Warrior of the Month Ricki Taylor

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“I have never been part of a gym that is as motivating as TFW. The Coaches and my Familia inspire me to be more each and every workout.”—Ricki Taylor

I suppose it would not surprise anyone that Phil asked me to be Warrior of the Month.  What may surprise you is that I am almost 57.  My quest toward the Holy Grail of being in the best shape of my life gets harder as I see each passing year.  My regrets are many.  I sit here with a heating pad on my neck and back.  Wishing I had lost my weight early in life and kept it off. Why had I not hit the gym prior to my 37th  birthday? What can I say that would inspire the many Warriors at TFW?  My body doesn’t work like I want it to!   I haven’t lost 100lbs like a few of them have. But wait! Maybe in total I have lost those 100lbs if not more.  It just isn’t at one time and when I lose them, they don’t seem to stay gone for too long. -They like to come back with friends!

I grew up in a time where you were either fat or skinny.  I was “Fatso”.  Teased by my siblings, friends and mom.  Of course, this created a very poor body image issue.  I was most likely in my 40’s when I look back at old family photos and realize when I was really young, I was normal in size.  Yet my older sister was Anorexic looking. Yes, I was bigger by comparison but a total healthy child.  However, if you believe what everyone tells you long enough you grow into your name and “Fatso” became my norm.  I carried 20 extra pounds most of my High School years. My first significant weight loss came at 18 years of age and thus the rounds of “Yo-yo” dieting began. I won’t go into details of college years and weight you gain from alcohol etc.  But I will say, I had no knowledge of nutrition plan, portion control, or health.   The formula was – don’t eat at all-starve-get as skinny as you can by not eating-eat gain it back.  This works while you are young.  There were seasons in my life I was able to keep the weight off. Working out was not in a gym but working in fields on an Experiment Station using hoes, chain saws, loppers, mowers, and carrying 50 lb. bags of fertilizer.  Or it consisted of Rock Climbing the mountains of North Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina. When my children were born, I had to hang up the Rock Climbing.  I found Jane Fonda and Denise Austin Tapes and I was able to do those in my own home.   But the exercise I was able to do anywhere and keep those pounds at bay became running.  Running helps the heart but if you run and don’t have proper nutrition it is still just pounding pavement.  Although I was skinnier than I am now I wasn’t healthy.  My legs were flabby, and I was scrawny looking.  When my youngest son was 6 he would hit my thighs and laugh because they would jiggle!  Now, although they are worn by the 57 years of gravity and age the muscle under them does not move when hit!

At the age of 37 the Doctor told me to get my son in the gym.  He was 12.  That became the beginning of a long journey and lifestyle change for my entire family.  I was living in South Georgia. A single mom raising two boys on a small salary what gym could I afford? Fortunately, the town had an old “Rocky” style gym that allowed 24-hour access.  I could afford it. In addition, my son started working cleaning the gym for his membership.  That helped dramatically.  We all saw transformations the next few years.  I entered my first body building competition and came in 2nd place when I was 39.  Talk about an unhealthy way to train. That was 6 months of starvation.  I looked AWESOME. But totally unsustainable and major burnout when done. It also did not help my Body Image issues when I gained all the weight back by eating one piece of pizza. (No maybe every piece of pizza!). Every year though I would set a goal of something to accomplish physically before I turned one year older.  That would normally entail a Race like the Gate River Run, a Hike, or a certain pound loss achievement.   I have to say adding weight training to our lives totally changed us.  Everyone who now knows either me or my two sons knows that if you can’t find us for an hour or, so we are at a gym. If we come to visit, we will be taking time to exercise or find the nearest gym. If we travel, we check out every hotel weight room and will make sure we stay in a place that has a good gym! 

You now know when Cardio entered my life and when weight training entered my life but what about nutrition?  That my fellow Warriors is an ongoing process that I am still working on nailing down what works for me without starving myself.  If I am brutally honest it is easier to get up and perform some sort of cardio whether it be walking or running.  Anyone who doesn’t like to weight train can take 20 minutes a day and lift even light weights or bands. But eating! Let’s face it! Admit it! FOOD TASTES GOOD! If ice cream or chips did not make you gain weight 50% of us would not know what the inside of a gym looks like!  As I have gotten older, I have become more understanding about this part of my journey.  Nutrition has to do with body chemistry and food combinations.  That is so hard to figure out when we work full time jobs and have families.  I may never fully figure this out.  I thank TFW for the many Challenges we have every year to push that reset button and work on that one more thing whether it be drinking one extra glass of water or staying away from sugar.

I moved to PVB 11 years ago.  I have gone to a few trainers and other gyms.  I am forever thankful to Bill Oakley introducing me to TFW.  After various surgeries and having quit long distance running due to my back the pounds crept up.  Within my first 6 months I lost 6 lbs.  This by only coming to the workouts.  I still have my personal goal of 6 more but I am on my way. TFW gives me what I need to help me reach that goal. I have concluded that much about Fitness and Health has to do with personal Commitment.  What better place is there to encourage that commitment than at TFW, Phil, Johnny, Tyler, Lori, Katie are committed to helping us reach our goals. It is about consistency.  I must be consistent in my training.  They are there to provide classes at all hours to help that consistency.  And what I need most now that I am older, and this heating pad sees more wear is a comrade.  I don’t believe I have ever been part of a gym that I get so much daily motivation from than the friends I work out with every day.  “That being said” I need to head off to bed. Kate will be expecting to see me at 5:15 am!

Do you struggle with some of the same things Ricki struggled with? You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life also! Contact us now!

Email:  trainingforwarriorspvb@gmail.com or Call: (904)834-3917

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