People join the RiverPlex for many reasons. No matter your goal, we have the tools to help you achieve it. You’ll find more information on our various programs by clicking on the links.
Losing weight is a common goal for joining the RiverPlex, but sometimes we can’t do it on willpower alone. Understanding how our body reacts to training and nutrition, and what obstacles others have faced on their journey, can help us succeed.
Health Management Resources (HMR) program
Create Your Weight Loss Plan
Utilizing our strength machines and free weight area are the most popular ways members work to gain muscle, but that’s just the beginning of what we have to offer.
Develop or Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
- Personal wellness profile
- Recreation leagues
- Cardio & Strength machine
Improve Your Quality of Life
- Arthritis services
- Weight loss programs
RiverPlex Success Stories
- Anna Kinkade
- Michelle Dunn
- Lindsey Hanna
Brief summary of what you went through and how you got there.
I’ve always been a little over weight, living the lifestyle of my full time job working for a radio station. Always on the go, eating out a bars (where everything is deep fried) and washing it down with beers. For a long time I was even a smoker (No one ever believes this now when I tell them I used to smoke). I always thought that because I “worked out” I could continue to be that way. Eventually it caught up to me and then add in a boating accident/surgery and I was more than 30lbs overweight and pretty unhappy.
What made you get started in the first place with working out or eating healthy?
I felt like a hypocrite, I was teaching RPM at the time and I thought about how unhappy I was with my health/weight and how can I inspire someone to live healthier if I wasn’t living it on my own. I had already quit smoking year’s prior so it was time to go all in.
What drove you to keep going?
I set small goals, although I had the main goal of losing 30lbs I never viewed it as that, first I tried to lose just 10%, and when I did I got a small reward, like pedicure. Next, I aimed for 10lbs and rewarded again always making sure the rewards were non-food rewards. The goals were always small and realistic and each time I would reach one I felt more confident.
What challenges did you face along the way?
My job, the snacks and food that is delivered here on a weekly and sometimes daily bases plus the odd hours and being out at meal times. I still face those challenges today and I don’t always succeed but I do put a lot more planning into my nutrition and it helps.
When did you finally feel good about yourself? What clicked that made that happen?
I had always been a “runner” but never felt or believed I was one. In my weight loss I decided to sign up and actually train for a 5k, in the 12 weeks of training I had lost 15lbs and ran the 5k like it was nothing, shortly after I reached my goal weight. That’s when I realized I can do anything I set my mind/heart to. I think what clicked was just looking at the numbers from day one of training to race day the amount of weight I lost and going from a size 14 to a 4.
If you could go back in time, what wisdom would you share with your past self?
To not let the fear of stepping outside my comfort zone, force me to stand still or take a step back because the magic really does happen outside of that zone.
I have been on my fitness journey for pretty much my whole life. When I was a kid I just wanted to be thin and beautiful. I remember being a little girl in the 1980’s, always wanting to be a beautiful cheerleader: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader to be exact. I remember being a little girl and having my family call me chunky or fat. They would tease and joke about my weight. The older I got the more I fell in love with sports. I enjoyed the competition and being strong and fit. I was an athlete; a competitor by nature.
Even as a high school athlete, I was bigger and unhealthy. I realize now it was the environment I was growing up in. My parents did not value health therefore not educating us about it. We lived on fried food and raman noodles. I never lost that drive for wanting to be thin. I was an avid basketball player, ran cross country, and I participated in track & field. Due to the unhealthy eating I ended high school at 190lbs and a size 16.
As I ventured into college, the sports stopped due to a knee injury that led to several surgeries. I hung out with a great group of college football players that could eat and drink. I, of course, joined them. I still longed to be thin and beautiful, but eating pizza and drinking beer was a lot more fun.
Before I knew it, college was over and I was having a baby. By this time I no longer considered myself an athlete, nor anywhere close to being thin. If anything I was at an all-time high. After my first daughter in 2002, I decided it was time. So, I joined weight watchers. I was doing well with the weight loss, and then baby number 2 came. Then by 2005 I had had my 3rd daughter and was pushing close to 250 lbs. This was not the direction I wanted to go.
I had fallen in love with the television show Biggest Loser and by the fall of 2006 I was ready to begin. I remembered there was an athlete and a competitor somewhere deep inside of me. I loved her. At 5’4″ and close to 250lbs I knew I was ready for the work it would take. I was ready for the outside person to match the beautiful person on the inside. I began with very short amounts of cardio. 10 minutes on the bike, 10 minutes on the elliptical, and 10 minutes running. This was working well until a foot injury brought me to a standstill. I had already lost 15lbs and knew it was time to get my eating on track. I decided to go back to Weight Watchers. I was extremely successful that first year. I dropped close to 50lbs in the first 8 months. I ran my first 5k which was one of the reasons I wanted to lose weight. I was finding that athlete I had lost under all of the pounds gained. By the next fall I had lost about 70lbs total. I hadn’t seen this size in almost 10 plus years.
As the years went by, I quit going to Weight Watchers and just continued to run; participating in a few sports like volleyball and soccer on the side. I began winning 5k races in my age group and decided I needed to set a new goal. So, I moved on to half marathons. I had dwindled down to about 170lbs and was comfortable. I ran many miles each week and ate what I wanted.
After my divorce in 2011 I was lost. This was a major obstacle. I had been with the same man for 19 years, had three children and my world kind of fell apart. Not knowing what to do with my free time while my children were with their father, I decided joining the RiverPlex would be beneficial to my journey. My first order of business was to set new fitness goals and get myself back on the road I began traveling down in 2006. I decided to swim because I knew I wanted to complete a triathlon.
The triathlon came and I completed it. I was excited of course. I was kind of like, what next?!
That was when life really changed. It is always amazing to me how people cross your path at the exact moment you need them. I met a guy at the RiverPlex who introduced me to a healthier way of life. He began by posing the question, “What are your long-term goals? What is it you want to really achieve here?” At the time I was dumbfounded. I didn’t have a clue. At first, I wanted to be 150 lbs. I mean, it had been my goal since 2006. He then began to discuss with me body fat and lean muscle. He talked to me about changing my food habits and lifting weights. My mentality before was, “I worked my butt off in the gym; therefore I could eat what I wanted!” Looking back a year and a half ago, I could just shake myself. Which I am positive he has wanted to do numerous times.
I was extremely nervous about lifting weights, especially on the weight room floor, but he was good about working with me and teaching proper form. The stronger I became, the more my confidence began to peak. Still the biggest obstacle was the kitchen. Finally after 6 months of discussing food, I decided it was time for the next step. I began to pay attention to macros. I laugh now because I was so confused. I didn’t understand any of it. I knew how to calculate points for Weight Watchers, but this was a whole new ballgame. I stumbled through it. Listening, reading, and learning as much as I could. I began seeing results and I loved it. My body was transforming. By July of 2013 I had my body fat tested because now I wasn’t so concerned about being thin, I cared about lean muscle and body fat. In August I was certified to be a personal trainer.
It wasn’t until July of 2014 that I had hit all of my goals. I dropped below 150lbs, body fat was at 25%, and I was hired as a personal trainer at the RiverPlex.
My biggest obstacles throughout the years and even today are my emotions and my reaction to my emotions when it comes to food. I still struggle with this 8 years later. I deal with it by having a bad food day or week and then I get back on track. I try not to stray for too long.
I realized early on that I am the only person who can do this for me. I also believe everyone has to work at their own pace. When they are ready mentally, changes will occur. I am always setting new goals for myself. These goals are what keep me focused and moving forward in my fitness journey.
This is my story! It isn’t over yet! What are your goals? What is it you really want to accomplish here?
I have always been active or involved in sports as a kid. I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 17 and exercise was still encouraged as a management tool for me along with stringent carb-counting and food tracking. I exercised throughout my college years, but was not always very consistent and got knocked off track easily.
Later, in graduate school, I got my first insulin pump and found a new freedom with exercise and food that I had not had before when I was taking insulin shots daily. I started to become more consistent and more driven with exercise and gathered a group of friends to run a half-marathon and eventually a full marathon. I experienced many challenges along the way with blood sugar fluctuations as I began doing longer runs. It was not easy, but I never let the diagnosis stop me from doing what I wanted to do and knew I was capable of doing.
As I have gotten older and had more struggles with managing my blood sugar, I have leaned more and more on exercise as a consistent force in my life. It is not always helpful in blood sugar management, but it is my mental confirmation that I CAN do anything I want and I am not limited. I have started participating in Triathlons and doing that with an insulin pump and blood sugar meter is annoying and cumbersome to say the least, but it CAN be done and I do it, if nothing else, but in SPITE of the diabetes. This is the spirit that has kept me going on days that I just wanted to give up.
Now, I have finally gotten to a place that I schedule fitness into my day, everyday, even when everything seems to be going wrong and I have had a tough day of unruly blood sugars. For me, exercise is my re-set button and if I can do that, then everything else will fall into place eventually.
If I had any advice for my past self, it would be that I should have realized the power of CONSISTENCY earlier. It has truly changed my life for the better and is reflected in an improvement of my overall health and blood sugar control. If I could give any advice to someone who has a barrier to consistent exercise (whether that be medical or otherwise), I would tell them that it is on the days that you have no time/feel tired/feel discouraged and unmotivated that real change happens! Those are the most important days! Exercise does not always fit into our lives easily, but it is through challenge that real change occurs- and it starts from the inside out!