Nicole and Anna: The Perfect Team

We could not have asked for a better way to launch our blog than with Nicole's story about her journey with her daughter, Anna. Watching these two amazing women grow, both in their relationship with each other and in their own self confidence and strength has been surreal. We hope you enjoy their story of courage, connection, support and love as much as we did! Have your Kleenex nearby!


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“So…. I heard about this gym that has a weight-loss program and a plus-size exercise class.  You interested in coming with me?”

I kept my eyes studiously on the road.  The car can be a good place to bring up difficult subjects.  You don’t have to make eye contact.

“Ummmm…” Anna hesitated.  My heart sank.  I was sure that this was going to be the start of a fight.  Or tears.  Or both.  “Yes,” she said.

That was the beginning of our journey just a little over a year ago.  My daughter, twenty years old, had been struggling with her weight for a long time.  As her mother, I didn’t know how to help.  Weight loss is an incredibly personal thing, and you need to come to a decision on your own.  Over the years, I had tried any number of popular weight-loss programs myself, likely setting a tremendously negative example.  I didn’t know what this No More Excuses program would be like, and I was hopeful – but full of trepidation at the same time.  A negative experience for me, I could handle.  But a negative experience for my kid?  Let’s just say I didn’t want to fail her one more time.

Right from the first meeting with Marsha, I knew this was different.  First, there was no judgement – just a matter-of-fact manner – this is where we are starting and this is how to attain your goals.  There was a lot of laughter, even at that first meeting.  We went home, binders in hand, and started planning out our meals.  Calorie counting was a learning curve, but we managed to figure out some creative ways to get our favourites, and discovered some new favourites as well.

More intimidating than the calorie-counting, however, was the notion of exercise.  Exercise was not a part of our regular routine and hadn’t been for a long time.  We weren’t sure what to expect from our first “Yes You Can” class.

What we found, however, was an overwhelming culture of support and acceptance.  Everyone there was so encouraging – and it was fun to try so many different activities.  Each class, we laughed and joked and sweated our way through some really tough activities – exercises I NEVER thought we would do.

Fast forward a year… and things have changed quite a bit.  We have both lost a lot of weight – but we still have more to go.  It wasn’t always easy.  I was set back for nearly two months with shingles and Anna deliberately took time off to travel.  But we have progressed so far, with so many non-scale victories.  At my first Yes You Can class, I couldn’t do a regular jumping jack.  I can do jumping jacks for a really long time, now.  Neither of us could hold a plank a year ago, and now we can do TRX planks like a couple of bad-asses.  I’m not gonna lie – that feels pretty good.

What I know for sure is that all of those victories – on the scale and off – could not have happened without the No More Excuses community.  Our personal weight-loss champions cheered us on through the challenge.  The people we have come to know in our regular classes are accepting and kind and fun.  But Cheryl and Marsha and Zita – those ladies have all my gratitude.  I’m not sure I can express how grateful I am for the encouragement and support (and sometimes the kick in the ass) they have provided over the past year.  It would be one thing if it were just me… but as a mom, it is such a gift to be able to see my daughter’s growth in confidence, in health, and in spirit.

We were a couple of New Year’s Resolutioners last year – those people who crowd the gym with a mixture of hope and fear and desire for change.   If you are one of those people looking to change your life – No More Excuses is the place to get started.