GET FIT: Carson women fight for fitness
Four local women have agreed to let the Nevada Appeal follow them as they attempt to lose weight and get fit during a six-week Kaia FIT boot camp, which begins Monday.
Community members are encouraged to join in the Get Fit Carson City project, dedicating the next six weeks to improving their own health using a program of their own choosing.
The Nevada Appeal will be providing advice from experts in the field of nutrition and fitness each Friday, as well as stories from people participating in the effort.
Jill De Pasquale understands the value of life. She watched her 8-year-old daughter fight to stay alive for four years after being diagnosed at age 4 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
During that time, De Pasquale said, she put her own health on the back burner and now finds herself about 80 pounds overweight.
But now that AnnMarie’s cancer is in remission, De Pasquale said, she’s ready to focus on herself.
“I really want to get healthy,” she said.
Not just for her own sake, but for her children as well. She said her sons Malik and Dave have always been really active, and she hopes to lead by example for AnnMarie and her twin sister, Faith.
“I don’t want my daughters to ever have to go through this same struggle,” she said.
When she started the Kaia FIT program in February, she was frustrated at not being able to do some of the exercises.
“I knew I could do them before,” she said. “I just wondered, how did I let myself get here?”
Her goal for the upcoming six-week boot camp is to lose 20 pounds and feel better.
“I want to get healthier for my kids so we can just play,” she said.
And she’ll take her inspiration from AnnMarie.
“Everything she’s gone through she just does it because we say so. She trusts us, she doesn’t question us.”
The 35-year-old mother is hoping to find herself.
“I want to feel 35 again,” she said.
At her 20th high school reunion last year, Holly Crain determined she was the third heaviest woman there.
“I said, nope, I’m not going to do this,” she recalled.
As a former athlete, even trying out for the 1988 Olympic soccer team, Crain was not accustomed to being overweight. But after three children and a slower metabolism, she found herself at 188 pounds.
“You get to a certain age as a woman, and you just get comfortable,” she said. But she wasn’t really comfortable.
So she joined the Kaia FIT program in November, and lost 25 pounds in the six-week boot camp session.
It was the most she’d committed to any fitness regime since her Olympic tryouts in 1987.
“I have not been motivated with any workout since then,” she said. “I’m not going to say it was easy, but I love the workouts. There’s so much support from the other women.”
The hardest part, she said, was changing her diet.
“I know why skinny girls are so mean,” she said. “They’re hungry.”
She plans to begin Monday her second six-week boot camp, and she’s ready to lose another 20 pounds.
“I’m totally excited,” she said. “I haven’t worn a two-piece bathing suit in God knows how long. I can’t wait to put on a bikini again.”
When Tamsen Bradley walks down the aisle in July to wed her fiance of four years, she wants to look the part of the blushing bride.
“You always want to look the best you can on your big day,” she said.
She’s hoping to jump-start her weight loss with the six-week boot camp. But this isn’t the first time Bradley, who turns 41 this month, has wanted to lose weight.
“As you gain weight, it’s always there in the back of your mind,” she said. “It’s an ongoing struggle.”
She participated in Kaia FIT’s last boot camp, but decided to concentrate on the workouts without worrying about the diet.
“It was the first time in a long time I had actually exercised,” she explained. “My main goal was to make it to the classes. I went into it thinking I would absolutely hate it, but I actually enjoyed it.”
This time, she’s planning to follow the recommended diet plan as well as exercise.
“I feel a lot stronger this time,” she said. “I’m going to focus on shedding some weight. I’m very overweight, so I don’t think I’ll ever be a size 5 again, but I want to do something.”
Although her wedding remains her main motivation, there are other sources of inspiration as well.
“I have two young, very active, athletic kids,” she said. “I want to be able to keep up with them and also enjoy the same things they enjoy.”
She also wants to be in better shape to continue her hobby of scuba diving.
“I don’t want to watch my life go by because I’m too heavy. I want to keep up with it.”
At nearly 43, Robin Christy has been overweight most of her life, and it’s taken a toll.
“My health is really bad,” she said. “I’m on all kinds of medications.”
But she always figured she was too busy with work to commit to any kind of exercise plan and she’s not sure how to go about eating more healthy.
“I’ve had a spirit of hopelessness as far as losing weight,” she said. “But once your health reaches a certain point, you just have to do it. I want to live longer.”
She joined Kaia FIT last month and has lost about seven pounds. She’s noticed other improvements as well, like her knees don’t creak so badly when she walks up and down stairs.
“I just feel better,” she said.
She’s a little bit anxious for the upcoming six-week boot camp, where she hopes to lose about 20 pounds.
“Exercise I can do,” she said. “But the diet … when you like your sugars and everything …”
But she stops herself short.
“I can do it,” she commits.
“I’m tired of feeling bad and looking bad,” she said. “It’s just going to take sacrifice. I need to discipline my flesh and strengthen my spirit.”
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