It took one hour with a trainer for Kathy Narum to see the possibility of fitness. She stuck with the program and lost a pound a week for a total of 70 pounds.
"I'd been wanting to get in shape," Narum said, so when her high school daughter Lisa, now 20, wanted to join Fitness Express, mom signed up, too.
"I went on my own and started on the treadmill, for six months. But I still gained weight," Narum recalled.
Then she took up the club's offer of a session with a trainer and this opened up the path to fitness. The trainer informed her about how to exercise, with weights and cardio, and what to eat to feed her muscles as she became toned as she lost pounds.
"Muscles burn more calories," Narum noted.
She limited her calories to 1,200 per day with 100 grams of protein for the new muscles she was building.
"The diet part wasn't that bad," she recalled. "Before, I never ate breakfast."
She also had to drink eight glasses of water each day.
"That was the hardest part," she commented.
But it didn't take long to see results as the 5 foot 8 inch Narum toned up and began to drop weight.
"I got motivated," remembered Narum. "My clothes started fitting better."
Before long she found herself at Macy's looking for smaller sizes, and the saleswomen enjoyed her enthusiasm over her need for a smaller wardrobe.
"I kept getting smaller and smaller clothes," Narum said. "And one day, a woman said, 'How would you like to model?'"
Jones New York holds fashion shows periodically for its better customers, she explained; four models of different sizes and ages walk among the tables as an announcer describes their outfits.
"I went in for a fitting and they put this stuff together based on body type," she said. "They add accessories."
She ended up buying some of the clothes she modeled, and received a good discount, she remarked. She lost another 20 pounds and was asked to model again.
She's also inspired friends who have slowly put on pounds over the years as she did.
"Everybody's like, 'Wow, you're my role model," Narum said with a laugh. "'If you can do it, I can do it.'"
Narum made a lot of friends on the swimming circuit when her two daughters, Lisa and Jennifer, now 21, made waves with the Pleasanton Seahawks. They both earned athletic scholarships to college -- Jennifer to University of Virginia and Lisa to Ohio State University at Columbus -- and Kathy was Seahawks president two years ago, at the end of the family's 12-year involvement.
Currently Narum serves on the Pleasanton Planning Commission, since being appointed in 2007. Before that she was on the Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Commission for five years, served on the Bernal property and Bernal Park task forces, and was on the Rage girls' soccer board of directors for two years.
Now exercise is as important a part of Narum's life as community service. She said she hit the 70-pound mark in January and shifted into maintenance mode.
"I've cut back but I still do weights three times a week," she said. "I do some cardio five days a week at the gym but have cut back my total time."
She said it was amazing to see and feel her body change as she lost the weight and toned her muscles.
"I lost pretty much all over -- even my feet got smaller," Narum said. "I went down from a size 16 to a size 8."
Buying new clothes is fun but she's also enjoying oldies but goodies.
"I kept some of my clothes from when I was working, before the kids were born, and I had one dress, a size 8, that I loved. I put it on the other day," she said.
And the trainer who helped Narum lose weight and get into shape now has a slew of other women to help who were inspired by Narum.
"I have a number of friends now at the gym," said Narum. "They've spent time with this trainer and are seeing the same kind of results."