Making Lives Better: Alecia Fife
Fit For My Family
For most of my adult life, I struggled with my weight. I would diet and exercise, get bored with my exercise routine, and gain the weight back. It was a constant struggle to stay motivated. I rode horses and competed in horse shows in high school but didn’t do any other type of organized sport. I would lose weight when I had to but was unable to keep it off. It became a vicious cycle. Does this sound familiar? I am sure that to many of you, it does! This is the story of how my family motivated me to strive for more.
The day before I turned 39, I made an appointment at the DMV to get a new driver’s license. It wasn’t until I saw my picture and looked at the weight that I lied about until I realized I needed to make a change. I weighed 185 pounds on my 5’4” frame. I remember calling my husband on the way home, crying, asking him how I let myself get to this point. So I vowed to not turn 40 looking the way I did. This was the beginning of a fitness journey that would take me places I never imagined.
Fast forward 14 years later—I am now 53 years old and in the best shape of my life! I teach teaching multiple group fitness formats at LVAC for the past 10 years and do personal training on the side. I run marathons and half marathons when I can to help keep me motivated. Additionally, I just completed marathon number six in April! This is on top of a full-time job as a fifth-grade teacher with the Clark County School District, along with being a wife and mom of two. Busy? Absolutely! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Don’t think that you are too old or too out of shape to make a change—I did it, and you can, too! It is a mindset—know that it will be hard, and you will find obstacles in your way. But keep your eye on your goals!
Getting the Family Involved
Staying fit has become a part of my lifestyle. It isn’t about a diet or a fitness craze; it is a way of life. My oldest daughter, Hayley, has become a group fitness instructor herself and joins me often at races. My youngest daughter, Allison, loves playing baseball and doing sports and recreation with her adult group at the YMCA. As a family, we make sure we buy food that is healthy. We try to keep the unhealthy snacks out of the house (although having a treat every now and then is absolutely fine!) We cook together and pack our own lunches. Our family does eat out, but we try to choose restaurants that have healthier options. Having the support of my family makes a huge difference. My husband, Steve, supports me with all of my crazy ideas and is always at the finish line of a race.
Staying fit and active makes me a better wife and mom—it gives me balance.
My Support System
Not only is my family a huge support system, but the members who take my classes keep me motivated as well. They are the reason I spend so much time planning and preparing for classes. Their energy, love of the programs, and consistency make it so much fun! The members have become my friends—being there for each other keeps us accountable and helps us reach our goals. Having new members in my classes also inspires me to do my best. We can all remember that very first group fitness class we took—mine was Body Pump with Charli. I was so nervous and reluctant to go inside. However, she reassured me and helped me throughout the class. I’ll never forget that first experience, and I use it as a way to help newbies in my classes feel welcome.
Bottom line? Find your support system—whether it is a family member, a friend, or a group fitness class. Not only will it make working out fun, but it will help motivate you to continue reaching your goals!