Tracy Dennard was down and out. Devastated after the tragic loss of her sister, she lacked the motivation to do much of anything – that is, until our 45-Day Transformation Contest came along! After purchasing an online special, 48-year-old Tracy hit the ground running – attending ILKB classes Monday through Thursday, dropping 43 pounds (from 178 to 135), and undergoing a complete physical and mental transformation in the process.
With her inspiring story, this proud mom from Richardson, TX, beat out 4,345 contestants to win our $20,000 grand prize. Read on to find out how she did it, and the incredibly moving reason behind her determination to win the grand prize.
So, what did you think of our 45-Day Transformation Challenge?
It was the best workout possible. I never would have imagined such a dramatic difference could happen in 45 days. It was definitely hard in the beginning, but, once I got into it, I felt superhuman. I’ve tried other facilities in the past, but ILKB made me feel unlimited. Every day was different. The workouts change up so it’s never boring. And, when a drill gets hard, the instructor will push you past your limit. Xandrea didn’t give me a break! I couldn’t even act like I wanted to quit. If my arms were shaking, she said, “You’ll be fine!” I’d go to class twice a day Monday through Thursday. Some people looked at me like I was crazy, but to them I say, “Age ain’t nothing but a number!”
When you first purchased your ILKB membership, an entire year passed before you could bring yourself to come to class. Why do you think it was so hard to get started?
My sister and best friend had passed, and I just wasn’t motivated. I was down. I’m talking extremely depressed. I had no direction, and, to be honest, I didn’t even think I could accomplish it. You see, I don’t believe in starting something I won’t finish. I’m very passionate about what I do. I’m never late, I’m 15 minutes early. I told myself, “I’ll probably do the first class, and won’t follow through.” So, really, my mind was my own enemy. For a year, I did more crying than anything. Then I decided to do something that would help both me and my sister, because I wanted to get her a headstone for her grave and I knew I could with the prize money.
Emotionally, that must have been quite a challenge. How do you think ILKB helped you heal?
The instructors became my family. I don’t have any siblings anymore, so it’s really become the norm for me now. Everyone is so personable, both the employees and the members. Going to ILKB is fun for me; It’s not just working out. I never feel like I’m dragging myself to go. I won’t even go out of town if it means missing class! That’s how much I love it.
In addition to kickboxing with us, what else did you do to get healthy?
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I’d ride my bike at minimum 10 miles, and at maximum 20.7 miles. I said, “In 45 days you have to do it. You just have to do it. If it doesn’t happen in 45 days, it’s not gonna happen.” That’s why it was a challenge – I had to make sure it happened. I had to do this for me, to change myself, and for my sister. I needed to buy her headstone for her grave. I didn’t want a GoFundMe account, because I didn’t want anything from anyone. I wanted to help myself, and to help myself I did that. And, of course, in the end I was helping my sister as well . I know she’s up there, and I know she’s proud of me.” When I won, I kept saying, “We did it, Wendy. We did it.”
Is there any one moment that especially stands out to you during the challenge?
I was so proud of myself when I could finally do a Spiderman pushup! In fact, the first time I did it, I did two. I screamed and hollered and ran across the room, yelling “I did a Spiderman! I did a Spiderman pushup!” People looked at me like, “Is she serious right now?” I was dead serious. Any time an instructor would get on the ground, I’d say, “Lord help me, they’re doing the Spiderman again.” So being able to do it was an a-ha movement for me.
What would motivate you when the going got tough?
“Discipline, confidence, inspiration and attitude.” Those are the four words written on the back wall at ILKB. The first thing I say to myself during every workout is, “Start strong, stay strong, finish strong.” Then, during the workout, no matter how I’m feeling, I look at that back wall with Teresa and the models on it. You know, I used to tell my instructors, “I’m gonna get on that wall one day! I’m going to look like them!” And you know what? My stomach looks just like theirs now. Lastly, there is a song my sister and I use to sing, and it was our theme song to everything. I used to sing this song to myself in class for motivation, and to push myself to do everything I wanted to do in life. The song is by CeCe Peniston, “Nothing Can Stop Me Now.” If you listen to it, you will see the meaning behind it.
Texas is known for its famous BBQ! How did your diet change during the challenge, and how were you still able to eat the foods you love most?
Well, I’m a vegetarian, so I have that going for me! I’m very disciplined. I don’t eat bread, sugar or starches. Instead, I’m a fruit and vegetable fanatic. People have a misconception that it’s hard for vegetarians to get enough protein, but it’s not for me. I get plenty of protein with a whole food, plant-based diet. Especially with my Vega French vanilla protein powder – it’s a complete meal in a glass.
What words of wisdom do you have for people who are starting out next 45-Day Fitness Challenge in January?
Buy the pass, try it out. When you start the program, have a mindset of where you want to be, and what you actually want to accomplish. Then take it a day at a time. Everyone’s challenge is different. Everyone’s genetics are different. You didn’t get how you are overnight. So give it time to get where you want to be. You’ll have good days and bad days. Sometimes you’ll fall. But in the end, it will be so awesome you can’t imagine. Because whether you win the contest or not, you did win. It’s life changing.
Now that you’re the champion of ILKB’s 45-Day Transformation contest, what’s the next step in your fitness journey?
I’m going to maintain, and continue to eat well and live well. To me, it’s not a fad. This is my new healthy lifestyle.
And, of course, we must know… How will you be using your $20,000 prize?
I’m going to buy my sister’s headstone for her grave. That was the real reason I started the challenge in the first place. When you’re taking care of a loved one, it’s around the clock. I became my sister’s nurse, and I stopped my life to take care of her. And I was happy to. With this challenge, I helped myself while helping my sister. Her headstone was my unfinished business, and my body was unfinished. Now, I’ve healed, and I want to maintain this healthy lifestyle I have.
Registration for the next 45-Day Transformation Contest takes place January 2 – 9. If you’re ready to kick-start your own fitness journey, visit http://45day.ilovekickboxing.com/.