I remember when I little, I was a skinny kid. I could eat ice-cream and other junk food and not care. In 2011, I realized I was gaining weight and becoming a big kid. I started wearing big shirts to try and hide my weight.
In June 2015, my mom and I ran a 5K and it was really hard. After the race, I decided I wanted to start running to get some exercise. Even though we would run, I continued to eat bad foods and gain weight. On August 8th, I weighed myself for the first time in a long time and started to cry. I was embarrassed about my weight and being a big kid. I realized I needed to do something. My mom was doing a challenge to eat clean, was going to CycleLuv regularly and was losing weight. I asked my dad if I can do the same challenge and he said yes. My mom gave me some tips about what to eat and what to do and it worked, I lost 5 pounds!
One day, my mom asked if I wanted to go spin class, so thought I would give it a try. On September 3rd, I took my first class at Cycleluv. I met Ms. Iris, who helped me set up my bike and told me that she only has two rules for first timers; (1) keep pedaling and (2) don’t leave early. When I got on the bike, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. My mom told me to just do my best. During class, I felt good, I stayed on lower gears, but I enjoyed every single minute and I never stopped pedaling. When the class was done, I told my mom that I really liked it and wanted to continue going. Four months after starting CycleLuv and eating healthier, I lost 40 pounds and have kept it off! I’ve also improved my time running the mile in gym class.
I would like to thank the whole CycleLuv family, especially Ms. Iris, for always encouraging me. I also want to thank my mom for bringing me to CycleLuv and for cheering me on during class. CycleLuv has changed my life. I feel so much better about myself.
One year ago in May 2015 I became ill with a severe sinus infection which resulted in me having to go to the doctor. Just looking for relief from my terrible sinus infection, I learned that I had a more serious challenge; I had an elevated blood pressure reading that was confirmed after multiple readings. I’ve never had high blood pressure, so it came as a shock to me. I knew I was at the highest weight I had ever been in my life, but hearing that my blood pressure was elevated, it was the wake-up call that I needed to make some changes in my life.
Prior to this illness and like so many, I would start an exercise program and stop. I’ve bought various exercise equipment only for it to become a dust collector or clothes rack. A friend asked if I would run a 5K with her. I wasn’t a runner but after a lot of coaxing, I thought I would give it a try and started to train. I completed my first 5K, others after that and one half marathon but I never really enjoyed running. During this same time I began attending classes at CycleLuv. I was immediately embraced by the staff and soon became an extended part of their family. The reason I say “family” is because Iris and her staff treat everyone with care and compassion. You are an extension of their family and you are their friend. Nothing fake or cheesy about the CycleLuv team, they are the real deal.
In June of 2015 at my son’s end-of-year school party, Iris and I had our picture taken. Again, I knew I was at the highest weight I had ever been, but seeing that picture it really hit me; I had to do something. I didn’t like the way I looked or felt. About the same time, Iris had started a summer challenge to eat clean and to make a commitment to exercise at least 4 or 5 times a week. I decided to take the challenge, what did I have to lose? Just after a few weeks of eating clean and exercising regularly, I starting losing weight, feeling better, and my blood pressure was going down. What I also gained during this challenge was a group of people who have become very close friends. Together we dressed-up for the Annual Leesburg Halloween Parade and won an award; together we have helped raised funds for meaningful causes, together we have encouraged each other through a difficult workout or even difficult times.
While losing 40 pounds, getting my blood pressure under control and finding a workout program that works for me, the most rewarding outcome of my time at CycleLuv are the friendships I have made. I also love seeing the excitement my son, Ryan, has for CycleLuv. He has transformed from a shy boy who lacked confidence into a young man who exudes incredible self-esteem. Everyone at CycleLuv has embraced him and encourages him.
Thank you, Iris and CycleLuv, for changing not only my life but Ryan’s life. CycleLuv is my happy place. I never knew exercising could be so much fun!