How to Get Healthy - Tips from a Denver Gym Owner Who Lost 120 Pounds (2023) - Fitness Insider Blog

How to Get Healthy – Tips from a Denver Gym Owner Who Lost 120 Pounds (2023)

Denver gym owner, Gladys Santiago, found her fitness motivation and lost (and kept off) 120 pounds. Now she helps other people do the same. Here are her tips for how to get healthy and fit:

Hello, I’m Gladys, and I used to weigh 270 pounds. I was overweight for my whole life. I tried many diets, exercise programs, supplements, and other quick fixes, but I never found anything I could stick with consistently. One day I got sick of my unhealthy lifestyle, and I decided to make changes to my lifestyle, and I was able to lose 120 pounds and have kept it off since then. When I say I get the struggle, I really get it. One problem you have in the fitness industry is that many owners of fitness studios and personal trainers and coaches have never struggled with their health and fitness. They don’t get it. Most were blessed with enviable genetics and a love for working out that most of us unfortunately don’t have. But I’ve been there and I’m here to share with you what I discovered that allowed me to completely change my life. If you are struggling with your fitness motivation, finding yourself signing up for various gyms and at-home fitness subscriptions and trying various and sundry diets but finding it difficult to be consistent with anything, you’re in the right place. I’ve seen it and experienced it myself as the owner of downtown Denver fitness studio Worth The Fight Boxing, and I can give you some insight into fitness motivation and some tips for how to get yourself on the right track.

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Gladys, with her partner Emily, owns Worth The Fight Boxing in Denver, which she opened to help people transform their lives through fitness. If you’re struggling with your fitness motivation, get a week long trial of unlimited fitness classes at Worth The Fight!

ABOUT US: We own downtown Denver’s premier fitness studio, Worth The Fight Boxing. We are independent, not a franchise or chain. We’re passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals! Try us without commitment – get 7 days of unlimited exercise classes!


Struggling with fitness motivation and how to develop healthy habits? Here are my tips for developing a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable, based on my own experience of losing and keeping off 120 pounds.

Did you know that will power is like a muscle? It can get exhausted and, once it is exhausted, it is futile to try to apply extra discipline. Have you ever gotten home from a really long stressful day and found that all you can do is sit down in front of the TV with a pint of ice cream? Cooking a healthy meal at that point feels like a slog way beyond your capability at that moment? Then you’ve experienced your will power muscle being completely worn out. So that leads to the question what can we do to put less strain on our will power muscle so that it’s easier to stick with healthier habits? Through my own fitness and health journey, I learned a few tricks that I am going to share with you.

1. Small achievable steps slowly over time are better than big sweeping changes when you’re trying to get healthy and attain a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

First of all, start with small achievable changes. Many people make the mistake during their fitness journey of doing too much – placing themselves on a very restrictive diet and trying to adhere to a strict exercise regimen. They may be able to stick with their new diet and fitness regimen for a few weeks or months but eventually it overwhelms their discipline and they find themselves slipping back into old habits. This can lead to yo-yo dieting which is actually more dangerous to your health than not trying to lose weight in the first place. I went through this cycle myself many times before I finally got it right.

My first step toward health and fitness in Denver was just cutting out soda. I didn’t make any other changes but I saw noticeable weight loss which encouraged me to keep making changes. My next change was to start walking more and eventually to take up biking. I found that I loved biking – I looked forward to getting up early and getting on my bike. I lost around 80 pounds from cutting out soda and walking and riding my bike. I still hadn’t even tackled changing my diet yet. This happened over the course of more than a year. I did not make big sweeping changes all at once. I made small incremental changes that were achievable which gave me small wins along the way without overwhelming my self-discipline. Eventually I plateaued in my weight loss and I was ready to start making some larger changes, but that didn’t come until pretty far into my fitness journey in Denver. People want fast results but the fact is that the most successful way to sustainable weight loss in Denver (or a sustainable health lifestyle, if you’re not trying to lose weight) is to make small steps toward your goal, one at a time, slowly, over time. You can get faster results with big dramatic changes, but you probably won’t be able to maintain them long term. (Read more: How to lose weight from owner of a Denver fitness studio)

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At Worth The Fight Boxing Denver, we help people who struggle with fitness motivation learn how to get healthy – get a week of unlimited fitness classes see if we’re your cup of tea!
If you’re struggling with getting healthy, sign up to try a class at Worth The Fight Boxing!

2. Quick fixes to weight loss or a healthy lifestyle don’t work. There is no silver bullet.

Quick fixes don’t work. If you’re someone who is trying to lose weight, you’ve been served a million ads and seen a million posts promising that if you just took this supplement or you just followed this workout plan, you’d lose weight. That stuff is all bollocks. There is no silver bullet. I tried everything available and nothing ever stuck until I decided to commit to changing to a healthy lifestyle in Denver. Gastric bypass, where they literally go in and shrink your stomach and shorten your intestines, is the closest to a silver bullet, but even that won’t work for a significant amount of people – they will lose weight initially and then gain it all back. Ozempic works for some people for weight loss in Denver but there are side effects and even that doesn’t work for everyone long term. Also the weight loss on Ozempic is moderate. People in studies who were obese lost like 10% of their weight. That’s still an achievement but nothing like what I achieved through lifestyle changes. Anyone trying to encourage you to take some quick fix probably has a financial incentive to do so.

Think about it: if there was a quick fix that actually worked long term, do you think there would be so many people struggling with weight loss? Of course this isn’t the news people want to hear, especially if you’re someone who struggles with fitness motivation. We all want things to be quick and easy. I have felt that myself, and I’ve tried many quick fixes. But the good news is that it is possible to change if you follow some of the steps I’ve outlined in this article. Also, keep in mind that even some progress (rather than extreme progress) is still really good for your health. Sometimes we have to be aware of what is really possible for us given our life circumstances – not everyone has time to work out every single day and cook healthy meals. But most people can make some changes that will still make a difference. Remember the advice about small achievable steps over big sweeping changes. And ditch all the quick fixes.

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At Worth The Fight Boxing Denver, you’ll learn how to develop a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable – get a week of unlimited fitness classes at Worth The Fight!
We help people learn how to get healthy at Worth The Fight – sign up to see if we’re a good for fit you!

3. Find a workout that you can fall in love with because it is much easier to stick with when it is a form of fitness in Denver that you enjoy.

This goes back to the idea of will power as a muscle that can get tired. If your workout is something you dread, it requires a lot more discipline to get yourself to do it. This puts you at risk of “falling off the wagon” so to speak. The key for me was finding boxing. I love boxing as a form of fitness. I looked forward to going to class – it was never a slog. There is sometimes an idea in the fitness industry that it’s okay for working out to be boring and painful. Working out should not be drudgery. At my fitness studio Worth The Fight Boxing, we reject that idea: exercising should be fun! If you dread going to your exercise class in Denver, you need to try something else. (Read more: Try this authentic boxing gym in Denver) There is a workout for everyone, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a fitness class in Denver. Find a form of fitness or movement that you love. You can also do things to make your fitness regimen more fun – e.g., involve another person. We have seen that bringing a family member or friend with you helps people be much more consistent with their fitness.

If you are in Denver and struggling with weight loss or fitness consistency, we highly recommend coming to try a fitness class at our fitness studio Worth The Fight Boxing Denver. Because of my experience struggling with my own weight and fitness, it was mission critical to me that my fitness studio be a place that is ideal for people who need assistance getting on track with their health – I remember how hard it was and how much better my life got after I developed healthier habits, and I want to bring that same transformation to other people. Most people who own fitness studios and gyms in Denver have never struggled with their fitness or weight, so they can’t always relate to people who do have that struggle. I can. I designed our workouts to be fun and appealing.

I have also created a community that is welcoming and accepting which is key to developing fitness motivation and a sustainable healthy lifestyle. As the owner of a group fitness studio, you’re in charge of creating a community by setting the culture of your studio. We are small and independent (and we’re also a women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, BIPOC-owned fitness studio), and we attract a really great interesting diverse group of people. We know that having a supportive community around you will enable you to be more consistent with your fitness regimen.

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4. If you struggle with fitness motivation or motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle, consider joining a group fitness studio in Denver.

Okay, okay, I may be a little biased since I own a group fitness studio, but group fitness was truly the key to me losing 120 pounds and keeping it off. I decided to open my downtown Denver fitness studio to help other people achieve the same transformation. It really helps to work out with other people and to have a community of people to push you and to cheer you on and to squeeze that last little bit of energy out to do just one more rep. People tend to push themselves harder in a group setting. But also having people who work out in Denver with you helps tremendously on those days when you just don’t feel like exercising – those rainy or snowy days, those extra stressful days at work where you just feel like curling up on the couch watching TV instead of going to your fitness class. Knowing that the people there are counting on you can really help you overcome those impulses and come to class.

My first group fitness class was a boxing class, and I was so nervous that I brought my mother with me. I had lost a good amount of weight by this point but was still a long way from where I am now. This is one the reasons that a big focus of my fitness studio is to be as unintimidating and welcoming as possible because I remember what it’s like going to your first class. I’m a big proponent of group fitness over at-home fitness or even personal training, especially for people who struggle with fitness motivation. It’s also a lot more affordable than personal training.

If you are in Denver and you need support with your fitness habits, come see if we can help you at my fitness studio Worth The Fight Boxing Denver. Get a week of unlimited exercise classes at Worth The Fight! We recommend coming to at least 3 exercise classes during your trial so you can get familiar with the punches and defensive movements. Also, your trial will never roll over into a membership unless you choose – we want all our members to be fully satisfied before they join. (Read more: Why Worth The Fight is the best boxing gym in Denver)

Whether you come to Worth The Fight or not, I really hope this article will help you get your fitness and health on track! Feel free to reach out to me with questions at – I am glad to share my insight and experience.

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