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Cathy Squires of Bristow was an active child and teen who participated in sports and who stayed busy and stayed in shape.
Finding herself again
© Gainesville TimesCathy Squires of Bristow was an active child and teen who participated in sports and who stayed busy and stayed in shape.
However, as many parents do when the kids arrive, Squires attention centered on everyone else’s needs for many years. The mom of two stayed busy and she stayed active running after the kids, but she admits she didn’t stay focused on her health as her family grew and moved around the country.
“Growing up, I was very athletic, doing sports year-round,” said the Northern California native. “The weight just sort of came on.”
Now, Squires wants to share her weight loss story to help others refocus.
“I got verbal about it,” said the mom when she decided to drop the weight. This 37-year-old member of the local Sport and Health Club in Gainesville has dropped from 273 pounds to 219 in a little over a year and she wants to encourage others to get up, get out and get healthy.
“Reach out,” said Squires. “If it is something you want, you’d be amazed who is out there to help.”
When she isn’t at the soccer field at Long Park, this mother of two and wife of a retired Army veteran is now teaming up with her family and running 5K races with her kids, thanks in large part to a great support team and to one lifechanging experience. When a close friend was diagnosed with cancer, Squires saw that as a wakeup call.
“She has a story that is not unlike many Americans who face challenges of obesity; however she did not accept her destiny, made the choice to become healthier and is truly an inspiration to all around her,” said Sean Holihan, representative for Sport & Health Club.
By losing more than 50 pounds in just 12 months, Squires started participating in long distance runs for the first time in her life, and just completed the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon. She and her sister, Jennifer Boutwell, and sister’s boyfriend, Desamka Meyers, from Georgia, have plans to meet and participate in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in December.
Her husband, Dwayne Squires, and her 12-year-old son, Peyton, a student at Marsteller Middle School, and her 10-year-old daughter, Emma, a student at Cedar Point, will be joining their mom in Florida but not for the run, just for the fun at Disney.
The family of four ran the Color Run 5K in the District of Columbia together.
“The 5K was my goal,” said Squires. “Now, I do that on a regular basis.”
She credits much of her healthier lifestyle to the workout regime, nutritionist, and workout classes she participates in at the Gainesville Sport & Health Club.
“I joined with a group of girlfriends, we all just signed up together,” said Squires who said this group was her team.
“We pretty much have a set time,” added Squires who does the TNT group training on Tuesday and Thursdays. “We meet in the mornings after the kids go to school.”
One of the first people they met at the club was personal trainer, Brad Link, who has been with the group since they started.
“He does keep you on track….he’s been our trainer the entire timel,” she said.
Link recently accepted a promotion and moved to a new position at a Woodbridge Sport & Health Club. However, he is not out of her life.
“I’ll keep in touch; we live in the same community,” she said. In fact, the pair may find themselves working out beside each other.
“I work at the Woodbridge location, I work out in Gainesville,” said the personal trainer, who watched as Squires dropped her weight and got in shape. He supported his client and kept her on track with social media.
Emails and Facebook reminders are part of a personal trainer’s arsenal of weapons to combat fatigue and loss of willpower.
“She rarely, rarely missed a class,” said Link who credits her strong support network both personal and at the gym for keeping his client on task. He expects good Squires to keep on her routine.
“It’s become a habit for her. She won’t feel right if she’s not doing it,” he added.
Link reminds clients and others that it takes five consistent weeks for something to become a habit.
“We educate everybody on the benefits of exercise and how it helps your life,” said Link whose students have now started working with Sport & Health TNT trainer Dagny Thorsen.
“Cathy is one of the strongest, most driven person I've ever had the pleasure to work with,” said Thorsen. “She has achieved major goals such as weight loss, body fat percentage decrease and has just completed her first half-marathon!”
“I still have more to lose,” said Squires. “I kind of know what to do now. I will stay with it.”