Emma Lynn shares how her passion for aerial workouts helped her manage hypothyroidism, and how she finds balance both on and off the ground.
At 34, Emma Lynn discovered she had a thyroid condition. Six difficult years later, she weighed 182 pounds and was considered obese.
Knowing that she had to make a change, Emma joined Jenny Craig and dropped to 165 within the first three months of the program. But things became more difficult after that strong start. “Unfortunately, it was too expensive to stick with their diet plans,” Emma laments, “and I knew I needed to add in exercise.” Emma went into maintenance mode for the next two years. She was able to stay at her post-diet weight, but she wasn’t making the progress that she craved.
Everything changed when Emma tried her first aerial hoop, or Lyra, class. “I had zero upper-body and core strength, and I could barely get into the Lyra,” she laughs. “But I fell in love with the aerial arts on day one.”
After she discovered aerial hoops, Emma’s attitude toward fitness transformed. “It stopped being about the weight on the scale or even how my clothes fit,” she remembers. “I was focused on milestones on the lyra and I was determined to do whatever it took to be strong enough to fly with the rest of my class.”
Emma set herself a goal: to be able to consistently straddle mount Lyra with proper form. To achieve it, she enlisted a friend’s help to change her diet and start lifting weights. After nine months of training, Emma achieved her first straddle mount.
She continued to grow stronger, but that strength came at an unforeseen cost: her flexibility. “This may not seem like a setback for many in the fitness industry,” she acknowledges, “but flexibility in aerials is equally as important as strength, maybe even more so.”
Emma found herself backing off from lifting while she worked on stretching again, and she’s still looking for the right balance between strength and flexibility.
EMMA AT A GLANCE
GO-TO HEALTHY SNACK
Protein bar or popcorn with a little salt
“I won’t get the ass I want by sitting on it!”
Emma’s fitness journey has built up her confidence in ways she couldn’t imagine. She no longer accepts the things her body isn’t able to do like her new normal. Instead, she now considers them to be challenges that she has yet to conquer.
“With acquired hypothyroidism, I didn’t think it would ever be possible to be strong and fit again,” she admits, “but seeing the results of my physical transformation effected a mental and emotional change as well.”
“I was sad and depressed before I set out to make a change,” Emma says, “but every pound lost and every Lyra skill mastered brought increased confidence and even more determination. For a very long time, I was just surviving, but now I’m finally living again.”
Emma’s advice is to find your fitness passion rather than just the means to an end. “Find something you love to do, and center your goals around being better at it. If you do that, it’s not about the number on the scale anymore; it’s about being better today than you were yesterday at something your whole being loved. Nothing beats that kind of motivation.”.