Lorraine P.

Bremerton Family YMCA

In 2014, at age 59, I weighed 300+ pounds. I couldn’t walk more than ¼ mile without excruciating foot, knee, and hip pain. I couldn’t walk up my own steep driveway without several rest stops and climbing 3 steps up my porch with 2 feet per step was a chore. I had arthritis, fibromyalgia, and the beginning of diabetes. I could no longer do many of things I’d enjoyed when younger.

I began doing strength training with my trainer twice a week and walked on the other days, although I could not go far or fast. My goal was to be able to walk 1 mile without stopping, which I felt would at least enable me to do more activities with my husband. I figured that would take me about a year.

I began losing weight immediately and noticed small strength gains within 2 weeks, like being able to get into my husband’s truck more easily. I kept all my workouts and logged my food faithfully. Within 3 months I was able to walk a 5K. I finished last out of 1,400 people, but I did it! It had been years since I’d been able to walk that far. Soon after that the doctor declared me cured of diabetes. Within 6 months I’d lost 50 lbs. Within a year—my original time-frame for walking 1 mile—I walked a 10K with no stops and was far from last. I finally reached my goal weight at 2 ½ years, and when that 5k rolled around again—now for the third year—I RAN the whole thing.

I began lap swimming, took some adult swim classes, and continued my strength training at home. Eventually I signed up for Fit Path and began strength training at the Y. I took Women on Weights to become more comfortable in the weight room. I am now more than a year into maintenance, have not gained back any weight, and have continued to improve my fitness and strength. The variety of programs and wonderful encouraging staff at the Bremerton Y have helped me continue my success.

My advice to anyone wanting to start a journey to health and fitness is to start small and follow your plan consistently. Establish good habits and don’t wait around for feelings of motivation. Just set a schedule and do it!

One of my favorite quotes is “Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long term success.”–Robin Sharma