10-Week Challenge Transformation (Jeanne Lavery)

Once again the fitness “circle of life” has come full-circle. Meet Jeanne Lavery, a successful dental assistant, a proud “soccer mom”, and a most recent graduate of the 10-week challenge…

Jeanne’s story begins right after she read this blog post about one of the most amazing 10-week transformations we have ever had. This transformational story was about one of Jeanne’s long time friends Jessica Ketola. As Jeanne says, “something about that post struck me”! It’s true, because shortly after reading the article Jeanne showed up to CKO ready and willing to make the necessary changes to become healthier.

Jeanne and Jessica

Jeanne and Jessica working out together!

I remember Jeanne’s first few days at CKO, let me tell you, there were some strong emotions and even some tears, but I loved every minuet of it! Not because I like seeing women cry (trust me that is the last thing I want to see) but because the tears and the emotions were that of a person embracing change. We sometimes forget that change, even positive change, is extremely hard. This is because in order to change we must be willing and ready to leave our comfort zone, and leaving our comfort zone can be extremely frighting. But Jeanne, like so many others that have made the decision to become healthier, also realized that there is something even scarier than leaving the “comfort zone” and that is…staying the same!

Congratulations Jeanne, your story is inspiring and I have no doubt that others will be inspired by your fitness journey! Read more about Jeanne below.

Feb 2015 - May 2015

Feb 2015 – May 2015

The Jeanne Lavery interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job? I have been working in the Dental field as a Registered Dental Assistant since 1995, and I also work part time for 3m training dental offices how to use a cool machine that takes digital records of their mouths instead of filling them with all that goo everyone loves! Besides the paying jobs….. my best job is raising my almost 12 year old son. He is what keeps me on my toes, drives me, and is my inspiration everyday!

Do you have any hobbies? My hobbies are watching Soccer, helping out with my son’s team, cheering on the sidelines, going to Sounders games. I also love to walk, go to the beach, play with our Dog Milo, visit family in California and travel when we can.

How did you first learn of CKO? Funny enough, from one of these same stories from another member! (Jessica Ketola) I saw her picture on FB with the story- December 14’, and soon realized that I wanted what I saw in her eyes! She always looks awesome, but something struck me- and I decided to go check it out…. and I live just up the street and really never knew it was there!- When Jadon and I stopped by on a Sunday to check it out… we were met at the door by Garett, who never once led on that he was the owner of the club… and after my first trial class the next day I was hooked!

Making Changes!

Making Changes!

What are some of your fitness goals? I had been very inactive for about 4 years… prior to that time, I had been very active and had worked very hard losing a bunch of weight doing lots of Zumba and walking in several Half marathons. With the loss of my Dad who was very close to me, I just seemed to lose steam and interest again, even though I knew just how long and hard I had been working… I just ignored the thoughts and buried the feelings with more food and weight all over again. I have struggled since high school with weight issues and eating disorders. I do not want to let it take over my life anymore and plan on doing something long term about my health now. I didn’t think I could finish the first workout… I couldn’t believe what I had done to my body… so much weight and lack of energy I could barely get up off the ground… and by the end of it I was in tears… of both anger and joy.. I finished, and I was also pissed that I had let it happen once again. From the beginning I took what Garett said seriously and just promised myself that I would plug away at a 1% improvement everyday. As long as I was getting there, and making the effort to do it, I planned on keeping that “one day at a time” mentality and not look back. I couldn’t- I have everything to lose if I don’t have my health.. i’m the only one that can change me.

What is your favorite aspect of CKO? I never dreamed that I would enjoy CKO as much as I do. Something about it being just me and that bag at the end of a day is really magical. The best part about it is the supportive environment that I felt from the first week of being there…people cheering you on when you run, or a random hi-5 at the end just saying “we did it!” and smiles and happy people. Every shape and size is there… all wearing whatever feels best and no judgement. That to me has made me feel the most welcome and like I am a part of a very cool team!

Goblet squats (part of the fitness test)

Goblet squats (part of the fitness test)

What was the best part about the challenge? The best part was me seeing myself do things I NEVER imagined myself doing..EVER. For starters… when I joined in December, I was feeling pretty good if I made it 3x a week… During the challenge we are encouraged to get 5x in a week- or 50 workouts for the 10 weeks.. and it was my goal to get that done! Not to mention that it wasn’t only CKO… we were doing all of the classes at 2.0 as well and there were some classes I had never thought i’d be able to do and I did them! Another really important part for me was the group feeling that some of us had… I met some incredible people and trainers on a more personal level and that really helped me push and feel supported.

What was the hardest part about the Challenge? For me the most difficult part was that I injured my knee the first week in. I had to do physical therapy and get massages and had an MRI just to stay walking. It was something that was very hard to deal with at times, and painful, but I just kept modifying classes when I needed and kept plugging away… I wasn’t about to give up… Another issue was the food- I did excellent with eliminating added sugar, wheat and processed things… and felt SO MUCH BETTER doing so….my problem was I couldn’t wrap my head around tracking it, and keeping a food log. I felt pretty good in the end with how I did it and had been honest with myself.. after all i’d only be cheating myself!

1-mile (part of the 10-week challenge fitness test)

1-mile (part of the 10-week challenge fitness test)

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? After finishing the challenge… I knew it wasn’t over. I had some changes happen, some inches loss, and muscle gain…but even looking at the before and after pictures, I knew I had work still to be done. I am my own worst critic, and man I say some mean things to myself… but I am learning to be more gentle with me, and have positive self talk… I have many friends now at CKO, and seeing them, or agreeing to meet up at a class here and there is keeping me accountable… I need to keep on looking down the path and seeing the positive changes developing with each day.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? The one thing i find myself still having trouble with is food. I can so easily slip back into bad habits in just one weekend.. and need to learn that I can’t throw in the towel when that happens. That usually goes away the minute I find myself on the floor of the next class and I struggle to get up! I’m reminded that I need to make good choices all the time! I am so happy that I found CKO/2.0 and am surrounded by so many supportive people that are truly there to see me succeed. I hope that I can help inspire that person that thinks they aren’t cut out for it or they don’t think they would fit it-because I most certainly am cut out for this, and fit in and am loving it! I had a total weight loss over the 10 weeks of 13.8 lbs and lost 14.5 inches off my body…and the best thing, I didn’t give up even when my body was trying too!

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10-Week Challenge Transformation (Lisa Wasikowski)

There is a famous book authored by Malcolm Gladwell called the “Tipping Point” which reminds me a lot about Lisa Wasikowski’s fitness journey. The book describes the “tipping point” as the moment when something, an idea, a trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and suddenly spreads like wildfire. And while Lisa has been a member for nearly 2-years it was the 10-week challenge that seems to be her personal tipping point!

When Lisa began her fitness journey with CKO/2.0 she did so by constantly “dipping her feet into the water”. In other words, I could tell that physically she was ready for change but mentally she still had some apprehensions. There had been 2 other 10-week challenges that popped up on Lisa’s radar screen but each time she dipped her “toe into the water”, she immediately pulled it back out…

Quotefancy - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then the 2015 spring challenge rolled around and Lisa had this look on her face that said, “no more dipping my toe, I am jumping head first into that water”. And that is exactly what she did and immediately everything about her changed for the better. Once Lisa made the decision to fully commit to herself, she reached her own personal tipping point. This personal tipping point revealed Lisa’s true character–a strong, confident, and very capable women who’s possibilities know no bounds!

Oh, I can’t forget, Lisa is also a constant reminder that in order to be our best we must find time for self-improvement.  As you will read in Lisa’s interview, her personal journey has been far from easy but Lisa has learned that the stronger and healthier she is, the better equipped she is to care for and support her family! Read below to hear more about Lisa Wasikowski’s journey.

 

Feb 2015 - May 2015

Feb 2015 – May 2015

The Lisa Wasikowski Interview:

1.  Besides being a CKO superhero, what is your day job. Currently, my day and night job is being a full-time mom and special needs advocate.

2.  Do you have any hobbies? Oh man…. yes! I am a hand drummer.  Not in a band, just like to jam with friends, and get transcendental in the woods.  Also, I love to travel (especially road trips), check out local farmers markets, shop for ingredients, cook, camp, hike, drink wine, frolic on the beach, buy cool shit for my daughter, research, read (mostly autobiographies), spend time with family, get a sweat on, watch movies, and work on art projects.
3.  How did you first learn about CKO? It was a sign, literally.  Sandwich board! I live in the area. Drove by the place a zillion times.
4.  What are some of your fitness goals? At this point it’s to keep the fire going, and really work on exploring outside of my comfort zone.  Time to start living that bucket list.
5.  What is your favorite aspect of CKO? Oh boy, that’s a big question…
 
I love you, CKO / 2.0.  Some days it’s all I can do to not just throw in the towel, but that all consuming, love-filled feeling following a truly great workout is a high like none-other.
 

When I first joined, to be honest, it was intimidating.  The energy was electric, but it seemed a bit cliquey in the gym.  I get it now though.  You can’t be in a place like this, doing what we’re doing, for the reasons we’re doing it without forming connections, and unlike most gyms I’ve ever been to, the love is pretty unavoidable.  After a year and a half of trying to get my life on track, I can absolutely say this place is one of my favorites.  The classes are fun.  The energy is awesome.  Some options actually fit my schedule.  Familiar faces are everywhere.  It kind of has that “Cheers” effect.  Can’t help but make friends.  I’m even getting to know people who have inspired me, people whose stories help get me through, even when I’m sure I can’t.

Just finished that CINCO

Just finished that CINCO

I came to you (CKO/2.0) completely sad and broken, really seeking refuge from who I’d turned into.  I went through the motions enough to shake up the monotony of my life, but my molting process has taken time and considerable effort.  Each step seems bigger and bigger, and I turn to you more and more.  You have become my sanctuary, a safe, sacred place where I go to unleash, learn, and heal.
 
Oh… I also want to give props to my super fabulous trainer, because she’s super fabulous!
6.  What was the best part of the challenge? Making gainz!!
 
–  First wave was being able to think more clearly and start realizing how to make better decisions for myself.  Also a feeling of overall contentment washed over me, like everything was going to be fine, so I could breathe into this and not worry so much.
 

–  Second wave was actively carving out time for myself and putting my needs first.  My daughter has some pretty extensive special needs, and part of why I signed up was to get a bit of myself back.  As I started feeling better about life in general, other things, things I wanted and had been craving just started happening.  I even felt like I became a better mom, a more patient and attentive mom, not so frustrated and anxious, and finally was able to shake the last of the postpartum depression.  It’s nuts, once I let all the crap go, the gainz just kept on coming, even through the difficult times.

Lisa after a circuit training class

Lisa after a circuit training class

–  Third was seeing the changes.  I’d have moments where it was like…. whoa, I just lifted 155 lbs! …. or…. whoa, those pants haven’t fit since before the pregnancy!  Awesome feelings!  One of the biggest changes was re-prioritizing, and making time for myself (treated myself to a movie, and a day at the spa, and that memorable day I had to purchase a new pair of jeans because all the others now require belts and I don’t have a belt.).
 
–  Fourth was meeting my goals.  Yes, there were hiccups, and cheat days, and sicknesses, and doctor appointments, and missed alarm clocks, and unforeseen shit all over the place, but this was my time,  Mine!  I didn’t have to share this with anyone.  No matter what happened, I still had this, and I wasn’t going to fuck it up.
 
–  Fifth, was people noticing the gainz.  My husband is amazing, and I love his compliments, but when people other than the two of us started noticing my hard work, I felt like that was when it’d all happened, like I’d arrived, like I’d actually done it.  Best-feeling-ever!!
–  Lastly. personal connections.  New friendships were made.  Gotta love that!
Final Numbers (10-week challenge fitness test)
Push ups:  from 53 to 69
Goblet squats:  from 46 to 56
Arm hang:  from 48 sec to 62 sec
Final numbers (10-week challenge measurements)
11.25 inches lost (off entire body)
8.4 lbs lost
7.  What was the hardest part of the challenge? Balancing my commitments with life’s various road-bumps and hiccups proved difficult, at best.  Plans change.  Schedules rearrange.  Nothing is for certain until it’s happening.  Sicknesses.  ER visits.  Family squabbles.  Business trips.  Overtime.  Impromptu get togethers.  Power outages.  A couple birthdays.  A wedding.  A migraine.  A wrenched out back.  School switches.  IEP crap.  You name it, it happened.  I used the gym time and workouts as therapy.  No therapy = very cranky Lisa = not so good times.
 
Also, figuring realistic food choices when away from home was a total drag, like trying to find paleo options in the Children’s Hospital ER or on a room service menu or in a convenience store or in the airport.
 
8.  What motivates you to walk through that door day after day? –  Gym time is one of the rare opportunities I have to detach from all else.  No phone interaction, and not responsible for anyone but myself.
 
–  It’s the best anger management I know of, and is far cheaper than hiring a really good therapist, better results too.
 
–  The sweat factor.  I love the sweat drip!
 

–  The biggest motivator is the lifestyle change, and holding myself accountable for the promises I’ve made to myself and to my daughter.

Rocking that house at CKO

Rocking that house at CKO

9.  What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? Lower back issues. Bad posture.  Heavy book bags.  Too many years in food service.  Bad quality shoes.  Untreated scoliosis.  Overcompensation due to injuries sustained from a car accident.  Pregnancy.  Post-pregnancy issues.  Sleeping on a bad mattress.  Helping my daughter learn to walk.  Life…. it gets heavy, and it tends to take its toll.  I’ve learned how to manage it more, but I like to go hard, which isn’t always kind to my back.
10.  What can we do to actualize your true potential? I am at the gym to make myself a better version of who I was yesterday.  Push me harder!!  Other than that, childcare would be awesome.  🙂
11.  Share any relevant information about yourself that other CKO members might not know about you.
I’m not a person who sugar coats things.  Life during these ten weeks was far from easy, but making the effort to try to live in the here and now helped me ward off the voices of resistance, and find my flow.  The challenge stretched far beyond the bounds of the gym, right into the core of me and who I am.
 
I like to have a tough skin.  Life has been so thick the past few years, part of what got me needing to turn things around was auto-pilot mode to the next fix, the escape, the desire to “turn off”.  I certainly didn’t expect to get all emotional at the end, but I totally did, which means progress!  Allowing myself to live my best life means actually LIVING it, feeling it, experiencing it, bad and good, not shutting it off or trying to numb it away.  I just had get up and do it.  Now it’s over.  The threshold is crossed, time to move on, and man does it ever feel good!
 
Today there is no rush.  Today it’s all about what’s happening right now.  My today involves enjoying the sunshine with my daughter, helping her get excited about walking on her own.  Her inner fire is my biggest inspiration.  I have no business setting my bar any lower than that.  I am her mom.  How can I teach her… how can I ever make her believe she can achieve her dreams if I’m not going after my own?  That’s what this challenge was for me, getting myself on track, finding the right path(s), setting the bar higher, and not fucking stopping.
 
Today I was reminded about the work I put into being the best mom I can be, and the kind of team my husband, daughter, and I are now.  When my daughter was in the NICU, we hooked up with an incredible Seattle based organization which provided us a wonderful team of early-intervention therapists.  They served us and taught us for three years, starting when she was three weeks old.  During that time, my daughter has been a “poster child” for their early-intervention program.  It is their 50th anniversary this year.  They put together a publication of “50 Stories Worth Sharing”.  We were featured!!
Lisa Fun
 
You want an itemized list of my gym related successes since joining CKO, let’s talk over a couple ciders and bun-less burgers (add bacon).  A lot has happened in that year and a half, including battling postpartum depression, a pregnancy, and a miscarriage.  CKO / 2.0 have been instrumental in helping me push through.  It’s a lifestyle change, though that wasn’t my aim at the time.  I just wanted to start feeling better and find some “me space” away from the house.  That was accomplished, and then some.
 
What I achieved in these weeks has been an off-put goal for years.  I was finally ready.  It was time to rise above my former self, and I did!  Not often in my life have I been truly happy or truly proud (of myself) let alone all at once.  I can honestly say I worked hard, I earned it, and dammit I deserve it.  Success!
 
Link to the article:  In “50 Stories Worth Sharing”.

Episode 17: Is Privacy A Thing Of The Past?

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In this episode Garett and Jessica once again discuss the role of social media and how it effects our lives. Will we have any privacy left? And, Is it really a bad thing if we no longer have any privacy?

But before they get into the topic of privacy Garett and Jessica discuss a fascinating documentary titled Planet Earth. After watching the documentary Garett is convinced that penguins are dumb!

Then the conversation goes back to social media and all the pressures associated with being constantly connected.

Lastly, Garett talks about the “House Keeper study”. The result of this study is nothing short of amazing!

Check out this episode!

10-Week Challenge Transformation (Lori Lang)

Looking Great Lori Lang!

Looking Great Lori Lang!

Lori Lang’s fitness journey can best be described as, “being inspired (by one), to now becoming an inspiration (to many)”! Lori was inspired to not only join CKO Kickboxing Seattle but also to participate in the 10-week challenge based on the past success of her friend and current member Kimberly Peterson.

This is the “circle of life” in the fitness world! This is also why I love people talking about their success, because they never know who’s life they will change for the better. I have seen it time and time again, a person comes into the gym because they were inspired by their friend’s results only to become a inspiration for one of their friends or family members, it really is a beautiful thing!

Now it is Lori’s turn to start inspiring others based on her success, and so far, her journey has been amazing, losing 17 pounds and 24.5 inches (off her body) in just 10-weeks. Not only that, since removing sugar and soy from her diet she has also noticed a reduction in “seasonal” allergies. And last but not least Lori has gained an entirely new outlook on life and has admittedly become a CKO addict! Read more about Lori’s journey below!

Feb 2015 - May 2015

Feb 2015 – May 2015

Lori Lang Interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job? Besides being a CKO Superhero (Lori Lang DOES sound pretty superhero-ish) I am a mom of two, wife and Recreation Coordinator for the City of Mountlake Terrace. I also teach online courses on Social Media for small business.

Do you have any hobbies? I’m a beach lover and relatively new CKO addict! 

IMG_1721

Spring 2015 Challengers!

 

How did you first learn of CKO?  I learned about CKO from watching Kim Peterson’s journey on Facebook.  Her story inspired me and I HAD to find out more… I wouldn’t be feeling the way I do today – AWESOME – without her sharing. I’m beyond grateful!

Lori during Kettlebell class at 2.0

Lori during Kettlebell class at 2.0

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?  My favorite aspect of CKO is that is it’s so “real.” The members come in all shapes and sizes and are constantly supporting each other. You totally feel the love in every class! It’s inspiring to say the least!  It’s definitely a community atmosphere; unlike most gyms.

What was the best part about the challenge? In addition to losing 17 pounds and 24.5 inches?! The best part of the challenge the mental victory I experienced at the end of the 10 weeks.  Obviously I’m happy with the physical results, but tackling my issues with food and not giving up on my 5x a week workouts was HUGE! I’ll be honest, I didn’t know if I could do it at first… Having the group support made all the difference!  Sharing and knowing that I was among friends gave me the strength to get through those first 30 days. After 30 days, I knew I could make it to the end.

Working hard at CKO Kickboxing

Working hard at CKO Kickboxing

What was the hardest part about the challenge? The hardest part, by far was following the food guidelines.  The first week was brutal – as much mentally as physically.  I learned that I can live without added sugar, soy and gluten and feel SO MUCH BETTER without them in my diet.  In fact, many of the allergies I thought were “seasonal” were due to foods I was eating.  I still have issues with grass and pets, but it’s much more manageable now that I’m avoiding soy and added sugars.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? I’m motivated by the feeling I get when I walk out of the gym – every single time, after every single workout.  You feel like a champion after a CKO workout!!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? I still struggle with mental negotiating… I’m a busy mom and juggling my schedule can be a challenge.  I have to remind myself that even if I’m tired, I’ll feel like a million bucks when I walk out of the gym.

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What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? I think you all are fabulous when it comes to helping us all realize our potential!  One thing I find inspiring is the regular posting of photos taken at the gym.  Seeing everyone “mid-workout” is very cool and motivating!

Making GAINZ!

Making GAINZ!

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)! Joining CKO and the 10 Week Challenge are two of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.  My self-image, self-worth and overall outlook on life is better than it’s been in a decade!  I can’t thank the team – especially Garett and Jessica – enough for all the inspiration, motivation and support!

Not Enough Time (Podcast episode 15)

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What is an acceptable amount of time to respond to an email, texted messages or Facebook messages? In this episode Garett and Jessica discuss why Jessica removed Facebook from her phone. The question is then asked if not being constantly connected had negative consequences?

Have you heard of the word Onism? Well the discussion goes from Facebook messages to this word. Listen to what to find out what it means.

Lastly find out why the Advocare tent was more popular than the CKO tent.

Check out this episode!

10-Week Challenge Transformation (Hazim and Viri)

Want to know a huge secret that is almost guaranteed to give you the results you are looking for?

Wait for it…

Ok, the answer is…Having an active and “healthy minded” significant other!

When an individual makes the decision to become healthier, that person must make some major lifestyle changes. This individual must change the way they eat, they must change the way they choose to spend their free time, and they must even change their priorities about what they are willing to spend on health (among many other changes). This amount of change is not easy at all, but it becomes an even bigger obstacle when this same person also has to battle with an unwilling (“to get healthier”) significant other (husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend). In fact we have talked about this on our Podcast titled Vegan Thin Mints.

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So, when I see a couple, especially a married couple, working out side-by-side, I know their odds of succeeding have significantly increased. In other words, when it comes to obtaining that healthy lifestyle they are at a huge advantage compared to most people. Because not only do they not have to fight the unwilling spouse battle, but now they also have a teammate to support them through this difficult journey.

The “team” is always stronger than the individual, especially if the team works together! So if your goal is to get that “next level” in life, it is critical to surround yourself with likeminded individuals (teammates if you will). We need people in our lives to bring us up, not down.

One such couple (or teammates) that have been extremely successful at working together is Hazim (pronounced “awesome” with an “H”) and Viri (she goes by “V”-“D”)! During the 10-week challenge Hazim and Viri were definitely a force (and still are) to be reckoned with! They entered the 10-week challenge strong and with some momentum but have come out much stronger, with even more passion and even more drive!

Hazim and Viri are nothing short of a power couple! They are successful both in the gym and at life. Together since January 2015 they have lost 60-lbs. During the 10-week challenge (Feb 2015 – May 2015), together they lost 31-inches off their bodies. They are true team, in fact they even have establish roles, one is the gym motivator and one is the cook. It is literally a match made in heaven.

Read the Hazim and Viri interview below:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

VIRII am a Licensed Veterinary Technician at an emergency and specialty clinic.

HAZIM – I am an Aerospace Structures Engineer

Do you have any hobbies?

VIRI I love to read. Barnes and Noble is my happy place. I also love to spend time with my pets…I have two Labradors and two cats.

HAZIM – Hobbies, always an interesting question. I like practical hobbies, working on my car when I need to. DIY projects, going green, researching random items and cooking

Wow! Just 10-weeks!

Feb 2015 – May 2015

How did you first learn of CKO?

VIRI My husband and I moved from southern California about a year and a half ago.  When we moved here, I was looking for a new gym to go to that would keep me interested and invested.  Many yelp and google searches later, I read about CKO. I’d done kickboxing (shadow boxing) before and the idea of having an actual heavy bag caught my attention. I showed up for my first class in March 2014 and signed up the same day.  

HAZIM – My wife pulled me into the addiction.

What are some of your fitness goals? 

VIRI  I’m interested gaining strength, endurance and coordination. One of my goals is to run a marathon by my 30th birthday.  I ran my first half marathon last year and will be running another one this year.  I am confident that training at 2.0 and CKO will help build the stamina needed for these events.    

HAZIM – My main goal is to be lean, tone, and healthy. My two top goals are to be able to do a human flag and muscle-ups. 

What is your favorite aspect of CKO/2.0?  

VIRICKO provides an extremely supportive environment.  When I first started going to CKO, I used the heavy bags that were furthest from the instructor, toward the back of the gym.  I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t want anyone to see me. Over time, however, I’ve inched my way toward the instructor.  I realized that no one was there to judge me.  The instructors’ and members genuinely want everyone to succeed.  

10 week challenge Vidi

Feb 2015 – May 2015

 

HAZIM – My favorite aspect of CKO/2.0 is the instructors, everything else came second. I was very humbled at how quickly they learned my name (not an easy name), and how genuine everyone is about health and looking out for all the members. I was never really one to de-stress by punching a bag, so to me, it’s fun exercise, which doesn’t make it feel like exercise at all!

What was the best part about the 10-week challenge?

VIRIRealizing that this was no longer just about 10 weeks. I have a new found respect for my body and what I can accomplish. I don’t expect to change anything that I’ve learned during this time.

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Viri rocking the house at CKO!

 

HAZIM – The best part of the challenge is making sustainable life changes, and learning proper techniques to work out.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

VIRI The food at work.  In my line of work, clients tend to bring in a lot of food and treats to thank us for caring for their pets.  My clinic in particular has what’s called a “happy drawer” that’s always full of candy for employees to enjoy.  On especially difficult and stressful days, someone would buy food for the employees on shift. It was sometimes challenging not to revert to old habits.  

HAZIM – The hardest part about this challenge was giving up sugar. Not because I have a sweet tooth, but because 74% of products have added sugar. Even items you would never suspect…..Costco Rotisserie Chicken….yep, they use seasoned salt (added sugar).

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

VIRIWith every workout, I improve. There is always something to learn and room to grow.

HAZIM – Seeing a huge transformation, in my body shape, in my stamina, strength, mentality. My very first class at CKO, I barely made it 20 minutes and then I vomited. Now, I can do a Cinco!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

VIRIHonestly…resting.  I don’t workout on Sundays at all.  However, on my days off from work, I would often take up to 3 classes in one day. This often compromised the quality of my workouts.  I’ve had to rethink the way I schedule my workouts so as to not exhaust myself or injure myself.

HAZIM – I still find myself struggling a little to get myself to work-out (especially mornings). It is SO much easier to just sit on the couch. I always have to think about the end result, whether it be my ultimate goal, or short term, how amazing I feel after working out.

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Hazim doing circuit training at 2.0

 

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

VIRI – I think with 2.0 and CKO you have provided the community with the tools they need to succeed. I think from there the ball is in our court so to speak.  It is up to us as individuals to attend classes and approach instructors when we have specific fitness goals in mind.

HAZIM – At a certain point, individuals have to take accountability for themselves. You already do so much to make sure we are on track, and to motivate. Anything else would be holding our hands, and that wouldn’t be conducive to living a better life.

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)!

Viri during Bootcamp

Viri during Bootcamp

VIRI – I was at my heaviest my senior year of college.  My daily breakfast would be a Frappuccino and a bagel with cream cheese and dinner would often be something from the drive through.  I didn’t exercise at all.  A year after graduating, life knocked some sense into me and I began to exercise at home (mostly Jillian Michaels videos) and I cleaned up the way I ate.   I went from a size 12 to a size 4…and then got comfortable.  I continued to exercise and found a love for it but slowly began to eat out again. I’ve never gone back to being as unhealthy and heavy as I was senior year of college but I always struggled with my relationship with food. I ate because I was stressed or sad not because I was hungry. Since joining CKO and 2.0, I’ve found healthier avenues to cope with stress and I’ve become more educated about the type of food I should be consuming. I’ve become more aware of what my body’s abilities and needs are. Joining CKO has truly been a life altering experience. Thank you all for your constant support!

HAZIM – I’m not a jerk, I promise (I just come off that way). Haha.  I’m often quiet at the gym and kept to myself, this is not because I don’t like you. Being an Engineer, I’m socially awkward.  It is very easy to talk to me though, if anyone has any personal questions about the 10-week challenge, or you just want to say hi.  I’m pretty competitive, so if you want to get a kickass work out, let’s work-out side by side, and let me know you’re trying to top me, haha.

I joined CKO in 05/2014 and for the first 6 months, I had almost no progress (because I did not take it seriously, and only went to 4 or 5 classes a month). I decided to take the Cinco challenge and in January started working up my ability to do 5 classes in a row, that’s when I really saw a change, and got addicted to CKO. Garett says it all the time, you can’t just take a few classes here and there, 3 classes a week should be your minimum. “It’s hard, if it were easy, everyone would do it!” This is a fact, the question is, are you determined. Getting ready for Cinco, and then doing the 10 Week Challenge, I lost 30lb (about 14%) of my total weight. I’m sure I would have lost even more weight if I didn’t gain all that muscle ;-).

Hazim during Kettlebell class

Hazim during Kettlebell class

ABOUT JOINING AS A COUPLE

VIRI I met my husband in first grade. We’ve seen each other grow up. We started dating 10 years ago, lived together for 6 of those years and we’ll be celebrating our first anniversary as a married couple in June.   We’ve been each other’s greatest supporters and sometimes greatest enablers. I would stay in and cuddle on the couch rather than head to the gym. He would go out to the drive through with me rather than enjoy a home cooked meal. In the last year and a half, we’ve made a lot of changes. We moved from Los Angeles to Seattle, we bought a house, we got married, and we’ve even gotten a puppy! With all these changes, we truly took the time to reflect. At this point in our lives, we were prepared to become healthier more fit people. This is not just for ourselves, but for the family we eventually hope to create. We started attending CKO more often and even participated in CINCO. We decided to take on the 10 Week Challenge as a team. He took charge of cooking (Hazim is an excellent cook) and I got us to the gym. We never saw each other as competition but instead sought to be a better version of ourselves as individuals. We celebrated one another’s successes, realizing that we could not have accomplished as much without the support of the other. Together, we’ve lost 36.2lb and 31.7 inches in the last ten weeks. We thank you all for your guidance and support!

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HAZIM – We’ve known each other since first grade, our parents were in PTA together (cheesy, right?). We started dating Freshman year of college (2005) and got married in 06/13/2014 (Friday the 13th, full moon). We truly are each others’ better half. I like to cook so I keep us from eating too much junk, she likes to be active and exercise, so she keeps us from being too sedentary. I think without each others’ support we would not have been able to make these life changes. In fact, I have read that this type of thing drives a wedge in a relationship and resentment (as if one person is leaving the other behind). There has been a lot of significant life events in the last year and a half, relocated from Los Angeles to Seattle, buying a house together, getting married, and adopting a puppy. All enjoyable, but still stressful. We made this a challenge we can conquer together, to help strength our relationship even more. Instead of competing with each other, we complemented and encouraged each other. Growing up, I always had a healthy diet, that now I can’t thank my parents enough for. This is something we wanted to do for our kids as well, so it is not just for us, but for the future us, and our future family. We did CINCO side-by-side, and felt great! We were still missing the dietary aspect though, so we took the 10-week challenge as a team. I did most of the cooking, and Viri kicked our butts to get to the Gym (ewww, 5:15am Cardio Lift). Together we lost 36.2lb and 31.7 inches in the 10-Week Challenge, and a total loss of 60lb since January!    

vandh

Real life Superheroes

 

VIRI’s 10-Week Challenge Results:

Viri

HAZIM’s 10-Week Challenge Results:

Hazim

Were you inspired by this story? If so, click here to start your own journey!