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At age 24, I was approximately 155 pound at my wedding in 1987. As I had my 3 children and went through some emotional ups and downs my weight gradually crept up to 265 pounds as we entered the early 2000’s.

I often would see overweight moms and women eating in public and thought how disgusting it was to see them indulge. Then I realized just how obese I had become one day, looking at a photo of myself, I was shocked and mortified! The image in the photo was a reality. When I looked in the mirror at home I knew I was overweight but was in denial as to how badly.

It was 2004 at the age 41 I decided it is time to change. I am not getting any younger and I only have one go at this life.

Fortunately, in my community was an exercise studio “Balance Fitness”. I visited with the owner Shannon Kray and we together came up with a plan to get started. Weight/diet management and a physical fitness regime.

I dove in whole heartedly. With Shannon coaching me watching my diet, drinking more water, weekly personal training, aerobics and pilates reformer classes and my determination over the course of 4 years I had loss more than 100 pounds.

It is now 2012; I have maintained my weight loss over the past 4 years weighing now 145-150. Continuing to follow my new life style of exercise and diet habits, I thoroughly enjoy the classes I continue to attend at the “Balanced Fitness Studio”.

I have gone for body lift surgery to remove all the excess skin from around my middle section just this late spring. I have added years to my life, my body has changed tremendously going from more than a 2xl to size 8. At the age of 49 I have been told by medical professionals I have the heart of an athlete and also have worn my first 2 piece bathing suit in my life. Something I thought I would never ever do.

Thank-you Shannon Kray for bringing your “Balanced Fitness Studio” to my community and being such a great influence in my life!

~Sonya Gatto