Vickie's Journey

Hi, my name is Vickie Troth!

Hi, my name is Vickie Troth and I have lived in South Jersey all of my life. I currently live in Vineland with my husband (of 36 years) Ron, and my Chihuahua Jax. I have one daughter, Erin, and son-in-law, Chuck. I enjoy playing poker, shopping, riding with my husband on his Harley, going to the movies, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

I returned to college and earned my associates degree in business administration in 2015.  I have worked at Inspira Health Network for thirty years, beginning in the Payroll Department and then transferring to the Surgical Services Department in 2003. I hope to travel to Italy some day and would like to go zip-lining (even though I am afraid of heights).  Most recently, I joined my son-in-law’s efforts to raise money for Special Olympics and plan to do the Polar Bear Plunge with him in January. Last year, I began working out again at Inspira Fitness Connection where I have made some new friends and also reconnected with some old friends. 

I am on a personal mission to lose weight and eat healthy. I am determined when I set my mind to something, so please join me and follow my wellness journey!

Week 1

I have enrolled in a journey program to follow the exercise, diet, and mental well-being aspects of my life. I work with a health coach and personal trainer at Inspira Fitness Connection to learn the tools needed to create a healthier lifestyle for myself so I can reach all of my healthy living goals. I have chosen to do this journey in hopes of encouraging, supporting, and showing others that every person is capable of living a healthier lifestyle with the right coaching and guidance. I am here to tell you Inspira Fitness Connection offers the right people and environment to turn my life around and I am so happy I have found this opportunity. 

To be honest, it has actually been a tough week for healthy eating.  I had a few birthday celebrations this week and made both good and bad choices when it came to food.  I did manage to get in some workouts this week.  Twice at the gym and twice at home.  Four out of seven isn’t bad, right?  My goal is to increase it.  I’ve had a fairly busy past couple of weeks but I anticipate a turnaround.  I need to improve on my weekly journal entries and tracking what I have been eating and the exercises I have done.  I had a great first meeting with Maria Goeller and Colin Meandro, who have already given me some tips on physical activity and healthy eating. They definitely motivate me to keep going.  I am looking forward to my first workout with Colin!  I have a feeling this workout is going to be hard but I am excited, I think! 

Me and my husband, Ron :)

Week 2

I am in my second week and I remain enthusiastic.  I worked out three days this week and will be at the gym this weekend. I go to the gym after work (prior to going home) or on the weekends.  It’s amazing what becomes important to you and the time you have to devote to what you want that you never thought you had.  Stop making excuses!  Many times, that’s all it is.  Believe me, I can easily go home, prop my feet up, have a glass of wine and watch TV.  I returned to the gym August of 2017 (after a long sabbatical-LOL).  After a few months, I began to get off track with food and exercises, plus, it was around the holidays.  Now that I am working with Maria and Colin, I am receiving guidance and encouragement from them and that makes a huge difference.  They will always be at the gym, but that friend of mine who says they are in it with me could give up at any time.  Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to have someone to work out with but the reality is that you have to want it.  Staying motivated is hard enough, but I believe that you have to want it.    

I have been entering my food and water intake in my Fitbit app, which helps me stay focused on eating right.  I often struggle to make the right food choices.   With Maria’s educational food tips, I am learning things about nutrition I never knew and making changes that are not easy.  One thing I am trying not to do is raid the refrigerator in the middle of the night, but with Maria’s encouragement, I have made it through four nights without getting up and snacking.  This is a huge accomplishment for me! I haven’t overcome it completely.  It’s a struggle and I am still working on it.  For those days I did good, it was Maria’s pep talk that helped me.  I really don’t have an explanation as to why I do it and am not really sure how to avoid doing it moving forward.  Maybe I need a big picture of Maria on my frig.  LOL

Once you make some dietary changes, you notice the difference in how your body feels when you eat that heavy plate of pasta, fried foods or bread.  It’s not easy to eat healthy, especially when dining out or going to parties. Knowing how I will feel and the impact of what I eat has on my body, it becomes easier to avoid those foods that are going to sabotage your routine. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s weigh in. I think I actually lost a couple of pounds. We will see… 

Coach Maria keeping me on track!

Week 3

I managed to get four intense workouts in this past week (one more than the week before, go me!!), even with my busy schedule.  I attended three functions this week and tried to eat healthy, keeping my portions small and avoiding deserts.  It can be very challenging!  Maria continues to educate me on how to make wiser decisions along with sharing recipes and suggesting alternatives to incorporate into my diet. For example, making a dish to bring to the party that I know I am allowed to have so I always have an option to eat when I go to someone else’s house. The hard part is finding a healthy snack that isn’t going to pack on the pounds or require an additional workout to get rid of.  Why, because I love cookies, cake, ice cream, etc.  

I look forward to my workouts with Colin.  He is so upbeat and enjoyable to be around, especially since the workout is tough! You hate to love him and love to hate him all at the same time.  I still struggle with raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night but continue to work on that.  The next weigh in, I was down five pounds.  It’s a good feeling!  I will focus on better eating habits in the week to come, as this is what I am currently struggling with.  I look forward to my session with Maria this week so that I can get additional tips and encouragement! Maybe she can find me a solution or suggestion to my middle of the night eating?!

It’s easy to waste time sitting around the house watching TV, etc., so I am trying to get the most out of my time.  I just had to take the time for myself and stick to an exercise routine.  Otherwise, this would not work.  Sometimes that means saying no to family and friends and making your own plans or going your own way.  The payoff (weight loss and feeling better) is the reward!  It’s important to make time for yourself.  I’ve begun preparing meals on the weekends so that I have dinners to heat up during the week, saving time in the kitchen during weeknights. This has helped because now I have less of a chance to make a bad choice when it comes to dinner.  I have also noticed that once I begin an exercise routine, it becomes easier to stick with it and stay motivated, but that can be difficult.  Especially when I hit a plateau or revert to old habits.  The rewards of feeling better and receiving positive reinforcement from those around me make it easier to keep a routine going.  This is why I am thankful for my health coach and trainer who keep in constant contact with me to make sure I am on the right track. I know their support will always be there when others can’t. A few pounds down and a few more to go and I am NOT looking back!! 

Week 4

Unfortunately, I did not have a good week.  I did not record anything in my diary nor did I track my food intake in the FitBit app.  I binged in the middle of the night, and in general, didn’t always eat healthy this week.  I am upset with myself for letting this happen but I also tell myself that this is part of my journey and that there will be bad days along with the good days.  Luckily, the good is out weighing the bad and I am starting to really see some improvement in myself.  Working out seems to be the easy part right now even though my trainer Colin is NOT going easy on me with my routines. Eating healthy and recording everything is the hard part but today is a new day so I am back on track.  I am proud to say that with my consistent workouts, regular coaching sessions, and slight changes to my diet, I am down 12 pounds!!!!!!

One of my workout sessions led by the ever-encouraging, Colin!

My life is very busy and I can’t seem to find enough time in the day to do what I want.  I am trying to juggle family and work obligations and remain positive at a time when some things aren’t going well for me. I felt emotionally drained.  I am thankful for my close friends, whom get to see my vulnerable side.  They offered their time to listen and provided support and encouragement.  These friends are a very huge part of my support system and I am thankful for them. Time management and organization is something I will learn in my health coaching sessions so I can improve my healthy living choices. I know it is important to find work-life balance, reduce my stress, and organize my time to make healthier choices in order to be happier over all.

Moving on, I am starting today off fresh and positive, knowing that I am not doing this alone.  I packed my breakfast and lunch for today with smart choices.  I am also wearing a size smaller than I normally wear. (new pants I bought this weekend).  Buying new and smaller clothes this past weekend made me feel good and I will use this as my motivation to get back on track and keep going. I will not let myself fail.

Week 5

I am excited to meet with Maria this week to show her the progress I have made.  I managed to keep my journal entries up to date and logged my food intake on a daily basis. This is my 5th week and I am finally seeing how after sticking with something for a few weeks it just becomes a habit you don’t break. I am eating healthy for the most part, although I did reward myself with some treats along the way. Maria’s face with her finger up telling me no is posted on my refrigerator and that is a definite reminder that I need to stay away from treats in the middle of the night. I can just hear her in my head saying “Go back to bed Vickie, you’re not actually hungry.” I try to remain conscious of what I put in my body, which is a key factor in making healthy choices.  Watching my sodium intake is difficult, but I try to stay away from packaged foods.  I am eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season.  

In addition to my usual exercise routine, I meet with Colin twice a week for a weigh-in and intense workout.  Intense but FUN!!  It is extremely helpful to have Colin coaching and encouraging me and I look forward to my sessions with him.  Colin teaches me the proper technique and provides me with tips to get the most out of my workout routine.  I have noticed other gym members watching our workouts and have even received praise from some of them and from some of the Fitness Connection staff, which is extremely motivational!  One of my favorite things about this gym is never feeling intimidated by staff or other members. Everyone seems to encourage and cheer on everyone. It’s a great feeling. 

We took some videos of my workouts so that I could show my husband.  He was amazed at the amount of weight I could handle and the stamina I have.  Seeing his expression was inspiring! He had no idea what I was doing in the gym and how hard I was working until I physically showed him these videos. He is now on-board with the support at home to help keep me in line with my new life routine. When I tell my family and friends how much I am doing, they too are amazed and encourage me to continue.  If Colin and I have enough time, he and I box for a few minutes.  It is so rewarding to be coached at something I never, ever, in a million years thought I would be doing!!  I am truly inspired by Inspira!!!

Week 6

Another week is behind me and I remain excited about the medical weight loss and lifestyle management program.  I am taking the tools that Maria has armed me with and making healthier choices, beginning with my trips to the grocery store.  Smarter choices and paying attention to what I put in my body gives me the energy I need to follow through with intense workouts. I have been working out twice a week with my personal trainers at Inspira and completing a boot camp with another trainer during the week. Working on the second floor at Inspira can be very stressful. Completing my challenging workouts regularly is a major stress relief. However, I would not have the energy and motivation to continue if I did not eat properly. Eating more protein, less sodium, and less complex carbohydrates has really increased my energy level to be able to kick butt in the gym after a long and stressful day at work. 

My workouts with Colin are always an upbeat experience.  Colin keeps it interesting and fun and we try something new each week.  Colin motivates me and encourages me during our sessions and I am learning proper exercises and weight lifting techniques, all while getting an intense workout in and having fun! I am doing things I never ever thought I could do like weighted sled pulls and boxing. My next venture will be to try a few small group training classes which are HIIT type classes. They look challenging but I have the encouragement from my coaches and now the confidence in myself to try something new.

Meet my upbeat trainer, Colin!

Next week will be challenge since I will be on vacation.  However, I remain positive because I am committed to living a healthier lifestyle. Maria gave me some tips to follow while on vacation but also reminded me that it is vacation, relax and have fun. I will get my steps in, drink plenty of water, and have fun. I can’t beat myself up if I don’t get in a full workout or choose every healthy option available. Mental well-being is just as important as exercise and nutrition. I can’t miss out on having fun and trying new things because I am afraid it’s not the healthiest option. I will live it up on vacation and get back to my healthy routine once I get back. 

Week 7

Being on vacation can make it difficult to eat right, but I did a good job choosing healthier options, utilizing all that Maria has taught me so far.  Having no snacks in the hotel room, I may have cured myself from snacking in the middle of the night.  Go Me!!!! I did a lot of walking every day and managed to get a workout in at the hotel gym. Working out in a new and unfamiliar place was not easy or exciting but I knew if I didn’t get a single workout in I would get set back and I have worked entirely too hard for that to happen. So I sucked it up, took a deep breath, and went in with the mindset of Colin watching over my shoulder telling me to keep going. Before I knew it my workout was over and I was able to enjoy the rest of my vacation day feeling really good about my morning getting off to such a great start. I also got a lot of much needed rest and relaxation during this trip which helped me find a mental balance. I will come back mentally and emotionally recharged and ready to go. 

Upon my return, I had my weekly weigh in with Colin.  I was not looking forward to this…but to my surprise, I lost weight. Thanks hotel gym workout!!!!!  I must be doing something right to still be losing weight while on vacation.  I am so happy!!  At least I didn’t regress. The push I get from my health coach and personal trainer gives me the motivation to keep working hard even during vacation and I am seeing results I never thought I would. This dedication has proven to be worth it all because to date I am down 20 pound’s total. 

I definitely remain positive about the program and look forward to my next meeting with Maria.  I can’t wait to tell her I am not eating in the middle of the night. Maybe I should go on vacation more often. HAHA

Week 8

I am pleased with the progress I have made so far.  Many of my clothes do not fit, which is a great motivator!  I see a shopping trip in my future! (Don’t tell my husband LOL) 

Yes, having an exercise routine helps take the weight off, but not eating properly can sabotage your workouts.  I am learning from Maria what to eat and when to eat certain foods to keep my energy level at its peak so I can maximize all the benefits of my workouts.  I often thought I was consuming something healthy only to find out that it was not.  The lessons on nutrition and readings labels are a real eye opener.  I have made some mistakes (and cheated) along the way, but I am not looking back.  I remain motivated, and one-step at a time; I am eliminating certain foods from my diet and introducing new ones.  I now watch my sodium intake and am careful with which carbs are healthy, which ones are not, and the best times to eat carbs during the day. Paying close attention to small details in my diet gives me the energy to complete a hard workout after work, get up early every morning, and lose weight while still occasionally indulging in my favorite foods. 

I suffer from lumbar radiculopathy, which causes chronic pain in my leg.  I managed to get in two workouts this week, although I did not perform up to my standard.  I am my harshest critic!  That is ok, my trainers Colin and Joe are very enthusiastic about next week’s sessions, and so am I. I understand I am not in my early twenties anymore and sometimes certain aches and pains can catch up to me if I push too hard. I also know that if I allow these aches and pains to win I will never get better or be healthier. I don’t ever give in. I find ways to complete these workouts anyway because I love losing weight, being able to shop for smaller clothes, feeling better, and knowing that I am in full control of my body. I love who I am when I fight for myself to be strong. I am going to try some noninvasive ideas for my radiculopathy like massage therapy and chiropractic manipulation. Alternative care is a better option than surgery and a long recovery so we will see the improvements I make without having to be out of work. 

I received news this week that really brought me down. I am saddened to say that I will be losing Colin as my trainer so that he can pursue a degree in physical therapy, although I am extremely happy for him!  It will be an adjustment for me, as Colin and I hit it off the instant we met.  Colin is very energetic and encouraging, which keeps me motivated. He was my person when I first started these new and intimidating exercises. He made me feel comfortable and like super woman when I doubted myself. He made me do things I had no idea that I could do because he believed in me 100%.  Although I am losing Colin, I am gaining Joe. I am very enthusiastic about training with Joe because of his years of experience and knowledge, which I am sure will bring some diversity to my routine.  This news could be a major setback but I won’t allow it. I cannot wait to see what is in store for me as I work through this change, as it is always an uplifting experience at Inspira Fitness Connection!  

Week 9

Another week down with three more intense workouts completed.  I have been progressively losing weight while in this program, although this week I am maintaining.  I have to admit that after being on vacation (and cheating), I continued to cheat a little after returning.  It is easy to get into a habit, especially a bad one.  I am not giving up!  I just have to be more conscious of my choices. I am learning from Maria how different foods affect your body and which ones help my workouts rather than hinder them.  I need to eat protein and carbohydrates for energy and muscle repair, avoid sugars so I don’t tire easily and keep my stamina up.  Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated is also important.  Aside from meals, I am eating healthier snacks, too.  One thing I am trying to kick is the middle of the night eating. Although I am not doing it every single night, it is still happening. This will take a while since it’s been a part of my life for so long. If I don’t give up working on it, I know I will be able to prevent it all together one day soon. As Maria said, it doesn’t matter how many times I fall down as long as I always get up, or in my case stay in bed. 

I am sure there is a lot more I have to learn from Maria.  She is laying a strong foundation for me to follow.  I am stronger than I realized (mentally and physically), and am committed to this program and to a continued life of exercising (health permitting) and eating healthy.  For those of you thinking that it is impossible, please reconsider for your health and wellness because it is possible and the rewards are wonderful!!  It may sound like a cliche, but if I can do it, you can do it.  I experience leg pain daily and manage to do some intense workouts.  The trainers will gear a workout to your personal needs so that you can reap the benefits and stay safe.  Feeling better mentally and physically is a great benefit!   

This week I am working on seeing a chiropractor and trying new alternatives therapies. If my leg pain improves, my workouts will improve then my health will improve. I am still logging my food regularly and trying new recipes. My new favorite recipe is making turkey burgers from scratch and eating them with a slice of red Jersey tomato, no bun or other toppings needed. Buying them pre-made has so much sodium in it that it’s not as healthy as I thought. Making them myself and freezing them is easy, quick, and delicious. Logging my food was a struggle in the beginning but I knew if I stuck with it I would benefit from it. I have learned so much by looking back in my logs from where I started to where I currently am.  I can’t believe how far I have come with changing my diet and it is only getting better. 

Week 10

While I remain committed to this program, I am sad to admit that I have not eaten the healthiest this past week.  I did not gain any additional weight, which is good.  I have come to realize that I will experience some ups and downs, but in no way do I consider this minor setback a failure.  I am human and will not always choose what is best for me.  That is OK, because it does not mean I will continue with bad habits.  Just like any other aspect of my life, I will have good days and bad days.  Having the foundation that Maria laid makes me more conscious of the choices I make and its consequences.  Therefore, when I make bad choices, I am able to get back on track and make better, healthier decisions regarding the food I am eating.  One thing that helps considerably is meal planning and making lunch items ahead.  Otherwise, I tend to grab whatever is readily available.  

I was feeling sluggish and experiencing some pain last week so I skipped the gym altogether.  I am determined and relentless so I consider it just a bump in the road.  I am moving in the right direction by continuing my workouts this week.  

Week 11

Pre-planning meals and preparing lunches ahead for the week definitely helps me eat healthier.  Otherwise, I grab something that is readily available, but not necessarily packed with the best nutrition.  I am taking advantage of incorporating into my diet the fresh produce that is in season this time of the year.  Eating healthy has certainly paid off.  I recently had a full blood test workup and everything came back perfect.  I have lost weight and I feel and look so much better.  I plan to continue on this path and I encourage everyone following my story to take a small step and make one change to your routine.  It could be something you eat, an evening walk or joining the gym.  Inspira’s Fitness Connection has so much more to offer than just exercising.  Nutrition counseling, personalized training, Yoga and spin classes to name a few, all geared to your individual level.  

Later today, I will be working out with my health coach Maria doing something called Zone 24, a high intensity workout program at the Fitness Connection.  I am looking forward to working out with Maria, who has become more than just a coach to me.  With Maria, I have shared personal stories, my ups and downs, laughter and tears.  I have gained so much more than a healthy lifestyle.  I have gained a friend and confidant who keeps me focused and I have truly treasured my time with her.   

Week 12

Sometimes good intentions do not always work out the way you plan.  I continue to exercise, but have had other obligations that have taken precedence, and I need to get back on track.  I can really tell the difference in the way I feel.  My muscles seem to be a little sore and I have noticed that my stamina is not what it was.  I am glad that I am realizing this before it gets out of hand. I truly feel better and have more energy when I stay physically active. I see this as a warning for me to stay focused and get back into my routine. 

My eating habits have gotten a little off track as well, and from what Maria has taught me, good nutrition and exercise go together.  Not having enough protein and eating too many carbohydrates is not a good combination when you need energy to work out.  I cheated with some food choices and I am paying the price now.  To be honest, I knew what I was doing at the time.  I thought that having a piece of cake or ice cream was ok. Then, I did it again, and again, and soon I realized I gained a couple of pounds back.  That is ok, lesson learned! I will pay more attention to how much cheating I can do so that it does not have a huge impact on my routine and how I feel.  I have this!!     

Week 13 (Final Week) 

To quote Geoffrey Chaucer, “All good things must come to an end.”  This series of stories may be coming to an end but my personal journey will continue. It may seem slow while you are working towards your goals, but overall, time passes quickly.  I have accomplished my goal for this program of losing another 20 pounds (50 total).  I have made mistakes along the way, sometimes knowingly, because I am human (and I wanted that piece of cake).  I might skip a workout or cheat with food, but due to the foundation and support of my health coach, Maria Goeller, I get back on track.  I am now armed with more knowledge than when I started this program and that will help me stay focused and reach my goals.
Looking back two or three years ago, I never thought I would be where I am at today.  I still have additional weight I want to lose, and I continue to work on that daily.  It’s ok to go slow.  I prefer to do this without medications or surgery and reap the personal rewards that I have so far.  No, it’s not always easy.  It can be hard at times, but with the right people coaching you through your journey, your goals can be attained and the experience can be enjoyable.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my workout sessions with the different trainers, all of whom have offered a unique and diverse approach to my experience.  I was already exercising on the various machines at the gym, so the trainers customized exercise programs to suit my personal needs.  I have done strength training, Zone 24 and Power Wave, to name a few.  There are many more classes to try, but for now I am concentrating on Boxing 101.  The boxing class is fun, upbeat and a great cardio workout!

Making the right food choices and exercising regularly is the key to living a healthy lifestyle and feeling well!  Overall, I feel so much better, which is one of the things that gives me the incentive to make this a life long journey.  Do I always make the best decisions when it comes to eating?  No, but that is ok. Cheating occasionally and making mistakes along the way is normal.  I am more aware of how my body feels when I make unhealthy choices, which is an incentive to stay on track and not revert to old habits. 

I would like to personally thank Joe Farnoly, Maria Goeller, and PJ Ragone for giving me this opportunity and seeing something in me that I am not even sure I realized I had the potential to accomplish.  I hope that my journey has inspired others to make lifestyle changes.  Happily, my daughter has begun exercising with me two times a week and my husband has made some comments about returning to the gym.   This journey has turned life around for me and my family and I hope everyone has the opportunity to do this program for themselves, too.

Thank you Inspira Fitness Connection and all of my followers, I hope I made you proud. 

Thank you for following Vickie's story! Be sure to check out Amber's journey as well.

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