Meet Candace

Candace is a 40 year old teacher. She wants to be a good example for her children and knows that as she gets older; carrying the extra weight is harder on her body. She is motivated by her family and wants to take a family trip to celebrate her success.

Initial Impressions from Candace:

As I told you today my emotions have been a roller coaster.  Excited, scared, excited, scared, but most of all I am hopeful.  It has been along time since I felt hopeful about feeling better and having more energy!

Update November 7, 2012:
I met with my trainer, Mandy, on Monday for the first time.  She is very nice.  That being said there was no small talk.  We hit the road running.  She said hi, now up and down the stairs 3 times.  The workout was hard, but it is true I feel proud now that I completed it.  I was mad at myself the whole time.  I kept thinking "How did I let myself get to this point?" 

The two classes we had this past week were exceptional.  Listening to the two contestants from last year helped to ease some fears, while increasing others.  But it helped to know what to expect.  The Mindless Eating class was an eye opener.  A lot of things I knew, but I need to hear.

So far my biggest obstacle is myself.  I say I don't have time, but I do.  I say it is out of my way, but it is not.  I make a lot of excuses, but when it comes down to it there is no excuse.

My new favorite snack is half a banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter.  At first I never dreamed it would fill me up, but wow it did.  The first day I had it after school and when it was time for dinner I thought wow I am not really starving like I usually am.

To anyone reading this.  Get up!  Get up now!  Start where you are and don't stop moving.  Learn from my mistakes.

Update December 11:
It has been 5 weeks since we started.  It has been a roller coaster of highs and lows.  I have injured my knee, I have been tired, I have been sore, I have been busy, but I have been exercising and eating right.  I actually ate green beans tonight and liked them! 

Not only are my tastes changing, I can feel and see changes all around.  The scale shows I have lost 8 pounds, not where I want to be, but not where I started.  I have lost 15 inches, 3 of which came from my waist.  Most of all I can feel a change in me and my attitude.  I feel less tired and winded.  I cannot say I have learned to like or love exercise, but I can say I like the way it makes me feel.  I also have to admit I miss it when I am not able to get to the gym.

It is a slow hard process, but I am ready and willing to see where it takes me.

Update January 11, 2013:
Training sessions are great!  I love Mandy. I have to say she is one of my motivators. I do not want to disappoint her. In the beginning she was the main motivator. Fortunately I am becoming a little intrinsically motivated.   The work outs are hard, but I like having someone to teach me, and keep me company. 
I am amazed at how my stamina has increased. I have moved from doing the stairs, which I do not like, 3 times to 4 times.  I can get through a class or work on a machine for longer.  Not only can I last longer, I can increase the level as well. 
I do at least an hour of cardio 6 days a week. This is in addition to my sessions with Mandy.  I take Wednesday off because that is the busiest day for me and my family
I am so excited and proud that one I bought a pair of jeans 2 sizes smaller, and two I am still working out!  This is longest commitment to me I have to myself in a long time. 
I heard people say for years "Just do it.  Get up and move". It would frustrate me because I thought if it was that simple then I would have already done it.  To contradict this statement I must tell anyone struggling to get motivated you just have to get started. Get up off the couch and move. I read somewhere "no matter how slow you are moving you are still lapping anyone sitting on the couch." 
I have  been off my blood pressure medicine since changing jobs 3 years ago, but I still had to monitor it. I went to the doctor Monday and it was 110/81. For me that is amazing. Losing the weight and increasing my cardio I have made a change I never dreamed possible. 
I have lost 18 pounds and about 24 inches!  I have to admit what I have gained is more valuable than anything I valued before the Shape Up Showdown began.

Update March, 2013
What is my biggest change so far?  ME!  My attitude, my weight, my size, my energy, my taste buds are just a few of the big changes.
Do I LIKE exercise at this point?  Yes and no.  I have found exercises that I enjoy more than others.  Being a very social person I really like classes and working out with my husband or gym BFF and fellow Shape Up Showdown participant, Kayla Stevens.
What is my biggest struggle at this point?      TIME.   I have three kids, a husband, 45 students, and many other responsibilities at school.  I have to remind myself that and hour now will give me many more hours with these amazing people God has placed in my life.  I must take the time.
What is the biggest surprise of this experience…so far?     I can do it!  I didn't think I would be able to do half the things I have done thus far.
My favorite healthy meal is baked tilapia and a baked sweet potato.  I put a teaspoon of honey on the sweet potato instead of sugar and butter.  It is sweet and moist.
My favorite healthy snack is any fruit with peanut butter.  I get my protein, and it tastes great.  Most recently I had peanut butter on a pear.  It was really good!
I hate to repeat myself, but to anyone looking to embark on a transformation is DO IT.  Don't wait.  I am 40 years old, and I wish I had started earlier.  I can say I have a lot of regrets in life, but I have not regretted one trip to the gym.

Final Program Update April 25, 2013
Candace told us she's been overweight most of her adult life and needed some help to change that. She struggled with pain, tiredness and was just downright uncomfortable. That is all changing now!

Candace has made some amazing changes in her body! She had dropped thirty years off her body age and had dropped her total blood pressure by about 28 points! Candace's internal changes continue – she had decreased her total cholesterol by 21 points and her triglyceride level by 57 points! She has lost a total of 13 inches in her waist and hips plus lost 42 pounds! She has increased her strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and aerobic fitness. She has decreased her risk of heart disease, stress and depression levels. Candace has improved her diet and decreased her risk of type 2 diabetes!

Way to go Candace!!!