Felicia was already struggling with low self-esteem and self-consciousness when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during her junior year of high school. Turning her focus inward, Felicia concentrated on her education and spent a lot of time reading. By the time she moved to Baton Rouge for graduate school she was tired, feeling lousy and dealing with the emotional aftermath of a bad breakup.
A friend had recently discovered group fitness classes at a nearby Anytime Fitness. He convinced Felicia to join him at the club by pointing out that she had nothing to lose. Felicia was immediately hooked on group classes like BodyPump, BodyCombat and Zumba.
With full school and work schedules, Felicia occasionally missed a fitness class or two. However, she soon realized that it was important to make exercise a regular part of her daily routine. The benefits of exercise—a clear mind and more energy—inspired Felicia to make time for working out. As a result of integrating exercise into her life, Felicia has cut her insulin requirement nearly in half. Combined with the physical results of her efforts, knowing that her friends are expecting her to show up at fitness class keeps Felicia motivated and coming back for more.
The power of group exercise has allowed Felicia to connect with the person she was meant to be—a woman who feels comfortable in her own skin and loves her body for all that it allows her to do. Felicia has stopped thinking in terms of size and weight, and is now completely focused on her health and wellbeing.
Felicia had no idea what she was capable of when she stepped foot inside Anytime Fitness. She didn’t know she would ever be able to complete an entire class, much less two classes in a row. Though she spent most of her college career focusing on literature with plans to become a teacher, Felicia is now in graduate school studying nutrition. More specifically, nutrition as it relates to diabetes. Felicia’s focus is on paying it forward. She plans to get her Zumba certification so that she can touch the lives of others who are struggling in the same way as she was.
Submitted by Fitness Rebel Christy Meyer