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By: Virtua Fitness Staff
Since I [Sharon Muller] am a nurse who went on disability retirement in 2015, I have decided to be transparent with my weight loss journey in hopes of helping others who are not just struggling with a good, healthy program to find in order to get the weight off and keep it off, but also with various health issues for which they need an improved lifestyle.
The Start of Muller’s Weight Loss Journey
My weight loss journey started back in my teenage years, as I was planning to go to nursing school. Thus, I would begin losing weight then gaining it back, plus more, the yoyo type of dieting. Needless to say, such a lifestyle had health-related consequences. No one likes to hear the doctor or other healthcare professionals say “morbidly obese”; those words can then lead to a cycle of guilt and shame. Hence, it is easy to start in a downward spiral which leads to losing hope of ever-changing or stopping that yoyo type of dieting. Fear of failure can also paralyze our weight loss journey. Frustration also causes those who have a lot of weight to lose to give up and gain back the weight lost plus more.
Creating a Support System at the Center
I started at Virtua Fitness Center in Washington Township, Sewell, in Sept. 2010. I had to transfer to Virtua Fitness Center in Voorhees in Jan. 2019. Like so many other members, I was upset because far too often we are creatures of habit. Numerous health issues made that transition even more difficult. What makes this weight loss journey different from all the previous ones, the answer comes from a quote on a bag from crackle barrel, it says “Faith, Family, Friends.”
My faith has helped me take off the masks we often wear and start living with intention, changing old bad habits for new ones. The encouragement board at the desk on the second floor, with daily quotes, has encouraged and helped me reassess my goals and eating habits when I hit a bump in the road. On this weight loss journey, my family has been there praying for me and encouraging me to just stay the course when things get tough.
My friends extend to my workout buddies at Virtua Fitness Center. In many ways, those who work out on a regular basis almost create a neighborhood-like community, showing care and concern for others, encouraging others. I work out six days a week, and sometimes due to responsibilities, my schedule alters — I have met quite a few members. I started this most recent weight loss journey on June 10, 2019, and have lost over 110 pounds.
How She Muscles Through Everyday
Many members are unaware that the flowers we see at the check-in on the first floor are not provided by Virtua Fitness Center, they are provided by a two-time, tour of duty Iraq veteran. Those beautiful flowers often brighten up my day and help me stay the course and do my workout routine, especially when I may be having a difficult arthritic day. It also is a visual reminder of what that veteran and many other members who are veterans have sacrificed in service to our country. Thank you for your service.
I attend land Arthritis exercise classes on Monday and Thursday afternoons. With such groups, come encouragement from regulars in the group. Then, there are many other members who are my encouragement. One member took the time to take pictures of a plant-based butter substitute, then told me where to locate it in the store. Another member saw me at Whole Foods and with the cashier’s permission, allowed me to use their Amazon Prime number.
In 2013, I had two respiratory codes in 17 days. My doctors and I made an agreement; if I lost 200 pounds, then they would get me a Sari. I have had some major setbacks due to numerous health issues, but when you see me walking the track in a Sari, taking a victory lap, feel free to walk around as my encouragers — who helped me keep hope in my heart that I could accomplish that goal. On Tuesday afternoon, feel free to join our little walking group “The Tortoises.” Slow and steady wins the race.
Setting Her Intention for the Year
I pick a theme each year. For 2020, my theme is “kindness matters.” An article online about kindness and healing said kindness strengthens our immune system, reduces aches and pains, improves our cardiovascular profile and boosts energy and strength in elderly people. Various studies show that regular volunteers have better health and a lower mortality rate. I have been the recipient of much kindness as a member of the wellness center by everyone who has given me so much encouragement this past year.
Thank you to everyone who has been there running the track as I walk or cheering me on from your treadmills or other equipment that lines the track. Also, a great big thank you to my Monday and Thursday group exercise encouragers and all my weightlifting workout buddies. Thank you to the many trainers and staff members who have been there faithfully encouraging me. We don’t just have a wellness center, we have a community of caring people helping each other. Remember when the journey seems long and you want to give up, always keep hope in your heart.
For more information about Virtua William G. Rohrer Fitness Center – Voorhees, stop by the center or call (856) 325-5300.
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Virtua William G. Rohrer Fitness Center - Voorhees - 2309 Evesham Road - Voorhees, New Jersey - 08043 - (856) 325-5300