Motivating Stories from Local Women
Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand.
Photography by Emily Long / Photos taken on location at Market South
Diane Guffey, Signal Mountain
Throughout most of my adult life, I have struggled with the ups and downs of my weight. Exercise was never a part of my life early on, but in 2005, I decided it was time to make some changes. I started taking some exercise classes at a local gym … and so my journey began. Five years later, I started working out with my current fitness coach, Lisa Blevins. While this was a positive change, the nutritional aspect didn’t come until many years later.
In 2017, I was diagnosed with early stage COPD. I remember being devastated because I thought this meant I would have to give up my time at the gym. Working out was not only a necessity for me physically but mentally as well. My primary care doctor assured me that exercise was one of the best things I could do, which was a relief.
In late August 2018, I was invited on a trip with a group of women I work out with to hike the Dolomites in Italy. I knew if I was going to be hiking several miles a day at a higher altitude with my current lung issue, I would have to shed my excess weight and increase my fitness level. Later that year, I started an online macros-based program with a focus on eating to fuel my performance in the gym. I learned quickly what the best foods are to fuel my workouts. Over the past year, I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, but the best part of it all was that the hiking trip was a huge success!
The changes I’ve made have inspired me to become more confident and outgoing not only in my personal life, but also in my career. I am stronger and more physically fit than I have ever been. Throughout this journey, I have realized that age is just a number and that a diagnosis doesn’t have to be a deterrent from what I want to accomplish.
“The changes I’ve made have inspired me to become more confident and outgoing.”