Our Spotlight is a girl on the go, Tonya Mendez! She is a prime example of not letting anything get in her way to getting her workouts in and eating right. I knew the first week she was going to be around for a long time. She showed results fast and continues to improve each and every day that goes by. She even got her husband addicted, also. She has a very busy work life and travels a ton, but still makes time for what matters most, her fitness and health. She has an energy we all love and Get a Grip wouldn’t be the same without her.
Here is her story…
Inchworm…..What could an inchworm possibly be? That is the question I asked myself when I was volunteering to do hair and makeup on a photo shoot being held in the Get A Grip Studio. I was reading a workout on the board wondering to myself what kind of workouts are done in this studio. It wasnt until 6 months later that I found out for myself. I signed up for the 21 day belly blast challenge thru Groupon. I had no idea that $45 and 21 days were going to change my life!
I have been part of this amazing family now for two years but it was a tough road getting here. Like many of you reading this I tried many things to get myself on track thru the years. I made it to be a Lifetime member of WeightWatchers while preparing for my wedding. After my wedding… I didn’t go back. I trained and ran a half marathon in 2010 in memoriam of my dad and was in the best shape of my life. After the run… I didnt go back. And so the story goes on.
When I started the 21 Day Belly Blast Challenge I wasnt sure what to expect, how I was going to feel and….would I go back. Well, here I am, two years later, writing this story.
The biggest difference I noticed from Get A Grip was Carrie. When I finished my 21 days I didnt go back. Then two weeks later Carrie called me on the phone. I couldnt believe she was actually checking in on me. First I was shocked, then, surprisingly, I was relieved. I finally had someone that was holding me accountable without me even asking her to. I went back the next week and the next and the next.
The biggest difference I have seen in my life is how I view things and the physical achievements are the after thought. I plan my life differently now. My weekends used to be scheduled around happy hour and 1/2 price appetizers. Now they are planned around outdoor activities. I used to shop on the inside isles of the grocery store. Now I barely leave the produce section.
My professional life is very tough on my body. Sixteen hour days on my feet, lots of time on the road, holding blowdryers and brushes all day. When I started with Get A Grip my wrists weren’t strong enough to do pushups, burpees or renegade rows. Now I can do them more than I would like to…oh burpees! By day 2 of a 4 day show I would have pains shooting up the sides of my legs from my feet to my hips and a week of rest is the only thing that would cure the pain. I havent felt that pain in two years…relief!
I was looking for something, someone to change my life and I found it.
I choose Health. I choose Confidence. I choose Happiness.
Kudos to you and Jonathan for supporting each other and making this a big part of your life!!
Prefect timing for a little motivation as we come into a New Year for New Beginnings!
Lisa has come SO far in her journey with Get a Grip. As you will read, she started with the thought of getting a 3-week jumpstart at Get a Grip only to be with us just under 1 year and do something totally out of her comfort zone to setting even BIGGER goals in 2014. Lisa and her husband, Matt, came to Get a Grip and I honestly thought they are driving kind of far they probably won’t stay. I loved them from day one, but I understand that not everyone will stay, but I get 3-weeks to help them jumpstart their health and fitness and create better lifestyle habits. Better than nothing in my book.
They surprised me the last week, with asking what were their options as they were staying! Music to my ears. The rest is history. Lisa made huge improvements in her strength (great arm guns), and then other challenges she faced as you will read below. She excels at everything she does and I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished. I am looking forward to her new goals and the other things she’ll add to her list. It wouldn’t be the same without her and her hubby!
Here is her personal story…
Growing up in small town Iowa, fitness and healthy eating habits were not always on my families mind, thus not leaving me with any idea how important diet and exercise could impact my life. Even though I ran track and cross country in high school I still ate pizza, Doritos and drank mountain dew every day. This habit continued into college (even though I was a nursing and psychology major) it never dawned on me the damage I was doing to my body every day. After getting married and moving to Florida, my husband and I decided to take control of our fitness by purchasing a three week Groupon to Get a Grip Total Fitness, with the intention to join another gym after, well thankfully we didn’t need to join another gym. We fell in love with Get a Grip and their team, after three weeks of exercising and paying attention to our diet, we felt amazing! Cutting McDonalds completely out of our diet and not eating fast food in general as much anymore was a huge change that I never thought we could do without Carrie’s help and encouragement.
After a few months at Get a Grip Matt & I decided that we should set some goals, one of our first goals was to run the 2013 Disney Marathon, with the help of run club, my husband and my workout buddy Tiff, we signed up and completed the 2012 Women’s Half Marathon leading us to our goal and after five “magical” hours we completed the Disney Marathon. It was something I could have never done without the help of Carrie and GAG.
My whole life I have always loved a challenge and love to prove people wrong (including myself), so when Carrie asked us to join the triathlon program, I thought she was crazy, I can’t swim, let alone bike and then run! After A LOT of encouragement, I signed up for my first triathlon. The training was hard, I couldn’t even swim ½ a lap in a pool, or bike at any pace other than really slow, but though the next three months, I grew stronger in all aspects, and with the amazing GAG tri team I completed my first triathlon, with the intention of NEVER doing one again…ever! Have I mentioned how much I hate biking??? Well, again after a lot of peer pressure, I signed up for another one, and then another one…5 sprint triathlons and 1 Olympic distance triathlon later I saw how far I had come and how I even became somewhat faster Even placing third in my age division at my first Olympic distance tri.
After all of these amazing accomplishments in 2013, I really have to step it up for 2014, so why not do Ragnar, St. Anthony’s Olympic distance tri and Ironman 70.3 Augusta, the last thing I want is a boring year, and with the help of Carrie, the tri team, my tri buddy Yip Yip, of course my equally crazy husband and GAG I am sure it will be anything but
Yes, that is her in on the cover they used for selling the pictures from the Tri Race we did! That was SO awesome!
So, proud of you Lisa!
Marie is an true inspiration to us all. We all hope to be her when we grow up:-) With her, age is definitely just a number. She is one strong lady and she stops at nothing to give 200% every workout. She is admired by all who meet her. She really kicked it up in the last year and she has the body to prove it. Wait until you read her story. So proud of her and look forward to her new challenges she will undertake in the future.
Here is her story…
I first heard about Carrie’s Boot camp class, from a former co-worker, Marie Phillips, in October of 2010. We were having dinner and catching up on life when the topic changed to my recovery from a previous injury. Several years earlier I was in a bad car accident on I-75 where a Semi Truck ran over my vehicle from behind squashing all but the driver’s area of my car. I suffered several fractured vertebrae’s, a cracked sternum and injured my knees. I thought I would never be able to physically assert myself again.
After 12 months of therapy and doing exactly what I was told to do, my injuries had healed and I was feeling strong enough to start with some low impact exercise. I purchased some tapes and began my journey at home. Marie began talking about a boot camp she was attending that was held outside at Lake Padgett on Saturday mornings. When she told the story of using Pumpkins as weights to celebrate Halloween, I was intrigued, and knew I wanted to give this a try.
She invited me as her guest that Saturday morning. By the end of the very first class, I knew this was exactly what I needed to boost my current exercise routine. Since I lived in Land O’ Lakes, the location was perfect. When the outdoor class moved from Lake Padgett to the current location in Lutz, the workouts became more challenging which made me even more determined to “keep going”. I began to get stronger and feel the physical changes Carrie’s class was making in my health and my appearance. I began to get comments from my co-workers that I looked different – and younger? The word “younger” motivated me even more! I told them about my exercise routine and encouraged them they should join me.
In September of 2012 I felt I needed another boost so I signed up for Carrie’s 21 day Belly Blast and immediately after that program ended I signed up for her Muffin Top Meltdown Challenge. By the middle of November, I had lost 15 pounds, cut several inches from my waist, dropped 2 dress sizes, was sleeping better and feeling great! The bonus I wasn’t anticipating is my Doctor told me I no longer needed to take my cholesterol medicine.
Wow, the thought came to my mind that I didn’t know many soon-to-be “60 year old women or men” that didn’t take at least one kind of medicine. Thank you Carrie!! I’m convinced it was your program and your support that helped me succeed! At this point I felt I was ready to commit to the Spartan Challenge and made this a goal to complete prior to my 60th birthday in May, 2013.
I was encouraged by Carrie and the GAG family to do it now and make it a goal to reach by the end of 2012. I’m proud to report that I finished the December 28th Spartan event and have been able to complete a second Spartan, breaking my first event time by 7 minutes! I look forward to each workout and my continued good health. I feel I can live to be 100 and still be able to move around at that age!
So proud of you! You look Amazing (even in this picture of you AFTER the Spartan 1000!
We had 58 participants this year for our Annual Summer Slim Challenge.
The Results were Amazing!
Everyone is a winner, as EVERYONE had some kind of improvement. So proud of them all.
Here is the TOP 3 challengers…
CJ & Angela