Wednesday, August 20, 2014

$75 for 75 lbs.

In the middle of Zumba class on Monday night, I came up with an idea that excited me so much I nearly tripped while doing the grapevine.

I decided that in honor of reaching 75 lbs, a new milestone, I was going to donate $75 to charity. But not just any charity- I was going to donate it toward the two places that have helped me reach the 75 pound mark.

If you've been following my weight loss journey from the start, you know that the first gym I joined was Sola Life and Fitness, a fitness center through Beaumont Hospital. Sola is one of my favorite topics of discussion. That place is incredible. I recommend it to just about everyone who is looking for a gym. And, for the first 7 months of my weight loss journey, the staff at Sola were the ones to get me through. I lost somewhere between 35-40 lbs at Sola. Since Sola is connected to Beaumont Hospital, I decided to donate $35 to the pediatrics wing at the hospital.

Once I began my new job at The American Cancer Society, I had to leave Sola. The drive was too far. After visiting a couple of gyms, I decided to join my local YMCA. It had the equipment I needed and tons of group exercise classes, plus a decent pool. Bonus points? It's walking distance to my house. I've been a member at the Y for 6 months now and have lost an additional 35 ish lbs. I am PROUD to be a member of the Birmingham Y. They have incredible programs available- including personal training and social activities for special needs children and adults. They also host Girls on The Run and maintain a pretty solid summer camp. Plus, they have the trainers, equipment, and classes for people like me who are there to lose weight. I decided to donate $40 directly to the Y's annual campaign.

So, all together, $75 has been donated to two great charities. I know it's not a lot of money, but I hope that it at least helps one person or buys one thing that they need for a program. This is my way of giving back to the two places who have helped me to become the best version of myself. I could list hundreds of "gifts" that Sola and the Y have given me, but the number one is confidence. Without the help of Debbie and Ryanne at Sola and Sarah G, Tracy. Chassity, and Sarah J at the Y, I wouldn't be as confident as I am now. I never in my life would have tried kickboxing or pilates or stood in the front row at Zumba without the help of these ladies. My life has completely changed and I owe it to the staff at these two places. Their passion for helping others reach their goals has encouraged me when I am frustrated, pushed me when I wanted to quit, and made me smile when I just wanted to cry. I am 100% honored that I have been able to be a member at these two facilities.

I was originally going to take a photo of me holding 75 lbs as my celebration for reaching this milestone. But donating and letting them know just how much I appreciate their dedication and knowledge is so much more important. They have changed my life, and hopefully my small donation can help them in some way.

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