December 2015 – Debbie & Tom Stotesbery

I (Debbie) started working out almost two years ago after hearing Dusty talk at my Study Club.  I was intimidated to start working out, but he made me realize everyone works at their own pace to improve their health and physical well-being.  What did I have to lose?  I wanted to feel better both physically and mentally.  Sitting at a desk all day made me feel sluggish and worn out.  I signed up and found out just how out-of-shape I was!  It was hard work and I wasn’t sure how long I’d continue.  I didn’t change my diet much because I didn’t want to disrupt our patterns at home, so I didn’t lose much weight. I convinced Tom to do to the Fall Challenge with me in 2014.

What a difference a partner made for me! We keep each other motivated to work hard and challenge our own progress. We push harder with a partner at our side. We discuss workouts, what we liked, what was most challenging, how to work out better, etc. We find working out is now a regular part of our week and truly miss it when we are away. The class spills out into our everyday life too. We walk more and stay active for longer periods of the day. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and acquire more energy and patience.

We set goals together and plan healthy meals and snacks. Temptations are fewer when you know someone is watching what you are putting in your mouth! We no longer look at exercise as something we will do when we have time, but make it a priority and part of our week.

We have tried other workout facilities but Functional Fitness is the cream of the crop. The staff truly cares and helps in any way they can for us to get the results we are looking for by their encouragement. We love that workouts are created for us and feel the whole body is challenged. However, we know results will show by our efforts and we feel lucky to have our own cheerleaders by our sides!


December 2015: Jackie and Andy Ourada

We have been married for 15 years and have 4 kids and a very active in all aspects of our life.  Both Andy and I have been active in working out for years, with him as a coach for Wrestling for 14 years and Jr High Football, and for myself in running and Functional Fitness, beginning in the Fall of 2012.  Andy and I are both self determined and work well to push each other in getting our workouts in and doing better each time.  We have typically both worked out on our own and did our own things, yet always comparing our running times and distances or discussing and comparing what amount we are lifting.

During the summer/fall of 2013 we both ran our first 10K and we worked out and prepared for this event together and had a great time doing so. Then in April of 2015, I finally talked Andy into joining FF to train for the Tough Mudder with our friends and he did and we have been enjoying this as well!  In working out together, it helps to keep each other accountable and on track for workouts, along with some healthy competition too. This accountability (and competition) also helps when you are living with a common mindset at home.  It is also helpful in making healthier choices with nutrition and how we eat at home and making healthier choices for ourselves and our family… there is strength in numbers!

We look forward to 2016 in what this next year in what our fitness and nutrition journey has in store for us!


December 2015: Tammy Freese & Craig Serbus

We both were ready to commit to a change in our lifestyle and it just so happened that the Fall Transformation Challenge of 2014 was the sign we needed to make things happen and push us forward.  Before the challenge, we had the typical Minnesota Nice nutrition plan filled with hotdishes and lots of sugary treats in the house and WAY too much dining out.  Our activity level was sporadic with walking the dog as our main source of exercise.  We were leery as to what we had gotten ourselves into when we first started with FF!

Now, we can’t imagine doing this without each other.  We are so conscious of what we have in the house to stay on point with nutrition and work together to have meals and snacks that keep us on track and aren’t afraid to call each other out if one of us sees the other slipping.  Another focus is meal planning to set up a week of success instead of caving in to convenience.  We also try to sneak in more “together time” to schedule the same training sessions when possible, which also helps us to hold the other accountable for getting in our work out times each week and we can discuss the exercises together and challenge each other in a friendly manner too.

Before FF, it was never a priority to schedule that time, now we make that an expectation of our week, no matter how busy it may be.  Even when we are on vacation, we make it a point to be active and focus on that type of activity rather than focus on food or sedentary pursuits.  The support of each other added with the support of the FF coaches have equaled our healthiest year yet as we look back on 2015.


December 2015 – Patrice & Greg Henjum

Probably one of the best gifts that couples can give each other is the gift of health. I started at Functional Fitness about 1 year before Greg came on board. We have been married for 19 years, and we, like many, look back at our wedding picture and see how skinny we were!

The years went by and we have had gym memberships and have gone up and down in weight, but have never worked out together! We are definitely in that majority of Americans that like to eat at restaurants and celebrate with family, which involves cake, fried foods, and everything bad for you!

So over the years, the fat and weight just kept sticking, until Functional Fitness had a partner challenge during the Fall of 2014. I was able to convince Greg to join me as my partner and we started a new battle together for the first time not only to lose fat, but to get healthier!

For anybody that wonders, that support system at home is WONDERFUL! It makes a difference. We ate the same foods and were always there for each other. After the Fall and Winter Challenges, Greg lost 28 pounds of fat and almost 50 pounds and I lost 17 pounds of fat and 25 pounds overall.

Our health insurance went down because of good health discounts. The challenges are great, but after the six weeks are over, you need to maintain what you have done, this is more difficult. Greg and I have had our share of struggles keeping on track to maintain our improved health. YES, there have been bad days, but we have continued to work out together at FF, and we have continued to remind each other of our goals, let the bad days go, you can’t have them back, but you can always improve!

Again, the best gift you can give to each other is the gift of health. We wish you all a happy and healthy 2016!