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Life in Liberty: Losing to win

POSTED: January 4, 2017 2:57 p.m.
Alena Cowley/

Iris Trivino lost 100 pounds in 2016, thanks to determination and CrossFit, she says.

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Iris Trivino of Liberty County was just like many other men and women who wanted lose weight and get fit in the new year. Unlike many, Iris actually did it.

“I was 256 pounds. So, it was really bad,” the mother of three said. “Going up the stairs was horrible, breathing wise. Just health-wise, it was not good.”

Down four pant sizes and almost 100 pounds in a year, Trivino recalled her starting point in early 2016.

Doctors urged her to get a handle on her weight. And she tried.

“I would go to the gym and I would find workouts and I would try doing them and I would just give up so easily,” Trivino said.

Getting fit was one of those things she “always wanted to do.” But her weight seemed like a losing battle. She retreated until the issue could not be ignored anymore.

“Doing everyday life duties as being a mom and just not able to do it to the best of my abilities, it was just like, ‘Geez, you need to do something really bad about this.,’” she said.

Being overweight was also taking a toll on her well-being.

“Before, I barely did things with the kids, like going out and doing events … because I didn’t want to be social with anybody. I felt disgusting,” she said.

Turning point

Trivino finally gave in to the year-long prodding from a friend and started going with her to Crossfit Hinesville. Trivino kept turning her down until they compromise.d She agreed to give it a shot for just one day.

“And then, ever since then, I come all the time,” the four-year resident said. “It feels like if I don’t come, it’s like I’m missing something.”

Day one wasn’t easy.

Trivino recalled how she couldn’t run 200 meters at the facility’s trail. She thought an ambulance would have to come get her.

“I would be out of breath on my way back. I would be sounding like Darth Vader,” she said.

Besides struggling with the workouts, Trivino admitted it was scary to be an overweight person with other people who were already in shape. She didn’t want to be shamed.

“I wore 3XL shirts because I didn’t want all my fat hanging out or anything like that and it’s just like, ‘Why?’” she said.

It turned out people did not care what she looked like, according to Trivino.

“No one said anything. No one looked at you wrong. Everyone was just pushing you to do your best and just keep going,” Trivino said. “I definitely just had to put that (shame) aside and not think about it and just do it.”

New year, new habit

One foot in front of the other and day by day Trivino saw results. Within that month, she said she saw a change in how her clothes fit.

“I got addicted to it,” Trivino said. “I saw so much change, little by little bit from my arms and my love handles. From having kids, you get that mom belly. I was seeing results in my hips and I was just like, ‘Holy crap, I need to keep going.’”

Her need to keep going meant making a workout a part of her daily routine. Sometimes, she would exercise twice a day.

“You see so much definition and you see how the pounds are shredding off and it’s like, ‘I want to keep going,’” she said, announcing she is not done yet. “My brain hasn’t gotten to where my body is right now. So, my mindset is I need to lose another 40 pounds even though I lost 71 pounds.”

Her endurance and strength has improved to the point where she can lift over 100 pound weights.

“It’s, like, mind-blowing what your body can actually do and what you can overcome,” Trivino said.

Motivation

Trivino got a lot of questions from others who witnessed the transformation.

“You’ve got to want it,” she said.

She shared that the soreness was so bad sometimes that it was hard just to get off the toilet.

“But at the same time, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m doing something good,’” Trivino said. “I could feel like I’m actually working out what I need to work out.”

According to Trivino, the motivation and encouragement from coaches and others was definitely a gamechanger. She compared the CrossFit sessions to feeling at home, so she could “do what I need to do.” She called the group and coaches amazing.

“They know what you can do even if you’re like, ‘I can’t do that,’” Trivino said. “Everybody pushes everybody and we’re just like a family. I love it.”

Describing the program as “tricking your mind and body,” with varied workouts, Trivino said she most likes how she does not have to worry about what to do to figure out what works.

“I just come and it’s there for me,” she said.

Now, she is practicing her form and seeing where she can improve.

‘I feel alive, finally.’

The Miami native now sports a smile and confidence that she said was not there before she started CrossFit. She is still surprised with her progress.

“I was just telling my husband, ‘Dude, I don’t have cankles,’” Trivino said with a laugh. “I’m just a loss for words for how much I’ve improved.”

“I feel like I’m more active,” she added. “Now that I’m feeling better about myself it’s like, ‘OK, let’s do this with the kids,’ and ‘Let’s go do that,’ I feel new. I feel alive." 

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