Yo-yo and fad dieting for years, Kirbie found something she could stick to. This is her story in her own words.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been overweight and not physically fit. At one point, I was a poutine shy of tipping the scales at 300lbs. I’d always tell myself that I’m just not meant to be athletic, that sports aren’t for me. I’m not coordinated enough for this, and too out of shape for that. Any excuse not to try, I had them, and fear of failure was huge.

In my uneducated mind, the only way to be physically fit was to be skinny. I tried every fad diet, weight-loss program or new up-and-coming fitness class. I adopted some unhealthy habits just to shed some pounds. Everything worked, but I was never able to sustain or maintain it as a lifestyle, so I’d lose 20 lbs but gain back 30. 

In 2016, I decided I wanted to be involved with my local roller derby league. They seemed like a fun group of misfits, so that year, I started out volunteering. I was what they call an NSO (non-skating official). At the end of their competitive season, I decided I needed more. The diversity of body shapes, sizes and fitness levels gave me hope that I could do this.

After completing and passing a 12-week “learn-to-skate” training program, I was drafted to a team. I was thrown into the category of being an “athlete,” but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was still considered obese (250+lbs.) and was in no way strong. I managed to compete in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, with much the same “athleticism.”

During our very last game of 2018, something clicked. It was during that game that I realized I needed to be in much better shape if I wanted to improve instead of literally coasting. The following day I started up at the gym again. I’ve owned a GoodLife membership for at least 15 years at this point. 

I was still in the mindset that skinny meant fit, and I would just stick to cardio only. I did manage to lose a bunch of weight, and my endurance improved immensely, but I still wasn't strong. A great friend introduced me to and encouraged me to start strength training. I was so nervous and easily discouraged, but they didn’t let me quit.

I had specific goals for the 2019 roller derby season, goals that hadn’t even been on the horizon back in 2017 or 2018. I worked extremely hard, and it showed. 

Being recognized as an MVP was a dream come true. All my hard work paid off in this moment. It’s one thing to have a goal you’re progressing towards, but then to crush it much sooner than you’d ever imagined was so overwhelming. My “I can’t” was replaced with “I will!”

I would have never imagined that I’d be the type who looks forward to the gym. Going to GoodLife isn't a chore to me; it’s just part of my routine. I attend the gym 4 to 5 times a week on top of 2 to 4 hours of roller-skating.

I joined Roller Derby in hopes of avoiding the gym and getting in shape, but it turns out that for me to play derby, I needed GoodLife. The employees and members of the Torbay Rd. GoodLife in St. John’s, Newfoundland have been a major contributor to my success. I don’t ever feel judged or out of place there, and the club is my home.

As of September 2019, I’m down 50+ lbs and several inches, but I’ve gained so much more. I’ve gained a sense of community and pride. I’m proud of myself for overcoming fears and attacking them head-on.

With 2020 on the horizon, I’m going to be the absolute best version of myself to date. 

We had our 2019 Roller Derby Gala this past weekend. I received the “Most Improved Skater” and the “A Rainbow of Inspiration” award, recognizing all the hard work I put in both on and off the track

Although I’ve made my fitness journey pretty public, I didn’t do it to be inspiring. It’s still very strange when people say that I’ve inspired them to reach their goals; however, it’s especially cool when you get to celebrate your accomplishments with others!