Amy J.

smiling again

I found Orangetheory in the Spring of 2016. I was standing up in yet another wedding and found myself disgusted with the reflection looking back at me in the mirror. I was at my heaviest in my life and it showed. I hated the way I looked, and it showed in my personality. I had sunken into a deep depression and really lost who I was. The unhappiness was overwhelming. I didn’t want to go out, relationships with family members and friends were strained, my unhappiness showed at work, and life just wasn’t great. I never smiled. More importantly, I had become the cliché “overweight” police officer. My physical fitness, or lack there-of, could potentially cost me my life! 

That Spring I decided that enough was enough and decided to take my life back. A friend of my sister told me about Orangetheory Fitness. One class and I was HOOKED. 

"Here I am, 2 whole years later. I have lost around 40 pounds and 2 sizes. But what I have gained back- my CONFIDENCE, my SMILE, and MY LIFE- is what matters most." 

Joining Orangetheory Fitness is one of the best decisions of my life. OTF is a family. When the scale wasn’t moving, and I was losing motivation, my coaches, OTF staff, and fellow classmates were my strength. They were right there cheering me on and telling me not to give up and that they all believed in me! And finally, for the first time in many, many years, I finally believe in myself again. 

Getting this confidence back gave me the guts to finally move back to the city where I grew up. I joined another studio in my new location (Lakeview, Chicago) and it is just as amazing as my original studio (Schaumburg, IL). Living in the city is adding to the happiness I finally got back through feeling good about myself again. Before Orange, I never even wanted to go out because I hated the way I looked. Now you can’t keep me at home! I have made a new circle of amazing friends and will be competing in my first triathlon this summer with them. 

It feels good to like the reflection I see in the mirror again. It feels good to have confidence in myself again. But mostly, it feels good to SMILE again. 

Thank you, Orangetheory Fitness – you have brought me back to life.

When I started my Orangetheory journey in June 2015, I was a gal who could not stand working out. Last May, I was asked to be a model in our company’s photo shoot launching our new uniforms. I had the confidence to stand in front of the camera comfortably because of the hard work I put into my Orangetheory workouts.
Hello, my name is Stephanie Strunk (aka Splat Girl). I was born to teenage parents in 1971 and was premature, weighing only 2lbs 11 ounces. At birth, doctors diagnosed me with mild cerebral palsy and told my parents that I would never walk or run. Obviously, the medical prognosis was incorrect. While I have never been an athlete, I've always had a competitive heart but could only watch from the sidelines as others played. When I tried out for team sports in school, I was told I could never keep up and to focus my efforts elsewhere.
Where do I begin?! My weight loss/fitness journey technically started on August 17, 2017 when I started seeing a nutritionist. I weighed in at 393.8 lbs. when I started! I officially signed up at OTF in January of 2018 and at the time I weighed 279lbs. I was told that my studio would not be ready until the end of March, but in the meantime, they invited me to partake in a class at the Schaumburg, IL location. I was super nervous and scared but once I completed the class I was hooked immediately! I couldn’t wait to start doing it on a regular basis! I instantly fell in love with the workout and I was itching for more.
The week of my 30th birthday, at my 20-week ultrasound, my husband and I were given devastating news. Our unborn daughter, Adeline, was diagnosed with a rare birth defect and given a 50% chance of survival. Our entire lives changed that day.
I am a 56-year old male, four-time cancer survivor. Cardio and weights have always been best for me, with cardio being the real deal. This last year brought me another "diagnosis" and a subsequent surgery. When someone like me hears this kind of news once again, you just stand up strong, be positive and just f----in do it. The surgery was a long one this time and I got myself out of the hospital as quick as I could. Went home with a bunch of tubes and bags attached and "healed" my body waiting for the day that all the stuff would be removed. They said no bike riding for three months and limited cardio. I was on the treadmill at the gym within days wearing a diaper (pull-ups) under my shorts, headphones turned all the way up. It was okay, but in no way was it good enough, but I kept going anyway. I was down and gloomy.

Members: Have an experience to share?    SUBMIT YOUR STORY