Name: Lauren Caldwell
Hometown: Saint Charles, Missouri
Occupation: Client Relationship Manager
Time Cycling: 10+ years
Start Weight: 270 pounds
End Weight: 165 pounds
Reason for Cycling: Cycling has transformed me both physically and mentally. It has given me back my strength, confidence, and ambition, making me feel like the best version of me.
I had struggled with my weight on and off throughout my whole life. I was an active kid from a very early age, but was never the skinny one or the best athlete. As I got older, I found it more and more difficult to make exercise a priority in my life. I used being busy with work/friends /family as an excuse. I would hop around different gyms or fitness classes, but nothing really “stuck.” I wanted to be active again, but I didn’t know how to get back to that place.
My family had a history of high blood pressure, and I experienced blood pressure related issues during my pregnancies and when I was at my heavier weights. After having my daughter in the spring of 2016, I was really struggling with my weight and looking for a way to feel like myself again. I was 28, with two kids under 2, and I was at the heaviest weight I had ever been.
I did not want to continue down that path. I wanted to regain the confidence and strength that I used to have, and to truly be a good role model for my kids. I wanted my outside appearance to match the way I saw myself on the inside.
I had first tried cycling at a local gym about 10 years ago. I enjoyed the music and variety in class, but it felt like just another fitness class at the end of the day. About six years later, a Cyclebar opened near my office, and I got up the courage to take my first class there. That’s when everything changed. The high energy, full-body (thanks to the arm song and occasional choreography) classes and uplifting community that I found made all of the difference. I was hooked.
I was consistently riding at least five times per week (depending on my work/family schedule). I wear an Apple Watch that I have synced to the Cyclebar app. I like to compare power scores between different rides and see that I continue to progress in gaining strength and endurance. I always participate in any studio challenges, because they keep things fun and help build up the studio community.
My current cycling schedule generally consists of early morning classes four to five days during the week, and at least two rides on the weekend (sometimes back to back to give myself a rest day). I just celebrated my 1,000th Cyclebar class! So, I guess it’s on to 2,000? I really enjoy visiting other studios when I travel, so another long-term goal of mine is to ride at a studio in each state.
Combined with cycling, I also eat healthy and pay attention to portion size, but I do not follow a specific diet. I love to cook and share meals with my family, and I really want to set a good example for my kids when it comes to healthy eating. I talk with them about the things our bodies need to be strong and healthy (protein, vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and carbs).
Cycling has become the catalyst for me becoming the best version of myself. Not only has it been a physical transformation, but it’s been mental as well. When I’m stressed or trying to work through a difficult time, I turn to cycling as a release. It’s a safe space where I can work through whatever is taking over my mind. It allows me to escape when needed, and to focus on the moment at hand. It challenges me and pushes me to exceed my own expectations and want more. Through cycling, I have learned how strong I really am (physically and mentally), and I really want to share that passion and experience with others.
It took me approximately a year to really make a substantial, noticeable change in my weight loss journey. Overall, it’s been about four years total since I took my first Cyclebar class and committed to making a healthy change in my lifestyle choices. As of today, I have lost 105 pounds. (And all of my blood pressure issues went away.)
The best advice I have is to find something you love, make it enjoyable, and stay consistent with it. I love cycling and truly look forward to every single ride. Of course, there are days that I don’t want to hear that early alarm waking me up, and days I would rather lounge on the couch. (What human doesn’t?!) But I know that the minute I clip in, I will feel better. I will feel energized and proud and strong. Cycling has become the best “me time” I could ever ask for. I feel like the best version of myself when I’m clipped in on my bike.
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