Better With Friends

23 April 2015

Contributed by Ashley DiLeone and Brittney Justice, cousins and members of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. They are pictured here with their Y-Change coach, Christine.

After having children and gaining weight, in April of 2014 we decided to sign up together for the Y-Change program. We had both tried numerous diet and exercise plans in the past and never seemed to be able to stick to one. But something was different this time, and we made a commitment to each other and to ourselves to finally make a change for good. Y-Change is an excellent free resource we used and it truly became the springboard that launched us into an entirely new lifestyle.

Having access to the caring staff in Stay and Play allows us to have a little free time to get in a good workout. We feel confident knowing that our children are in good hands. Another resource we love at the Y is the variety of group exercise classes. We have tried everything from Zumba to Treading, KettleWorX, Finning, Tabata and Barre. Because we do not live closer together, we decided to meet up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to work out. Having a set schedule helps keep us on track because we know someone is waiting on us. Scheduling blocks of time when we will go alone also keeps us from debating whether or not to get up and go to the gym.

Another way we stay motivated is by setting small goals and rewarding ourselves along the way. We also found that signing up for races or physical events gives us goals to work towards. Although neither of us enjoyed running when we started this journey together, we have both come to love the feeling of completing a running goal. After completing our first 5k this past year, we've set a goal to conquer a 10k and eventually a half marathon.  Eating a clean diet and exercising regularly has made us more confident, positive and goal oriented¬— traits we hope to pass on to our children.

We currently enjoy Cycling, Boot Camp, Body Design and Yoga classes together, and the variety helps to keep our workouts interesting. Using the knowledge we gained from taking classes, we've also moved into lifting free weights to help build more muscle. The staff at the Y are always willing to lend a helping hand or offer up great advice on different workout ideas, ways to stay safe while lifting, and showing us new resources we can use to aid in our fitness goals. 

Surrounding ourselves with like-minded people at the Y has helped keep us motivated and focused on our new and improved lifestyle. We may have started this journey as cousins, but have become best friends along the way. Together we have lost a total of 103 pounds!