Kathy’s Transformation Story

“I feel so great! I’m so happy I finished 75 hard. Really proud of myself. I remember saying I’d never do it. Now I’m trying to figure out when I can do it again! I went to the doctor today, and all my bloodwork was excellent! I have lowered my cholesterol to the point that I will not need any medication. She said I was the picture of perfect health. To keep doing what I am doing, and not to change a thing. That’s the first time in my entire life that my doctor has told me that, this journey has been incredible and I am so thankful I decided to sign up for nutrition with you. You really are the best! I weighed in at 132 at the doctor fully clothed. I wanted to cry.”  ~ Kathy K.

Kathy started nutrition coaching with me (Monica) in April 2022 to now (November 2022).  Sometimes as a nutrition coach, a client’s progress pictures are so incredible, I even have to sit back and say “Holy cow!  Seriously?!”  As amazing as these pictures are, they pale in comparison to Kathy’s story. 

Kathy first walked into our gym in July 2020.  Our gym had just opened for business in late 2019, and our first paying member wasn’t until January 2020.  Shortly after, the COVID restrictions closed us down.  We re-opened in the Summer and trained our members in our home garage.  I was fairly new to coaching, and I remember being so nervous to train Kathy that first class.  Being new to coaching and feeling like an imposter, I was always a ball of nerves when first training someone new.  If only I knew then what I know now about how my relationship with Kathy would grow over the years!  Our “group” classes were small in the beginning, with only 2 or 3 people per class.  Starting out with such a small client list was terrifying as a business owner. However, I will always cherish those memories, as I quickly became connected to the brave souls who so willingly trusted me and my husband to train them out of our home!

Initially, Kathy was quiet, always working hard.  She was one of our most consistent members.  She came every single day to train, rain or sunshine.  As we got to know each other better, she let out her personality, and we had so many laughs together!  She developed a “love/hate” relationship with Fernando, my husband, whenever he would train her before heading to his main job as a physician.  He loves to push people, and I specifically remember her yelling at him one early morning, “would you go to work already??”  But all joking aside, we knew she loved us even in those moments.  In the beginning, Fernando and I would say to each other, “I really like Kathy a lot”, and that quickly turned into “man, I really love Kathy”… and that quickly turned into “man, I really love Matt too (Kathy’s husband)!”  Before we even met him, we knew we loved him, and specifically, we loved how he always supported and truly loved Kathy.  Throughout these past 2 ½ years, our love for Kathy has grown even more.  Her grit and tenacity, despite seemingly insurmountable circumstances is inspiring, to say the least.

She initially started asking me about nutrition in 2020.  She wasn’t ready to fully commit to nutrition coaching yet, but she had some general questions.  I remember telling Fernando that I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to help her.  She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease several years prior to training with us, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.  She eventually had to have her thyroid removed due to cancer.  As many know, having hypothyroidism is something that can significantly hinder weight loss.  It’s the reason why many people just give up and say they can’t lose weight.  But not Kathy. 

A few months into her training, Kathy developed significant tendonitis in both elbows that limited her movements in the gym for almost 2 years.  Not once did she complain.  She just continued to show up every single day.  I’ve seen people in similar circumstances give up after even just a month of battling an injury or tendonitis.  Not Kathy.

Eventually our gym grew big enough for us to move to a commercial location.  We experienced several setbacks as business owners during this time.  These setbacks would’ve convinced many businesses to close their doors.  I specifically remember telling my husband, “well, at least we tried to make our dream happen”, thinking we were done.  I talked to Kathy several times through this, often with tears in my eyes.  We were so overwhelmed, but there was such a comfort that she provided just by knowing she was there.  I knew she wasn’t the type to give up, and neither were we.  Eventually we overcame those setbacks and moved all of our equipment to our first commercial location.  Guess who was there to help us move everything.  Kathy… and Matt, along with several other gym members!  Our new location was quite a bit further from Kathy’s home.  Many people would’ve used that reason alone to find another gym.  Not Kathy.  She just got up earlier in the morning!

After a few months at our new facility, we were about a week away from celebrating our first commercial location, and everyone was excited! But Kathy was given devastating news.  Her father was killed in a tragic car accident.  And just like that, her life changed in an instant.  We were devastated for her.  Not knowing what to do or how we could help, our gym pulled together a fund to help give her meals during this time as they tried to figure everything out.  I remember the moment we gave her the card and a plaque with a Bible verse on it.  Everyone felt her pain.  One of our own was hit really hard.  And sometimes, there’s nothing you can do except just be there.  This would knock anyone off track.  Not Kathy.  She said she needed the gym for some normalcy in her life, and she still showed up every day apart from taking a week off.

Shortly after, Kathy & Matt moved her mom into their house so they could care for her.  A change in living arrangements and our daily routines can upheave any well-laid plan.  Yet, despite that, she showed up every single day at the gym.  And then, Kathy received some of the most devastating news of her life.  Matt was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I still remember when she told me. I had no words.  I told Fernando that night, crying, “How do I tell Kathy to keep working hard? How do we keep a positive outlook now?”  Most people, when life kicks this hard, would’ve easily adopted a victim’s mindset.  Not Kathy.  She prayed like crazy.  We prayed like crazy.  And we all had faith that God would heal Matt. 

Matt underwent a tough lung surgery shortly after his diagnosis.  I remember praying so hard that he’d be healed after the surgery.  I remember Kathy updating me how their follow up doctor’s visits went.  And I remember when Kathy finally told us the outcome of it all.  “Matt is cancer free!”  I screamed and hugged her, with tears in my eyes!  God is so good!

Even as I write this, I’m holding back the tears.  I have the most incredible memories in our crazy gym, and Kathy is there in almost all of them.  She’s been with us since the beginning.  Through celebrations, frustrating setbacks, moments of true miracles, and moments of devastating loss.  That’s life, though, isn’t it?  As Rocky says, “Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward… if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you!” And that ain’t Kathy! 

Very few things in life have a 100% guarantee.  I can say with confidence that 100% of the time, the results will be there after you put in the hard work it takes, refusing to give up.  However, 100% of the time you will also face significant setbacks on your journey.  But the key to success is to put your head down and eyes forward, to learn to fight for what you’re worth, to adopt a willingness to “take the hits” that life throws, and to commit to keep moving forward, no matter what. This is exactly what Kathy did.  In April of this year, Kathy committed to becoming a nutrition client with me, and shortly after that, she committed to starting and finishing “75 Hard”, an incredibly tough 75 daily challenge designed to build mental fortitude and drastically improve your life.  Kathy’s 75th day was on Thanksgiving Day, and she finished strong.  These progress pictures show her hard work since April, but her journey began long before then.  Even though, as a coach, my job is to inspire others, she’s inspired me.  I am honored she calls me “coach”.  Kathy, thank you for being with us from the beginning. Thank you for inspiring us all to keep moving forward. And here’s to living a full and healthy life, filled with many more adventures together!


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