There is No Secret to Getting Fit

My Journey to Fitness

Feeling Fabulously Fit at Forty!

on May 16, 2014




Well, here I am…  40 years old today!

In September 2011, I took my first step to getting fit.  For me, that step was meeting with a personal trainer once a week and doing my exercise “homework”.  She asked me what my goals were, and initially, I just told her I wanted to lose some weight and feel better.  I had “dreams” and “fantasies” of being able to wear cute sundresses and clothing that wasn’t plus-sized, but it never occurred to me that I could have far bigger dreams, rather, goals!  It was such a huge journey ahead, that thinking past each workout was daunting.  I will never forget my initial session with my trainer.  We walked up to my clubhouse, which is about 1/4 mile from my house with hills.  I was huffing and puffing and could barely speak.  I was embarrassed at how out of shape I was.  I remember feeling embarrassed that I couldn’t grab my ankle to do a quad stretch, and I would sweat from the smallest amount of exertion (sweating was always a source of huge discomfort and self-consciousness for me).

Once I began losing weight, I remember telling my trainer that I did have a goal, I had just never said it out loud until then.  My goal was to be a single digit clothing size by the time I turned 40.  At that point, the goal was still a fantasy that seemed out of reach.  After initially losing about 25 lbs by January 2012, my weight loss stalled.  I kept up the workouts, but my eating habits never really changed.  In July 2012 I finally “woke up” and decided to really change my life and I began eating clean and eliminated white flour and refined sugar from my diet permanently.  I consistently lost about 10 lbs per month by eating clean and turning the notch up on my exercise.  In April 2013, I hit my goal.  I was officially a comfortable size 8 and by the end of that May, I was wearing mostly size 6.

One year later, as I celebrate turning 40 years old, I have not only maintained my weight loss (over 125 lbs!),  I have become stronger, fitter, faster and much more confident.  The number on my clothing tags really doesn’t matter to me.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m giddy with excitement about wearing cute sundresses and clothes that I would never consider trying on, let alone wearing and feeling great in them.  However, just like my age, my clothing size is just a number.  Losing weight has done far more for me than a silly number on a tag could ever do.   I’m more energetic, more confident, more willing to try new things, I’ve accomplished things I never dreamed of, and it has changed my path and life goals.

I still have many fitness goals that I would like to achieve, but today, I am taking a moment to reflect on what I have accomplished.   In the past 18 months, I have completed 3 mud runs, 1 adventure run, a 17-mile cycle event, a sprint triathlon, eight 5K runs (taking my time from 37:22 to 28:38), a 4 miler, a 10K, two 10-milers, and two 1/2 marathons.  I have a hard time believing that I accomplished these events.  I take multiple weekly group classes, boxing and I run at least 3 times a week.  I started out this journey huffing and puffing with a short 1/4 mile walk.  I had asthma, knee issues, plantar fasciitis, and plenty of other weight related issues that always gave me excuses NOT to exercise.  I haven’t suffered from ANY of these issues over the past year.  My asthma is completely gone, including in cold weather.  My plantar fasciitis is gone, knee pain is rare (only if I do hundreds of box jumps in a matter of hours- LOL).  I can run, jump, zoom up and down stairs, get up from the floor with ease, and do countless other daily activities without thinking about them or feeling that they are at all taxing.  Most importantly, I can run and bike ride with my kids and comfortably fit on rides with them at amusement parks.  I have become a healthy role model for them.

As I previously posted, I am now a certified personal trainer.  I specialize in working with clients that have a significant amount of weight to lose.  I not only enjoy working with these clients, I am passionate about showing them what they are capable of.  I know it is a struggle to lose weight and I am so honored that they have chosen to work with me and allow me into a very private part of their lives.  We have had long conversations about food issues and emotional eating; things that are often times “taboo” topics for an overweight person.  Before starting this journey, I would always hide my issues with food rather than talk about them or admit to them.  I am so proud that I have fostered a supportive environment of sharing and discussing these topics.  My clients are getting fit together, they are accomplishing goals they never dreamed of together and they are becoming their own success stories.  I am so proud of them for the hard work they have put in and continue to put in.  I am still in awe that it’s ME in front of clients TEACHING an exercise class and working with personal training clients.

I am humbled to be an inspiration for others.  I am proud that I can help a population of people that many trainers don’t understand or don’t want to work with. I want to see others be just as successful.  I want to continue to inspire others and make exercise not only fun, but I want them to see what they are capable of.  There is a fit person inside of all of us, and it is possible to get there.  Our bodies are forgiving.  They will forgive us for what we have allowed them to become and reward us with energy, strength and even confidence.  It is not as simple as discipline, willpower, determination, drive or motivation.  There is so much more from being ready to take the step to getting fit, to staying on track and getting back on track when there are little bumps in the road.  It is a struggle.  There are always triggers, obstacles, excuses, and many, many emotional factors. As I have said before, there is no secret to getting fit, there is no easy way.  It is hard work, but it is not a journey you have to take alone.  Find a trainer, find supportive people to work with, set goals and take it one day at a time.  Believe me, time will pass either way, so it’s up to you to take the steps to get a little closer to your goal each day.

I am excited to continue this new path and passion.  I am excited to be a part of so many journeys.  I no longer dream or fantasize about being something I’m not.   It took me nearly 40 years, but now I know, anything can be an attainable goal, anything is possible!  I stopped wasting time dreaming and I took action to make my dream, my fantasy, my wish a reality, and now I am feeling fabulously fit at forty!


photo-1 photo image-2

These are pictures from today.  The sweaty one at the gym is me after my tough group class workout this morning (my birthday gift to me was to swing the 40 lb kettlebell during my AMRAP rotations)  and the others are of me in a new sundress I picked up for the summer.  Sweaty and sundress… two things that you would have never gotten a picture of me in before this journey!




5 responses to “Feeling Fabulously Fit at Forty!

  1. Mary Beth says:

    You are an inspiration!!! I’m so proud of what you’ve done with your life – makes me want to get out of the house and get moving! Thanks for sharing. And, happy birthday!!!

  2. Andrea says:

    Caitlin – you are simply amazing! Thank you for leading me on my own journey towards optimal health! You inspire, encourage, and truly understand my struggles. 40 looks fabulous on you and I wish you another 40 and beyond! (Mike says Happy Birthday Coach!)

  3. Kalin says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Caitlin. You are an inspiration. As I read your blog, tears of joy for you and tears of my own struggle came to my eyes. I am so happy for you and I so often think it is to late for me, but your story is in front of me. I want this and I need to take it up a notch. My feet do feel better with the minimum workout I have done with you (thank you). I hate being in this body and I want to be able to feel good in it once again. It has been years. 40 has long since pasted for me but I have a few years till I turn 50. So that is my goal, that I enter my 50’s feeling fit and strong and maybe even a little sexy!! YOU Look amazing and you are definitely Fabulous and Fit at Forty!! I am so happy for you my friend. Thank you for being real in your journey story.

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