Barry’s Babe: Elena Lerner

Most of my life, I have been on the chubby side. And more of a geek, not really the athletic type, even though my parents always tried to get me involved in different types of sports without major success. My Barry’s journey started a little over four years ago. I was at my heaviest (including 2 pregnancies) at 160 pounds on my petite 5 ft. 3 inch frame, and about a dress size 8-10. My best friend and her family came over to my house for my 38th birthday. She just had a baby and she was talking about getting back in shape. I told her that I felt like I had a sympathy pregnancy with her, judging by my weight. So, my bestie started telling me about this amazing workout that her husband started a couple of weeks prior and how great it was, and that I should try it. She promised that she would join me as soon as her doctor cleared her. Her husband added they were having a sale for a week of classes starting on Monday and it would be a perfect time to start. And so I did.

Little did I know that it was one of the life changing decisions that I made. First of all, that sale week was HELL WEEK. Secondly, I felt like I had been hit by a truck, multiple times. And finally, I felt like the fattest, most unfit person in the room, and worried that all those skinny bitches were judging me. The huge positive was that all the trainers and front desk staff had huge smiles every time I walked into that door for another dose of torture, and they all looked like they had walked out of the TV or from the cover of a fitness magazine (I learned later most of them were, indeed, on TV and covers of fitness magazines). But they all treated me like part of their fitness family.

Along with starting Barry’s, I changed my eating habits. Everybody is different. What worked for me, was focusing on whole foods, eliminating processed foods and eating lots of lean protein and green veggies. I love fruits, so I actually have to watch it, or I can easily overdo it. I also limited my dairy and grains. I was shocked to start seeing the results within the first week. That on its own was very motivating. I lost about 40 pounds in the matter of four months and went down to size 2-4! I’m now working on getting stronger, leaner, and faster. About 2 years into my Barry’s journey, I joined Manhattan Beach 10K training program because Erik Steffens, one of our amazing Sherman Oaks trainers was teaching it and he said it would be fun. That was my very first race. Since then I’ve run seven half marathons, a couple of cross country races, and I’m now training for my second L.A. marathon. I went from sprinting at 5 mph on the treadmill to 6 being my recovery jog!

Now I am dreaming of qualifying for Boston (maybe when I am 80, but that’s a minor detail). Never in a million years would I imagine I would become a runner! Now I cannot imagine my life without working out, running, and Barry’s. I am proud to say, that I am a hard core Barry’s addict, and I don’t ever want to quit! When we were looking for a new house, one of the criteria was easy access or close proximity to Barry’s.

I met some of the most amazing, inspiring, motivating people at Barry’s, and I am eternally grateful for it. I made some friendships that I am sure will last a lifetime. Barry’s truly is a life changing experience.