting, kick boxing, Zumba, etc. All of these classes and instructors were awesome! I think that without the Y and the people there I would probably have quit again. But I've stuck with it, and the results are life-changing. I am running on the treadmill a mile at a time, training with my friends for 5ks, 10ks, and even marathons! Some people can do all of this at home on their own, but not me. I need the instructors, staff and friends at the Y to help encourage me to move to the next leg of my journey.

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  • W.O.W: Total Body Twist
    A full body workout that combines some old standards with a new twist. There are also balance options for many of the exercises to add a little extra challenge! Take this class with Petra:  

The mission of the Wabash County YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.