Welcome to another edition of our Member of the Month series, where we feature some of the amazing people who are part of our Loyobo FIT family. We think it is important to share their stories to help inspire others and to celebrate their amazing accomplishments!
This month, our member is Karissa Lawrenson, who is one of our VIP members and regularly attends a wide variety of classes, but her favourite is definitely Body Sculpt & Sweat! Karissa has been with us since the very beginning (2 years next month!) and was a participant in our 2019 Loyobo Challenge, which ends on March 16th.
We have seen so much progress over the last 6 weeks with Karissa and we have been so proud to watch her have some very powerful mindset shifts regarding how she views her body, how she defines success, and learning how to love the skin that she is in!
Karissa is an example of what can happen when you are not willing to give up and when you are brave enough to recommit and reapply yourself, even when it isn’t convenient or easy to do so! We love having her as part of our morning crew and feel so incredibly lucky to have had her support along the way as Loyobo has grown and as we have learned and figured ourselves out. We absolutely adore you and cannot express our gratitude, Karissa! We truly think you are awesome.
This month, Karissa, we celebrate YOU! We cannot wait to see what comes next in your journey. Thank you for being a part of our family and for sharing your story with us!
How long have you been coming to Loyobo FIT and what initially inspired you to try a class?
I have been coming to Loyobo FIT … since before it was Loyobo! I started when Courtney first offered classes out of a rental space downtown (April 2017). My friend (and workout buddy) Sarah told me about the super energetic fitness instructor (that’d be Courtney :) who was starting her own business and was going to offer classes a few times a week. It was close to my work and my workout buddy was doing the classes too, so it was a win-win! I was also ready for a change in my exercise routine, so I thought I would try - I was hooked from there.
I was happy when Loyobo opened at their current space - it is a quick 5 minute drive to the studio from my house (and - thankfully - has significantly fewer stairs than her downtown studio did!).
What are your top 3 health and fitness goals?
My top 3 goals changed slightly after doing the Loyobo Challenge. Now, they are:
1. Be consistent with my exercise (that was always - and still is - my #1)
2. Eat mindfully (eat healthy but still enjoy life)
3. Focus on how I feel rather than the numbers on the scale.
What is one of the challenges or fear that you have faced in your health/fitness journey? What have you found most helpful in working to overcome it?
Food, and my relationship with it. Overindulging and feeling guilty about it, depriving myself and being hungry - ugh! I have found that listening to my body cues and eating more mindfully has helped. I also think more about what I am eating - if I am offered something sweet but it isn’t something I really like or enjoy, I keep that in mind and decline. However, if it is something I love and I know it is worth it, I enjoy it (aka - pecan pie, pumpkin pie, rhubarb pie … essentially anything in pie form. :)
How has your life changed since becoming a member of Loyobo FIT?
Physically, my body has changed. It was gradual, but I eventually noticed that consistent exercise was helping (who knew! ;) Exercising has become a routine and not something I do on and off - I can’t imagine starting a weekend without the Saturday morning class.
What is your favourite memory or achievement of your time at Loyobo FIT?
My favourite achievement is that I reached one of my Challenge goals, which was my #1 goal - develop a more consistent exercise routine. I’ve always liked exercising, but disliked afternoon or evening workouts - at that point it always felt like another chore to do. I decided I would commit to the 6:30 am workouts on Wednesdays and turned that into a habit. Now I have started coming to the Monday 6:30 am class. Do I love getting up for a 6:30 am class? No - who does?! But I love the way I feel the rest of the day for having done it. I just make sure I set my alarm with the exact amount of time to get ready and drive to the studio - I’m halfway there before my mind has fully realized what is happening and how early it is!
What advice would you give to someone just starting their health and fitness journey?
Find what works for you and take it one step at a time.
What is your favourite class and why?
My favorite studio classes are the Saturday and weekday morning Sculpt and Sweat - I like a lot of bang for my buck, so I like the full body workout offered, the option to increase my intensity and challenge myself, and the variety in the workouts. I especially like the “sneaky exercise” games we play at the Saturday class:) I also love the outdoor classes and am looking forward to them again in nicer weather.
What is your favourite healthy snack?
My go-to snack is apples slices and peanut butter
Congratulations Karissa! You deserve this moment in the spotlight as we celebrate the awesomeness that is YOU. THANK YOU for being vulnerable and open to sharing your story and for reminding us that consistency and patience is where we will find success. There is value in showing ourselves kindness and staying committed to our goals, even when life makes it hard sometimes! We are seriously so proud of you and feel so lucky to have you as part of our Loyobo Family!
Feeling inspired? You could be our next Member of the Month! All you need to do is take the first step on your journey, just like Karissa did two years ago! Try a class today and make sure to say hi if you see her around the studio!
See you all again soon!