At 18-years old Alison is one of our younger members. We (CKO) are very proud of her commitment, especially given the fact she is your typical “broke” college student that has to juggle classes, multiple jobs/projects, and finances. We have all heard of the “freshmen 15” and Alison took charge of her life and decided she was not going to be another victim of the infamous 15-lb weight gain. Instead of gaining 15-lbs like many freshmen, she decided to lose 20-lbs! Below is Alison’s testimonial of her CKO 10-week challenge experience:
By Alison Forsyth: When I first walked into CKO 5 months ago, I had no idea just how much it was going to impact my life. I’ll admit, before I discovered CKO, I committed the stereotypical “fitness crime” of “get a membership, go to the gym twice, and then rarely if ever show up again.” I had previously attended a kickboxing gym, so I knew I preferred the high-intensity classes and working on my roundhouse technique over the dreary cold atmosphere and the endless rows of boring cardio equipment at the neighborhood YMCA. The tight-knit support and community I found at CKO Seattle, both from the wonderful, experienced instructors and fellow members motivated me daily to come. While losing weight and toning up was definitely a large motivator to my visits, eventually I found myself using the classes as not only a great stress-reliever, but also an opportunity to spend quality time hitting a bag with great friends.
In February 2013, Robert Rivera challenged me after a 7:15 class to cut out all the breads and pasta from my diet – just to see the results. At that point, I weighed about 182, although I had recently lost 6-lbs. since I’d began attending CKO. I accepted his challenge, and was surprised to find that a bread-less lifestyle wasn’t as hard as I’d thought. Soon after, Robert began personally training me with CKO’s “10-week challenge,” 10-full weeks following a Primal diet, attending a minimum of 3 classes per week, and weekly one-on-one sessions with Robert.
As an 18-year-old community college student, with a part-time job and relatively normal social life, my schedule was packed and my budget was tight. As Robert told me, however, we can all find excuses to not commit to a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s finances, children, school, there is always a way to work around whatever is preventing us from making health and fitness a priority. I was able to work in an average of 3-5 classes per week, cut out all the soda and ice cream treats, and started to see results after a mere few weeks.
Robert and the wonderful instructors at CKO were by my side every step of the way. When I was at my waitress job, tempted by the plate of nachos on the counter, I remembered the commitment I made not only to myself, but also to Robert and the greater community at CKO. Robert not only taught me the ways in which I could make better decisions at dinnertime, he remained a constant source of motivation and support during my 10-weeks.
About 8 weeks into the challenge, disaster struck. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis and quarantined to my bedroom until I recovered. The news was painful; I thought, “I’ve spent the last 8 weeks working my butt off to look good, and I’m about to lose all of my progress and gain a ton of weight in the very last leg of the challenge!” Once I explained the situation to Robert and CKO Seattle head trainer, Garett Renon, they understood and encouraged me to stick to the Primal lifestyle – even in my sickness. I doubted their advice, figuring that if I weren’t frequenting the gym everyday I wouldn’t get the results I was hoping for, but kept eating healthy regardless. When we took measurements two weeks later, to my surprise, I had actually gone down in size! Even though I hadn’t had the energy or health to go on a simple walk, simply eating healthy was that effective. This goes to show just how important what we eat truly is.
I lost a total of 6.5 inches of my waist, and lost 2 inches off of my arms.
At my heaviest in 2011, I weighed in at 201 lbs. When I walked through the doors of CKO, I weighed 186, and when I began my 10-week challenge, I weighed 180 lbs. While Garett and Robert agree that weight is not the most reliable method of calculating how our bodies have changed (muscle weighs much more than fat), I am proud to say I now weigh-in at 160 lbs.! The lightest I’ve been since middle school. Although the challenge is officially over, I’m maintaining my Primal lifestyle, and plan to return to CKO as soon as the doctors permits me.
Thank you, Robert Rivera and CKO family, for the love and support you have given me since I first began here. Thank you for giving me the inspiration and providing me with the tools I needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Thank you for walking with me every step of the way, from where I began, to where I am now. I look forward to seeing you at the next class!