Down 95 Pounds and Full of Energy and Confidence

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By: Jamie Garita – TSMMA Bayridge

It was time to do something about my health once and for all, so I vowed to myself once again that I would get into the best shape of my life.

During my pregnancy with my son Dante, I gained over 80 lbs. The day I gave birth I tipped the scales at 243 lbs. I remember telling myself that I was going to lose the weight and get in better shape. After a few weeks I started, running and used various DVD programs as exercise. Just from that, I lost about 50 lbs. But then I plateau and even though I continued with my exercise and eating a reduced calorie diet I couldn’t lose any more weight. About a year after I had my son I got pregnant again. I was already close to 200 lbs and quickly ballooned to 240 again. About 4 months in I suffered a miscarriage. I was devastated at the loss but decided that it was time to do something about my health once and for all, so I vowed to myself once again that I would get into the best shape of my life.

But where to start? I had a friend who was doing cardio kickboxing and she had seen some pretty amazing results. I thought I might enjoy it. When I was a child I wanted to be a boxer, but never pursued that dream. For weeks I checked the websites of different kickboxing gyms. Emailed them about free trials and then never showed up. Then one day I was walking up 86th Street and decided it was time to put up or shut up. I walked up those stairs not knowing at all what to expect. I talked to Poy at the front desk and we set up my free trial class for the next day.

Then one day I was walking up 86th Street and decided it was time to put up or shut up.

I will never forget that first day if I live to be 100. I was so nervous I was shaking. I thought I was going to be the worst. But I promised myself two things. One was that no matter what I wouldn’t walk off the mat to get water or rest until class was over and second that I wouldn’t do pushups on my knees. That first class was hard. At 240 lbs I was heavy breathing and sweating more than I thought possible. I made it through with no breaks. I was so energized and proud. I told Joshu Glenn I needed the night to think it over, and he told me to come back the next day for another class so I could be sure it was something I wanted to do. Walking home after that first class I couldn’t stop smiling. I could barely sleep that night because I was so excited to go back. Sure enough I took that second class and made the decision to sign up.

Fast forward two weeks later I had already lost 14 lbs. I felt amazing. I was happier, eating healthy became so easy because I was seeing results and wanted them to continue.

When Sensei Levy and Joshu Pace came to our school it only made me love the sport even more. Sensei Levy helped me get to a level I never thought I could achieve. Sensei helped me overcome my fear of getting hit during kickboxing and put me on a diet that accelerated my weight loss. Joshu Pace gave me an understanding of grappling I never thought I would have – teaching us to relax and use technique rather than strength. When he explains things you just get it. Joshu Pace’s love of grappling really resonates in his teaching.

Sensei Levy helped me get to a level I never thought I could achieve.

1 year later I was down 75 lbs and did my first COC tournament and won first place in kickboxing. I couldn’t believe it! I went from being this shy fat girl, to this confident martial arts competitor. Since then I did my second COC, won first place in both grappling and kickboxing. I did the east coast grappling tournament and won first place, and took first place in NAGA.

1 year later I was down 75 lbs and did my first COC tournament and won first place in kickboxing. I couldn’t believe it!

Now I am down 95 lbs, but health and fitness isn’t the only way this has impacted my life. I have since made demands for better pay and more time off at work and got both. And now I am pursuing a career in personal training, and hopefully MMA. I am not even the same person I was when I started. I am an energetic person who has the energy to run after a three year old. I walk tall with confidence. I am not afraid to talk to people anymore I just go out there every day and get what I want.

I walk tall with confidence. I am not afraid to talk to people anymore I just go out there every day and get what I want.

I want to send my biggest thanks to Sensei Levy for believing in me and pushing me to exceed my goals. Because of him, Joshu Pace and the staff at Bay Ridge, my health and looks has dramatically improved.