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My City Gym Story

Cristi St. Onge, Membership Representative

Growing up, I always struggled with my weight. I did the whole yo-yo thing quite a bit as a result. I was heavy through grade school, and at the beginning of high school, I was introduced to the all-too-familiar “low-carb diet” and, despite eating terribly (bacon and cheese), I had lost some weight and was happy with the results - although I was incredibly unhealthy on the inside. Upon getting off of the diet, I gained weight again, and by graduation, I weighed around 180 lbs. (a size 12), and I was still gaining. By the time I turned 20, I was obese and a smoker. I went on a trip to Seattle, and upon looking at my photos, I really noticed how much weight I had gained. I was at 220 lbs. (a size 16/18), my weight was getting out of control, and I had no idea what to do. I had heard about Slim-Fast and watched Oprah get down to 140 pounds and thought, “That is what I’m doing!”  So I did it… I joined the “K-Mart Slim-Fast Challenge”, and I lost about 30 pounds!  It was great, until I couldn’t keep drinking the shakes forever, and about 10 pounds came back. I started doing cardio kickboxing religiously to try to get the weight back off, but there I was: stuck between 190 and 200 pounds for years.

I met my husband and moved to Kansas City from Michigan to be with him. He was the first person in my life around whom I truly felt comfortable in my own skin. He never asked me to lose weight or told me I didn’t look good (unlike previous toxic relationships I had been in), and it was his love that really made me want to be everything he already thought I was. I had always wanted to do a 5K and “be a runner”, but I never felt it was something I would be able to do. My friends all ran them in groups, but no one ever asked me because of my size. My husband agreed to run my first 5K with me in 2013. I finished in about 42 minutes. Although on the inside I was embarrassed at how slow I was and how often I needed to walk, I still felt so accomplished that I had done it, and my husband was so proud of me. I wanted to do more, but still didn’t think I was a “runner”. So, I finally quit the disgusting habit of smoking and got my act together and started incorporating fitness and a healthy eating habit into my life. I researched in books and online about healthy recipes and eating, and met with fitness professionals. I was determined to do it right this time. I tried out many gyms in Kansas City during my fitness journey, looking for just the right fit. Towards the end, I finally found a home with City Gym.

Just being a part of City Gym has pushed me to do things I never thought possible. Hailee’s and Laura’s SPIN classes hooked me immediately, and I pushed myself hard to become certified in Spinning. Spinning is my absolute FAVORITE class at City Gym! Jenny’s running group runs from City Gym on Saturday mornings sometimes, and as I would watch them, I became inspired to do something that the old 220-pound smoker in me never thought was possible: I completed my first half marathon on April 9, 2016 – the day before I turned 30!  It was amazing. I was surrounded by such positive vibes from all of the wonderful people in this city that I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome.  I enjoyed every second of it, and I am so blessed to have such wonderful and inspiring people around me every day. I have now kept the weight off for over 2 years and have continued to live a healthy and active

Photo 1 (Left): My first 5K, April 7, 2013 (weight: 190 pounds)

Photo 2 (Right): My first half marathon April 9, 2016 (weight: 150 pounds)