This is the first installment of a three-month series that will follow two McHenry County residents, Howard Eady and Carolyn Bathauer, as they continue their journey toward a healthy and fit life.
Carolyn Bathauer, 31, McHenry
Carolyn Bathauer was always very active as a child … but she was always a little larger than her classmates. She was a three-sport athlete in high school and not the kind of person who exercised just to exercise.
“When I was an athlete competing, I was getting lots of exercise, but I didn’t realize it was exercise because participating in sports in high school was really fun,” Bathauer says.
In college, Bathauer admits she didn’t have the best eating habits. Her activity levels decreased, but her eating pretty much remained the same. However, she says she was still fairly healthy and fit throughout college.
It was a year or two after graduating from Illinois State University that she weighed the most in her young life: 260 pounds. Bathauer says was in a long-term relationship so she became comfortable, plus she started that pivotal first job out of college and sat at a desk all day.
Enough was enough, and Bathauer was determined to lose weight. She considered gastric bypass surgery, but she ultimately decided to try the Jenny Craig weight-loss program and lost 50 pounds in six months.
Then Bathauer hit a plateau and couldn’t lose any more weight.
She stopped the Jenny Craig program and gained all the weight back. Then she lost 30 pounds and gained that back. Sick of the yo-yo dieting, Bathauer decided not to diet again, but instead to reset her lifestyle.
She started going to Body and Mind Pilates Plus in Crystal Lake infrequently about a year ago, but she kicked it up a notch in May of 2012. Since then, she has lost 30 pounds and 30 inches overall. Bathauer weighs 225 pounds, and she’s losing a good, solid pound a week.
Her goal is to lose 100 pounds altogether, so she has 70 more pounds to lose. She’s giving herself two
years to do it.
“Two years is a healthy and reasonable amount of time to reach my goal,” she says. “It took me 31 years to get to this point, so I’m giving myself the time to do it right.”
Besides losing weight, Bathauer just wants to be healthy again and live the life she knows she can live. She says it comes down to being comfortable with who she is, and going to Body and Mind Pilates Plus is helping her with that.
The Pilates studio is owned and operated by Julie Williams, a licensed physical therapist, certified personal trainer and professional Pilates instructor.
“The Pilates studio has offered Carolyn a great place to start her journey and be comfortable while exercising,” says Williams, who notes Bathauer’s biggest strength is her attitude.
“Carolyn has the best attitude,” Williams says. “When she sets her mind to something, she does it.”
Williams also says Bathauer has the determination, the desire to achieve and a support system at Body and Mind Pilates Plus to keep her motivated. Bathauer was struggling on her own, but now she has found success because she’s found a supportive place.
“If Carolyn stopped coming abruptly, I would be concerned and call her,” Williams says.
She says the only roadblock in Bathauer’s way is scheduling. Bathauer’s full-time sales job in the city sometimes makes it difficult for her to get to the studio. Williams would like to see Bathauer step it up and come to the studio five days a week.
Howard Eady, 62, Lake in the Hills
After 41 years of working on the railroad, Howard Eady took off his train conductor’s cap and began another exciting adventure in life — retirement.
Eady has many plans for his retirement years, including getting back into stand-up comedy, but getting healthy and fit again is at the top of his list.
Shortly after retiring, Eady went to get his annual physical and saw a brochure for Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center in the doctor’s office.
“That was a sign that it was time to join a gym and get active again,” Eady says.
He retired on June 29, 2012, and spent the month of July celebrating his work-free life.
But when August came, Eady was ready to get serious about his health, and he joined Centegra Health Bridge in Crystal Lake.
Since he’s started working out at Health Bridge, he has lost some weight — he’s isn’t exactly sure how much — but weight loss isn’t one of his goals.
“My goals are to lead a healthy life, build definition and get stronger,” he says.
Eady also wants to have more energy to help him do all the things he’d like to do during his retirement, and he knows that regular exercise is one sure way to increase his energy levels. He wants never-ending vigor to be able to enjoy his golden years with his wife, Kathleen.
Eady knows weight loss will be a natural consequence of exercising, but he doesn’t focus on the number on the scale. Right now, he weighs 160 pounds and is 5 feet 7 inches tall.
He goes to Health Bridge three times a week, usually with his 15-year-old son, Justin. The two of them lift weights together and enjoy the time they spend together.
“We do look forward to going to Centegra Health Bridge together,” Eady says. “It’s nice to be able to spend more time with my son now that I’m retired.”
Eady takes in many other amenities of the fitness center such as using the elliptical trainer and attending cardio dance classes. He’d like to try a yoga or Pilates class some day, too.
Eady isn’t a stranger to leading an active lifestyle. When he was 21, he decided to take up hockey and ended up playing for the next 34 years, including playing organized open hockey twice a week for many years.
While working as a Metra train conductor, he went to a Bally’s Total Fitness in downtown twice a week as well.