Karen Hughes

I have spent most of my adult life jumping from diet to diet, trying out cleanses, no-carb diets, meetings, and weight loss challenges at work. You name it; I’ve probably tried it!  Many worked, and I lost weight.  Unfortunately, with all of these diets, although I felt good about losing weight, I felt deprived of the foods I really enjoyed, and of course, the weight always came back.  Most recently, I found it hard to get into that mode of eating healthy and giving up on the bad choices I was making with food.  Exercise has never been an issue for me—I love it and enjoy challenging workouts, both cardio and strength training.  I am faithful to my workouts, but the exercise was not enough to combat the choices I was making in the kitchen.  I have been a member at Ultimate Fitness since it opened six years ago, and I always read Tim’s quotes on the whiteboard.  Two have always stuck with me: “Do not reward yourself with food.  You are not a dog.” and “30% workout, 70% diet.” I have worked out with Deb Pillsbury for most of those six years and have always found her advice about fitness and nutrition to be well thought out and interesting.  When she started her fitness competition journey in June of 2016, I was so intrigued by how she changed her eating habits in order to transform her body.  The more I watched her success, the more I thought, “I can do this!”  Now, at six months with Deb, I have lost 21 pounds and have seen incredible changes in my total body composition! As much as I was so uncomfortable in sending Deb pictures of myself in a bathing suit in the winter each Sunday, now I don’t mind putting on that bikini and checking out the weekly changes in my abs, shoulders, back, legs— everywhere!  The best part about this current plan (not a diet!) is that I am never hungry!  I am eating more food and eating more often than I did before while losing weight.  I love the foods I am eating and don’t feel deprived of the foods I love.  If I want an ice cream, I just factor it into my foods for the day and plan ahead.  My regular meetings with Deb are helpful and informative and always tailored towards her review of my food journal and progress.  She has great ideas for changes just to keep my body on the alert.  The best part about the work I have done with Deb is that I don’t see this as a diet that I will do until I reach my goals, but rather a lifestyle change that I can easily maintain for a lifetime.  I can’t say enough about what Deb has taught me and about how great I feel right now, and Deb’s support and encouragement have been invaluable!