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Grand Traverse Woman


Occupation: 911 Dispatcher for Grand Traverse County Height: 5'4” Starting Weight: 196 Current Weight: 176 What has changed since your first day as a Jane? Everything. My mood, energy and stress levels, sleep, and confidence have all improved dramatically. I feel like myself again, like the person I was several years ago before I gained weight. Also, my wedding bands fit again! That was the non-scale victory I was most looking forward to. What did you learn about yourself? I learned that my mindset can be the difference between success and failure. When I believed I was lazy and weak, I was lazy and weak. I was embarrassed when I became winded and wanted to give up. But, my trainer kept pushing and encouraging me, and eventually, all of her positivity sunk in. I still have setbacks and get discouraged, but instead of giving up, I try again. What was your biggest obstacle? My relationship with food was my biggest obstacle. Food was comfort. Bad day? Have a glass of wine. Need to celebrate? Ice cream! Stressed? Chocolate. Special occasion? Big, fancy, carbloaded dinner. I had to consciously stop myself from seeking food when I had strong emotions. So instead, I started connecting exercises with certain emotions. Working with my trainer was great when I was happy and motivated. When I was stressed or had a bad day, I would "rage run" on the treadmill or try out a new class at the Y. When I was feeling down, I took a yoga class.

20 LBS


What are you most proud of? The weight loss is wonderful of course, but I am most proud of getting outside of my comfort zone and giving the challenge my all. Going to the gym and working out in front of others used to make me very anxious, and the thought of posting my weight and pictures in a magazine for everyone to see? Scary! But in my family, our motto is "Do what scares you.” When I saw the ad to be a Jane, I set aside my fears and remembered those words.

Laura VanSteenis YMCA PERSONAL TRAINER Working with Andrea was a true joy from the beginning. I was so excited not only to train her, but also to build a relationship with her and walk with her through this fitness journey. I was amazed at Andrea's commitment and motivation as a wife and mother of three who works full time. The struggle to invest time and energy into self-care is real, and Andrea was fully devoted. About halfway into the challenge, I saw her break through—and I think she saw it too! Her confidence increased as she improved her form, then her resistance, weight and intensity. She’d ask me to “add more weight” and even expressed interest in powerlifting! Andrea has blown me out of the water with what she is now able to do. I’m so proud of her and excited to see her continue to grow in her health and fitness journey.

What is your top tip? Be kind to yourself. Changing your lifestyle takes time and there will be setbacks, but if you keep trying and love yourself, you will get to where you want to be. No one is perfect. Don't punish yourself for being human. What’s next for you? My next challenge is the Bayshore 10k. For two years in a row I have registered for it but chickened out at the last minute. This year I will run it with my daughter and her stepmother, and next year I would like to attempt the Bayshore Half Marathon. One day I would love to participate in a triathlon.

May/June '19 31

Profile for Grand Traverse Woman Magazine

GTWoman May/June 2019 Issue