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Donna F.

Broken Arrow

Member Since August 2006

My Story
Until I found Curves, I thought I'd never be able to exercise again.

At the age of 37 I contracted rheumatoid arthritis, a disease which affects joints over most of the body. Some days I was ready to drop from fatigue, and those were the good days. On the bad days each step felt like walking on a knife. I barely dragged myself through my shifts as a registered nurse, and my three sons and husband didn't get the care I wanted them to have. My weight ballooned to 226 lbs., way too much for my 5'2" frame, and I began to resemble Mrs. Santa Claus.

When I started to turn my life around I found it wasn't enough just to change my eating habits; I had to learn to move my body again. Walking, so often recommended for beginners, was out of the question. When my physician suggested water aerobics I cringed at the thought of wearing a bathing suit in public. Then she suggested I might try resistance training, since done properly it wouldn't hurt my joints.

Fortunately there was a Curves a couple of miles from my house. There were women of all ages and shapes exercising there and, to my surprise, they appeared to be smiling and actually enjoying their workouts. I had regarded exercise as an especially awful-tasting but necessary type of medicine.

And in the beginning, it sort of was like medicine just to make myself walk through the door. But the Curves staff was very friendly and helpful, the other members were fun to talk to, and the facility was always clean and cheerful. My first workouts were hard work and something of an ordeal. I'd end up bright red and puffing after just part of one circuit. But afterwards I always felt great.

Learning to exercise again wasn't without setbacks and I did drop out at one point for several months. But I found I missed the staff and the other members, and the good feeling I always got after the workout. Curves welcomed me back with open arms and I was back to stay this time.

Soon I was having fun working out, and when Curves Smart came along it got even better. Now I weigh 52 lbs less and have dropped from a size 22 to a size 12. Also I have discovered there are actually muscles in my thighs and upper arms--used to be I couldn't really tell. But the best part is having more energy and having a lot of fun!

Do I still have a long way to go before I reach my fitness goal? You betcha. But thanks to Curves I'm enjoying each step of the journey now.


Frannie W. Posted 02:43 07/1/2009 - flag as inappropriate
"I'm so proud of you, Donna! Thanks for sharing your inspirational story."
Peggy C. Posted 07:30 07/29/2009 - flag as inappropriate
"Happy to vote for you. Amazing story.."
Mitzi S. Posted 10:51 08/23/2009 - flag as inappropriate
"all Curves members are WINNERS!!! you have a wonderful story, You Go Girl!!"