I have wrestled with my weight for most of my life. I’ve been on every diet program. I mean every program. I joined Weight Watchers when it was just Weight Watcher (Jenny Craig). I’ve tried Slim Fast… and something called the Beverly Hills Diet, where I felt like all I ate was pineapple. They kept me somewhat on track with weight loss. But after I got married and had 2 great kids, my life started to spiral out of control.

Post 2004, I had gained 100 pounds and could never get the voice out of my head that picked on me. I couldn’t bear to look at myself in photos or even my reflection in a window when I walked down the street.

I was returning from a business trip in Italy, trapped for over 9 hours like veal to the slaughter at the back of a plane between two other fairly large passengers like myself, when I had what alcoholics call a  “moment of clarity”.

“What have I allowed myself to become? How did I let this happen? And more importantly, is there a way I can climb back into my life and find a way to regain my self respect and control?”

Sal member story FFCThe Role of FFC

I joined FFC Oak Park the very same month it first opened, over 10 years ago. In the first 5 years, I think I may have shown up twice. I even drove down Lake a few times and could see people in there on the machines and would think to myself, “wow, that looks nice.”

Fast-forward to the present, when the idea that I was in my 50s and could be able to chase my children around became a compelling idea. However, I knew that the ways I’d approached weight loss in the past were rabbit holes that lead to inevitable failure and unhealthy habits. What was I willing to do different this time?

I knew I needed a plan. On a hunch, I went to FFC’s website and searched for a nutritionist – one who would be honest and educate me on real food, as opposed to products or gimmicks.

Sal member story FFC 2

Enter Amy Silver, FFC Registered Dietitian

I emailed Amy and pleaded my case – that I had become a beast and needed a way back. Amy responded to my email within hours and invited me to come into the same club that I had avoided for almost 10 years.

Her advice was simple – “eat healthier and smarter, and exercise. But above all, be patient. It’s not going to happen as a ‘quick fix’.” I’d never heard this type of frankness connected with weight loss before.

Related: want to check out a club? Try us free!

Enter Josh Carson, FFC Personal Trainer

Amy then got me an appointment with a personal trainer. A trainer? Now this was a new thing for me and I admit I was a bit apprehensive. Minutes after meeting Josh Carson (aka Luke Cage) I knew I was in the hands of someone that was preparing me for the journey I needed to take to regain my self respect.

Related: common misconceptions about working with a personal trainer.

During my very first session, I excused myself to get a drink of water and seriously contemplated walking right out. It was not easy (and was an ego check, to say the least). The entire time, though, Josh encouraged me and set me straight – it would take time, but we would get there.

It will be 3 years this November since my FFC journey began. I’ve lost over 50 pounds, and I am still working toward my goals. It hasn’t been Mardi Gras – it’s been a lot of hard work and patience. But I know if I hadn’t made the decision to ask for help, I would be well over 300 pounds by now. Amy, Josh and FFC saved my life. I owe you everything, Amy and Josh!

Post written by FFC Oak Park member Sal A.

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