Rebecca & Ella Fitzsimmons

Rebecca’s journey first started at the YMCA 2 years ago when she was given a 3-month membership as a  Christmas present. Now, the Y has become a lifestyle for her and her 4-year-old daughter, Ella.

Before the YMCA, Rebecca had recently moved to the area as a single mother and got a job at the local hospital. Rebecca’s health journey started from constantly being on-the-go at her new job and most importantly, a visit to the doctor. “When the doctor says to you, ‘IF you can loose a hundred pounds,’ it’s hard to hear.” At that moment she took what the doctor said as a challenge and was ready to put in the hard work.

Rebecca started her journey at the YMCA weighing 237lbs with a first goal to reach 180lbs. Quickly   reaching her goal of 180lbs, she wasn’t ready to settle. “I knew I could push myself further, I had all support in the world.” Once Rebecca started working on her second goal, dropping more weight,  she quickly   realized she was hitting a plateau. She was stuck at the 180lb mark for a month and a half before she decided to give our TRX class a shot. “The TRX class with Sterling gave my body the shock that it needed. I started dropping weight again and last December I hit 160lbs. Ella’s also been a major factor in my journey.”

When asked how the YMCA has impacted them the most Rebecca replied, “That’s hard. It’s changed my whole outlook on life. When I was 50lbs down, I took Ella to the park and for the first time and I was able to play with her. You know, like get down with her and physically play. It really hit me hard when realizing this, in that moment. We would always do fun things but I was never able to play with her like that.” The YMCA provided Rebecca and Ella with a safe, supportive, worry-free environment to go to. “It’s hard enough for two parents to get time to focus on themselves let alone a single mother, and the Y offered me that. The Y was God sent.”

When asking Ella and Rebecca what they love most about the Y, Ella noted the pool, Playcare and teachers. Rebecca highlighted the personal relationships that have developed and being noticed for her hard work. Besides the notable physical changes that Rebecca made at the Y, she also made of importance the emotional gains. “When I started at the Y, I was coming out of a dark place. With a lot of encouragement and positive vibes you are more likely to exude the same.” The environment at the Y changed her outlook on life to be positive. “Appearance is nice, but the confidence it gives you, it changes the way you carry yourself in the world and how other people perceive you. I care about Ella’s perceptions of me. Her perceptions of me as a mom mean everything.”

Rebecca’s advice for others was, “Progress is progress no matter how small. This was hard work and determination, there’s no magic pill. There is nothing quick about it. You have to be willing to embrace the change and give it all you got. Rebecca’s goals will always be forever evolving; “It’s become a  lifestyle choice. It’s not so much about the weight loss, its about how I feel physically and mentally when I workout.”