New team member success story! Ashley Clements!

Ashley wrote in an email: I saw where you guys list fun stuff and I wanted to share with you that American Family Mechanicsville has named me their Success Story of the Month! 🙂 I get to be on the TVs in American Family and on their website for my weight loss!

Her story: “My fitness and weight loss story didn’t begin at AmFam but it has been a large part of helping me keep off the 115 pounds off that I have lost.  I began my life change at the end of December 2011 when I went on a blind date with my now Fiance (who is also an AmFam member).  At the time I was 295 pounds and never worked out and ate however I wanted to.  My now fiance, Michael Voltz, shared with me how important it was to be healthy and how important it was to him to have a spouse one day that shared his passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  I knew there was something special about him on that date and so I really listened to what he had to say.  I thought about it for a few days and decided that I needed to make a lifestyle change.  I didn’t choose a specific diet but more of a healthy eating plan and watched calories and fat content.  Michael helped me with food choices and picked me out a DVD workout program to do at home to get me started.  I had never been so hungry or so sore as those first 2 months, but I was loosing weight and kept with it.  I was living in New Kent at the time and I received a Parks and Rec brochure in the mail one day advertising fitness classes.  They offered a bunch of different classes and since I was getting bored with the DVD program I decided to sign up for the Zumba and Cardio Combo classes they offered.  I was really nervous to begin the classes when the new session began in March 2012.  By then I had lost 30 pounds but I still was really uncomfortable about exercising in public.  I went to the first Zumba class and met the instructor and it was BFF at first sight.  Lisa, the instructor for both classes, welcomed me with open arms, listened to my journey thus far, and ensured me I could do the classes and would be just fine.  I fell in love with her as an instructor and her classes immediately.  Over the next couple of months I continued to work out with Lisa and add her other 3 classes (abs, piloga, and boot camp) to my schedule.  My life revolved around her classes.  I had lost about 90 pounds by the end of the year and was still going strong.  Sadly, in January 2013 Lisa was in a car accident and had to take a break from teaching for several months.  I was then on my own to continue my journey and it was terrifying.  I had come to rely so heavily on Lisa and her expertise to get me though to my goals.  I had no idea what to do on my own.  By this time Michael and I were seriously dating and he had proposed in February 2013.  I would visit with him to the AmFams on Brook Road and Short Pump and he would do weight lifting with me.  I joined Gold’s in Mechanicsville to be able to use something when he was working or I was in Mechanicsville so I could work out.  Even though I reached my current weight of 180 (and have stayed at that weight since March 2013) I felt like I wasn’t physically in the shape I wanted to be in.  When we moved in together at the end of March 2013, I canceled my Gold’s membership and Michael put me on his AmFam membership.  I would work out with him at first but then I discovered the Les Mills classes.  It was such a relief to have trainers to tell me what to do again!  When you loose a great deal of weight in a relatively short period of time, you tend to have a lot of loose skin.  With the help of all the classes, especially BodyPump 3 days a week, I have really added on muscle and am beginning to tone my body into the shape I want it to be in.  I still have a long ways to go but without the continued support and cheering on from the instructors I know that I will eventually reach my goals (and look great in my wedding dress).  Thank you to Patti, Michelle, Sherina, Jen, Crystal, and all the wonderful instructors who help push me a little further each class to help me reach my fitness goals!”

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