One Step at a Time. One Day at a Time.

By Anthony Mejia

Kathleen, Amara (age 10), Aneesh, Fiona (age 7).

One Step at a Time. One Day at a Time.

By Anthony Mejia, Center Director


We have heard it again and again. The majority of us will all give up on our New Year’s resolutions by the end of February. But all the data and trends in the world can’t stop the will and commitment that certain folks have to set courageous, healthier goals AND the daily commitment to accomplish those goals.

Kathleen Bakshi, a wife, a mother of two, entrepreneur, and a Center member since 2013 is a great example of someone who bucked the trend and continues to accomplish her health goals… one step at a time, one day at a time.

Kathleen shares her incredible story and journey with us.

I have been overweight my entire life, due to a metabolic disorder that started when I was an infant. Over the years, my doctors advised me to lose weight, but due to my metabolism, I was informed that I would have to work harder (much harder) than most people to lose the same pounds.

I tried many times–and each time I failed. Each time I gained more back than I lost. Does this sound familiar? Finally after two kids, and reaching my highest adult weight, my knees started having issues, and that’s when I realized that I had no choice but to try something drastic.  

I entered into the Medical Weight Management Program at Kaiser — which is an intensive program, open to everyone, based on diet and exercise. But it is so much more!

Many things came into place in order for me to try this. I had just changed careers after years of night school, and I was finally in a position to open my own interior design firm, which enabled me to control my schedule for the first time ever. When I can control my schedule, I can no longer make excuses for not having time to exercise.

And then… I had to start exercising.

I learned that being “busy” is not being “active.” Strolling with the dog is not exercise, it counts as daily activity, but not exercise. True exercise is raising your heart rate for X number of minutes per day. And I had to learn what true exercise was… because I had never done it before.

I bought a stationary bike for my home and started cycling. With a bike at home, I have no excuses to not cycle, even if the kids are sleeping, even if it is too late at night to go to the gym… even if I am tired… I can still get my ride in.

“Even if” has become part of my vocabulary.  

After cycling on my own for 6 months, I built up the courage to join the spin classes at PCC. And there I have met a whole new community of like-minded friends who encourage each other and support one another. I look forward to spin classes very much and I make them a priority in my day.  

PCC is a really easy community to become a part of. The instructors are very knowledgeable and I feel like when I am learning a new thing, like “how to spin”, they are there to help me get comfortable. The community is really friendly, and non-judgemental. Because I feel so comfortable at PCC, it is easy for me to go back, week after week. And the more I open up and get to know those around me, the more I feel like I belong there. 

My spin shoes are my “magic shoes” and they have changed my life. With them, my weight loss coaches, my family’s amazing support, a massive change in diet, a new understanding of caloric consumption, and so much more… I have lost 65 lbs. I’m off my meds; I avoided knee surgery, and I feel better in my skin than ever before.

Before: In 2016, Amara (age 9), Kathleen, Aneesh, Fiona (age 6).

After: In 2017, Kathleen, less 60 lbs.

Just as important as the physical changes, I am making mental changes.

When I’m not feeling motivated, I tell myself “I can do anything for 5 minutes”. Once I’m moving, I can keep going, but I have to trick myself into it. I learned that the brain takes YEARS to acknowledge change. So I may weigh less today and eat less, but my brain is telling me that I SHOULD weigh more and to eat more. I have to stay on top of that or I will fulfill my brain’s vision.

I weigh myself every day. If the train is going off the rails, I want to be the first to know.

I am a work-in-progress.

I had to understand and accept that for me, this is a “Life Sentence.” I am never going to be naturally skinny. I will have to work hard every day to keep it off. Most of us will have to as well.

I had to learn what “full” feels like before I get there.

To be honest, I hate exercise. Even though I like spinning now, in general, I really would prefer to do something else, anything else, but that’s the thing. There is no replacement for exercise. For the first time in my life, I get the “zing” after a workout. I get that little zap of adrenaline, or pride, or accomplishment. It is my reward for working hard. I feel better all day, I sleep better, my skin feels better, and my attitude in life is better.

How about you? What will be your motivation to overcome the challenges, the voices, and the data that tells you “it’s too hard,” “it’s impossible,” “just give up,” in sticking to and achieving your healthier goals this year and beyond?

To get started check out our Fitness Schedule that includes the spin classes that Katherine loves as well as other group exercise classes. My hope is that we as the Center community can help one another take One Step at a Time. One Day at a Time.

To those of us who feel like giving up, Kathleen has this advice for us, “Trust that you can make changes in your life, it is not too late. Do not give up. YOU are worth fighting for.”

See YOU at the Center!