Transformation Thursdays - Danielle Roback

I have waited until the time was right to finally post about my very own transformation. Well, this morning it came to me, approaching the first birthday of SP2, the time is right. I often tell my weight and yo-yo dieting story in every 6 Weeks to Chic kick-off meeting, so without getting too much into the details, I can assure you - I have struggled with weight.

When we put on weight, it’s so easy for our minds to go back to when we were little kids and think, how and when did this weight get here? For some, we have always had it, for others, it just appears one day (or so we think). We come up with excuses, ‘I’ve always been big boned’; ‘I was going through a hard time’; ‘it was college’;...they are endless, I know, I’ve used them all. The thing with the excuses is that we are only fooling ourselves. They may, infact, be true - but they’re not solving the problem. The problem is the weight. And the reality is that it didn’t just show up one day.

As a very active child turned high school athlete, the concept of not eating whatever I wanted seemed ridiculous. I grew up in a house where my mom always cooked dinners. In hindsight, they were absolutely delicious meals, but good for the waistline? Probably not. But, I ate it all, all the time, because my mom said so. In junior high school the thing to do was go take walks and get ice creams and coffee coolattas with extra whipped cream (sometimes twice a day!). I seemed to be small and life was great! But in high school that extra whipped cream began catching up to me despite my very active lifestyle. As a sophomore in high school, 16 years old, I weighed the most I ever did in my life, to date. The game changer for me was when my cheerleading coach handed me the biggest uniform in the box. I remember thinking, ‘is this who I am now? I’m the girl on the team who needs the largest uniform?’. I couldn’t wrap my head around that, 5 years prior I needed the smallest one! I battled that year with my weight, a lot. I didn’t really know what else I needed to do - I was cheering, dancing, and playing intramural soccer for my city…there wasn’t much more “activity” I could add in. The skinny girls seemed to be doing much less than me, and well, they were skinny girls.

That summer I asked my mom if I could join a gym, and as hesitant as she was, she agreed. I would go and put myself on the eliptical for a bit, but while I did that I would read the fitness magazines… educating myself on nutrition and all that other good stuff. The weight began to drop throughout that next year, albeit, very slowly. The following summer I committed to going to the gym every day and diving more and more into healthy living. I stepped into school my senior year an entirely new person, who just so happened to NOT need the largest uniform anymore. Life was good, I was me again for the first time in my high school career.

As time went on, and college life crept in, I battled weight yet again. I tried every diet known to man - Atkins, South Beach, cabbage soup - you name it. Sophomore year of college I remember getting on the scale one day and seeing my weight inching up toward my heaviest again. I will never forget that day because it was a day when I told myself I would never let weight rule my life ever again. That was 2004 and 10 years later, I am happy to say that I have kept that promise to myself. In the past 10 years I have probably purchased close to 90% of every home fitness DVD that ever came out, read close to every SHAPE, Fitness, and Women’s Health Magazine every month that I could get my hands on, this is all no exaggeration. I experimented with all the tricks of the trade, all the tips, and all the theories. The gym became my life and ultimately group fitness classes...and low and behold - here I am. Weight has never run my life again, but the absolute love for knowledge and helping people battle what I battled does run my life. I went to college to one day become a lawyer, who turned into a Marketing Professional. Never did I think all those hours in the college gym were going to ultimately lead me to my destined profession; but life is funny like that.

What fitness, and more importantly, what Studio Poise has done for my life is so much more than just help me lose weight and keep it off. It has literally saved me, and given me an outlet to escape what life throws at me.  This past year has been the biggest transformation for me. A full-time working woman, coaching a very competitive cheerleading team, planning a wedding, and expanding Studio Poise - that was my life a year ago. The thought of it makes my head spin.

It also makes me cry to think about all that that woman was going through, and that she still showed up with a smile because it was the right thing to do even though she was aching inside. When I cancelled my wedding, I knew I had to reinvent myself - better yet, I needed to be myself again and dive into what I loved about ME. I needed to commit myself to something just like I did when I decided not to let my weight rule me. And at that point, I knew in my heart that who I was, was a fitness professional. SP was where I belonged, and teaching classes and advising clients was what I was meant to do. I never looked back.

Every single day I do what I love, with a genuine, happy smile. Sure, I still get stressed out and sure there is still an awful lot on my plate… but staying fit, living a healthy lifestyle, giving people an outlet to do the same - all of this makes any stress just a minor stress. For the first time in my life I wake up and know that I am exactly where I need to be. My life is now devoted to helping people make the same decisions I did about weight.  Every Transformation Thursday we post has a client thanking me, my staff, and my facility for helping them. It melts my heart, but in my head I always think ‘thank YOU’. Studio Poise helped me through my darkest hour, undoubtedly. The instructresses, the clients, the place - I will never forget that. And with all of that sparkle, I feel it, too! It has changed my life.

Thank you #poisenation <3