No excuses for these women

By Debby Schamber

For the Record

A New Year’s resolution is a promise a person makes for the new year. The top resolution is to lose weight followed by self improvement and thirdly to quit smoking.

Everyone has a story to tell and many attempt to start the year off right. However as January continues, the number of people sticking to their resolution dwindle rapidly. Only eight percent of the people making a new year’s resolution will actually achieve their goals, according to


Julie Gerken, 33, of Orange, has her goals set for 2017. She works out five days per week. She is doing a difficult wall sit which works her glutes muscles in addition to her calves and quadriceps. Gerken would gladly work out more to achieve her goals.

However, Julie Gerken,33, of Orange has her goals set and will not let anything deter her from her weight loss goals. Plus, Shelby Marshall,23, of Bridge City has goals too and will continue on her path of healthy living.

Gerken’s plan for 2017 is to hit her goal weight of 150 pounds and to live a better, healthier life overall. She has already been hard at work and rarely misses a workout about 5 days per week at Delta Life Fitness. She is losing pounds and inches but gaining muscle. She is not there yet, but says she will be there in 2017 – most definitely.

“I would be there seven days a week if I could,” Gerken said.

To help meet her fitness goals, Gerken also watches what she eats. Exercise is good, but also cutting portion size and making smarter choices has helped her. She eats more fruit and vegetables in addition to drinking more water. She also has cut down on carbohydrates.

It is not just a workout for Gerken, but, more like a “sisterhood.”

“There are a lot of things that I love about it. But, I think the bonds that we form are my favorite. It’s not like going to a gym. This is definitely a place where you can go to get healthy and to make friends,” Gerken said.

There are 6 classes daily which are about 30 minutes long. Each class is a high intensity book camp style workout. On Saturdays the gym is open to the public for a free workout.

“There are no machines here,” said Marysol Zamora, manager of Delta Life Fitness. “It is up front and personal.”

Gerken is always ready to sweat because of her strong determination. Her number one priority is to make sure she is healthy for her children and is leading by example so they are healthy too. Gerken has been happily married for 13 years and has three children.

Gerken started at Delta Life Fitness in October during one of their fitness challenges. At first she was reluctant, but after talking to Marysol Zamora, the manager at Delta Life Fitness, she thought she would at least give it a try.

“We are here to help those overcome their fears,” Zamora said.

Some of the routines are more of a challenge than others as different muscle groups are used. But, the group of women encourage each other after a hard workout  with words of encouragement or a simple “high-five.”  Some women have to make modifications to the workouts, but that is OK. At least they are trying and still moving.

However, Zamora says she doesn’t want someone to miss the opportunity to workout and doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. If a coach is needed to work one-on-one with a woman then it will be done.

“That’s important to me,” Marshall said of the support she gets from others and the coaches.

The partner workouts are especially fun for Marshall. The coaches turn an exercise into a part of the workout where a partner is necessary such as in “surfers.” As the person swings around and slaps the other person’s hand, laughter is heard echoing in the gym.

The women and staff of Delta Life are like a team and are there for each other, Zamora said.

Marshall has had her own set of difficult challenges. She is a single parent of a six-year-old son and the free child care at the facility is very helpful.


Shelby Marshall, 23, of Bridge City, has found new strength. After being told her cholesterol was too high and losing her mother to congestive heart failure, she knew she had to make a lifestyle change for herself and her son.

“That’s my “me” time and since they have childcare there are no excuses,” Marshall said.

After a blood test, Marshall was informed by her doctor her cholesterol was too high. Two months later she lost her mother to congestive heart failure.

“It was a struggle to keep going and dealing with the loss of my mom, but I had to remind myself the reason for going was because of the heart disease running in my family,” Marshall said.

Now, months later she has lost 25 pounds and her cholesterol is perfect.

“The results have been worth all the hard work,” Marshall said.

Marshall said she will not quit and will continue going to the gym.

“If I don’t go then I am disappointed in myself,” Marshall said.

For Marshall, her plans are not so much of a resolution, but a goal of remaining fit for life.

“Just do it, try it. It’s hard and you’ll be tired, but don’t give up,” Gerken said on advice to others. “Keep pushing, you can do it. Just breathe.”