Brenda and Bryan Ridings recently lost “someone” close to them.
However, they were more than happy to see the “person” go.
Under the tutelage of Rebecca Manger at the Athletic Club in downtown Wapakoneta, the couple combined to lose 182.2 pounds in the past 18 months.
“That’s a whole person,” Bryan said with a chuckle. “Even better, we lost our trainer, and one of the kids.”
However, the couple has taken their need to lose weight quite seriously. Bryan weighed 337 pounds in 2000 when he first decided to lose weight. At that time, Brenda weighed 300 pounds. Bryan decided he wanted to lose some weight and at first began working out on his own.
He did manage to lose some weight on his own, shedding 45 pounds on his own during a 10-year period. He sporadically was going to the Athletic Club to work out. In the meantime, Brenda had little interest in joining her husband in his workout regimen.
Toward the end of June 2010, the couple mutually came to the conclusion that they were overweight.
“They were successful because they made the commitment,” Manger said. “The difference was they chose to make a lifestyle change. They worked hard and had a lot of determination.”
The couple met with Manger and had a fitness evaluation of their situations. She developed individual plans for each.
The couple began with low impact cardio workouts and gradually worked their way up, making small, achievable goals one step at a time. Bryan met with Manger as his personal trainer twice a week and also continued to visit on his own once or twice a week while also taking boxing classes.
Brenda met with Manger for private training lessons once a week and also attended two classes throughout the week. In the next 18 months, Bryan lost 45.6 pounds, the same amount of weight it took him to lose on his own during that 10-year period while trimming 24.25 inches off of his waistline. Brenda’s results were even more dramatic. She lost 90.6 pounds in the 18-month period and trimmed 43 inches off of her waistline. Ironically, after shedding the “person” that they both had joked about, they both felt like they were more complete as individuals.
“The mental part is the hardest part,” Bryan said. “I struggled with low self-esteem and was an emotional eater.”
“I just think about what I can do now as compared to before I lost the weight,” Brenda said.
After losing the weight, the couple has taken on things they never even would have thought about before. They recently went on a cruise together and took a three mile hike at River Falls in Jamaica. Also, they participated in their first 5K race at Fryburg.
“We physically could not have done it before,” Brenda said.
The couple enjoyed the 5K run so much that they are looking forward to spring and planning on running more 5K races.
Brenda said that she could not have ever lost the weight without the help of a trainer.
“I am not an overly motivated person,” Brenda said. “That was where Rebecca came in.”
The couple keeps food journals, which they turn in to Manger on a weekly basis. They have focused on controlling their diet.
“We went from eating pizza about two or three times a week to about once every six weeks,” Bryan said. “That is just one example.”
Brenda said the key has been controlling portion sizes.
“It is especially hard when the holidays come around,” Brenda said. “We still eat that stuff. The difference is you just eat one cookie instead of three or four. We work hard on controlling our portions.”
Both agreed that losing significant weight is attainable for anyone, and they were more than happy to point themselves out as examples.
“The key is you set small goals along the way so it doesn’t seem so far away,” Bryan said. “Just stick with it. You will struggle at times. It makes the long term goals more attainable.”