Yomi & Carmen “A Workout Buddy Success Story”


Long-time friends Yomi & Carmen had experienced their share of dieting and then gaining the weight back again.  When Yomi discovered via social network posts that Carmen had joined The ZOO Hillsboro and was doing regular check-ins, Yomi was inspired to join her and start working out and getting active. She hoped that working out with a buddy could help her stay on track and achieve her health and fitness goals.  After gaining and losing weight together so many times over the years, they felt their bodies lacked definition and muscle.  They really wanted to get toned and get muscle and at the same time burn fat.

How we got started working out together?

Carmen:  I’ve always been average weight, was active in school sports in high school.  I never had to worry about what I ate but after high school that all changed.  When I moved away from home and got an apartment with Yomi, we went a little crazy eating whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  I had just turned 21 so as you can imagine it was a party every day!  By the end of our lease, I had hit my heaviest at 190!!!  I was mortified!  At 5’3”, that was not healthy!  So I cleaned up my eating and dropped 60lbs and got down to 130lb with just dieting.  But soon I let myself go again and gained 20lbs back.  That’s when I decided to get my butt to the gym!

Why do you like The ZOO Hillsboro?

Carmen:  I joined The Zoo in November because it was a block from my house and I had no excuses.  I was going to the gym but didn’t feel like I was doing much.  My motivation lacked until Yomi started going with me.

Yomi:  The Zoo is conveniently located on my way to and from work and has really affordable prices, so I had no excuse not to start!

What are your fitness goals?

Carmen:  To be in the best shape of our lives and to push ourselves like never before.  Fitting into a bikini for this summer was just extra motivation.  Instead of weighing ourselves each Tuesday, we measure ourselves and track our progress.
Yomi:  When I started back in March, I set a weight goal for myself of 24lbs in 12 weeks. I was doing the “healthy 2lbs a week” approach. We do weigh-ins and body measurements every Tuesday, which is what I use to calculate my body fat percentage. I started at 33% body fat and I am now down to 19%. We’ve all heard that muscle weighs more than fat, so now that I’ve lost 25lbs during the first 12 weeks, I am no longer going by the number on the scale. I’m going by body fat % and I have set a long term goal of 13% body fat.

How are you doing on your goals?

Carmen:  We are doing great!  We continue to be motivated and dedicated.  It’s been a long but rewarding journey.
Yomi:  We’re doing great! I’ve lost track of the amount of weeks we’ve been doing this for. I’m now in the best shape of my life and I will continue to get in even better shape with every year that follows!  My energy level and confidence are at their highest! I’ve never been happier with myself than I am now.  I have muscle definition that I never thought I would/could see!

How have you supported each other?

Carmen:  Supporting each other has been pretty easy. It makes it a lot harder to skip the gym when you have a gym buddy.  When I feel like giving up, I can always count on Yomi to remind me why we are doing this and vice versa.

Yomi:  It’s easy to stay motivated when you have a gym partner!  Seeing Carmen’s progress motivates me to continue progressing as well.  Some days I don’t feel motivated, but I can always count on Carmen to lift my spirit and get my mind in the right place!  I also see it as “girl time”.  We get to spend time together and talk as we get fit, instead of doing it over a plate of food or calorie-loaded drinks!

What is your workout routine?

Carmen:  Our workout routine is a combination of lifting weights and cardio, 6 days a week.  We focus on a different body part every day and, most importantly, a good clean diet is a must.  You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!!

Yomi:  I used to go to the gym and use the machines without any real knowledge of what I was doing. Now that I am going to the gym almost every day, I have a routine.  We alternate between arms and legs and do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio.  I am trying to build muscle so I lift heavy weights.  I do 3 sets of 10 reps and about 10 different exercise per day.  Alternating is good because it gives your muscles a chance to rest and rebuild so that next time you work those muscles out you can add more weight or do longer sets.  It’s also very important that you watch your diet. You can spend endless hours at a gym, but that only accounts for 30% weight loss. Dieting takes care of the other 70%.

What have you learned along the way?

Carmen:   I am a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for.  It’s definitely not easy, it’s a lot of work. What I would have done differently is, definitely, start working out a lot sooner!!

What are your next fitness goals and plans?

Carmen:  Our plan right now is to keep working at it and never stop.  This is a new life style that I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Yomi:  We both have different goals.  I want to reach 13% body fat by September when we head for our Hawaii vacation!!  Regardless of the body fat percentage or the number on the scale, I just want to be healthy, fit, and confident.

What advice would you give to others who want to start on their fitness journey?

Carmen:  If you’re not happy with yourself, change it!  Don’t waste any time being unhappy, when you have the power to change.  It’s a shame to grow older without ever seeing the strength and beauty that your body is capable of!

Yomi:  My advice is to just lay the money down and get started!!  Buy a membership, buy some new running shoes and gym gear, fill your refrigerator with healthy food and find a workout buddy!  Start your journey!  It will take time, money, and a lot of patience but I guarantee that you will see results! Nothing feels as good as being healthy and confident!