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Success Stories

We've been fortunate enough to serve several thousand people at our Downsize Fitness locations. Here are just some of their amazing weight loss transformations.

Jen Fite

Jen credits three main factors in her fight to drop the lbs. Her first method of attack was to keep a food journal. By writing down everything she ate, Jen became aware of what she needed to change, such as what she was putting into her body and when. Nix those nighttime snacks and be sure to applaud yourself when you reach for fruits and veggies instead of that bag of potato chips. Jen says the key is to write down every little bite. Nibble on a brownie in the office? Write it down. If you ate a salad for lunch, get specific. Include things like how much dressing you used and what toppings you added.

Secondly, Jen signed up with Downsize Fitness, a health club here in Chicago that caters to people a minimum of 50 pounds overweight. Jen worked with a trainer to develop a workout routine that fulfilled her needs and hit the gym five days a week for two hours a day, engaging in cardio, weight lifting, and yoga. As always, check with a healthcare professional to determine the workout regime that's right for you.

Above all, Jen changed her mentality. Refusing to engage in negative self-talk, Jen focuses on what she likes about her body and makes sure she's getting enough "me" time. Often, when an individual focuses on their own happiness and well-being, everything else falls into place.

 


Jack O'Donnell

Jack O'Donnell recently made it to his goal weight of 175 pounds. It hasn't been easy but Jack knew he had no choice. He was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990, requiring insulin and medication but at the time, even that wasn't enough to spur him into action. Finally, when doctors raised his insulin dosage and started putting him on other medications to combat the side effects of diabetes and obesity, Jack decided to take charge of his health and turn things around.

As a child, Jack says he struggled with frequent weight loss and gain, the unfortunate ramifications of yo-yo dieting. As an adult, stress-eating, poor food choices, eating large portions and lack of exercise, all added to the big picture of his weight gain. On the day of his "ah-ha" moment, he weighed 257 pounds. He was miserable and after a visit to the doctor confirmed his new medication regimen, the tough Chicagoan says he was actually, "frightened."

 


Chelsey Roy

"The path that led me to Downsize was littered with late night drinking, ordering extra cheese on everything, and dreadful sleep habits. When I realized that my food choices had no thought behind them and I hated seeing pictures of myself I decided to take control. I have tried crazy fad diets and weird earthy cleanses with little success so I knew it was time to do it right and for good!

My biggest tools for success are MyFitnessPal and the Dietician at Downsize because it makes calorie tracking fun and really helps me realize what I'm putting into my body and how those choices affect my weight. I love food and that will probably never change, but remixing recipes to make them healthier has become a fun challenge with the help of blogs and hot sauce. But the most empowering thing through all of this is the knowledge; I know what my body is doing and WHY. I am still at the beginning of my journey but I'm down 75 lbs. in 6 months and I'm getting reacquainted with my body. I am obsessed with feeling stronger while seeing my body change in ways I never expected and leaving the gym feeling like I can conquer the world." Chelsey's experience is not typical. Your weight loss results may vary.

Tim McCarty

"Before I joined Downsize Fitness my back hurt when I tried to walk anywhere, my energy level was non-existent, and I was always tired. I never thought I would be able to lose 50 pounds in 12 weeks the old fashioned way–by eating properly and exercise! My first attempt at completing a 1 mile walk/run was done in 22 minutes and now I can run 1 mile in 12 minutes. My back doesn't hurt anymore, I have energy to spare, and I feel good about myself.

The trainers at Downsize Fitness take the time to individualize a program that will help you push yourself to your limit. Members are there with the same goal in mind–to lose weight! I don't see my gym membership as a bill. I see it as an investment to my future.

Since I started exercising my motto has been 'Don't count the days!', 'Every day is a new day!', and 'I can do anything for one day!'" Tim's experience is not typical. Your weight loss results may vary.

 


Chris Almageur

After life knocked me down and kicked me when I was down, I really let myself go. I graduated from culinary school and if a recipe asked for something unhealthy, I added it with no hesitation. I would cook all the wrong foods and even drink a two liter of soda a day. Spending most of my time hiding behind video games, I became very closed off from the world. My family repeatedly tried to help me become healthy, but I never attempted to go on any diets.

When I came to Downsize Fitness, I stepped on the scale at 547lbs. I was shocked. I knew I was always a big guy, but didn't realize the extent of it. I decided I was going to make a commitment to my health and start living my life. I work out 6 days a week with the trainers and am meeting with our dietitian monthly. Not only have I lost weight, I feel better and am actually happy! I look forward to coming to the gym and seeing what I'm capable of. My physical abilities, stamina, and strength are better than I ever thought they could be. To say that Downsize Fitness has changed my life is an understatement. Chris's experience is not typical. Your weight loss results may vary.

 


Carrie Eastwood

I've struggled with my weight and have been big my entire life. When I was 12 years old I weighed 260 pounds, that's crazy for a 12 year old, but then I found basketball and during my teenage years I found that I was quite the athlete. After college I really began to struggle and life got the best of me, I focused on my career and family and lived a really unhealthy lifestyle, and the sad part was I was so unaware of it at that point.

My wakeup call was when I decided I'd play some parks and recreation basketball. I thought that would help me get back into shape. But when I went and tried to play, I couldn't even run or jump I was so heavy. I was so embarrassed, and just didn't know how I let myself get this way. I used to be a star athlete. I was still in denial for awhile. I got up to 470 lbs, and it was to the point where I had no energy, my entire body hurt and my family was concerned.

My health was deteriorating; I was pre diabetic and started having issues with my liver and blood pressure.One day I just decided that it was time to commit. I was tired of being in pain, physically and emotionally, tired of letting my family down, not being able to do things with them, and tired of being unhealthy. It was like a light turned on. If I continued to do what I was doing, I wouldn't be around long at all. I've tried every diet you could think of since then. I joined different gyms and tried different classes, but it wasn't anything that I could be consistent with. I couldn't fit on the equipment, was embarrassed because people would look at me weird, or I couldn't keep up with the classes, none of it worked for me. I lost some of the weight, but then would gain a little back; I wasn't making much headway at all. That's when I heard about downsize fitness on the radio here in Dallas, Tx. I was driving to work when I heard it and as soon as I got to work I looked it up.

That Saturday I went for a visit. I met the staff, heard success stories and heard about struggles, things I've dealt with and could relate to, and needless to say I joined the downsize family. This has been a life changing experience for me. The community of downsize is what I've been missing. This is what's made my journey a successful one. I am a whole different person than I was a few months ago now, and I am so much happier. I've accomplished things I never thought I would in a million years. Never will I take the little things for granted again, like going to the park or even just walking around the grocery store. I can do all of those things with ease now! I was 418 lbs when I joined downsize the end of January and now I am 358 lbs, and I'm no longer having any issues with my liver, blood pressure and nor am I pre diabetic. The support and knowledge that I've obtained here I will carry with me throughout my life. I've found a passion in health and fitness and just helping others achieve their goals as well. I mean if I can do it, really anyone can. I learn more and more each day not just about exercise or nutrition, but about myself as well. I have gotten my personal training certification and am working on my group fitness certification, and I am so excited to share my store and inspire and help others with their journey!

 

Eileen Heneghan

I was an overweight kid, and by the time I started college, it had gotten out of hand. Physical activity was something I dreaded having to do. I would make all kinds of excuses because I was afraid of looking silly or being dead weight. Even later when I would decide to make an effort to get healthier, I would only keep with a program for a week or two and then give up. I was convinced that nothing would change, so there was no point in trying.

Downsize has been a revelation for me. From the moment I walked in, everyone made me feel incredibly welcome and convinced me that I was in the right place. I buckled down and made a commitment to myself to really try this time, and I can feel it working every day. The trainers have been invaluable and encourage me to push myself to my limits. It's only been seven months, but I already know that this is a lifelong change. But this change wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the constant support and inspiration that I've received at Downsize. A year ago, I never would have guessed that I would have climbed the Sears Tower or have completed 5k. Now I know that I am capable of anything, and I'm excited to see what the future will bring!



Diane Reiter

My weight has always been an issue for me. In elementary school I remember feeling physically sick when it was the time of the year when the gym teacher would haul out the scale and weigh the students right in front of everyone. I hated that man and those that know me, know I'm not a hater. In high school I tried to lose weight by eating nothing more than one granola bar and water all day. By the time was I married and had children I had tried numerous weight loss programs only to gain back everything I lost and then some. And joining a gym not only brought back my childhood anxiety, the looks from the other members where degrading.

In May of 2013 I saw an ad on Facebook stating that Downsize Fitness was opening a location near my home. I recognized the name because about a year before I was watching TV and the news was covering a story about a gym that was geared for people who had at least 50 pounds to lose. I remember being glued to the screen and feeling so happy that people like me had a place to workout and not feel self conscious or embarrassed as I had at my local gym. I sent an email and was both nervous and excited when I was invited to take part in a workout and get more details.

Within three months of joining Downsize I was seeing changes. My clothes were fitting differently but even better, the latest doctors appointments and tests showed enough improvement that I did not need medication for diabetes or high blood pressure. I was feeling better physically and mentally than I had in a long time.

Downsize Fitness has taught me a lot about myself. I can physically do things that I never thought possible. This year I have participated in two 5Ks, and while I will never consider myself a runner, I run. I will also be participating in the Willis Tower Climb where I will be challenged mentally as well as physically. I have many new friends and people who believe that I am strong and encourage me to push myself like I never thought possible. My family is proud of my accomplishments and my husband is my biggest cheerleader. My trainers, Jillian and Marge, have been there every step of the way and I am grateful to have their never ending support. Downsize Fitness has not only given me a fantastic environment to workout in, it taught me how to safely be active as well as the knowledge of good nutrition that is simple and easily incorporated into my everyday life and can be maintained for a lifetime. After working out consistently and making myself a priority for sixteen months, I have lost 70 pounds and am down ten dress sizes. While I'm not at my goal of losing 100 pounds, I am getting close.

I am stronger, healthier and happier than I have ever been and I have Downsize Fitness to thank!

 
These stories represent a few of our most successful members. Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. Consult a physician before beginning any weight loss program.