THE WEIGHT GAME | DuPage Residents Share their Weight Loss Stories


Meet Salima Ali of Naperville, Steve Greanias of Glen Ellyn and Stephen Ryan of Romeoville

Whether you’re single like Salima Ali, married like Stephen Ryan, or married with kids like Steve Greanias, wanting to feel good and comfortable in their clothes was the key ingredient to their weight loss journeys.

Each had tried it on their own – Salima worked out for almost 6 months from June 2017 to November 2017 and only lost 6 pounds in 6 months. Graenias’s main focus at the gym was to do something – anything - and get into the steam room and sauna as quickly as possible. Stephen owned a stationary bike but used it infrequently.

All wanted a healthier lifestyle.

“Someone from Jamat Khana (place of worship) gave a reference to Jazba Fitness in Naperville. I visited the place on November 21, 2017, talked with my trainer, Shehzad Merchant, and told him, I will start after Thanksgiving weekend,” Salima says. “I started working out on November 28, 2017 weighing 167 pounds and here I am today on June 3, 2018, weighing 132 pounds feeling awesome and enjoying life and can taste everything out there without any guilt.”

Salima did not give up any food. In fact, she still eats rice, pasta, paratha (butter bread), fries, etc. She just had to learn how and when to eat the foods she liked, so that it worked for her body rather than against it, and her trainer continues to adjust her workouts to keep her body from getting used to one form of exercise.

Graenias also tries to eat healthy during the week, staying away from sugar as the number one goal; but, on weekends he definitely lets loose with the food and drinks, but has learned from his workout crew at Orange Theory Fitness in Glen Ellyn (OTF GE), “it’s one of the things I burn for"! Graenias became addicted to OTF after the first few classes. He started to see positive results after just a couple of weeks. In January of 2016, he weighed 236 lbs. and was wearing size 36 jeans. Over the past two years since starting at OTF GE, he is down to 192 lbs., 15% body fat, and size 32 jeans; and like Salima’s workouts, Graenias enjoys the diversity of the different types of classes OTF offers and the way they mix up the workouts.

Stephen also knew he needed variety to keep interested. What began at 315 pounds with high blood pressure and edema on a stationary bike in his living room turned into workouts with Jeff Maynard of Jeff Maynard Fitness at MPG Fitness in Plainfield, and De Wayne Roberts at Lifetime Fitness in Romeoville. They coached him to shedding 120 lbs., regulating his blood pressure, and competing in men’s bodybuilding contests. Stephen now does shows all around the country and Midwest. The division he is in is called Men's Physique, and a goal he has set forth for himself and is focused on, is attaining his IFBB pro card. Instagram posts of meals, progress, and photos help hold Stephen accountable and the amazing results have been his ultimate reward for motivation!

“The promise that I made to myself to change lead me to giving up alcohol, eliminating fast food, joining a gym, doing meal preparation, and food journaling,” he says. “I downloaded a free app called My Fitness Pal. If there’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone looking to lose weight it’s that you must keep track of the foods you eat.”

Although it is very true that only you can decide to get started on the journey to better health, all agree that having a trainer, a group of workout buddies, or food diary to hold you accountable, is key to the success.

–Kristen Kucharski

#GlancerMagazine #HealthWellness #TheWeightGame #GlenEllyn #Naperville #DuPageCounty #July2018DuPage


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