KerryAnn Lussier, 46, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, used to be one of those people who gave up on working out if she didn’t see results right away.
A self-confessed queen of procrastination, she often looked for any excuse to miss a workout. When Lussier did show up, she either did too much on the weight machines, which left her feeling sore and discouraged, or not enough, making her feel like it was a waste of time. On top of that, she was struggling with constant back pain and in the range of type 2 diabetes, so she couldn’t stop working out altogether.
When the pandemic forced gyms to close, Lussier was on the lookout for home exercise equipment. After seeing commercials for Tonal, she found herself drawn to Tonal’s coach-led programs and artificial intelligence. And Lussier’s instinct paid off. Both features took the guesswork out of exercising and kept her interested long enough to see big changes. Lussier dropped 20 pounds, lost 10 inches, and completely turned her health around. Here, she shares her story.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I love to read, write, and watch the Boston Red Sox. I spend a lot of time chasing my dogs around, making sure they don’t destroy everything they can get their teeth on. I’m also a theater geek, so on any given day, you can find me belting out show tunes while I’m cooking, cleaning, driving, or pretty much any other time.
How did you come across Tonal, and why did you decide to buy one?
I saw commercials for Tonal, and I paid extra attention to them because we had been looking for exercise equipment since the pandemic had shut my gym down. What I liked most about Tonal was that it offered so many workouts and programs led by actual instructors. My gym experience always had me doing either too much on the weight machines or not enough. I had no idea what I was doing, but Tonal’s artificial intelligence took the guesswork out of it for me.
What was the first day like with Tonal?
I remember doing my initial assessment and thinking that the machine was trying to kill me. Little did I know. I had no idea about the 4 Weeks to Fat Loss program yet! After my assessment I was sore for about two days, but so excited, like a little kid with a new toy.
Tell us about where you were at the start of your journey and where are you now?
We got our Tonal at the end of November in 2020. At the start of my journey, I was at my heaviest weight with pretty constant back pain. I couldn’t walk my dogs for a mile without taking multiple breaks. My cholesterol numbers were high, and my sugar numbers had sailed right into the type 2 diabetic range.
It had also been four months since I had surgery to replace a disc in my neck which left me with nerve damage in my left shoulder, left biceps, and left triceps. After surgery, I began physical therapy, but I couldn’t do five-pound Skull Crushers and nearly crushed my skull trying. The physical therapist moved me down to two pounds.
Today, I can do 16-pound Skull Crushers. I’ve also lost 20 pounds, more than ten inches in total, and I do a little happy dance every time I see my muscles gaining more definition. The most significant change is that all my numbers came back to normal at my last physical in July of 2021. I no longer have high cholesterol or in the type 2 diabetic range.
How has being stronger impacted different areas of your life?
I have more energy these days, which is a nice change. And while I still have issues with my lower back from time to time, I can walk without pain most days. I get to walk my dogs without thinking I might not make a whole mile.
When my husband tackled a couple of major yard projects this past spring, I was right there alongside him, hauling rocks and pulling trees out of the ground by their roots. It felt good to know that I didn’t need to sit down every ten minutes and knew how to move my body in ways that would protect my lower back instead of hurting it.
What obstacles did you face on your journey, and how did Tonal help you overcome them?
Well, like so many others, I am one of those people who always gave up when I didn’t see results right away. With Tonal’s programs, I stayed interested until I started to see changes. Having all the Tonal data made me want to compete with myself to be just a little bit better.
Plus, the nerve damage in my left arm makes for a very unbalanced workout, especially when doing unilateral moves. But having the coaches’ encouragement during each workout and the support of the people in the Official Tonal Community helps. There’s something very special about being in a group of people who are all working toward the same goal, whose main purpose is simply to encourage each other. It helps to have people who understand exactly why you loathe Resisted Step-ups and Bent Over Rows.
What is the biggest unexpected benefit you’ve received from having Tonal in your home?
I used to be the queen of procrastination. If I didn’t get to the gym by a certain time in the morning, I just skipped the day’s workout. Now I find myself on Tonal any time of day or night because I want to get my workout instead of looking for reasons to skip it. Having Tonal in my home takes away so many excuses I would have used in the past.
What’s the one piece of advice or the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your transformation that you want to share with the rest of the community?
Two things resonated with me. First, Coach Natalie Carey shared that exercise is not the punishment you get for eating. It changed the way I viewed the relationship between food and exercise. I no longer eat something and think I have to do thirty goblet squats to work it off.
The second thing that struck me was something Coach Jackson Bloore says a lot: “Progress, not perfection.” I no longer feel the need to be perfect as long as I’m making progress. Whether it’s lifting more than I did yesterday or stepping out of my comfort zone to do a workout I would never have tried or doing one more crunch or push up than I was able to do before.
What does being your strongest mean to you?
It means to be the best version of myself and being physically strong and healthy so that I can be there for my family for as long as possible.