Her proudest wellness accomplishment: I lost 150 lbs.
How she stays motivated: Mentally being aware that your weight fluctuates. Allow yourself to go up or down 5 lbs. without getting frustrated. Advice for others: Have one cheat day a week!
Her favorite ways to stay active: I keep exercise equipment around the house and work out while watching TV. I LOVE dancing with Just Dance Wii!
Favorite healthy snack: Cashews or carrots! Yum!
Favorite ways to stay active: I do strength training four days a week. I also do yoga.
How she stays motivated and encouraged in her wellness journey: I have learned to be disciplined because motivation is fleeting. I stay encouraged because I come from a family history of cancer and preventative measures matter!
Advice for others: Give yourself permission to expand beyond routines, self-doubt, and limitations. You have the ability to change yourself, your habits, and your life.
Proudest fitness achievement: Deadlifting 225 lbs. Favorite healthy snack: Peaches with cottage cheese
Favorite ways to stay active: I love group fitness classes of any kind – strength training, barre, TRX, and cycling.
How she stays motivated: As a business partner and instructor at CycleYou, I teach several classes a week so I’m lucky that fitness is part of my career. But when I’m having a hard time getting motivated, good music always motivates me. I just try to remind myself of how great I’m going to feel when I’m done.
Advice for others: Make a little time each day to
just move! Fitness doesn’t always have to be a super challenging, full hour workout. Most of all, if you haven’t found that type of exercise that you just “love”... keep looking, you will find it!!
Favorite healthy snack: Chips and Screamin’ Mimi’s salsa!
Favorite ways to stay active: I love hiking with my boyfriend and our dog; being active together in the outdoors is marvelous. I like to mix in other fun activities like inline skating and rowing. I don’t skip weight work: being in the gym makes me feel strong.
How she stays motivated: I enjoy the structure of my triathlon training and it helps to keep me motivated. I know that I feel my best when I’ve taken the time to take care of me.
Advice for others: Create healthy habits! Wellness must be cultivated daily.
Proudest fitness achievement: I was thrilled to travel to South Africa for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and later to Switzerland with Team USA.
Favorite healthy snack: Apple slices with peanut butter
Favorite ways to stay active: I teach a cycle class two days a week at CycleYOU Lexington, and also participate in other core and strength classes on my days off. Taking walks with my 2-year-old daughter is also a great pastime and a way to unwind after a busy day.
How to stay encouraged I try to maintain a positive attitude through all circumstances and look at the BRIGHTEST outcome, even when the weight is heavy. As my self-penned tattoo says, “...only I can re-cycle me.”
Advice for others: Do not ever be discouraged to just TRY. It takes time. It takes dedication. You will slip, and that is okay. The key is getting back on track for a better YOU.
Proudest fitness achievement: I challenged myself to run 6 races in a year (I hate running, BTW.) My first was a small 3K and it took me 42 minutes. My sixth was the Bluegrass 10K, and I finished that in 57 minutes. I was so very proud of that!
Favorite ways to stay active: I enjoy some of your less traditional exercises. For me, that’s kettlebells, yoga, or even some light combative sports, like boxing or jiu-jitsu.
How he stays motivated: Being in the military, I’m required to maintain a certain level of fitness. I love the fact that working out is scheduled as part of my workday. Staying flexible at 45 and remaining competitive at work keeps me motivated.
Advice for others: Find a way to do a little every day or couple of days rather than overdoing it once or twice a week. Be intentional with trying alternatives to sugar: you’ll eventually find ones that work for you and your family.
Favorite healthy snack: I enjoy fruit as a snack, usually a banana.
Favorite ways to stay active: I work out twice per day training for a triathlon. On average, I’ll train 15 hours per week. I joined the Army National Guard 2 years ago and fly helicopters as the unit flight surgeon (taking care of Army aviators). One day each week, I fly for the Kentucky Nat’l Guard.
How he stays motivated: I like to schedule a marathon or triathlon during the upcoming year and look forward to traveling to and competing in the race. I love to train and enjoy the company of my fellow triathletes in my training.
Proudest fitness accomplishments: To date, I have completed 27 Ironman events and finished 33 open marathons... not including triathlons.
Advice for others: Do something every day. The only impediment to completing anything is YOU.
Favorite ways to stay active: Outdoor activities, like golf, hiking, and biking. Monday-Friday I start the day with a 5:30 AM workout to get my mind right. It gives me energy and a positive attitude for the day.
How he stays encouraged: I’m highly motivated to stay healthy and active to be around and physically engage with my family. I am competitive by nature and have accountability partners to help keep me going.
Advice for others: Love who you are. If you don’t, then do something about it! Stay positive: positivity is a choice and is made everyday!
Proudest recent fitness achievement: Completing the Burpee Challenge really pushed me for the month of May, doing 50 Burpees everyday under 8 minutes!
Favorite healthy snack: ONE Bars (Birthday Cake flavor)!
Favorite ways to stay active: I like strength training. And I do a lot of walking as a local real estate agent!
How she stays encouraged in her wellness journey: I enjoy setting health goals and trying new activities to keep me motivated.
Proudest fitness accomplishment: I ran my first half marathon at age 40!
Advice for others: Always keep moving and love yourself... all of you!
Favorite healthy snack: Almonds
Favorite ways to stay active: I enjoy participating in the YMCA zoom classes and walking in the neighborhood.
How she stays motivated: Debbie Dean and her YMCA Jumpstart class! Debbie is a marvelous instructor and friend to all!
Proudest wellness accomplishment: When I was 85 and in a fashion show at the Kentucky Theatre. Received much applause and attention!
Advice for others: Keep your mind and body moving everyday!
Favorite Healthy Snack: Apple slices.
Favorite ways to stay active: Reform Pilates!
How she stays motivated: I love the way I feel when I eat healthier and work out. I have more energy, sleep better and it’s a huge mental health booster.
Proudest wellness achievement: My favorite wellness achievement is finally taking the step and time for myself to start exercising after the birth of my second child. I’ve always been petite but gained 60lbs with her. While I lost 40 of those pounds after she was born, it took me 6 years to make myself a priority and lose the other 20lbs. I think sometimes as working moms, we feel guilty about taking extra time for ourselves. But it is important and you and your family are worth it!
Her advice: Exercising should be something you look forward to, so find a workout time and routine you love... and make it a priority.
Favorite Healthy Snack: Pomegranate seeds.
photos by keni parks
special thanks to the Whitaker Family YMCA