LVAC member Lucy Erickson was born in Guangzhou, China. Her family moved to Alameda, California when she was four years old and then to Las Vegas when she was eight. She and her “dreamy” husband Matt are the proud parents of two children, ages six and nine. She currently works as a butler at the Cosmopolitan.
LVAC: What motivated you to change your diet and your lifestyle?
Lucy: “Towards the end of my second pregnancy, I weighed 220 pounds. About five months after delivering my last baby I was looking in the mirror and I didn’t think I looked all that bad. It wasn’t until my friend came over and brought Jillian Michael’s ‘30 Day Shred’ video that I knew something had to change. We followed Level 1, but I couldn’t even do a single push-up and I had to take breaks during the 30-second jumping jack intervals. Honestly––I probably took five minutes’ worth of breaks––I wanted to throw up. But my competitive side said, “You can do that video without stopping!” That experience became the start of my lifestyle change.”
LVAC: What type of exercise and workout routine has helped you to succeed?
Lucy: “When I first began my healthier lifestyle, I did the ‘30-Day Shred’ for three weeks. I did see results, but I was miserable. It was not fun and it felt like pure torture sweating by myself in the living room with my kids running around. I found that I tend to get grumpy when I’m out of breath in the middle of my workout and am asked for the 12th time to watch a cartwheel. I was so happy when I discovered LVAC and group fitness classes. I began with Kelly Decolati’s HIIT classes. It was so fun and made an hour fly by. I still try to take Kelly’s class 2 times a week, but I also like to mix it up with P.I.T, Body Combat, Pilates, and Yoga. I also weight train on my own for about an hour after class.”
LVAC: With a family and a full-time job, how do you manage to fit exercise into your schedule?
Lucy: “I work graveyard, so getting to the gym can be rough. I like going right after I drop my kids off at school. Even though it cuts into my sleep time, I try to be consistent. I set a goal of getting at least four good sessions in per week, and I hold myself accountable to that.”
LVAC: What type of foods did you eat before, and what specific changes have you made to your diet?
Lucy: “Let’s be honest here, food is the reason for and the bane of my existence. I was very skinny as a child, despite the fact that I ate massive amounts of food. My parents always told me it would catch up to me, but I didn’t change my habits and well, they were right. My husband and I both ballooned. We actually knew the Outback Steakhouse Take-Away employees by name, because we went there two times a week and shared a full order of cheese fries before we even began eating our entrees. The night before my wedding I wanted some fried chicken, so I got myself eight pieces and polished them off! We ate out for at least two meals every day and it wasn’t good food. It was a constant stream of fast food.” “As soon as I began my new lifestyle, I learned how to cook. I now cook five nights a week for my family. We eat healthy, nutritious foods with a lot of vegetables, because you know, I still have that ravenous appetite. Now instead of eating more cheese fries, I eat more veggies until I am satisfied. After each of my workouts I go home and make a protein shake, adding in two cups of spinach, and throw a chicken breast on the grill. When I go out to eat people say I’m picky, but I’m not “picky” as in I don’t want to try new foods. I just customize my order to remove some of the high calorie, unnecessary additions. That’s on the weekdays. On the weekends, all food is fair game. I allow myself to have one meal on both Saturday and Sunday consisting of the foods I have been craving. I do this because when I don’t let myself eat any of the foods I’m craving, I end up not sticking to my meal plan on the weekdays, and eating pizza until my craving is satiated, and that’s a LOT of pizza.”
LVAC: How has your life changed with your weight loss and improved level of fitness?
Lucy: “My whole life has changed. Feeling strong and fit is incredible! It gives me the confidence and energy to do things I never would have done before. I coached my son’s soccer team for three seasons. That meant running around and doing drills with 12 eight-year-old boys three times a week. On the weekends my family and I actually enjoy being active now. We go on hikes, rock climb and ride bikes. I appreciate nature and the great outdoors in a way I never did before. Who would have thought? In addition, my job requires that I lift heavy equipment behind the scenes. I love it when people rush over to help me because they think I can’t carry heavy objects. I just wave them off and tell them I’ve got it, and I do it in a suit and tie and in 4″ heels! I have a degree in political science and history, which is clearly being put to excellent use at my job.”
LVAC: What’s your favorite thing about LVAC?
Lucy: “I love so many things about LVAC. Where do I start? Childcare is critical for me. Thanks to LVAC’s great childcare, my kids get to see my better side. I love the group fitness classes, which run all day so you can always drop in and try something new. I really, really love Kelly D’s HIIT class. She kicks the trash out of you, but in a fun way. Is that a thing? I also love the camaraderie at the gym. I have met so many people who have become friends in and outside of the club.”