Real women on how they changed their lives for good.Real women share the little-known secret that were essential to their success.
1. Krysten Bishop, Toronto, Ontario
The goal: To overcome breast cancer and regain her health.
The game changer: Before her breast cancer diagnosis, Krysten viewed working out as a penalty for not being good enough. "I had spent a lot of time exercising to achieve a number on the scale or to wear a certain dress size. It wasn't about health," she says.
Facing a life-threatening disease, she realized that she had to decide what was truly important-a bangin' body or a healthy body-and something changed. "I chose health. All of a sudden I started to respect my body for its strength and its ability. And I learned how to love myself," she says. After recovering from a double mastectomy, exercising and racing became an extension of who she was and a way to love that person.
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The aftermath: Krysten is now cancer-free, healthy, and happy. And she no longer worries about numbers. "I stopped seeing a girl who wasn't good enough, and started seeing a girl who was worth it!"
2. Adina Zilberman, New York, New York
Goal accomplished: Finished her first fitness competition.
Game changer: Like many people, Adina originally started working out to lose weight. But that all changed when a simple cold took her out of commission for a week. "All I wanted to do was work out! Sitting on my rear made me miserable! It was then I realized that this 'fitness-thing' wasn't just a short-term goal but a complete lifestyle overhaul," she says.The experience inspired Adina to clean up her diet as well. "All my life, my dieting approach was simply to cut my calories and fat. During prep [for her fitness competition], I learned that it isn't quantity but quality of foods that matters most. When I cut out processed foods, I not only looked better, I felt a lot better too. I was eating more and losing weight," she says.
The aftermath: Adina is a National Physique Committee (NPC) bikini bodybuilding competitor and says she loves her new life-not just for the body transformation but for the spiritual one as well. "I learned that fitness is a long and tedious transition that happens slowly over time, but once it happens, it is both rewarding and magical!"
3. Sarah Briggs, Victor, New York
Goal accomplished: Ran her first marathon.
Game changer: At 213 pounds and dealing with a failing marriage, Sarah was in a dark place five years ago. "One morning I woke up and nothing felt right about where I was in life. I realized I didn't like who I had become. In fact, I didn't even know myself anymore." The mom of one says that in caring for everyone else, she'd lost herself. "I started running that very day," she says. "I just wanted to do something for myself!"
The aftermath: Putting herself first by staying consistent with her running has not only helped her lose weight and improved her relationships, but now she's training for her second marathon!
4. Christine Yu, Brooklyn, New York
Goal accomplished: Mastered a handstand in yoga.
Game changer: Despite 10 years of yoga experience under her spandex belt, Christine still harbored a secret fear… of inversions (upside-down poses). Even worse, she felt like her fear was dominating her practice and holding her back from finding her zen. Finally, she attended a handstand workshop where the teacher explained each individual movement and muscle engagement. "She broke it down into simple and manageable steps so that the idea of getting into handstand didn't seem so overwhelming or scary. When I knew what steps I needed to take, I wasn't as overwhelmed by my fear and knew I could do it!" Christine says.
The aftermath: Christine's success inspired her to become a yoga instructor herself, so now she helps others conquer their fears every day!
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5. Tamara Grand, Port Moody, British Columbia
The goal: To help her personal training client break through a weight-loss plateau.
The aftermath: This experience completely transformed the way Tamara works with clients and inspired her to write her first fitness book, Ultimate Booty Workouts.