Elyse Fairburn is one of our yoga instructors at On Target Fitness, and her and her husband
David run a nutrition and healthy living business together called Fairburn it Off. What you may not realize though, is that Elyse actually struggled for years with her own weight and health. So today, we are sharing her story:
Hey everyone! Thank you for taking a moment to read this and to allow me to share my story with you. Most of you may not realize this, but I am not a naturally thin girl and I was not always an active and healthy person. In fact, growing up, I was actually referred to as an “ugly duckling” by my doctor.
However, even prior to my doctor calling me an “ugly duckling”, I was not the most confident nor fit person. Remember the fitness tests and mile-run in gym class that you had to do each year? Well, I ALWAYS got out of doing them! I would get a doctors note stating that I have asthma (which I actually do), so I was able to skip out on my gym classes.
But then I watched the Wonder Years, and decided that I was going to try out for my high school field hockey team because Winnie Cooper played field hockey. But guess what we had to do for the first day of tryouts? Run a damn mile. So, for the first time in my life, I ran. I pulled it off in about 12 minutes. And then I puked. Twice. In front of the coach. But I ran that mile, and I made the team!
Now this is the part where I tell you I became an all-star athlete, but that’s just not the case. Not even close. However, I loved how it made me feel to start moving and being active, and my confidence grew. The major downfall was that I still ate horribly, but I just didn’t know it then. There were days where for breakfast, lunch, and dinner I ate ramen noodles. And soda? That was a food group for me. My snack was orange soda and Cadbury chocolate bars, and I ate the same thing at McDonald’s multiple times a week – two cheeseburgers, a large coke and large fry. Oh and I almost forgot about one of my famous breakfasts – a piece of toast with sugar and cinnamon poured on top.
As a result, throughout high school and college my weight fluctuated constantly. I was working out more regularly, but my nutrition was still not good. There were times when I was so busy that I wasn’t able to eat much, and then other times when I had more down time and would take advantage of pigging out on my grandmother’s homemade food.
However, after college, I put on over 20 pounds in two months, and I was also getting sick a lot. I had pneumonia multiple times and was frustrated by this. Therefore, I decided to go on one more diet. I told myself that I was going to make this diet work, and it did, but at a price. It worked so well that I ended up in the ER. I will not gross you out with what the diet caused in my body, but it helped me realized that this was not normal or okay.
It was after this that both David and I got serious about our health, and it all started with just one cup of coffee. I used to drink my coffee with extra cream and extra sugar, so David thought that we should just try drinking it black. I know that this is not for everyone, but that one simple change ended up being the catalyst that we needed to propel us down a path of truly living healthy.
Once we realized how easy it was to make just one change with our coffee, we then got rid of our milk and went to almond milk. Then after a little while, we stopped buying the pre-flavored, highly processed, bags of rice, and just made our own rice and seasoned it ourselves. We did one thing at a time. However, after removing the first few unhealthy items, the rest came much more quickly, smoothly, and naturally. We loved how we felt, and we wanted it to continue. It also inspired David to further his education in nutrition by studying holistic nutrition and gaining his certification in this area.
Through this gradual process, both David and I really began questioning what we were putting into our bodies, and we also became much more consistent with our workouts. This led to us becoming passionate about living a well-rounded, healthy, lifestyle, which then led to people asking us how to do it too. This ultimately helped push us to work even harder, and became the groundwork for creating Fairburn it Off.
What was more surprising, and in some ways more important, was that we also became healthier mentally and emotionally, and are now more motivated than ever to take care of ourselves – whether it is remembering to have a date night, get a massage, or simply just relax and watch our favorite movie. We believe that healthy living is an overall process and not just working out or just eating clean – but taking care of your whole self. That’s why when we created Fairburn it Off, it was important for us to support this overall process. We make sure to clearly lay out all of the meals and grocery lists you need so you do not feel lost. We also incorporate “challenges” into the plan, which include things like, trying a new activity, or simply having a drink and relaxing, because yes, we still enjoy a drink and we still go out to dinner.
Throughout my own health journey and helping others live healthy with Fairburn it Off, it has helped me to not only feel great, but to also not stress about dieting or thinking that healthy living has to be complicated – and I hope you will feel the same way as you start or continue on your own health journey. You should not only feel confident in a certain outfit, but also feel amazing inside, be able to enjoy new activities, and not waste time on diets, staring at a scale, or getting sick. In fact, I threw out my scale! It may not always be easy, and there may be bad days, but there are also great days. Stay focused on the good and it will help you to be successful. If you ever feel like you need anything, remember we are here for you at On Target and at Fairburn it Off. Please feel free to reach out to me directly in person or online at any time.
About Fairburn it Off
Fairburn it Off’s mission is to help people create sustainable, lifestyle habits that are attainable and maintainable for life. Their lifetime nutrition plan breaks everything down that you need to know, and provides you with weekly grocery lists, grocery images, weekly meal prep plans, daily at-home workouts for when you cannot head to a gym, and weekly and daily challenges.
With over 375 clean eating recipes, their goal is to help people no longer feel deprived or guilty, or feel that they need to diet or perform math equations in order to eat healthy. They are here to help you create the necessary habits and provide all of the tools you will need to make your new lifestyle simple and enjoyable. To receive a free sample packet with recipes and tips, you can join their newsletter here: Fairburn it Off Newsletter Link
Elyse is a certified yoga and fitness instructor, and David is a certified nutritionist. They combined their talents and what they’ve learned from their own epic fails so that they can help you avoid the pitfalls and be successful. To learn more about them and Fairburn it Off, please visit fairburnitoff.com