I had been going to Eupraxia on and off for a couple years. I have always love it but didnt stay consistent. I also didn’t eat the way I should have. Once I started eating the way Dr. Czys I really started to loose the weight. I then started going to the gym consistently and really noticed myself getting stronger. It also became less about loosing weight and more about building strength. It also has helped with stress. I love Eupraxia because they really just want the members to be healthy. The trainers are all wonderful. They are helpful in every way and will challenge you! All the members are very supportive of each other. I love telling people about Eupraxia and what it has done for me!
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home with parents who were athletic and health conscious. Mom home-cooked our meals, both were avid runners and my sisters and I were pretty much forced into school sports. Lack of hand-eye coordination left me with limited options so I became a distance runner. I wish I could say that these habits carried over into my adult life, but when I hit college, I swore off running and began indulging in all of the foods my parents had outlawed. After I graduated college, the weight gain went from a slow crawl to a drag race. I foolishly blamed the love handles and double digit pant sizes on bad genetics and the “fact” that, at 23 years old, my metabolism had just had enough. Under this mentality, I carried around 30-40 lbs of extra body weight for several years.
I will never forget looking through pictures from Christmas of 2008, wondering who that fat girl was wearing my sweater. (it was me...) Not to over-exaggerate, but at 180 lbs, pushing a 15/16 pant size, I was pretty uncomfortable in my own skin. It was those photos, and that moment, that I really decided to take responsibility for own health and well-being.
For the weight loss, I chose the only route that I knew; what conventional wisdom has ingrained in us for years. The low-fat diet, centered on calories in/calories out. I spent a maddening two years running about 40+ miles a week and weighing/measuring/counting everything I put in my mouth. Did I lose weight on this routine? Yes. Was it a functional, sustainable lifestyle? No, it was time consuming and exhausting.
What really confused me was when I decided to increase my caloric intake to around 1400 calories a day (the calculated “appropriate’ intake for my BMR) my biggest fear surfaced; I began to gain weight again. Then I injured my hamstring, and running was temporarily out of the picture. I went back to the 1200 calorie diet, but was pretty much hungry all of the time. And I was still gaining weight. I truly thought I was leading the healthiest lifestyle I could. Why was I gaining weight?
It was Dr. Steve Czys and Eupraxia that led me to the answer to that question. The lifestyle that Eupraxia teaches has not only answered that question, but many more. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so alive and healthy. I have changed my diet, my exercise and my way of thinking; became a sponge, absorbing everything I could about true health and wellness. When I was offered a full-time position at Eupraxia, there was not a lot of hesitation. To be a part of watching other people take control of their own life, to turn their health and wellbeing around, is truly an amazing opportunity.
Three years ago my grandkids and I were playing at the park and they wanted me to slide down the slide after them. So I did, or tried. I was stuck in the slide and had to pull myself forward to get to the bottom. That was my wake up call to start doing something about my weight. I started an exercise regimen twice a week. It helped me to be more active but I didn’t lose weight. I started weight watchers and lost some but I quit the program and started to put weight back on, then my friend asked me to try the 8 week program at Eupraxia because of the buy 1 get 1 free special….I signed up kicking and screaming, I remember when I met Steve (he registered us) and I said to him, “I really don’t want to do this I have my own regimen and I will be quitting after 8 weeks!” Well a year and a half later I’m still a member and I love it! The exercise is great and I feel better and stronger but the biggest change that happened to me was when I started listening to what Steve was saying at his nutrition class. I didn’t listen right away, it took me about a year before I could really grasp what Steve was talking about, but once I did I realized that it was pretty easy to do. The first thing I had to do was change what food I was eating. I got rid of the soda, juice, dairy, sugar, breads, and pasta and brought in more vegetables. I’ll be honest I needed a little push by Steve. I couldn’t believe how easy it was once I set my mind to it. I now eat vegetables with every meal with my choice of meat. I eat until I’m satisfied and not full, I don’t count calories, or think about portion size. I eat only when hungry, and if I’m not hungry I wait until I am. Doing these changes have made my weight loss journey easier than what I was doing before. I use to count calories, count points, and measure out my food but not anymore. For me weight loss is really about making the right food choices and then the weight really does come off! Exercise alone didn’t help me lose weight I had to change my eating habits too. I’ve loss 75lbs so far and my journey is still continuing and I can’t wait until I get to my final weight loss goal! Exercise and eating healthy are now part of my life (sometimes I get off track, but I get right back in the saddle again). Thanks to Steve and his support I know what food is the right food and that spices are my friends. It really is true that eating good food isn’t that hard and the benefits that come with it are awesome.
When I had [my son] Liam in 2012, I had gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy! I went from a 125 to 198 the day I went into the hospital to give birth. I wasn’t worried though because everyone told me, “This is your first child, you are young, you can eat whatever you want and the weight will just ‘fall off’.” Well let’s just say a year after getting up at 4 in the morning, to workout for 2 hours to DVDs ,without really feeling any accomplishment; plus strictly counting calories, I STARTED to lose the weight that I had gained. Then Jude happened! I was at 145 and feeling a bit accomplished the day I found out I was pregnant. Again I gained 50 pounds with him.Then after I had my beautiful boy on August 19th, 2013, I decided I wasn’t going to go the same route of trying to lose weight with him. Thank God my daycare was located next to a place called Eupraxia. I had seen people come in and out all sweaty and I decided to look into it. I remember walking in with Jude and seeing Lindsay sitting at the counter. I decided to ask her what it was all about and she decided to show me! She had me test right then and there. I was hooked! I signed up and my husband and I decided to go to the eating seminar that night. We decided to make the lifestyle change and we have been implementing it ever since. Yes, it’s very hard to adjust our whole diet but we are working very hard at it. Here I am, month 8 after Jude (where I was just starting to show results with Liam) and I’m almost down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Not only that, I’ve made friends, feel great about myself, and can feel good that I’m incorporating my healthy lifestyles into my family’s lives. I also plan on incorporating these healthy foods to the children at the daycare I own, when we get the new kitchen space. Thanks Eupraxia, you truly have changed my life!!!
Looking back upon my first year with Eupraxia, one memory in particular comes to mind. Running, jumping and sliding in the park with my 4 year old grandson. The freedom of being able to follow him and play seeing the joy in his eyes as his “Gammy” copies his every move!! Then I flash back to the moment I decided to join Eupraxia. I woke up sick, tired and bloated. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore or ever again. I couldn’t sleep, had constant heartburn, even with medication, and uncontrolled asthma. One year, 66 pounds and 18 inches off my waist later, I no longer require medication to sleep or for my heartburn, my asthma is practically non existent and I feel amazing!!
Steve’s lectures include a segment about finding a purpose, a reason to improve and focusing on it. If I could say one thing to a person just starting out, be patient, keep your eye on your purpose and fulfill it! You are the best project you will ever work on!! The trainers at Eupraxia are so knowledgeable!! Use them, listen to them and you will find the results you are looking for! Change will come slow at first perhaps, but then like a stroll (or run) in the park, it will get easier!!
The impact Eupraxia has had on my life is almost indescribable. They have sparked my love for fitness/physical activity that has led me to do things that I never imagined and to challenge myself in new ways everyday! I used to be very sedentary, but I’ve done 2 warrior runs now and couldn’t believe that I actually did them and that I didn’t struggle with them. I actually ran them, which I didn’t think I could do!
The group atmosphere is so positive and motivating that I look forward to going to the gym. The nutrition info shared is priceless, the difference in how my body feels/functions on a daily basis is amazing! I used to just crash, by 2 or 3 every afternoon…I didn’t think I could function anymore. And now it’s [steady] I can just go, go go! The strength and endurance that I have gained from the workouts makes daily life so much easier. The only regret that I have is I wish I would have started sooner, that I wish something would have clicked sooner. It is worth it. It is SO worth it.
It was June of 2016 when my husband convinced me to join a new gym opening in Sparta called Eupraxia. We were a busy family with four young boys, I ran a business from home, served on two local Boards of Directors and volunteered at a local non-profit . . . I was exhausted, but he convinced me it was something we could do together. If I was honest with myself, I would admit that at that point in my life it had been years since I had felt good at all. I had recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that left me feeling continually tired; I had no mental clarity and struggled with fogginess and poor memory. I had gained significant weight, I had eczema on my abdomen and my adult acne was the worst it had ever been. I was struggling with depression. Every fall I would be plagued with bronchitis that would last for six to eight weeks and would take several prescription antibiotics to finally clear. At just thirty six years old, I was beginning to realize that if I didn’t address my health, I wasn’t going to live the life I desired. I was ready for change, and Eupraxia would find me at just the right time.
IT FINALLY CLICKED:
I remember sitting in on the nutrition talk with Dr. Czys and listening to his evidence on the problems with sugar, grains and dairy. I started going through my favorite family recipes in my head and substituting yellow potatoes for sweet potatoes, pasta for zucchini noodles, ditching the side of bread, my roasted chicken with vegetables, favorite kale soup, and best meatloaf could all be tweaked to work. I felt the mental shift . . . I COULD DO THIS! Unlike every other diet I had tried, which focused on deprivation (low fat, low calorie), I could enjoy healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and meat and eat when I felt hungry. My husband and I would start that day. We would begin just cutting out sugar and grains . . . because I needed a “Keep it simple stupid” approach. The first ten days were the hardest, but soon new habits were forming, and it would become more like second nature. I would eventually cut out dairy a few months later.
THINGS STARTED HAPPENING:
Within the first month of sticking to the new dietary changes and working out 3-5 days a week at Eupraxia, I would lose 6 pounds of body fat and 6 inches off my waist. I started supplementing with the fish oil, vitamin D and the quality probiotics offered at Eupraxia to optimize my health. Within five months, I would be down over twenty pounds in body fat, and had lowered my cholesterol from 236 to 205, my energy would increase, my sleep improved, my mental clarity would improve, and my depression would start to lift. Over a year into this life change now, I am down 38 pounds of body fat, I am stronger, doing full floor pushups and conquering those box jumps. Every single one of my health struggles has been dramatically improved, if not eliminated by changing how I eat and move.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE:
The ability to improve my health and well being through food and exercise has felt immensely empowering. I feel free; no longer a slave to my old health and my old body, or some uncontrollable situation. I could grab the bull by the horns, put in the hard work with consistency and effort and change my life. I was in control. Looking to the future, I feel hopeful about what the next 36 years will look like. It’s the kind of thing that starts to impact every other area of your life. I am still amazed by it, and grateful for it every single day.
My whole life I had battled with weight, I have never been terribly over weight but always too heavy for my height. Over the years, since high school age, I have tried different fitness programs from memberships at the Y, 24 hour fitness centers and self programs such as walking or riding bicycles; with all I had varying degrees of success. The same with weight loss. I’ve tried all sorts of diets and all diets had a problem, one day they ended and pretty soon I was back to my old habits. 4 or 5 years ago I had tried to change my eating habit’s on my own and walk daily, with this I had fair results inside of a year I had went from 245# down to 195# and that seemed good. The problem was I had loss muscle mass also not just fat and I was looking gaunt as well as lighter and wasn’t really in that good of shape. Then to make matters worse I had slacked off some and in the course of the next few months slowly gained some weight and was now back to over 220# on top of having lost the muscle mass.
I knew I needed something and I felt it really needed to be a lifestyle change, something I could live with everyday. I had noticed Eupraxia’s ad in the La Crosse Tribune and also noticed some of the testimonials were from people I knew. With this, and a New Year upon me, I decided to sign up for an 8 week session in January of 2014. It was only a ½ hour commitment each day and they would help me with my diet so what could it hurt. Well that first week and many weeks after that I did hurt, but in a good way I was building back muscle and in the meantime, with their help, learning how to eat better. It is really like having a personal trainer in every way, they are always there to help you and push you to new levels. (I would like to mention that in fall of 2012 I had a total shoulder replacement and with their help we modified the workouts until my shoulder is now close to the same strength of my other shoulder) The program varies, so every week we are doing something different and working on different parts of the body. The fact that it’s in a group setting, only helps to motivate me as to always use a little bit heavier weight or to push through to the end of all the reps and show up every day.
What I found was that I never go hungry and I eat foods that taste really great, I just make sure what I am eating is good fuel for my body. I also got into the habit of going every week-day, it’s only ½ hour a day and just a routine part of my day now. Oh yeah, when my 8 weeks were up I was seeing such a great improvement and feeling so good in every other activity, I just signed up and kept going. It’s now been 9 months and it is part of my routine. My last weight in, I was down to 186# from the 226# when I started. My muscle mass has increased and my overall fitness at age 58 is better than it’s been in 30 years. Thanks to Dr. Steve and all on the Eupraxia staff for the daily greetings, encouragement and the challenges, it makes it so easy to keep going back!
After I had my second child, I was at the highest weight I’d ever been and, while I loved being a mom to my wonderful boys, I had never been unhappier with myself or the way that I looked. I knew I needed to do something not only for myself, but also for my family. I really wanted to be the healthiest I could be for them. I had tried working out so many times in my life and had always dreaded it. I was constantly telling myself, “I will start a new diet tomorrow”, or the famous “I’ll start working out Monday”. I would do ok for a few weeks, and then slowly go back to my old ways and eventually just give up. I remember exploring different gyms online, planning my next attempt, and saw that the La Crosse Fitness Festival was starting. I started reading about it and read that Eupraxia was letting people trial their program for free for a week. I thought “what do I have to lose?”
I am thankful every day that I made that decision. I will never forget my first week at Eupraxia. I honestly didn’t think that I was going to make it. I think they may have invented the saying, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” I never want to be as sore as I was that first week again in my life! It made me realize just how out of shape I really was. Looking back it would have been so easy to give up, thankfully I didn’t. With help and motivation from the trainers and the other members I pushed through and now have been training at Eupraxia for just over a year. Every day it challenges me. And every day I look forward to going. It truly is for anyone. It doesn’t matter where you are on your fitness journey each workout is tailored for your own pace and difficulty. One of the things that I like the most is that every single workout is trainer-led, and the trainers do the same exact workouts that the members do. They are there to help you, and to push you.
To me it is not even about my weight anymore. Yes I LOVE being able to say that I have lost over 50lbs, and have went from a size 18 pants to a size 10, but it is now about being healthier and getting stronger. I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be and can’t wait to reach more of my goals with Eupraxia.
I always used to see phrases like “more than just a gym” and “life changing” and I thought they were lame cliches that folks threw around that didn’t mean much of anything.
Since I joined Eupraxia I have completely changed my diet. I ate pretty crappy before, A LOT of junk food. I was taking Omeprazole to treat GERD. It was prescription strength, about twice the dosage of Prilosec OTC. Once I started Eupraxia I started dropping weight pretty fast. The change in diet had me feeling better. I stopped taking the Omeprazole about four weeks ago, and have not had any problems with heartburn, or acid reflux. Before if I missed taking it I was going to be hurting later in the day.
My blood pressure has been at its highest 152/92 checked at a doctor’s appointment in December 2013. The doctor was ready to put me on blood pressure medication, but I told her I would rather change my lifestyle to improve my health rather than take medication. So I started exercising and had to go back for a follow up 6 months later. I had not changed my diet much at that point. My blood pressure was 134/86 at the follow up appointment in June 2014. The next time I checked my blood pressure it was somewhere in between those. Where it stands today, it’s about 115/73. I can honestly say it felt good to see that the work and diet were paying off.
A good friend of mine recently made a comment to me saying, “Don’t you wish you could take a magic pill at night and wake up 50 lbs lighter? That would make things so much easier.” Man, isn’t that the truth. But, the truth is, there is no magic pill. It all comes down to hard work.
This month marks 3 years for me at Eupraxia. In Feb. 2012 I had just had my 4th baby. I was totally fed up with how I looked and felt. I had always been an athletic person, never the “skinny girl” but athletic, all through high school and even after. But, having kids and bad eating habits, the weight just kept going up. After each baby I would get down to a certain weight and I would be content with it. Not happy, but content. I was reading the paper one Sunday and saw the ad to try an 8 week session at Eupraxia for a low rate and they would teach you better eating habits and each day was a different workout. It sounded pretty good and the price was right. What could it hurt? Now, here we are 3 years later.
It was shortly after that 8 week session that I became pregnant with my 5th baby . I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to be working out and being pregnant, but I kept at it. The trainers were able to help me alter certain moves so I was able to do them with an ever growing belly. So, safe to say I didn’t exactly lose weight my first year at Eupraxia. But, I was exercising and slowly changing my eating habits. After having my baby, I couldn’t wait to come back and start exercising and get myself into better shape.
Like I said, it has been 3 years now that I have been working out at Eupraxia. And I wasn’t fully dedicated to working out and eating healthy right away. I really couldn’t tell you when I started seeing real results, because the time has just flown by. I can tell you that it is when I really changed my diet, eating more fresh veggies and fruit, lean protein and getting rid of the junk food. I have to admit, I love my breads, baked goods and ice cream. Those are still my biggest weaknesses. I haven’t given them up totally, but I am much more aware now of what I eat. So, I can say that it is the great combination of working out regularly and eating right is when I started seeing results.
Lindsay recently sent me my “before” photos that were taken on the first day during the orientation. I had never seen those photos. I still have mixed emotions when I see them. But, then I realize, yes, I have lost about 50 lbs since starting and yes, I am down 3 pant sizes and yes, I have quite a bit more muscle than when I started. I never would have thought I could have accomplished all of that. I know I couldn’t have without the help of the trainers and the amazing friends (you know who you are) that I have gained while at Eupraxia. They have helped push me to do better and tested me to see what I can accomplish.
This journey has been scary, painful, rewarding and most of all, life altering. I love knowing that I am a healthier, happier person for my kids and husband. Surprisingly, they aren’t sick of hearing about the crazy workout I had or how sore I am, at least they haven’t let on that they are. Either way, they’re going to keep hearing about it, because there is always something to improve on, and I’m not done yet.
My name is Jenna Kowalke. I have been a member at Eupraxia off and on for about 3 years now. Since day 1, I fell in love with how Eupraxia works; for its members to have a healthier and happier life. The nutrition plan is there for you, the gym work outs are set up for you, all you need is the right mind set and motivation and it is guaranteed success! However, with that being said, I did not have that success in my first 2 years training at Eupraxia. My first two years with Eupraxia, I was only able to train during my summers off from college. I would come home from college all motivated to lose weight, after packing on all of the weight from….you know….the college life I would cut down my portion sizes and work out every day. I saw some results, but the day I went back to college in the fall, my results quickly faded away. Away from Eupraxia I tried everything…I spent a shameful amount of money on Adovocare, Isagenix…you name it, I tried it. Those products made me hungrier, and did not give me the energy I needed to make it through the day without snacking. They were a short-term fix, but in the end, they were not the life style change that I needed.
Then after graduation, I was fortunate enough to find a teaching position back in the area. When I returned, I was a poor college graduate with students loans up the wazoo, so the chain fitness center sign in town with the “$8.99″ sign up fee was calling my name. Once again, not the motivation and life style change that I needed to get back to a healthier and happier me. Finally, I came to my senses and returned to Eupraxia last March. This time, I was returning weighing in at a whopping 160 pounds and a height of 5’2″. NOT HEALTHY! College definitely got the best of me. This is when I said to myself, “Jenna, you need to step it up.” I had heard Steve’s nutrition talk before, but I had never acted on it. I finally took the leap and started eating Paleo. Since then, I have never looked back. I will admit, cutting out wheat and dairy was very hard for me at first, but once I cut out the dirty foods, and tried to “cheat” and add them back in, my body showed me why they really should not be a part of my regular diet. I cannot eat those foods anymore without feeling or getting sick. I have more energy than I ever have before, without supplements or shakes, and I do not need to binge eat to feel full. The message I have behind all of my rambling is: diet is everything! When I first started at Eupraxia, I just followed their workout routine and did not follow their recommendations for eating. It was not until I started eating clean that I really started seeing results. It has been a year now of clean eating and a consistent workout routine, and I have lost over 30 pounds in fat and have gained a lot of muscle along the way. I cannot express how happy I am and how comfortable I feel in my skin now. Eupraxia has changed my life. I have never met such amazing people that are truly there to help you reach your goals and become a happier and healthier person. Eupraxia has become my second home. I love all of my trainers, I love all of the members, and I am proud to say that I have started teaching classes myself! Thank you Eupraxia for everything that you do. Everyone can do it, and Eupraxia is there to take you to the finish line. All I want now is for everyone to be able to see the success that I did, feel the way I do, and be able to say, “I DID IT! I LOVE MYSELF”.