Catherine Reynolds doesn't need to make any more New Year's resolutions about fitness or diet.
The 29-year-old married mother of two has already changed her life.
"It's a long road. It's nothing that happens over night. To be successful it has to become a habit," Reynolds explained recently.
She knows too well the frustration that comes with resolving to make drastic change: "I wouldn't lose 50 pounds in two weeks and then I'd give up. Or there would be an excuse - it wasn't convenient or there wasn't enough time to eat healthy or exercise."
Then she spotted an ad in the Northwest Explorer last year announcing a competition for a year of free membership and personal training at two Anytime Fitness centers.
Reynolds was one of nearly 100 people who submitted 500-word essays on how winning would change their lives. She was one of six selected; three at each gym.
"I realized if I didn't do something I was going to end up being obese, and not being able to experience life with my kids," she said.
As of early this month, she had lost 45 pounds. "I've gone from a 16 to a size 8, occasionally I wear a 6 or even a 4."
She'd also progressed from struggling with a few modified pushups to finishing 27 standard pushups and 28 modified ones in one minute.
Her perspective also changed. "I have a 5 year old and a 4 year old, both little girls, and what's amazing for me is it's so normal for them to see mommy go to the gym... and that she picks out foods that are healthy.
"To instill that in them at such a young age is really important to me," Reynolds said.
"There are no quick fixes," said Mike Urbanski, who owns the Oro Valley location where Reynolds trained.
He coached the Salpointe Catholic High School's successful track and field and cross country teams for 15 years.
Coaching is also what he most enjoys at Anytime Fitness, the gym that he and his wife, Gail, opened at 7937 N. Oracle Road last December.
"We wanted to offer a place for total wellness, not just to lose weight," he said.
The six Anytime Fitness gyms in the Tucson area have teamed up to launch the Anytime Fitness Resolution Day 5K on Tuesday.
The event, which includes a family health and fitness expo, will benefit Grow2bfit, a local nonprofit foundation started to help teach families how to maintain healthy lifestyle habits and reduce childhood obesity.
"People thinking about making healthy lifestyle changes can not only participate in a healthy activity, but also get information about nutrition and other kinds of ways that they can take better care of themselves," he said.
As of Wednesday morning, nearly 300 had signed up for the 5K.
"People don't have to come just to run. Anyone can walk in the mile fun run. It can be a personal statement people can make to themselves that they are starting the New Year in a healthy way," Urbanski said.
If you go
Anytime Fitness Resolution Day 5K
• What: New competitive 5K and family- friendly 1-mile fun run.
• When: 10:30 a.m. fun run; 11 a.m. 5K race Tuesday.
• Where: Cross Middle School, 1000 W. Chapala Drive.
• Cost: 5K is $30. Register online at www.active.com through Sunday; from 10-5 p.m. Monday at Anytime Fitness at 7937 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley(also packet pickup); or at the event between 9-10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The 1 Mile Family Fun Run that is $5 for the entire family.
• More information: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Health and Fitness Expo
• What: Resolution Day wellness activities include blood pressure checks, BMI and body fat percentages calculations, and tips on healthy eating, weight loss and smoking cessation. Other activities include a Zumbathon, yoga demonstration, fitness contests, massage, nutrition tips and demos, kids' activities and post-race refreshments.
• When: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday.
• Admission: Free.