Overweight & Depressed 51 Year Old Mom to Athlete

by Tammy Frothingham

My story begins the day I turned 51.  I thought to myself, ¨I’ve never felt my age before, so, why am I starting to feel older and why don’t I have any energy.¨ I had never felt so sluggish, depressed, and unmotivated to do anything.  The majority of my life I had kept myself healthy with decent eating and exercise. After a couple of days of feeling sorry for myself, I realized that I hadn’t been to the gym more than a handful of times in the last 2 years. I knew I wasn’t going on a regular basis, but had not realized that so much time had gone by.  Not to mention, my eating was out of control.  I was 40 pounds overweight, which was 20 pounds heavier than when I was 9 months pregnant at the age of 42.  That was just out of control!  My 8 year old son was hard to keep up with, and, I didn’t want him to have an unhealthy mother.  I am not old at 51. 

I told myself at that moment — ¨I’M NOT GOING OUT LIKE THIS!!  I will not be unhealthy at this time in my life!  I will not do that to my little boy, who deserves an active parent.¨

I told my husband that I was going to sign up with Walter Lewis, the trainer my friend recommended to me.  His response was that I worked out my whole life, and, knew how to exercise, so, why would I want to pay a trainer.  It did not matter that I was experienced at exercising.  I could not get myself up off the couch to get moving.  I needed to be accountable to someone so that I would go.  Well, it worked.  

I started out training with Walter twice a week.  I was at the highest weight of my life, 180 pounds.  Even though I knew the movements and exercises, my endurance was not there.  It had been so long since I had done cardio.  He was able to do strength training, as well as cardio, all in each session.  I felt fantastic each time I left the gym.  Some workouts were outside, some inside. He tailored each workout to my abilities. He knew exactly what I needed. After a few weeks, my friend let me know that he also taught an Elite class with a handful of students twice a week. Once I went, I was hooked. I got the best workouts of my life with him.  I was on my way to being my old self again; what a joy and relief.

I had lost 33 pounds, and, felt like a million bucks.  My husband and friends told me I really looked like an athlete these days. Things couldn’t be better. Little did I know, the best part of it all was yet to come  Walter came into class one day and told us that he was doing a triathlon. I told him I had always wanted to do those type of races, but, never felt I was capable of doing it, since I was never a runner or a swimmer.  I also never had a group of friends that were interested in anything like that.  I admired those athletes so much, and, wished I could be like them.  

Walter told me that I WAS like them, and, just didn’t know it.  He told me that I needed to do it.  When another girl in our class heard us talking about it, she quickly said she would do it with me.  She, too, had always wanted to, but, didn’t think she could.  He reminded us of the endurance and strength we had shown in the last 4 months.  He knew we had it in us, and, wanted us to know it, as well.  We both signed up and began to train for it.

Once race day came, I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  My husband appeared to be nervous, asking if I really thought I was able to do all this.  I told him “I got this”.  I was not the least bit worried, knowing that Walter had prepared me for this day, and then some.  I finished the race, and, could have done more that day.  I was so proud of myself!   I thanked Walter for giving me the inspiration and confidence to do this.  I was so invigorated that I immediately signed up for another triathlon.  I have also done 2 Spartan Obstacle Course mud races.  

I owe a lot to Walter Lewis.  He has inspired me to be a stronger, healthier person.  He has also shown me that I AM the athlete that I always wanted to be.    

Thanks so much, Walter!