carlyMy name is Caly Lawson and this is my Extreme Fitness Makeover Challenge story –

Growing up I was always a little “bigger” than everyone else my age. That being said, my Granny had a huge part in raising me and always instilled that you love yourself no matter what size or shape you are. I can honestly say that my parents tried everything in their power to try to get me to slim down weather it was Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Atkins Diet, anything really… I tried it all. I remember being in 4th grade and my Dad waking me up early before school to walk around the neighborhood in hopes it would help my chubby little self slim down a bit.

I was a very active child, regardless of my size, I played softball, volleyball, golf, basketball, and soccer. Softball was my main sport and I was truly gifted with the natural ability to play the game to its full potential. There is definitely a stigma that softball players are usually bigger girls. I filled that criteria. I played competitive travel ball all growing up and then went on to play a few years in college, where I eventually hit my first real “rock bottom” (or so I thought). I was 19 years old, pushing a good 230 pounds with no intention of doing anything about it.

Fast-forward to moving home from school, and finally for the first time in my life, realizing how unhealthy I truly was. I decided to attempt at enlisting in the Air Force in hopes that it would magically fix all my problems. I walked into the recruiting office and the man didn’t look at me for 2 seconds before telling me to step on the scale; what a rude awakening that was. He told me to come back once I was down to 165 lbs and that we could go from there. I went into my first attempt at a weight loss journey and in 3 months I got down to a healthy 190 lbs. During this time, I met a guy….. I think we all know the rest from here as I tossed my idea of enlisting right out the window and within 6 months had gained all the weight back and then some! I dove back into my old lifestyle full force, eating horrible food and never exercising my body. The relationship did not last but the weight I had put on over the next 3 years sure as hell did.

carly1From 2010-2014 I fluctuated within a 25 lb range anywhere from 225-250, having short moments of wanting to do something about it but never could find the drive or motivation to actually get off my ass to go exercise. Now fast-forwarding again… Its Christmas of 2014, (and for those who know me, know that Christmas is my absolute favorite day of the year) I am horribly sick, and can barely function. My Mom ends up taking me to the ER because its so bad and while there they inform me that I have Mono. That’s right after they had me step on the scale and I was a whopping 254 lbs (insert second rock bottom).

So…… MONO?!? I was so confused, how in the heck did I get mono? They explained I was so unhealthy and run down that I could have gotten it from just about anything with germs all around me. They also explained that because I was so unhealthy, it was not going to be easy trying to fight it off. There was no cure, and I would literally just have to “ride it out” until it ran its course. I can honestly say that this was the absolute sickest I had ever been in my entire life. I was sleeping up to 22 hours a day, miserable, feeling so sorry for myself and had no clue how to even begin to fight this thing. After 3 weeks of self pity and more sleep than what seemed to be humanly possible, I had an awakening moment. I called my Mom and sister and told them I was NEVER going to feel this way ever again. Truth is, they had probably heard me say this about being unhealthy before, so why would they believe me that I wanted to get healthy NOW? It was almost like the boy who cried wolf but I knew deep inside of me that this time I was serious.

carly2One of my best friends Shawna, had been trying to get me into a gym to exercise my body for a good 6 months and I finally agreed to have a go at it after 5 weeks of fighting off Mono. I decided to take a 24 day cleanse that my other best friend Araina had introduced me to, to rid my body of all the crazy toxins it had been storing over the last 5 years and at that time I started working out with Shawna a couple days a week. I definitely saw some results within the first month and I liked it.

Now, picture this – I am in 24 hour fitness, doing a circuit Shawna had made up for us, I am dropping to the ground doing burpees, mountain climbers, pushups…… mind you I WAS DYING. I see this guy walk by and could tell he was watching me and I say to Shawna “I am pretty sure that’s LP, my sister and Scotty work out with him”.  We debated on weather or not it was him for a couple of minutes and I finally said “F-it,  I’m going to go ask  HaHa!”

I walked over to him, he kindly takes his headphones out and I introduce myself as Tiffany’s sister. He then gets all excited and tells me he was watching me do burpees and was really confused why I wasn’t taking his classes with my sister Tifany! I am thinking in my head that there is no way in hell you are going to get me into one of those classes! I have seen the videos! I see what you have your members do! Nope, no way Jose!! Not this fat girl, I would die! He laughed and basically said he would get me in there one day, and I am just thinking, okay suuuuure dude. Well, 2-3 weeks go by and I run into him again. He comes over to me and says “I offered you a free class and my offer is going to expire soon, so I will see you at 6 am tomorrow morning for a fun kick ass workout, okay?” I didn’t even really have a chance to think about it, I just agreed and nervously walked off. I called my sister that night to tell her I was going to class and she was so excited she agreed to come with, even though she usually takes the 9 am Ladies class.

So….. here I am walking into Team LP Fitness Playground for the first time, its 5:45am on a Wednesday morning and there’s a good 40 people all ready to work out and they are all actually happy. Like really happy, not just fake happy. Everyone is in a good mood, everyone is ready to kick butt, and they are all welcoming me with open arms as if they had known me forever. To say I was tripped out would be an understatement. Where the hell do you find 40 people, in amazing moods, ready to take a kick ass workout class at 5:45am?!? Team LP Fitness Playground – That’s where!

Well, 20 minutes into the workout ….. I puked. But I did not stop. I knew I was in there for a reason and wasn’t going to half ass it, especially with Coach LP checking in with me everyone couple minutes to make sure I was doing okay. After the class, even after throwing up, I could honestly say –  that was the hardest I had worked out since college and it felt GOOD!! I felt alive, I felt happy, I felt like I could conquer the world. And this was just after 45 minutes?

I knew right then that somehow the world had put me in that gym for a reason and that Coach LP was this shining angel that was sent to help me achieve my goal of finally being at my full potential. He looked me right in eyes and told me that he could help get me in the best shape of my life and I believed him whole heatedly.

He started by helping me to clean up my nutrition. I was very skeptical when he told me I needed to “eat more”. “Eat more???” I said. He said “Yes, eat more often and eat clean!”  I thought about my eating habits prior to meeting him, I wouldn’t eat until at least noon everyday. I would eat lunch and then probably not eat again until dinner time, and that’s when the real problems started. I would eat so much at night that I would go to bed stuffed to the brim and literally be in a food coma…. every single night. I would wake up full still and not eat again until the afternoon. It was a very vicious cycle. Now I eat within 20 minutes of waking up, and am fueling my body with nutritious healthy clean food every 2-3 hours throughout the day. I stop when I’m full and I actually leave food on my plate! That was a very new feeling, not continuing to eat just because there is food in front of me, but actually listening to my body when it tells me I am content. When Coach LP explained that this journey is 80% nutrition, 10% your mind, and 10% physical, I was mind blown. No wonder everything I had tried before wasn’t working.

It has been a month since walking into the Playground for the first time, and my life has completely turned around for the better. I couldn’t imagine where I would be today without the amazing people I have met so far and without Coach LP guiding me all day,  everyday. This man has a passion for getting people to bring out their best ability of themselves. Every single person I have had the pleasure of meeting along on this new journey have truly been a driving factor in my success and I am just so grateful for all of you. I have a support team like I couldn’t imagine, my parents, my family, my friends, everyone is completely on board and it just makes this whole process so much easier. And let me tell you, it is NOT easy! This is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, but its worth it.

One more important thing before I sign off. Since I will NEVER allow the “old habit lifestyle” which made me sick, tired and run down to control me and now that I have committed to making this new healthy and fit lifestyle work for me for the remainder of my life, I would like to share a few goals I have set for myself.

Setting an ideal and realistic goal weight for myself has been very difficult to figure out. I have always gone off of what weight I felt the best at. With that said, for my body 165lbs would be my absolute ideal weight BUT I want to stress that for me, this journey is not about the number. More importantly, some goals I want to reach would be the following:

  1.  To maintain a high energy level throughout the entire day.
  2.  Play in a softball tournament and not be burnt out after 2 games. I LOVE softball!
  3.  To be an active Auntie and keep up with my 15 month old nephew when we play.
  4.  Run a half marathon. YES – I can do this!!
  5.  Do an obstacle course such as Tough Mudder or a Spartan race. Watch me go!
  6.  Be able to lift myself up on a wake board!

These are just some of the physical goals I have set for myself and I cannot wait to achieve them.

I know this new healthy and fit lifestyle is only going to make living my life so much better and for that reason I will NOT give up. This is a life long journey and I can’t wait to bring you all along for the ride!!

THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to share my story. I hope that my journey will inspire YOU to bring out your own personal greatness.   ~ Caly Lawson