PATRICIA TESTANI'S STORY
After losing her father to lung cancer, watching her marriage break down and finding out that she had a cyst in her lung, mother-of-three Patricia Testani decided to take control of her life. On Dec. 17, 2009, she joined Paul’s Boot Camp by Integrity Fitness, and has since seen her life change in immeasurable ways.
“There’s more to fitness than just weight loss. It can be about gaining the strength to overcome obstacles.”
Testani started off taking Level 1 circuit training classes two to three times a week, focusing on a combination of cardiovascular and resistant exercises. “They were very encouraging,” she says. Then, during the summer of 2010, despite being a non-smoker, she was told that her cyst had evolved into a tumour that would require surgery. Less than two months after having a third of her lung removed, she was back at Paul’s Boot Camp. “They were very helpful, they knew when not to push me and when to push me, and it worked out very well.”
Integrity Fitness founder Paul Walker believes Testani, a busy Bay Street professional, should be viewed as an inspiration for other women. “She’s the happiest woman you’ll ever meet,” he says of the 50-year-old. “There’s more to fitness than just weight loss. It can be about gaining the strength to overcome obstacles. No matter how bad you think you have it, there’s always somebody who has worse and there’s always success in it,” he adds.
Today, Testani drops by Paul’s Boot Camp three times a week to participate in advanced classes and has lost almost 40 pounds of fat, 10 inches off her waist, 14 inches off her hips and glutes, 8 inches off her thighs and has gone from a dress size of 14 to a tiny 4. “It’s given me a lot more energy and I just feel more at peace and content. It’s like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Testani, who recently realized the impact her weight loss has had on her self-esteem while on a cruise with a girlfriend. “It was the first time I actually wore a bikini in 23 years. It felt so free to feel comfortable.”
“Even my own family doctor said, ‘Wow, you’re doing a lot better, you seem 10 years younger than before,’” she says. For those who feel like life is too hectic to invest time into fitness, Testani’s story is a testament to the transformations that can occur when the ambition to get healthy eclipses all excuses. “I think it’s just a different outlook, it’s like an inspiration within yourself to achieve goals you thought you never would.”