How This Couple Lost Over 150 Pounds Together

Just because something is COMMON, does not mean it is normal.

Today it is COMMON for people young and old to be overweight.

Today it is COMMON to be overweight because of willingly eating a poor diet with foods known to cause health issues.

Today it is COMMON to be on a daily dose of medicine to keep the symptoms of those health issues at bay.

Today it is COMMON to be too “busy” for things that could naturally keep those health issues as bay like regular exercise and the proper amount of sleep.

Today it is COMMON to spend a majority of the day sedentary and in a haze of stress and anxiety.

Today it is COMMON to self medicate with caffeine, alcohol and more in order to stimulate a desired mental state.

Actually, when they are written out that way, these COMMON things seem to contradict your COMMON sense, right?

Ask yourself if you or anyone you know is living up to some of these COMMON ideas. I am sure whether it is a loved one, friend, co-worker or parent, you know someone that is just following this new COMMON flow of life. The inspiring story today is not to say whether this COMMON lifestyle is “right or wrong,” it is to remind you the health issues are not just “preventable, but also reversible.”

Maybe the best way to be UNCOMMON today is to use COMMON sense. As you will see in this story, Betty and Larry Reaves were living a very COMMON life in Kentucky. They experienced COMMON health issues, medications, anxiety and embarrassment.   This story how they became UNCOMMON is a roadmap for any couple facing health issues to take action.

How One Couple Lost Over 150 Pounds Together at TFW Louisville

In May of 2014, my hips and feet were hurting constantly and his back was bad.

Betty: I went to see and orthopedic surgeon and he told me, “there is nothing wrong with your hips. You are obese and that puts extreme stress on your hips and makes them hurt.” I went home and I spoke to my husband Larry about it and I told him I was ready to do something about my weight. I weighed 235 pounds. I began trying at home to lose weight by jogging around the inside of my house. I joined a local chain gym and hired a trainer who told me, “you need to run and do hard workouts.” I thought this sounded normal because that was all you hear about in the media. The pain in my hips got so bad that I would cry about them all the time. In one year I had only lost a few pounds.

LARRY: I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SMALL IN STATURE, VERY SHY, QUIET, RESERVED AND PICKED ON AS A CHILD. AS A RESULT, ANXIETY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CRUSHING PROBLEM FOR ME. IN ADDITION TO THAT, I WAS HAVING SOME LOWER BACK ISSUES. WHEN MY BACK WOULD GO OUT AND BE WALKING AROUND AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN GRAB MY BACK AND BE DRIVEN DOWN TO MY KNEES IN PAIN.

We were embarrassed and uncomfortable when we saw ourselves in a mirror.

Betty: I told my husband Larry I had to find a way to lose this weight. I hurt everywhere and he told me he was willing to lose weight with me. We joined another gym that offered a free training session with a trainer. At this free session we met Drew Rogers one of the trainers. We were open with him that we needed help. He suggested lifting weights to build up muscles to support my hips and core and lessen my pain. Neither of us had ever even considered lifting weights before. We had a short workout with Drew, and after his assessment we talked about a plan. Drew asked us to commit to three months of training. The plan would be a Saturday session with him and two written workouts a week on our own.

LARRY: I WAS TOTALLY ON BOARD TO HELP BETTY IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE. I COULD SEE HOW EMBARRASSED SHE WAS ABOUT HER WEIGHT AND I WITNESSED THE TEARS FROM HER PAIN. I THOUGHT, “WELL I’LL GO WORK OUT WITH HER IT CERTAINLY COULD BE GOOD FOR ME TOO.” THEN I FOUND OUT I NEEDED TO LOSE 50 POUNDS AND REALIZED HOW MUCH BETTER I COULD FEEL TOO.  WE STARTED THE JOURNEY TOGETHER BECAUSE DUE TO OUR HEALTH, IT WAS TIME.

We decided it was time to invest in ourselves.

Betty: I had never told anyone what I weighed, not even Larry. I was so devastated that I weighted more than him and had for 25 years. During the first few months I asked Drew not to be weighed or measured. He agreed, but let me know we would have to eventually to become accountable for my food. Larry and I worked out for the three months and finally I agreed to be measured. At the three-month mark I weighed in at 217 pounds at 5’2”. I measured my waist size at 49 ½ inches and was wearing a size 24 pants. That was the most freeing moment of my life. Larry still loved me and Drew still wanted to work with me! Over those three months, I started to astonish myself in the weight room and not once did we run on a treadmill or do “cardio” in a traditional sense. We lifted and we got stronger and neither of us had ever felt better.

LARRY: WHEN I WEIGHED IN AT 198 POUNDS AT 5’7” I GOT A WAKEUP CALL.  AT 60 YEARS OLD AND A WAIST SIZE OF 36 INCHES, I ALSO KNEW MY HISTORY OF  EXTREMELY HIGH TRiGLYCERIDES. A NORMAL TRIGLYCERIDE VALUE IS 150 OR LESS AND MINE WERE 1100! AS A RESULT I WAS DIAGNOSED  WITH A FATTY LIVER AND HAD BEEN ON MEDICATION FOR IT FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS. SINCE EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAD THE SAME ISSUE, I WAS TOLD IT WAS “NORMAL.” OVER THOSE THREE MONTHS, I WAS FEELING BETTER AND STARTED TO BELIEVE I COULD CHANGE THOSE NUMBERS.

We gave ourselves the best gift a couple can have: goals.

Betty: I was 53 years old at the weigh in. I set my goal weight for 135. Since we set weights, Drew could now talk to us about food. At the time we were horrible eaters: I didn’t eat salad, any fruit and only two vegetables. Because I was resistant to any food changes, Drew started us with simply counting calories. We got on a calorie counting app and after two weeks we were amazed to see we were putting away over 3000 calories a day. Drew advised us on nutrition but we started with portion control. Drew set our weight loss goal for a pound a week. He wanted us to do this slowly and make habits we would keep.

LARRY:  AT THE WEIGH IN, I WAS STILL 60 YEARS OLD.  I WANTED TO GET BACK DOWN TO MY YOUNGER WEIGHT AND SET MY GOAL FOR 150.  WHEN WE STARTED TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EATING HABITS, IT WAS SCARY TO SEE WHAT WE WERE PUTTING INTO OUR BODIES WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT.  JUST PAYING ATTENTION STARTED TO CREATE THE CHANGES BETTY AND I WERE LOOKING FOR.

The weight started to come off as planned.

Betty: We had developed into people who were becoming athletes. By May of 2015 I had lost 45 pounds and Drew opened a gym of his own. We followed Drew to the new gym and continued to personal train on Saturdays. We continued to make strides in our strength and weight goals. Over the next year, we continued to improve our workout and food habits. The quality of both went up and our lives went up.

LARRY: WE COMMITTED 100% TO THE PROCESS.  SINCE WE WERE PAYING GOOD MONEY, WE GAVE UP THE EXCUSES THAT KEPT US FROM OUR WORKOUTS.  WE SAID “NO” TO BIRTHDAY CAKE AT PARTIES AND GAVE UP THE FAST FOOD.  WE BEGAN TO LOOK FORWARD TO OUR WORKOUTS.  WE WERE STRONGER IN BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT AND OUR TRAINING GAVE OUR MARRIAGE A WONDERFUL NEW START.

We reached some goals, but had new challenges.

Betty: By April of 2016 I had lost a total of 103 pounds. We loved training, but now we had to figure out how to maintain our weight. This was tougher because I had a few medical setbacks. I had surgery at the end of May to remove a bone spur from my shoulder. The surgery was successful, but I was out of commission for four weeks and it was a slow, difficult return to exercise. I also had skin removal surgery the end of June. Now I was out another 8 weeks before starting light exercise. Larry brought me to the gym daily. I sat and talked with everyone, but I needed encouragement to keep going.

LARRY: BY THAT APRIL, I HAD LOST THE FULL 48 POUNDS! BUT THAT WAS NOT ALL; MY  TRIGLYCERIDES WERE DOWN ENOUGH TO COME OFF MY MEDICINE!   BETTY HAD SOME SETBACKS, BUT THE HONESTY AND COURAGE WE BUILT UP BETWEEN US WAS WONDERFUL. MY RECOMMENDATION TO ANY COUPLE IS TO BE HONEST, BUT KIND. START TOGETHER, BUILD EACH OTHER UP AND PUSH THE RIGHT BUTTONS. I WAS GLAD TO KEEP HER INVOLVED THROUGH THE MEDICAL ISSUES.

Then we started Training For Warriors.

Betty: Drew began telling us about a certification he and his trainers had attended called, Training For Warriors. He returned pumped up and announced his gym would become Training For Warriors Louisville. He explained the program to us and we told him go for it! After the TFW seminar the whole trainer team had such enthusiasm. Larry and I stopped personal training and jumped into the TFW program with both feet. The camaraderie has grown at the gym. We are enjoying tracking our workouts and making strength gains and crushing our goals! I had gained ten pounds while I was recovering and so had Larry. We reviewed our food and we’re working the TFW program together and truly cheering for each other. My personal favorite TFW mantra is, “LAST SET, BEST SET.” We now have a TFW Accountability group for nutrition and I can proudly say I’m drinking a smoothie every morning with fruit and spinach in it!

LARRY:  TRAINING IN TFW HAS BEEN THE BEST CONFIDENCE BUILDER. I AM 62 AND IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE AND WITH TFW I’M INTERESTED IN HAVING THE BEST FORM I CAN. I’VE REACHED A FITNESS LEVEL I NEVER THOUGHT WAS POSSIBLE. I’VE NEVER BEEN SHOWN THIS KIND OF SUPPORT AND I’VE NEVER FELT BETTER MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY. ALONG WITH MY TRIGLYCERIDE ISSUE, MY BACK PAIN PROBLEM HAS TOTALLY DISAPPEARED WITH THE CORE STRENGTH I’VE GAINED. THE SAME GOES FOR FOR MY KNEES. THEY ACHED AND HURT AND THAT PAIN HAS DISAPPEARED TOO.  I DIDN’T BELIEVE I WOULD BE ABLE TO SQUAT AGAIN, BUT FOUND BY CHANGING MY BODY AND MY WAY OF THINKING, I WAS ABLE TO DO IT.

 

Our lives have changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

Betty: I was wearing a size 24 and now wear a 4. My waist went from a 49 ½ to 34 inches. I can deadlift 175 pounds and the doctor has lowered my high blood pressure medication and I hope to be off it this year. We are now confident, happy, out of pain and strong! Together we have created a new life for ourselves and we’ve inspired our son and his fiancé to begin to workout too. We never miss our workouts and we’ve agreed this is our lifestyle change and we will always be committed to being as strong as we are right now. Our marriage has benefited in so many ways from doing this together. Being a team, working together, pushing and giving support to each other has been crucial for us. Most of all we are athletes now engaged in living quality life and being TFW WARRIOR STRONG!

LARRY:  My LAST TRIGLYCERIDE TEST A COUPLE MONTHS AGO WAS 95! PERFECT! WE GOT OUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS LOWERED BECAUSE OF OUR NEW LIFESTYLE AND THAT ALONE PAYS FOR OUR GYM FEES! BESIDES MY BLOOD WORK, GETTING HEALTHY WAS A GAME CHANGER FOR OUR MARRIAGE TOO. WE’VE BEEN MARRIED 38 YEARS AND WE WERE VERY STUCK IN A RUT. WE’VE EXPLODED OUT OF OUR RUT! WORKING OUT HAS ALLOWED ME IN MY RETIREMENT TO START DOING SOME THINGS I WAS ENJOYING 30 YEARS AGO. LIKE BIKING, I LOVE IT AND I’M STRONG ENOUGH NOW TO DO IT. I RIDE EVERY OTHER DAY. THE LAST FEW MONTHS I DECIDED TO FACE MY FEAR OF SWIMMING. I RESEARCHED IT AND I GO TO THE LOCAL INDOOR POOL AND I PRACTICE SWIMMING PROPERLY. I HAVE A GOAL OF PARTICIPATING IN SPRINT TRIATHLON. TFW IS A HOBBY WE BOTH ENJOY, SHARE, AND TALK ABOUT. NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS DID I EVER IMAGINE BETTY AND MYSELF ACHIEVING AND ENJOYING OUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS LIKE WE DO NOW.

Betty and Larry’s Top 10 Tips

1.  OWN WHERE YOU ARE AND COMMIT TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.

2.  EXPECT BETTER THINGS CAN HAPPEN AND GIVE FITNESS A SHOT.

3.  BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR SCHEDULE AND DON’T LET ANYTHING OR ANYONE DETER YOU FROM YOUR GOAL.

4.  SET SHORT OBTAINABLE GOALS.

5.  CREATE A SUPPORT SYSTEM OF PEOPLE WHO WILL GET BEHIND YOU AND HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE.

6.  PAY ATTENTION HOW MUCH YOU ARE EATING AND START PORTION CONTROL.

7.  RID YOUR HOUSE OF FOODS THAT ARE TRIGGERS FOR BAD EATING.

8.  FORM NEW GOOD HABITS LIKE REGULAR EXERCISE.

9.  DROP NEGATIVE SELF-TALK AND GUILT. CELEBRATE YOURSELF.

10.  CHEER ON SOMEONE ELSE ON TOWARDS HIS OR HER GOALS.

 

TFW is changing lives all over the world! Join the Resistance!!!!

 


Bobby Zuniga
Owner/Head Coach
Training For Warriors – Lakewood
720-366-9060