Inspiring Success Stories: It can be difficult to keep your motivation going when things seem tough. However, reading through the success stories from these women on oxygenmag.com, will leave you feeling inspired and ready to get straight back in the gym!

Bounce Back Like Jenna

“Some women make it look so easy to get back into shape after having a baby, but it takes a ton of hard work!” Jenna’s top three tips to bounce back:

  1. Rely on a good support network of friends and family
  2. Try new workout classes and routines.
  3. Write down your goals for the day/week/month.

– Kasia Kurek | Photo by Rick Lohre

 

Wendy Mills Became Fit by 50

Weight before: 225 lbs
Weight now: 124 lbs
Age: 50
Height: 5′ 5″
Location: Aurora, Ontario
Occupation: Chartered Accountant
Proudest moment: “When I started to see muscle definition!”

When she was 46 years old, Wendy Mills set a goal: to be her absolute fittest by her 50th birthday. “I knew I would have to lose about 100 pounds!” she says. “So I started setting smaller goals, like giving up fast food or going for a walk.” Taking it slowly, she lost the first 55 pounds.

At 170 pounds, the scale became stuck. She signed up with a personal trainer and started weigh training. “I was terrified,” she admits. But once she started, Wendy found that her mission changed. No longer focusing on losing weight by the time she turned 50, she transformed her mindset: “My goals became strength-related,” explains Wendy, who now includes home training sessions in her routine. Equipped with weights, a bench, resistance bands and medicine balls, Wendy replicates gym exercises. And when it comes to getting results, home reps count as much as gym reps.

Weighing in at 124 pounds, Wendy reached her goal two years early. She turned 50 this year and happily reported that she has maintained her fit lifestyle. “I am now aiming for fit at 60!” she says. “I have not lost my motivation.”

Get Wendy’s Willpower

What advice does Wendy have for fitness newbies? She says it all comes down to three little rules:

  1. Find someone you can be accountable to, such as a workout partner.
  2. Track your progress.
  3. Set a monthly fat loss goal. Do not weight yourself every day.

– Kathleen Engel, NSCA-CPT

 

Lynn Lester-Howland Went From ‘Skinny Fat’ to Muscle Mom

Weight before and now: 126 lb
Age: 37
Height: 5’7″
Location: Dubuque, IA
Occupation: Optometrist
Words of Wisdom: “If you don’t make an ugly face, you are not lifting heavy enough.”

Lynn’s breast cancer diagnosis back in 2009 propelled her towards fitness and taught her to get tough. “I made the decision that I was in control,” she says. Despite feeling lost in the weights section at first, Lynn cut back on endless cardio and got serious about building muscle. She knew having a lean, toned body was one of the two things she could count on to make her feel stronger.

The second thing? Her kids. She got her son and daughter on board, teaching them about the benefits of eating clean and exercising. “I have to laugh now because my children will ask me if they can come to the gym and tell me to feel their muscles as they flex their biceps,” she says.

Cancer free and more confident than ever, Lynn is putting her muscle into shaping up her future with her family. No longer skinny fat but fit, she welcomes new challenges with strength and focus. “I feel like I own the gym now,” she says.

Lynn’s Tips

  1. Do weights before cardio so you’re not depleting your energy before you start lifting.
  2. Go heavy. “If I can do more than seven reps, I bump the weight up.”
  3. Perform intervals instead of steady-state cardio. “I go as hard as I can, then recover and repeat. If I get to 20 minutes, it’s a rare day!”
  4. Immediately after your workout, consume a whey isolate protein shake and a fast-acting carb.
  5. Eat! “If you don’t eat enough, you won’t build muscle.”

– Kasia Kurek