When I walked into Saco Sport and Fitness a little over three months ago, I was expecting a place to get some exercise, attend a few classes, use the machines, etc.,  but what I found was so much more. What I found was a very inviting and welcoming community. A place where I didn’t feel intimidated or out of place. Very much the opposite.
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My initial phone call was just to get information on membership rates and if my health insurance would provide a discount.  Then I was going to “think about it.” Jenna, however, had a different plan for me and invited me in for a tour that very day. And I had no excuse so I agreed.  When I left after my initial visit, not only was I a member but I joined Commit To Get Fit (CTGF).
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My trainer, Linda Burgess, introduced herself to me and my question to her was, “Will CTGF work on a post menopausal woman?”. Because, you see, I had tried many diet plans and approaches to weight loss. I tried low fat, low sugar, low carb or some combination of all of them. I counted points, counted calories and thought seriously about trying the prepackaged diets that are out there.   Linda didn’t guarantee a thing, just invited me to take part and see what happened. I wasn’t sure this was going to work for me. In fact, I was convinced it wouldn’t.
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During my initial health assessment, I remember saying to Linda that I didn’t want to measure my success by the scale. I had tried all kinds of diets and approaches to weight loss and although I had lost weight, it would always return. So instead,  we looked at other ways to measure my success. One was to pick out a specific outfit in my closet that didn’t fit and keep trying it on as I continued through the 13 weeks of the program. The other was to see a reduction in body fat at my final health assessment. I focused on the information provided in the manual and in the classes. I read The Power of Habit” which is recommended reading.
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I tried to focus on the word “Commit” versus the dreaded scale. After all, what did I have to lose? And although I did “lose”, inches, body fat, pounds, I gained so much more. For whatever reason, the timing and the combination of the program and the people worked. And even though the program is over, the work isn’t. Being healthy, eating healthy and eating food “in its most natural state”, is a lifelong commitment. You don’t get to the end and then don’t have to worry about it any more (that’s why we gain all the weight back!).
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Changing lifelong habits we have formed takes effort and takes time. And it doesn’t mean you don’t get to have food or beverages that you enjoy but you do have to make it fit into your overall healthy eating regime.  I will likely always need to track my food. MyFitnessPal is my best friend and I feel lost if I don’t have it complete. I get through the grocery store much quicker now that I pretty much shop the “outside aisles” of the grocery store.
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One of the biggest mantras you will learn from Linda is, “eat food in its most natural state.” That means no or few preservatives, chemicals, added sugar, fat, etc.  You will learn not only how to read the label but what to look for in the ingredient list. And, you will see just how many “ingredients” are actually sugar or sweetener! Malted flour is sweet? Who knew!
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Since CTGF is in a group, I met some incredible people fighting the same battle and we were such a support to each other.  I have a whole new wardrobe since I can wear most of the clothes in my closet now. I have one last thing I want to fit in to and this week, I was able to get it zipped! My energy level is higher, I sleep better and I just feel better overall.  I was sad when we reached the end of the 13 weeks. I knew my journey wasn’t over and could have used a few more weeks of the support. But, I know I have it by just being a member of Saco Sport & Fitness.
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At my final health assessment, after giving Linda a hug and thanking her, she said to me, “the journey doesn’t end here.” I am grateful and thankful for the CTGF program and recommend it to anyone who is ready to commit to changing their life. It’s not easy and it’s not a quick fix. You have to do the work. But, if you are willing to put in the work, you will see results. Even if you’re a post-menopausal woman like me!
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Meg Dexter