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Stacey Modaress-Razavi

{Member} Raleigh, NC

Trax Transformations

Group Fitness Instructor Name or Personal Trainer name:

Allison Dehner and Andjie Barton

If you attended classes or worked with a trainer, how many times a week did you come: about 6 times a week

Date you started your fitness journey? July 2017

Personal Testimonial:

I've always been overweight as a kid and I became medically obese in my 40s once I had my two wonderful kiddos. Dieting and Weight Watchers never worked for me, because as soon as I lost the weight, it would come right back with a few of it's friends. :0( I tried a few gyms in the past, but unfortunately, it felt like everyone there was dressed like they were looking for a date. Sooooo, not me.

My health began to decline. I thought I was just a tired mom with too much to do, as the reasons for my cranky and tired self. I would force myself out of bed every morning and get on with the day. It wasn't until one afternoon when my kids were older that I told them I was going to take a nap and I didn't wake up until the next afternoon that I knew there was something really wrong with me. This wasn't just tired, it was exhaustion. I went to my doctor and she ran tests. Turns out I had NASH (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) Type 2 Diabetes, Anemia and Hypothyroidism. Crud!

My Doctor told me that Type 2 Diabetes was a progressive disease and that unless I had gastric bypass surgery, there was no cure. So I did what anyone would do with all this bad news – I ignored it. I hoped for over a year it would all go away. It didn't and got worse. I was not myself – I couldn't walk up and down the stairs in our home without getting winded. I didn't want to take the kids to the park. Going to do the groceries was a monumental task. It began to dawn on me that if I didn't do something, I was going to die. I couldn't let that happen to my kids. I have friends whose parents died at early ages and it a lifelong loss. Plus, I was the adult, time to take charge of my life and make better choices and model the type of behavior I wanted to see in my kids.

The following was a gradual process, because it's really hard to change behaviors. I ditched my doctor. She just had to be wrong about 'there being no cure for Type 2 diabetes'. I found a doctor that believed I could change my outcome and gave me the support I needed to change my diet and life. After meeting with a nutritionist, I proudly became a member of the 'clean eating' craze and have cut my portion sizes to REAL servings sizes. I have come to understand that while some people can eat tons (my husband) and still be healthy, that is not me. I used to believe that as a good mom, you had cake for every occasion and you took your kids to get treats everyday after school. Basically, I built our family celebrations around food and lots of it. The nutritionist helped my reorient my relationship with food. I also, became a member of Healthtrax through the PREP (Physician Referred Exercise Program). At first I hated it. I hated the treadmills. I hated the weights. I hated having to spend the time in traffic going to the gym. (sorry – but it's the truth)

After the first three months or so, the staff re-evaluated me and there was some improvement in my weight and inches but not enough for me to be very happy about. I despaired that nothing would ever change. I went to my doctor for some routine tests and she said something along the lines of, if you stop now, then you will never get better or you can keep on going and then you at least have hope. I chose hope – how could I not? I decided to try some of the Group Fitness classes the staff had recommended when I first was evaluated.

People, it pays to listen to the professionals! I loved Group Groove!! I could dance my butt off with not a single person looking at me because we were in the dark WITH a disco ball. :0) Allison and Andjie were so awesome and kind – 'If you can move, you can groove.' It didn't matter that I was out of step, it didn't matter that I was red faced and dripping sweat. I was having the best time moving the way I did in my 20s when I would go out 'clubbing'. From there I tried Group Centergy. Loved that too but in a calmer, centered way ;0) The stretching helped my back and I didn't even know I had lost mobility there. It also, helped me quiet all the monkey-mind going on in my head, with it's restore part at the end of the session. I also tried the Group Blast class and I have to say it's my most challenging class. The workout is like a groove/step class combo, and while I still trip over my own two feet, it’s a nonjudgmental atmosphere. I can choose how intense a workout I want that day and for me that's everything because – well – you know – life...

My goal is to go to a class everyday of the week but to understand that I have a family, and kids soccer, and Girl Scouts and work, and in-laws, and friends, that I also make time for, so at the very least, I'm there 3 times a week. Healthtrax has completely changed my life (and yes, I know it sounds cliched but OMG it's so true!) I remember one day after I had started Groove, I went to Target and had forgotten something while I was in the check out line. I told the kids to stay put and ran to the back of Target and back to the check out and realized when I got there that would never have happened before Groove. I could not have run that distance, that fast and that unwind-ed without - Groove, Allison and Andjie - in my life. I was so excited about it, that at the next class, I told Allison what had happened. And the great part is, she was so happy for me. What a fabulous instructor. Actually, all the instructors and staff are the main reason I stay motivated. Their smiles of encouragement and just saying hello, help me stay socially connected and engaged.

The best news for me is that my medical tests have come back so much better! My liver functions are all in the normal ranges!! No more NASH for me. My Type 2 diabetes is under control and my A1C is in the Pre-diabetes level! I've gone from the max dose - 4 pills to 3 pills of Metformin and hope to bring it down even further. The way I plan to do this, is to incorporate weights into my workout to get the added benefit of boosting my metabolism and help my bones as I get older. I am in this for the long haul, people... Oh! And I've got the added bonus of my weight gradually coming down and I'm soooo much happier. The days of the cranky, tired, Stacey are gone. I still have ups and downs because of my thyroid issues but they are nowhere near as bad, because the classes keep my hormones movin' and a groovin'. ;D