How Stephanie dropped weight and started inspiring others

I had been overweight since I was about eight years old and never really made any attempt to change that. I ate too much and was 250 pounds (113 kilograms) at the age of 23. At 24 I was getting married and was trying on size 26 wedding dresses. It was then that I decided I had to do something…*

I began my fitness journey by walking my dog every day and doing crunches - I wanted to be sure I would stick to something before I spent the money on a gym membership. I stuck to that for about four months and lost about 15lbs. On the website of a local gym in the area (Fitness Stylz) I found testimonials of people who attended the gym and had become instructors. It inspired me to go and see what the group fitness classes were all about. I tried BODYPUMP and could not sit down for two days without it hurting but I knew it was a good hurt. The second class I tried was BODYSTEP and at the time I was sitting at a desk all day so when I got home from my first class my calves hurt so badly I could barely walk.

When I walked into Fitness Stylz all employees and members were very warm and inviting and it made me want to go back for more. I became a member and started attending BODYPUMP and BODYSTEP classes on a regular basis. By the time I got married I had lost a total of 76 pounds (35 kilograms) and got married in a size 16 wedding gown.

‘‘ I lost 76 pounds (34 kilograms). It has made me made me a stronger person inside and out. ’’

      -Stephanie Freeman

After I got married I went back to my old ways, when I say old ways I mean I stopped going to the gym and my eating habits were horrible. I gained 16 pounds (7 kilograms) back and decided that was no way to go through life. It was then I decided that if I became an instructor I would keep the weight off while giving back to the community. I went back to the gym and told the owner (Tom Roy) I was going to become a BODYSTEP instructor, as that was the program I LOVED! I spent about six months training pretty hard and attended a BODYSTEP instructor training (this was the hardest weekend of my life by the way). I came out of the training with a pass withheld, so I went back to the gym and worked on form and such in the mirror and did some team teaching. It was a very hard and emotional road, but after almost a year I succeeded and became a BODYSTEP instructor – proving that anyone can do anything if they put their mind and heart into it!

During this time I have inspired my mother (who is 50 and overweight) to start coming to the gym and attending classes as well as others in the community. I LOVE BODYSTEP but I also take BODYBALANCE, BODYCOMBAT and BODYPUMP classes and feel that the combination of all four programs has made me a stronger person inside and out. From here I would like to become certified in BODYPUMP and a certified personal fitness trainer so I can help people who are in the position I was in before I found Les Mills.