Losing the Weight But Gaining So Much More

My Y Story: Barbara Wilkins


Barbara Wilkins Before and AfterMy Y Story: Barbara Wilkins

Y member Barbara Wilkins has lost 36 pounds since starting her membership at the organization, and while that is in itself an amazing accomplishment, she feels she has gained so much more in other areas.  Barbara came to the Y because of a weight management program offered through our partnership with Southern NH Medical Center.  Having been a Type 1 diabetic for 48 years, Barbara has struggled with her weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  During a visit with her Endocrinologist she saw information on the program and decided to look into it further.  She was soon enrolled and was delighted to learn that a free 8 week membership to the Y was included with the class participation.  The class itself consists of 15 minutes of education, which may be on nutrition or other related subjects, followed by 45 minutes of exercise.  Barbara really appreciates the educational piece as it’s something different each week.  Because the class includes a two month membership Barbara decided this may be the push she was looking for and took advantage of the opportunity by attending some AquaFit classes.  When the weight management class ended Barbara decided to invest in herself and take out a membership, and has been coming to the Y regularly since.  Barbara shared that there came a point in her life that she realized she needed to take care of herself and put in the time to do so, “My health is worth it. I got to the point where I was the only one who could help myself.” She now attends many classes a week such as AquaFit, Yoga Flow, Mobilize and Activate, BOOM and PAWS.  She also makes sure that getting to the Y is a priority for her. Barbara works primarily from home and will put her classes and exercise time into her calendar so that nothing is booked during those times.  She also prepares her workout items the night before so there are no excuses, no forgetting anything the day of.  “It can be so overwhelming at first, and you may not know where to start.” Barbara credits the staff and other members for inspiring her to keep going, “There’s so many nice people, they kept me motivated, and I started to see my mental health improve. That was very meaningful to me.” Barbara expressed that the Y instructors are amazing, sharing that they are flexible, build relationships and are open to answering questions.

Although Barbara has lost 36 pounds so far, her goal is to lose an additional 20. “You can diet and exercise to lose weight but unless you change you won’t keep it off.”  She feels so welcome at the Y, saying that others have commented on her weight loss journey and encouraged her to keep going. “I feel supported by people that don’t even know me. Affirmations are important for me.”  In turn Barbara has begun to motivate others, building relationships with individuals who may be new to the Y or just beginning their own journey.  Her advice is to start even just one class per week.

Barbara’s next adventure is participating in a Muddy Princess race with a team, her first one, and something she heard about through the Y.  “I was introduced to wonderful opportunities at the Y.  I’m happy I’m here.”


If you’re passionate about making a positive impact in our community, consider supporting Y wellness programs by clicking the link below to donate. Your donation enriches the lives of many individuals by expanding access to wellness initiatives and promoting health and fitness for all through Y Healthy Living Programs. Join us in empowering our community by making a difference today!


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