November Member of the Month: Ruby Montes De Oca

She works out at Rainier Health & Fitness five times a week. Last year she lost 100 pounds, but as she describes in her interview, a certain body image or fluctuation in weight is not what motivates her to continue on her fitness journey, even joining RHF's 8 Week Challenge. We appreciate her balanced perspective and are thrilled to announce Ruby Montes De Oca as our November Member of the Month! 

How did you find out about Rainier Health & Fitness?

I’m originally from Chicago and I moved to Seattle in 2014. I have been living in the Rainier Beach/Rainier Valley area for 2½ years now. And I’m glad I did join this gym. I was actually referred by another friend and I’d been hearing a lot about it but I’d never officially made my way over to check it out until one of my friends was going to the classes and coming in. Then I was like, “Yeah, let me come check it out.”

What do you like best about Rainier Health & Fitness?

It’s definitely a great environment. Personally the reason I love coming here in particular has to do with my journey. Previously I wasn’t a person that was confident being in the gym and doing my workouts by myself. I was always more motivated by working out with a group of people and that’s still something I enjoy. However, when I first started coming to Rainier Health & Fitness, I was still going to the previous gym that I was going to in Renton. That commute was a lot for me and I lived right near Rainier Health so it worked out.

More than anything, I appreciate that every time I go to the gym I get in my zone and I feel so empowered just knowing what I’m doing in there and not feeling lost. And it’s really awesome to see friendly faces, people that I regularly see that are in there. Overall, I love the gym in general but I also love the feeling that I get just coming in and feeling so empowered, something I never felt before that I could actually do my own workouts. And then just seeing others do their thing too; when they’re pushing themselves, then I’m gonna push too!

Why did you decide to join the 8 Week Challenge?

I had previously released 100 pounds and I wasn’t necessarily interested in releasing more weight but I felt like what better way to engage with the community because, since I mentioned, I’d been previously doing a lot of workouts on my own. So it affords me an opportunity to also get to know more of the members because I was placed on a random team too. So that’s cool.

And the other component is I want to continue pushing my level of fitness and just continue doing challenges. I thought it was really cool, especially, because I was getting to a point where I was feeling really unmotivated. I really enjoy working out but I think the Challenge itself allowed me to get back in my zone. And beyond the fitness component, getting back to the discipline that it inevitably spreads into everything in my life. I’m very much devoted again to the eating component as far as meal prepping. Joining the Challenge just pushed me to get into that level of discipline again, which, a healthy dose of is good.

Do you have any specific goals for the 8 Week Challenge?

Just because it’s been about a year since I had released the weight, my biggest thing is to continue implementing those healthy habits into my life no matter how stressful life gets, because life is life—I don’t think the struggles ever get out of the way. My main goal is to again put my health at the forefront. So I don’t like to have a certain image that I want to aspire to because I think it’s really important to love yourself and wherever you’re at and whatever that means for you—for everyone. But I’m not necessarily aiming for a particular body image look or a particular fluctuation in weight but more than anything I’m excited to see how far I can push myself with the fitness component. Like I said earlier, I find it really empowering going into the gym and being able to do my own workouts and then just being amazed that, wow, a year or two years ago I wasn’t able to do this or do that. So if anything at all, I do hope to continue strengthening my fitness level and to continue growing in that.

What does your fitness routine look like?

Based on the workouts that I had learned previously before coming to Rainier Health & Fitness, I learned a lot in the other gyms I was going to. However, it’s just cool because I implemented what I learned in this gym. So I do, what is it, High Intensity or is it High Interval Training? I don’t know how to say it; it’s like HIT workouts like circuit training. What I found myself doing is I come more frequently for less time because I’ve noticed that I don’t like doing long workouts. Actually what’s cool is when I come in I don’t say it’s gonna be “leg day” or “arm day”; I just come in for a full body workout and then whatever allows me to release stress and just feel good. So I tend to make my workouts anywhere from 30-45 minutes and there are days when it’s longer than that because I’m just feeling it, I’m just going with the flow of it. But since I live pretty close to the gym, it works out really great. So I’m like kinda no excuse for myself not to take care of my body in that sense as far as stress goes. That’s a way I make sure to implement it at my everyday routine. So I try to come in, what is it, five times a week? That’s a lot! But I like to just do a quick workout that will have me pick up my level of strength but I also don’t want to burn myself out.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m really big on self-love and in that sense when we’re doing fitness I hope the reason why you all do get up to go to the gym is not to punish yourself for that donut you had. I think it’s a lot deeper than that. So my message would be just for folks to love themselves no matter where they’re at, no matter if they feel like they’re not happy with their body. So come to the gym for different reasons; understand the value of what it brings to you besides trying to do away with guilt.