Erin isn’t your typical librarian. She’s tall, energetic and outgoing. She has a magnetic personality that people just want to be around and she doesn’t shy away from laughing loudly… even in the library. She once told me that people shush her all the time before they realize she’s the boss! That’s Erin, quick with a hearty laugh that you can’t help but love and a passion for all things relating to books, learning and community. But when it came to fitness she found she was on her own.
As she puts it, she’d “go to the gym and run on the treadmill and maybe do some crunches but that was it.” She didn’t see the gym as part of her community and didn’t stick with anything for more than a few months. One day she saw a friend’s facebook post about our 8 Week transformation program… she came in for a strategy session and the rest is history.
Because of work, life, and a new relationship Erin hadn’t been exercising regularly for over a year. She noticed her dresses were tighter and she didn’t want to have to buy new clothes. She was listening to her fear and negative self-talk, “In the beginning I was worried that I wasn’t losing weight fast enough and I thought- I’m going to be that one person that isn’t going to lose weight.”
It’s a fear a lot of people face when they’re first starting out. And like most women, Erin was use to crash dieting in the past to lose weight, “Crash diets worked for me, I lost 15lbs but then I gained it all back and more when I stopped. It’s not sustainable.”
All of our students have access to our online nutrition coaching program and Erin credits this coaching with helping her change her relationship to food.
“One of my favorite things about the gym is that you’re never on a diet. When your not always thinking about your diet or restricting yourself you don’t feel like you need to binge because you ate good Monday- Thursday.”
Even though she’s dropped dress sizes it’s not just about the weight anymore, her goals have shifted to living a healthier lifestyle in general. She has less stress around food and feels more in control.
This new approach to eating and being consistent about her workouts means Erin has made some significant changes in her life. She has more energy, she’s more active in her everyday life, and she found an unexpected love.
“I love lifting weights, I love it so much; it makes me feel strong and powerful. There’s often heavy things to carry at work and some of my male colleagues very politely will offer to carry things for me, and I’m like ‘nope that’s ok I work out’. So that’s always cool.”
Erin says she never lifted weights before working with us because weight rooms were too intimidating and she was afraid of getting hurt. She also got a lot of fitness advice from magazines so she thought lifting weights would make her bigger, “when you’re a woman you’re always told if you lift weights you’ll be bulky but that’s such a myth, it’s crazy. Lifting heavy weights actually makes you slim, it doesn’t make you bulk up.”
I asked her if she was afraid of lifting when she started with us, this is what she said: “I didn’t have fear because of the small group atmosphere. I knew there’d be someone who was an expert in this watching me do it all. And I liked that I wasn’t scared anymore.”
Erin is really interested in community building and she’s always out and about in Stamford learning new things and connecting with people. So I was pleasantly surprised when she started talking about Organic Fitness as her third place.
“I think of the gym as a third place. Humans have their home and their job or school maybe, but to have a third place where you feel like you have a community…it’s so important to have something of my own. I feel like you guys really care about my success, and my success is your success and I’ve always felt that way.”
I was so happy to hear how Erin felt because creating a supportive community is really important to us, and I know Erin takes that work seriously too. So I asked Erin what she’ d say to people who were on the fence about joining or feeling fearful about working out in front of other people.
“This is the perfect gym for someone like that because it doesn’t matter what level you come in at and there are modifications for everything. You’re so closely supervised because you’re in a small group that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to do anything. We’re all at different levels and I’ve never felt like someone is putting me down for not being as good as them or like someone is being competitive or showing off. I feel like people are just trying to improve themselves in a really supportive environment.”
In the past year Erin has transformed her body, gotten stronger, and changed her relationship to food. She’s invited friends to come workout with her and she’s even started an instagram page to document her fitness journey. For someone who has become so dedicated I asked her what keeps her on track.
“You guys. You make me feel accountable, I love that if I signed up and didn’t show up Carrie will text me like- what’s up where were you. That helps me show up. I would pay you guys more money to be a part of the gym because it’s the only thing I’ve stuck with for a year and I know will continue to stick with. And that’s worth so much to me.”
It’s been a pretty amazing year for Erin and I asked her what would have helped quiet her fears about losing weight when she first started:
“If I had seen what my body was going to look like in a year it would have calmed me down a lot. I couldn’t believe seeing my intake photos. I was like holy shit.”