Impact in Action

Alanda's 20-week "Get Strong" Journey

Published 03.31.17
My journey starts with depression; and not just the blues, downright depressed. I was crying all the time, not spending time with my young kids, sleeping a lot, absolutely no energy and I was not happy with myself. I hated to look in the mirror. I was really missing out on life and it was noticeable to my family. My husband asked what he could do to help me and I told him that working out always made me feel better in the past and it would help me overcome not liking where I had gotten physically. So he took me to the YMCA and we signed up together. 
 
He came with me and was my workout buddy and soon it was a habit to come every day during our lunch break. I started at the Y weighing 177lbs. I felt better and had more energy but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted; all I was doing was the elliptical and some light weights now and then. About the time I was getting frustrated I had gotten down to 175lbs with some more muscle and then a few of my co-workers were inspired to join the Y and asked if I would be interested in doing a 20-week program to get stronger. I was interested and my husband decided to do it with me. I was a bit intimidated at first going to the free weight section with all the guys that looked like they worked out for a living, but that was short lived.
 
Each week I was making gains in the weight I could bench, squat and deadlift and it soon became a challenge to see how far I could go in 20 weeks. I started off weighing 175lbs and being able to bench 100lbs, squat 205lbs, and deadlift 180lbs but every week I could do a little more and it got easier. I didn’t try to diet to lose weight because I wouldn’t be able to lift as much if I lost a lot, so I ate healthy and made sure to eat carbs to have energy to get through my workouts. I came to the Y every lunch break during the week unless I had a conflict with meetings and worked out for 30-45 minutes a day.
 
By the end of the 20-week schedule I was weighing 166lbs and even though that doesn’t sound like I lost much, I lost a lot of fat, gained a lot of muscle and dropped two sizes in my clothes! I could bench 157lbs, squat 332lbs, and deadlift 300lbs. I ended up being the strongest girl pound-for-pound doing the program; it was a fantastic feeling to know I accomplished so much! I think I started to intimidate some of the guys that look like they work out for a living. I didn’t look bulky, I was nicely toned and feeling great in my clothes. I can say at this point I am the healthiest and happiest I’ve been in a long time. I’m going to continue my journey to see where it takes me; I’m starting a new 12-week program to burn some of that fat away and then start a new 20-week strength schedule! I have my plan in place and having such a great place to work on it is fantastic. I look forward to my lunch breaks — I always leave happy and less stressed!
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