My name is Lena Hartlage and since January of 2017, I have lost over 80 pounds and more than 30% of my starting body fat percentage! My weight has been an issue I’ve battled my whole life- from the 3rd grade when I wasn’t allowed in a club because there was a weight restriction; to a college graduate struggling to find professional clothes for a plus-sized woman. Dieting and exercising to lose weight have been a part of my life since I was a teenager. Each time I would have a small amount of success followed by gaining the weight back and then some.
When I made the decision a little over a year ago, to finally commit to improving my health, I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made. It has been a rough year, each day with new challenges and obstacles, but between the support of my loved ones and my own determination, I have achieved success.
For me, food was the first thing I needed to take back control of. I needed to learn how to eat correctly. I spent the first month focusing on that, and once I knew I had food under control, it was time to hit the gym. I was not a stranger to Milestone. I had been a member on and off since I was 15. But this time going to the gym felt different. I was motivated but I felt lost. After a month of trying to figure it out myself, I knew I needed help. And that is how Michelle came into my life.
I needed guidance and new workouts to try, but since April, Michelle has given me so much more. Not only has she pushed me as a personal trainer, but she has also supported me like a friend. When I become comfortable doing my workouts by myself, I am able to turn to Michelle every 2 weeks and she teaches me new moves. She pushes me to go the extra mile because she knows I can do it, I just have to believe in myself.
In one year of my life, I have been able to take back control of the rest of my life. With Michelle’s help, I have learned that I am so much stronger, both mentally and physically, than I thought possible. I feel like I have a new start to my life, a new foundation from which to live my life.
Sure, there are days when I eat things I shouldn’t and don’t push myself hard enough in the gym; but there are more days when I do push myself physically and say “No” to unhealthy snacks.
Losing weight is not easy but it is SO worth it! Thank you, Michelle, for always believing in me and holding me accountable!