Powering Through: Athletes take on 10-Week Challenge

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Dana Tomlin with Trainer Bonnie Thomas

Austin Simply Fit’s 10-Week Resolution Challenge is one month in, and almost halfway done! The challenge kicked off on Monday, January 13, with participants signing up for the New Years’ resolution of their lives

For the past five weeks, nearly a dozen brave athletes have been thriving and persevering through private workout sessions with Austin Simply Fit’s certified personal trainers and vigorous and fun small group sessions. Plus, they’ve all been asked to change their eating habits with a little extra incentive: gift cards redeemable for healthy meals, snacks and drinks from Wheatsville Food Co-op.

Most of the participants signed up with a similar goal in mind: to focus more on themselves and their health. Sonia Santamaria decided to take on the challenge after learning about it through the Wheatsville newsletter. “It seemed like the easiest way for me to make myself be physically active and I liked the idea that other people would be doing it too,” she said. Challenge participant Iris Vanover similarly felt that she was in need of a transformation in her life, body, and health. Dana Tomlin, another challenge participant, shared that “getting time to workout was becoming a real issue,” after having many life and routine shakeups, like moving, putting a kid in a new school, and working more. She said, “I’ve been having an issue with making ‘me’ a priority in my life.”

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Iris Vanover in action

With the guidance of their trainers in fitness and clean eating, the participants have already started to see results in just four weeks. “I’m down 10 lbs. with a couple inches off my body. I feel strong and healthy,” says Iris, while Dana remarks that she has “more energy but I also feel more rested.” Sonia on the other hand hasn’t been thinking of the challenge in terms of results, though she’ll say it has been challenging, “the first week sucked; subsequent weeks have been much better.”

In addition to results, the women have also learned some surprising facts about health, fitness and strength training that they didn’t know before. “The amount of small meals was surprising, even though I had heard that my entire life,” said Dana, while Sonia was surprised that “the exercise part has been easier than the food/nutrition part.”

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Sonia Santamaria with trainer Meryl Carey

With just five weeks left, what’s keeping these women motivated? Besides the t-shirt at the end, Sonia says “there is something to the idea of not just committing to but also following through with a fitness regimen for ten weeks, but at the same time there really isn’t an end if I want to be a person who maintains some degree of physical activity.” For Dana, it’s the results that are spurring her. “10 weeks is a long time to work out at this intensity and I’m really looking forward to the results.” Iris adds, “I continue to stay motivated by reading transformation and motivational real life stories. I’m determined to make this a lifestyle and not just a New Year’s resolution or challenge.”