Celebrity fitness trainer Autumn Calabrese will be leading a group session at the Richmond Women's Health & Fitness Expo on February 4 in Richmond. Calabrese is a Beachbody trainer and has inspired many women to get in shape.
Amy Rackley is one of those people. This is her story:
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- I don’t even know where to start. I have always struggled with my weight. The struggle was hardest after I had my three children. I found myself just eating whatever I could get my hands on. Whatever was quickest (and usually really unhealthy) was what I made for myself and my family.
I had horrible self esteem.
My way of dealing with that was to eat more.
It was a vicious cycle.
Then in February 2016, my oldest daughter -- then 14 years old -- created a slideshow about why she wanted me to get healthy.
It was a profound moment.
Let me give you some facts about my family history.
My father has had a heart attack, a mini stroke, Crohn’s disease, and has high blood pressure.
My paternal grandmother has diabetes, leukemia, and COPD.
My paternal great grandmother had a stroke.
My mother has arthritis.
My maternal grandmother has diabetes.
My maternal grandfather had heart failure before he passed.
Needless to say, if I had stayed on the path I was on, my health most likely would have deteriorated pretty soon. When my daughter showed me the slideshow, at first I was mad and upset.
It was like she was calling me fat and I dismissed it.
Then I started thinking about my kids and how I want to be there to see them grow up.
I want to see my grandchildren (if I have any) grow up.
I needed to make a change. I will always be grateful to my oldest for giving me the wake-up call I so desperately needed.
I had a Facebook friend that I knew was a [Beachbody] coach.
I talked with her about what the best program for me would be. She suggested the 21-Day Fix.
I ordered it that day, and then broke the news to my husband, Kevin, the next day while we were at the grocery store.
At first, he thought it was another fad diet that wouldn’t stick.
I decided to prove to him, and to myself, that I could do this.
I received the program within a week.
I studied the meal plan that came with it and learned how to use my containers.
I downloaded the app for my phone so I would have no excuses to get off track. Then I started my workouts.
My coach, Shelby Coleman, advised me to post "sweaty selfies" on Facebook to keep myself accountable, and so she could keep track of my progress.
I thought it would be silly and obnoxious, but I found that my family members and friends on Facebook were cheering me on.
It really did help me stay accountable.
The first round was challenging, I was very sore the first couple of weeks.
However, I found that I had more energy to play with my kids.
I was eating cleaner, and my body repaid me in spades.
My husband joined me in the workouts on my second round. On the third round, he started the meal plan. I was so proud of him!
After Round 2, I took a before and after photo to chronicle my progress. I was amazed at the difference!
I was encouraged by the photos and I believe that keeping a photo diary, so to speak, really helped me. On days when I was feeling like I wasn’t losing weight or when I couldn’t stand my reflection, I would look at the before and after pictures and would feel completely motivated. It was great!
About three rounds in, I hurt my left knee. My kneecap dislocated and I found out that I have arthritis behind it. I have to wear a knee brace now. That didn’t stop me though. I was determined to get in shape and get healthy for myself and my family.
I just modified where I needed to and kept on trucking.
After about six rounds of 21 Day Fix, I hit a plateau in my weight loss.
For a full round, I didn’t lose any weight or see a change in inches, even though I was still eating clean. I talked to my coach, and she suggested I switch it up.
So I started PiYo (Pilates and yoga infused fitness). It did the trick and I started losing weight again. I did two rounds of PiYo, and then started ChaLean Extreme (strength training). This really helped me tone and tighten all the loose skin I had from being overweight.
We went on vacation in July and I'll admit, it was hard to stay on track. I had Beachbody on Demand on my iPad, so I had no excuses not to workout. But my eating was not the greatest. When we got home and I weighed myself, I had gained back 10 pounds.
I panicked and talked to my coach. She was great and told me not to worry. Just get back on track and all would be well. She was so right!
Kevin and I started 21 Day Fix Extreme when we got back from the beach. It was definitely intense, but I loved it!
Autumn whipped me back into shape quickly.
Since then, I have done Focus T25 (60 days) and the first month of Insanity Max:30. I love Shaun T (the trainer for those programs), but the programs were very high impact and my knee was hurting pretty bad after month one of Insanity.
So I started Country Heat and I love it! I'm currently doing Country Heat and it's so much fun!
I’m at my goal weight now, and I’m maintaining.
I went from weighing 207 pounds to now weighing 150 pounds. I went from a size 16 (almost 18) to a size 8!
Do I have bad days? Yes! I just pick myself back up and keep on going. Thank you Autumn Calabrese for teaching me to live healthy!
Has Autumn Calabrese or a Beachbody workout helped you lose weight? Share your story with WTVR CBS 6.