I had continually put off returning to a fitness routine because there never seemed to be enough time. But with the encouragement of friends, and the need to get back in shape, I signed up for the Carolina Sweat free trial program in January. Although I was nervous, having community there with me made it so much better. I loved the workouts and they quickly became addicting! I was consistently going 4 to 5 times a week and counting my calories.
Because I enjoyed it, I decided I wanted to continue the journey after the free trial. I felt great, however the weight was not coming off like I hoped. In February I stopped counting calories but continued my workouts and suddenly the weight started to fall off. By the end of April I had lost 16 pounds.
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Sarah Pay was great about checking in on me while I was away and I gradually started making it back to Carolina Sweat. There were many tough days—some days I would struggle just to show up and attempt to make it through—but it helped so much and having friends doing it along side me made all the difference.
Exercise and nutrition didn’t solve all of life’s issues or the challenges and obstacles we faced. There was a ton of answered prayer and a wonderful, strong community around us, but for me, the mornings at Carolina Sweat certainly helped me to manage them. Having a healthy body with exercise as an outlet helped to quiet the chaos on the inside so that no matter what life presents on the outside, we all can and will make it through.
Leah’s Success Story
I started my journey with Carolina Sweat in November, 2014. I had given birth to my third child a year earlier and just hadn’t been able to lose the weight and get back in shape. I tried every diet plan I could find and had lost a few pounds, but nothing felt like the permanent lifestyle change I was craving. I was running and wondering why the cardio exercises I was doing weren’t taking the weight off. I was eating “diet” pre-packaged meals but I felt like even when I lost a pound or two, my body just didn’t look healthy and fit. I was so used to being a mom that I had lost track of my own needs. I initially felt guilty committing even 45 minutes a day to working out because I wasn’t used to being “selfish” with my time. But I decided that this was the change that I needed in order to be a better mother and a better person.
I finally attended my first Carolina Sweat class after much prodding by a friend who was already a member, and have been addicted ever since. I couldn’t complete a full class in the beginning without taking many breaks. But I quickly realized that this class is not a competition. It is about challenging yourself every day and doing more because you know you can. I was concerned about the fact that we were using weights during class as I believed that it would bulk me up or add weight to my body. I have discovered that weights are the key to my success. It was the component I had always been missing in my exercise routine. I have toned my body and lost weight because of the format at Carolina Sweat.
The women at Carolina Sweat have become my friends. This is a family of women who get to know each other and care about each other. I know the women I work out with. I know their children and their families. I know their stories and where they are headed on their own personal journey.
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My mindset and the way I look at life has been changed by my experience at Carolina Sweat. I now look at obstacles as opportunities for growth, either mental, physical or emotional.
I have reached my “goal” weight but continue to grow in my journey at Carolina Sweat. This program and these coaches have changed my life. I am thankful every day that I took that first step and attended my first class a year ago. As a mother of 4 kids I never felt confident in my body or took many pictures of myself because of my weight. I was always between 160-180 pounds and a size 12-14 so I never bothered looking for nice clothes. I’d have just find something that would fit. Before starting my journey at Carolina Sweat I lacked energy, and was tired most of the time with NO motivation.
I was on Facebook when I found out about Carolina Sweat. The ad seemed to come from nowhere but talked about a community of women and moms doing their best as they worked out together, to reach their nutrition goals, develop healthy habits, and working towards success and health. I was inspired by what I read and in that moment, I knew that Carolina Sweat was going to change my life forever. I went to check it right away knowing they were opening the next day. It was lucky day for me. I went the first day and met Chris Bryan, founder, owner and trainer. I saw the gift and talent he had to impact the lives of people, because of his determination to help them set and meet their goals. He was just the right person for me to meet at that moment in my life. I started Carolina Sweat in June of 2014 and it continues to be a part of my daily routine today. I commit myself, no matter what, to be there every day. I’ve started training with more motivation and I’m inspired by how other people continued to better themselves. I didn’t make very many healthy nutrition decisions before joining Carolina Sweat. I knew that I needed to eat better (not too much Mexican food) but needed to become educated on how to replace certain foods. Also, in the beginning, Carolina Sweat was very hard and intense for me because of my fatigue but I’ve stayed committed and because I’m getting stronger, and I’m eating better, it get easier each day. I feel amazing and my body is in the best shape it has been in for many, many years. I went from a size 14 to a size 2! Never did I dream I would be saying this. I am down to 125 pounds and feel better than ever.
My biggest goal is to help people like you to know that every goal you have and every dream in your heart can become real! It won’t be easy, and it’s going to be hard but always remember the commitment you made on the first day! Keeping the motivation in every area of your life isn’t easy because we don’t know what we’ll face each day. Maybe frustration, unhappiness, depression, loneliness, fear of failure, even the fear of success. I could keep writing as I think of all the things that keep us from accomplishing our goals but we are not alone! There are wonderful people around us who are willing to give us their best to help us be our best. I’m thankful to all the coaches of Carolina Sweat, because they have helped me to remember not to give up when it gets hard. They have helped me stay on track and having their accountability to keep working hard to reach my goals has made all the difference. I truly recommend Carolina Sweat to anyone who is struggling with fitness, health and nutrition to give them opportunity to help you. The way we work together helps us to stay motivated and to remember these powerful words: I can ! I will!
I have never struggled with huge swings in my weight but was someone that always felt I could afford to lose 5-10 pounds to be at my best. This thought has slowly eaten away at me over the years as I have moved to different jobs, different states, birthed two children and supported a husband following his dream to be a doctor. No matter where I go or what I do, I always have this little voice annoying me about how I could stand to lose a few pounds and get in better shape. To boot, I have a job that requires long hours at a computer and frequent travel, both of which provides every awesome excuse to not get up and get moving. However, I hit a wall in April where I felt completely exhausted. We have been through a lot of change and change is hard. I wanted to sleep or eat my way into happiness….but neither was a viable option. So I basically realized I was due for a big change or it was only going to get worse. Luckily for Facebook (in this case anyway), a post for Carolina Sweat came across my newsfeed and it was the sign I needed. A community of women that work out together and push each other to be their best alongside the most motivating and inspiring coaches. I knew I was ready to commit, and after my free trial, I was hooked.Read more of Donna's story...
Over a 3-month period I had built working out into my daily schedule at least 4-5 days per week and it gave me the energy to tackle my next challenge…my food choices. To most people I appear to eat healthy – all organic, non-GMO, love my veggies, but after the kids hit the sack, I hit the pantry…and while dark chocolate and almond butter are pretty “safe” choices (in reasonable quantities), let’s say together and in abundance they are dangerous. What I love the most about Carolina Sweat is that they encourage total body health and just as I inquired about healthy eating choices they announced their Carolina Sweat REAL 42 Challenge kick-off! It was a commitment to eat healthy for 42 days by avoiding sugar, dairy, grains and mindless snacking (my downfall). It was the step I needed to gain control over my eating habits. Thanks to Carolina Sweat’s instruction book and recipe guide, I was able to fully commit and my truest form of dedication was packing breakfast and snacks for my weekly work trips and skipping out on hidden forms of sugar like ketchup and salad dressings. It was so awesome to do this in a way that provided support and coaches for questions, not to mention friends that did it along side me.
Carolina Sweat is a community, a lifestyle and a family that has shown me support, and pushed me to find my own personal best. I thank the women that work out next to me and push me to find my personal best and most sincerely Sarah Pay and the coaches for everything they have done for us as a community of women. I am grateful every day that I found Carolina Sweat and the lessons I have learned to live a healthier lifestyle. Now I wake up excited for my workout whether on the road or among the incredible community of women. Carolina Sweat has been life changing for me.
I have never dieted. I grew up active and never had to worry about what I ate and how it would affect my body. If I wanted to lose weight, I would just exercise more. After having 2 children, it was impossible for me to fit in 2 workouts into my day (whether I was working or staying at home). My idea of dieting meant eating pre-packaged, small portion meals, “diet” soda, “non-fat yogurt, and sugar-free creamer. I incorporated these types of foods into my diet and truly believed that all that mattered was the calorie count in order to lose weight. This type of dieting became my lifestyle.
I joined Carolina Sweat three weeks after our family moved to Charlotte. I was instantly hooked to the workout style and the team of women that worked so hard during each 45 minute class. It was so encouraging seeing how strong they were and knowing I was going to be that strong as well. My diet remained the same during those first months as I introduced Carolina Sweat into my daily routine. My 9:45am class became part of my day; I was definitely stronger and noticing I could do more during my workouts, but I wasn’t seeing the results I was expecting. After a couple of months, I had a nutrition meeting with Chris and we discussed food, nutrition, good/bad fats, and alcohol and how they all affect the body. We set a 6 week goal weight and I made a commitment to myself that I was going to stick to healthy eating and working out 4 times/week. I trashed the diet sodas, low-fat/processed foods and eliminated alcohol (gasp..but, only for 6 weeks) and followed the food guidance and workouts. I worked 20lbs off my body and am stronger and more confident. I do not consider my healthy eating a “diet”. I love eating natural and raw food, and I eat until I am content without counting calories or weighing myself. Since my 6 week commitment, I have continued to see improvements in my strength and confidence without having to exercise 2 times/day.
Carolina Sweat has been such an important addition to my day and I love the designed workouts. I do not think the workouts will ever be easy, but I enjoy challenging myself to go further and push harder. I appreciate how the coaches have gotten to know me. They know how to challenge me while paying attention to my bad knees, and I look forward to more sweaty clothes and burpees.
All of my life I have been what people call “little,” or small build. I was muscular for the most part and very active as I competed in swimming, played tennis, never really had to worry about my weight….
My weight gain was primarily brought on by medication. Every year I would go into my doctor’s office for the annual physical, step on the dreaded scale, and for 4 years in a row I gained 10 pounds each year! Because I had always been little even the first 10 pounds was traumatic, let alone 10 per year! The last straw was when I was up almost 50 pounds and sat in my doctor’s office and cried.
I asked her, actually begged her to help me. I had severe muscle breakdown, muscle cramping, no energy, and even my hair was breaking in half. Something wasn’t right. I am not a junk food junkie, I don’t live my life in the drive thru, I was keeping a food log, working out (regularly, but nothing I liked), and yet was still gaining?
I did some further research only to find that it was the cholesterol medication I was taking (my trouble is hereditary), and once we remedied that I was able to really start losing weight.
I had started a medically based weight loss program, and as part of it the doctor told me I needed to incorporate a workout routine… one that I would stick with. This was tough, I get bored easily, and had tried so many different things that just never “stuck.”
Fast forward 25 pounds lost, I was drying my hair, and realized my arm was waving before I moved it? OMG!
I was horrified! Being a swimmer and tennis player all my life, I had never had this problem…. It was time to find that exercise program… STAT. My friend Colleen Odegaard had sent me an email about her trainer Chris Bryan, said she had been working with him for a year, was very impressed with him, her results had been amazing, and she thought for sure it would be something I’d like. He was offering a free 30 day trial for his new location, I needed to try it! I was nervous, I needed someone to “inspire me,” not someone to yell at me, I emailed Chris, and 2 weeks later I walked in the doors, and I haven’t looked back.
Let me tell you, I was in a picture the other day, and had to do a double take because of the definition my arms have now!
My legs are still in progress because of knee surgery, but I’ve seen a big difference, and as for the abs… getting there! You know that line you start to see? Not the ones from where your jeans would cut you off… lol the one where your obliques ware starting to come thru… yep! I’m seeing more and more!
My family comes with bad knees… it should be a warning… Factor in that I needed knee surgery, plus I’m a wimp. Chris had his work cut out for him, but here’s the thing… it never phased him. There was ALWAYS a modification for an exercise, even on leg days! I went in for knee surgery, but I wasn’t going to let that stop my mission to get fit. I am ridiculously addicted to my goal, and pretty much was on a mission to get better fast. My doctor gave me “limited” permission to work out 5 days after my surgery… Yes FIVE DAYS, did I mention I am stubborn and will sometimes have a problem with patience? I can’t sit for very long… ever. The doc threatened to call Chris and have a conversation with him so I wouldn’t push too far, but Chris already knew I would try and do too much so he was ready for the “fight.”
He and the other trainers helped me to get better without injuring myself, or compromising my recovery. I still remember the conversation (one of many) with Chris where I wanted to do an exercise, thought for sure I could do it, was trying to tell Chris this too…. He looked at me and said “Nope Nope Nope! You’re not the boss in here, I’m the trainer, you need to listen to me!” The commitment to get me better by everyone has been nothing short of amazing, to even imagine I would have come as far as I have in only 6 months is stunning to me.
Not only physically, but mentally too. The truth is when you are not happy with how you look, it comes thru in your personality, and it can honestly impact your confidence levels as well. I love this program so much that if I don’t go at least three or more times per week I am upset with myself.
The other significant change is good and “bad”… I have lost the equivalent of 45 pounds (factor in the muscle I have gained, the scale says 35), and have had to do a LOT more shopping! This is great because I am very very good at shopping, I just hate shopping all the time!
Is it hard? Yes, but here is the thing… just when you think you are going to fall over, you hear Chris, Julie, Joel, or Sarah say that you are almost there in five, four, three… and you’ve done it! I always tell people that the first two weeks are the hardest… Does it get easier?
Ha Ha, no, but your body gets stronger and stronger, and you know you can make it through. The feeling of accomplishment, the visual results, and how much better I feel keeps me coming back.
I walked into Carolina Sweat in August of 2013 thinking “I work out a few times a week, I’m pretty healthy, I can totally handle this.” But this place is different from your average cardio class. That first day was one of the most challenging workouts I’ve ever experienced. But it was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Chris Bryan not only challenged me to take my workout goals seriously, he made me step back and think about my personal life goals. Every one of his workout classes are filled with positive motivation and reminders that you aren’t there just to lose weight; you are there to become stronger in all aspects of your life. In one particularly difficult cardio/core class, Chris talked about how each step that we take on the path of life will lead us to the view at the top of the mountain. No matter how difficult each step is, it brings us closer to seeing that view. I walked away from that class feeling stronger and more motivated than ever to “know the goal” and walk towards it with purpose.Read more of Amanda's story...
Read more of Lori's story...
I originally started on my weight loss journey almost 2 years ago and was only doing at home work outs and was successful at losing a lot of weight. However, I reached a point where I still had weight to take off but I had hit plateau. It was also starting to get harder with my kids getting older to get workouts done at home. I needed a change and needed it soon.The first time I heard about Carolina Sweat was through a pop up ad on Facebook and I looked at it a few times since it was consistently popping up in my newsfeed. The word FREE was leading me to believe that it was indeed a hoax. Even my husband told me that there has to be a catch. They were offering me training for free and on top of that they provided FREE child care while you worked out! So, I signed up, got my confirmation email from Chris and I was on my way.
I was always athletic and enjoyed working out prior to injuring my ankle.After I had ankle surgery I was never able to stick to working out. I would lose weight and get in a routine and gain it all back. I wasn’t able to find anything to stick with. I was introduced to Carolina Sweat by my neighbor in July and have really enjoyed it. I look forward to going each day and the workout that Chris has planned. Chris is a great motivator and helps me believe in myself and all of the things I am able to accomplish. Since I have started I have lost 12 pounds and 9 inches in my waist.
I am thankful to have found something that I know I will stick with!
Before starting Sweat training I felt discouraged because when I turned 25 my metabolism seemed to slow significantly. I‘ve always enjoyed running and participated in cardio exercise, but I was intimidated to incorporate weights. I knew I needed something different to jump start my metabolism and Sweat training was just the thing.
Since beginning I have lost 30 pounds and my BMI has decreased by 17 points. I have completely reshaped my diet by cutting out sugar and dairy, eating every 2 hours and drinking water all day long. Spending time on meal prep and planning what I’ll eat has enabled me to make smart eating decisions part of my lifestyle. I was eager to join Sweat because I had a good friend whom I worked with that introduced me to the program. Once I started I instantly felt better. The class was challenging, but I’m a morning person and really enjoyed working out before work. It was a great jump start to my day and I met a great group of women. When I started I could not do a push up, plank for over a minute, or lift the medicine ball. Now, I am happy to report I can do push-ups, 5 minute planks are no problem, and I am ready for the next weight medicine ball. Also, I travel often with my job and Chris is great about posting workouts so I can have exercises on the road and incorporate routines at a hotel gym.
Today, I feel amazing. I have always been a very positive person, but this has transformed my life in unimaginable ways. I constantly have people asking about Sweat and I love spreading the word because I am a first-hand account of the results. Chris is an amazing motivator and very encouraging. When you hit the point of fatigue he knows exactly what to say to make you push yourself to the next level. So many of my friends have joined and feel the same way. I am so thankful for what he is doing for the community by helping women get in the best shape of their lives in a healthy way by making this a lifestyle choice.
“I want to thank you speaking at Charlotte Health Center and for moving our patients away from sickness and disease and towards health. You have made a huge difference in the lives of our patients. Thank you for all that your do! I look forward working together for many years.”
“Chris is the very first yoga instructor I ever had. I was super nervous about trying yoga for the first time, but Chris made me feel right at home. I quickly fell in love with yoga and started seeing great progress in my practice. I mentioned to Chris that I had never had the flexibility to touch my toes without bending my knees, and he made a point to encourage me and help me reach that goal, and I did! Chris definitely takes a personal interest in his students and their goals. Chris also brings a great energy to his classes and you always leave feeling invigorated and refreshed!”