Find your tribe
The right gym and a team approach worked wonders for Delora Gomez.
When Delora Gomez made up her mind to get in shape, she hadn’t been to a gym in 25 years and was intimidated by the atmosphere. But when a new one opened close to work, she found the camaraderie of coworkers, family, and friends makes going fun and something she looks forward to. She often prepares nutritious smoothies for the entire office, and she’s given up sweet drinks for water.
What set off your fitness quest?
I went to a doctor’s appointment with my mom, and the doctor told her that because she is overweight she can’t have surgery she needs. I got to thinking…I’m overweight too. What if I needed surgery?
I realized I’ve done everything I want for 40 years. I’ve eaten everything I wanted, binged, and taken naps. Enough is enough. It’s time for a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix.
What was your first step?
I didn’t know what to do. I started looking for inspiration – any little tip or photo. I stopped drinking soda and started trying to eat healthier. I was intimidated by even the thought of going to a gym.
What was the turning point?
A gym opened close to the office, and they promised no intimidation. I started going with a few coworkers, and now my husband, friends, and relatives come, too.
Was it difficult?
We had to do it in baby steps. First, we drove to the gym and didn’t get out of the car. Then, we took a tour but didn’t sign up. Finally, after a few visits, it felt more comfortable. The staff is really helpful, and there’s no screaming or intimidation. And the people working out are every shape and from all walks of life.
What type of exercise do you do?
We go about three times a week right after work for 30 minutes to an hour. We do cardio, weights and the ab room. We always change it up, and it’s actually fun. We hold each other accountable. And I’m really watching what I eat.
You’re also helping your office eat healthier?
I often fix healthy snacks or breakfast for all the office. I brought my blender in and others brought fruit and almond milk. When everyone was looking for chocolate at 3, I brought out fruit smoothies to get us through the lull and give us a lift.
What have your results been?
I’ve lost 35 pounds. I started feeling better immediately after I cut out sugar and carbs.
I want to do a 5K with my coworkers. And I’d like to get better at cooking healthy by planning monthly menus and switching it up. Homemade, fresh meals are my goals. I want to see my cholesterol and blood sugar numbers get better.
How do you handle setting goals?
It helps me to write my goals. If I write it, it’s real. I keep a tally of the pounds I’ve lost and my next goal. When I reach that goal, I write the next number. I write my gym time on my calendar.
What’s your advice for others?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Always look at what you CAN do and think about what you will be able to do in the future. Don’t deny yourself. If you crave chocolate cake, have a sliver. If you are dying for a hamburger, have one but get rid of the bun. And buy a good water bottle!