A few years ago, Tiffany Potter decided it was time to get in shape.

“In 2013 and 2014, I was pretty overweight and pretty miserable,” Potter said. “I was not feeling well, and I wasn’t able to do things with my kids. I had spoken with someone who worked at the Y – and I didn’t know much about the Y – and I got all signed up, started working out, lifting weights, doing some cardio and trying to change my eating habits. It was going well. I lost about 55 pounds.”

Then life happened.

Life got busier for the homeschool mom, and soon physical fitness became less and less of a priority.

“It started to go downhill as far as working out and eating healthy,” Potter said. “Life just got busy.”

Eventually, all of the physical fitness progress she had made reversed. When Potter started to have adrenal fatigue issues and other health complications, she knew it was time for a lifestyle change.

“I really started having a bunch of health problems,” she said. “It was really going downhill and not feeling well. It was just my prayer every night that God would help me have the knowledge, the motivation and the wisdom just to know what I could do and what to do. When you are overweight like that, it’s hard to go to the gym … but you have to start somewhere.”

Potter made drastic changes to her diet; eating whole foods and drinking water consistently for the first time in her life.

“The weight started to melt off like butter,” Potter said. “My body started to heal itself.”

She lost 96 pounds in just over seven months from her dietary changes. Her health journey eventually led her back to the YMCA. In addition to working out in the wellness room on her own, Potter also tried group fitness classes for the first time.

“At first, I was really nervous to go to group fitness, especially when I was heavy,” said Potter, who lost an additional 20 pounds through exercise. “I worried what people would think about me being heavy and doing it – or if I didn’t know how to do it – or if I didn’t do it as well as them. But it’s not like that at all. Everybody goes, and they have fun and support each other, and it’s really encouraging. Group fitness is just amazing. It’s nice to have the solitary if you’re in that mood, or you like that, but I love the motivation and pushing each other. The music’s great, and it’s really fun and exciting.”

In her fitness journey, Potter has learned that maintaining the progress made is as difficult as the initial weight loss.

But she’s plenty motivated.

“I fell in love with fitness,” Potter said. “I’ve kept it up. I feel excellent. I feel really good. I feel happy. I feel healthy. I feel strong, and I feel like I can like I can overcome things. I really enjoy working out. I enjoy looking the way I do. I enjoy the clothes I can wear, and they way that my clothes feel. I enjoy having the energy to do things with my kids and do things I’ve never been able to do before … There’s so much I can do now that I could never do before.”

Watch Potter’s video here.

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