Three years ago, Miriam Guedes found herself in the hospital emergency room. She was sick and didn’t know why. She had undergone thyroid surgery and was taking diet pills to help her lose weight.
Her doctor suggested that she quit taking pills and start an exercise routine.
“For years and years, I tried everything to lose weight,” Miriam said. But, she hadn’t yet tried exercise.
Her doctor explained that with her thyroid condition, she would have to exercise twice as long as everyone else to lose weight. Instead of 20-30 minutes, she would have to strive for 40-60 minutes.
So, Miriam started going to the Orthman Community YMCA and made a commitment to exercise six days a week at 5 a.m. for one hour. She works in the preschool at Lexington Public Schools and has four children, so the early morning time ensured she could exercise before her work day started at 7:30 a.m.
“I love it!” Miriam said of her early-morning routine. “I feel like I have a lot of stress, and when I go there, it’s my time.”
She also altered her eating habits and strives to maintain a low-carb diet.
When Miriam started exercising at the YMCA, she weighed 229 pounds. She started slowly by walking on the indoor track and then worked her way over to cardio and weight machines.
“They always have a great staff at the Y who help me when I have questions,” she said.
Over the years, the weight did come off like her doctor said. Today, the 50-year-old weighs 146 pounds! She went from a size 18 to a size 7.
She has now amped up her exercise routine even more with personal training sessions from Terri Burch, YMCA wellness manager and trainer.
“She knew exactly what I needed,” Miriam said of Terri.
Miriam said she also appreciates the encouragement and support she receives from other YMCA staff, especially Linda Shaw, who works at the front desk in the mornings.
“Every morning when you go there, you are tired, but she will greet you with a big smile,” Miriam said. “She is always happy.”
Miriam said she feels great and actually enjoys putting on clothes that fit each morning.
“I’m so happy we have the Y here,” Miriam said. “It changed my life.”