Strength Training Brings New Confidence

Karie Kluesner

Life Time South Tulsa, OK | Member Since 2012

“[My story] is about gaining — gaining weight, gaining muscle, gaining self-confidence, gaining my health, and, ultimately gaining my life back.”

Growing up, I've always had body image issues and have struggled with an eating disorder for years. While most of these transformation stories are about losing weight, mine is about gaining--gaining weight, gaining muscle, gaining self confidence, gaining my health, and ultimately, gaining my life back. For years, I was a prisoner to cardio workouts only. I was obsessed with the number on the scale and how many calories I was burning at the gym. I did marathon after marathon and had really hit my racing prime. But I wasn't happy. I wasn't healthy. 5 years ago, I joined Life Time. And slowly something changed. I started meeting trainers and other gym members. I started watching other women who had physiques I admired, and noticed their weight focused workouts. I started researching and listening to the gym nutritionist. While I had lifted weights as a runner simply to help eliminate injuries, I was just "toning." But with the encouragement and support of a few of the trainers, I started migrating to the weight machines and dumbbells and really pushing myself. While I was fearful of gaining weight, something happened. I actually LIKED having a few curves. I LIKED how empowering it was to lift weights and become stronger. People started complimenting me on my gains, building my self confidence that I hadn't felt in years.. And while seeing my weight and clothes size increase was scary, I had a newfound respect for my body and what it could do. The stronger I got physically, the stronger I got mentally.  I learned so much about nutrition from the LT nutritionist that made eating not seem so scary. And I found a gym family and support system that kept me going. Do I miss the skinny girl in the top photos who had virtually no body fat? All of the time! But I'll take the fit, healthier, and stronger (albeit a little bit curvy) girl I am today and be proud of where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going.

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