Deb Yost standing in front of the Northeast YMCA

At 40 years old, Deb Yost was able to maintain an effective exercise routine. She was a long-walker and a jogger and felt largely in control of her fitness. Until one day, doing wind sprints, she suffered a torn Achilles. This changed everything. Because she was not able to rely on her normal activity regimen, she had started a downward spiral of limited exercise, emotional eating and weight gain. On top of working full-time, hauling kids to all their events, keeping up with general home maintenance and battling forms of arthritis pain, she began to become overweight and stressed.

She tried a number of exercise modalities but none seemed to stick without making her arthritis pain worse. One day, someone mentioned swimming. At first, this didn’t appeal to Deb at all. She was not a swimmer, was rather frightened of water and not comfortable at all with water over her head. She was uncomfortable with her weight gain and how out of shape she had become. However, she was desperate to find something that worked and found the pool at the Northeast YMCA.

“The Northeast Y is about a mile from my home, has a pool, and its ‘regulars’ include every gender, age, size, shape, color and ethnicity that exists,” Deb noted. “Tattooed and pierced hunks, little old ladies, immigrant families, young lean college students, hordes of tiny swim class preschoolers… I felt at home at this Y. It was welcoming to me, friendly, when most fitness centers I visited were not.”

Since joining the Y, Deb has made a personal commitment to come three days a week and swim laps for at least 30 minutes. Today, she celebrates being part of the Northeast Y for 20 years, having kept up that routine for 7,305 days.

Today, all of her medical numbers are good, including her blood pressure and sugars. Her active lifestyle combined with Intermittent Fasting has helped her lose 23 pounds. She attributes much of her success during these past 20 years to the Y, though a personal commitment is also needed to sustain a consistent pattern for that amount of time. She's indicated that the Y's culture of being open and welcoming and seeing others strive to achieve their goals has been a motivating factor to keep her going. 

When asked what advice she has to anyone in a similar situation to hers 20 years ago, she commented, “It’s so very important to find something that works for you at a time that works for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all in health and fitness. Know yourself and find a routine that works for you. Commit to a mindset that is a WAY OF LIFE, not a fad or a diet or a this-month flirtation. The YMCA is great in supporting your new way of life!”

Locations: Northeast YMCA
Category: Health & Wellness