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I Started Strength Training to Lose Weight, But I Gained Self-Worth Along the Way

“My confidence has soared, and I’ve seen the changes permeating through other areas of my life, too.” 

Tonal Transformation

By Melissa Ritter as told to the Tonal Team  

For the first time in my life, I consider myself a healthy person. 

I used to hate every outfit I put on and every picture I saw of myself. My appearance just put me in a bad mood all the time. My legs were so sore from the extra weight I was carrying that I could only walk down the stairs slowly in the morning, one step at a time. When playing with my kids, I had a hard time getting up off the floor after rolling about with them. 

Finally, I had enough. I decided to stop choosing the lifestyle I was in and embark on a different journey—a healthier one. 

I started with a few online workout programs and three months later, I went out and bought a small selection of dumbbells. It was the first time I had picked up a weight that was more than eight pounds, and I could see the results starting to show. At that point, I knew that if I was going to achieve my goals, weight training needed to be a regular part of my routine. So my husband and I renovated our garage in hopes of building a small at-home gym. If I wanted success, I needed something that was going to keep me engaged and accountable. 

We checked out all the equipment that you’d see on a gym floor and a handful of smart home training devices before we found Tonal. It was incredible and so futuristic. I couldn’t believe it really existed. I watched the commercials so many times. It checked all the boxes for me. After a long conversation with my husband, we placed an order. 

A few weeks later, a crew came to install the trainer. We expected to mount it in the garage, but it was so sleek and so beautiful, we decided to put it in the middle of our home. I jumped on it the minute the installers left. Coach Liz guided me through the “Starting Out with Tonal” program. I haven’t missed a week since.

In 13 months, I’ve dropped 90 pounds and 55 total inches in total from my arms, thighs, chest, waist, and hips. In seven months on Tonal, I’ve raised my Strength Score 103 percent and lifted over half a million pounds. My self-worth has grown; my confidence has soared; and I’ve seen the changes permeating through other areas of my life, too. 

I never expected the results to come so fast, but I see the cuts beginning to form, and it feels good.

Melissa Ritter, Tonal Member

My home is more organized. I’m more patient with my children, and I’m a more fun and confident spouse. Now, my kids are the ones who have a hard time keeping up with me. My four-year-old told me the other day, “When I grow up, I want to be strong like Mommy.”

The self-love, though—that was the most unexpected part. I had hopes of getting healthier, leaner, and stronger, but I didn’t realize what else could come from watching myself perform all these movements and improve over time. When I look in the mirror, or in the reflection of my Tonal screen, seeing the slow change in my body composition is magical. I carry myself 100 times differently than I did before.

When I began this journey, I had zero knowledge of weight training. I had no idea what to do in a gym. It was just one giant guessing game. But Tonal allowed me to have a full gym in my own home, equipped with a selection of personal trainers. I can see the moves demonstrated in real-time so I know exactly what they should look like. Plus, Tonal progresses the weight for me so I have to put the work in and can’t make any excuses.

I’m watching myself do the hard things over and over, and I’m proud of myself for that. I never expected the results to come so fast, but I see the cuts beginning to form, and it feels good. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve reached the point of no return. I’m invested in my health, and I could never go back to the way I was living before.

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