“It made it hard to socialise being that weight because I lived at the beach and didn’t really want to wear a bikini. I was stressed, ate too much, felt out of control and was on a downward spiral to becoming really overweight,” she says. However by making a few changes she started to regain her confidence. “I’ll admit, the first month sucked for me when I was changing my ways. At first I hated giving up all the larger portions of what I was eating, but once the weight started coming down, I felt better and was happier,” she says.
At 22, she had her first “serious” training session with Wayne Lenihan in Orlando, Florida and she hasn’t looked back since. “Back then, I was in college and could hardly do 11 reps of knee ups on the captain’s chair. I eventually worked my way up to 50 reps,” she says. “Now I’m self-motivated; some of the things I learned then, in my twenties, I still do in my forties.” Although she put the weights down for two years, one day while she was at work she found the motivation to pick them back up again.
“I am flight attendant by profession and one day when I was 27 I picked up a US Oxygen magazine that was left by a passenger on a flight and realised I needed to get back to the weight room,” she says. Beth hasn’t skipped weights since and her hard work still pays off to this day. “Recently, I wore a sleeveless dress to fly out of town and a girl in her twenties asked what I did in the gym, it was such a compliment! Weights make such a difference,” she says.
Beth also loves to run, finding it more of a “mind release” than weights; she has accomplished many goals she set for herself through running.
“I’ve completed numerous races all over the United States including seven Gate River Runs (the nation’s largest 15K road race), as well as three New York City marathons, one half marathon in Hamilton, Bermuda and now I run mostly for recreational purposes, not competition,” she says.
“Top 10 per cent was my best finish in the Gate River Run. Running at races is a great way to socialise, as much fun too as the gym.” Beth has never aspired to be “bone skinny” thin and she loves to eat. She also loves motivating others to train and lift weights. To stay motivated, she surrounds herself with positive people and influences. “I belong to a gym frequented by seniors and retired athletes. The members there haven’t ‘thrown in the towel’ on their fitness. Some of the men and women I see at the gym work as hard (or harder) than me, and they are in their 70s and 80s,” she says.
“One man walks with a cane and makes it to the gym everyday at 11am. He jokes that my dad is ‘a child’ at 71 years old. I once chatted with a 78 year old female gym member undergoing cancer treatment. She was madder about not being able to do her usual 3-4 hours a day of training than she was doing her cancer treatments (which cut her training to 1-2 hours a day)! She’s amazed her doctors, friends and kids.”
In 1994 Beth faced the toughest circumstance life has thrown her yet however she used her health and fitness to cope and to overcome the situation. “The hardest thing life handed me was my brother’s suicide. I found that his decision was harder than any pay cut, job stress, move or any other personal stress I might be faced with years later. Fitness kept me focussed though and I worked two jobs back then to help cope with the loss,” she says.
“The good news is that I’m still able to laugh and I pass the message to anyone discussing suicide that it’s the easy way out and to get help if they are contemplating it.”
Beth loves to laugh and always makes the most of life; she believes that “if I’m not laughing, it’s not worth it.”
“I love to laugh. I laugh at work and always find funny people everywhere. I try to find humour in everything. Sometimes you have to be serious, but I can’t imagine life without laughs and fun!”
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