The challenge of discipline and the courage to begin change has led one Tamarac resident on a journey towards total body fitness. However, as rewarding as this lifestyle change has been for her, it did come with a set of challenges and sacrifices.
Tamarac resident Alma Snyder has been on more than a weight loss journey. Her whole life has been transformed through fitness and healthy eating.
A graduate of Coral Springs High School, 20 year old Alma has been living in Tamarac with her husband Michael for almost two years. She attends classes at Broward College while working as a sales representative for Body Mechanics Fitness and Training in Lauderhill.
Alma’s weight issues began after graduating from high school where she began to notice slight changes in her body.
“At first I tried to justify the 15 pounds I gained with the fact that I celebrated my wedding, birthday, and nephew’s birthday all around the same time. Truth is, the bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle I carried throughout my high school years finally caught up to me. “
The same year, things got worse when she managed to gain an additional 10 pounds for a total weight gain of 25 pounds.
“My first attempts to lose weight were ridiculous methods, such as the drinking excessive amounts of water to numb hunger, skipping meals in fear of calories, and avoiding all carbohydrates,” said Alma, “ little did I know, these methods were counterproductive.”
Alma believed that if she were to continue to eating in such an unhealthy manner, she would have dramatically increased her chances of coronary heart disease, diabetes, or depression.
She credits her husband Michael as the positive influence she needed to turn her life around.
Michael introduced her to the gym where she started strength training four times a week and cardiovascular exercise once a week. Her cardio workout consisted of alternating between the treadmill and the elliptical, eventually adding the bike into the workout.
“At first, exercise was a difficult task for me to grasp. The strict form in every movement felt very robotic. Many nights were spent contemplating whether I had the discipline needed to reach my goals, but I was ready to take on the challenge. “
When Alma decided to make her attitude one of strength and give each workout her personal best, she found that after a few months she was able to run three miles and work out without the assistance of her husband. She also started seeing small changes in her physique.
“The changes were minuscule but very motivating and I could see that the hard work was beginning to pay off.”
The dramatic changes did not occur until Alma decided to make changes in the food that she was eating. She inquired about nutrition from individuals who had been in the field of personal training for several years. By making changes in her food choices, as well as eating adequate portions became the defining factors for her weight loss.
“With the right intensity of exercise, the frequency of exercising, and proper meal planning I was able to loose a total of 30 pounds,” said Alma.
After losing this weight, Alma received both negative and positive comments. A few women believed she had lost her curves and even suggested to her that the weight loss was not necessary.
“I couldn’t agree with them,” said Alma, “ I have never felt more comfortable with myself in my life. Not only did I lose the extra pounds but I also became stronger. The self confidence I built doesn’t not compare to the momentary satisfaction any junk food can give me. Now, I am pleased with my physique but look forward to sculpting my body in order to reach anatomical symmetry.”
Alma offers this advice to women who feel as if they cannot lose the weight:
“I would suggest that you keep trying. Try in a healthy manner which will help reach realistic goals. Avoid using chemicals like fat burners, avoid starvation crash diets, and start eating clean. The biggest contribution to weight loss is nutrition, so adjustments must be made in order for changes to be seen. Join a gym and bring a friend along, the support from a buddy system will give you the encouragement needed.
Throughout her journey of health and wellness, Alma wants women to know that the benefits are beyond aesthetics.
“By simply working out I was able to ease my anxiety, sleep throughout the night, and become more alert throughout the day. So when the results don’t come as quickly as one would hope, it does not mean anything is changing inside the body. “
“After all this, I feel more comfortable with my body than ever before and have taken the same discipline I applied to fitness in every aspect of my life. Fitness is no longer a goal, it is a lifestyle for me.”