Brenda Zender

October 2016

What made you decide to make a change?  

 I was very active as a kid and teenager, playing basketball and softball all the way through school and then playing in Rec leagues as a young adult. With all that activity, I could eat what I wanted for the most part and not worry. Then as I got older and had two kids, my activity became less and less while my eating habits never changed.  We are crazy busy with two very active teen/pre-teens in school, sports and scouts. Life consists of running kids around to various events and grabbing meals on the run, eating at odd hours and not eating healthily most days. McDonalds and other fast food became a quick and easy fix to our busy lifestyle. Exercise was non-existent. I had bought a treadmill when Paige was little (almost 11 years ago) and I could count the number of times on both hands that I had used it. I would try to focus on losing weight and would do great for a while, but then life would get busy and I would fall back into old habits. 

What has changed (race times, blood work, attitude, etc)? 

It was a combination of a few things that really made me decide that a change was needed. I realized that I was only a few pounds from the weight I was at the end of my pregnancy with my youngest and she was going to be 11 (I couldn’t use the excuse that it was baby weight anymore). I was tired all the time, my larger clothes were starting to get tight and I refused to buy a bigger size. We take family pictures each year and I was almost in tears because nothing fit. I put on the top I was planning to wear and my husband (God bless him) told me as nicely as he could that another top would be much better. He knows how important the pictures are to me and he wanted me to look my best. I got them back and they were great, except that I looked big in every one. To top it all off, I was turning 40. I knew I needed to make a change for not only myself but for my family.

 What did life look like before you focused consistently on nutrition and fitness?

I spent the first few months concentrating more on nutrition and portion control. On New Year’s Eve, my​neighbors Mary Snyder and Angie Dean mentioned a 90 minute class at The Warehouse on New Year’s Day and I decided to sign up. After getting a taste of all the classes that were offered, I could barely walk and I realized how grossly out of shape I was. I started going a few times a week and, before I knew it, I was going to class almost every day, choosing classes around my busy schedule. I even realized that I really like to work out, it is a great stress reliever and it gives me a chance to have a little bit of “me” time. I have lost around 20 lbs. I still have about 20 more to go, but if I continue to work hard at eating healthily (I have even started to drink Shakeology daily), I will reach my goals. Other great non-scale victories are that my husband Jake is coming to work out with me when he is able. We now hold each other accountable and, when one doesn’t want to go, the other pushes us to. Jake has lost 20lbs. My kids did Youth Fitness and really enjoyed it. My daughter Paige decided to run Cross Country at school to get in better shape for basketball. It makes me feel great to see that setting a better health and fitness example can make a big difference with your kids. I’m aiming to complete my first 5K where I can run the entire time. I hope that, with the support of my husband and kids, those goals will be reached in no time.