With a wedding to plan, three kids to raise and tax season, Stacy Funk has found the secret to balancing it all: exercise.

It all started after the Iowa woman won a three-month membership to First Row Fitness in Council Bluffs. Since then, Funk has not looked back.

Funk, 46, said working out has offered several physical benefits, but the most important one is putting herself first.

Funk now counts the hours until she can walk down the street from her accounting business to First Row Fitness for a workout with her gym community.

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Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I started to work out at First Row Fitness in August 2018. I was putting on weight every year. I had no exercise plan, and I was getting really close to 200 pounds. I started to work out at home. I was walking and doing a bit of jogging. Then First Row Fitness had opened up a few doors down from my office. I bid on a three-month gym membership at a fundraiser.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: I go to the gym every day Monday through Thursday. I usually do two half-hour workouts a night, four days a week. Monday is a water rowing class followed by a 30-minute yoga class. Tuesday is high-intensity interval training followed by sculpt, which is an intense yoga class. Wednesday is water rowing and yoga. Thursday is high-intensity interval training and sculpt. I change my clothes in my office, drop my stuff in my car and I walk across the street to the gym. The fact that it’s so convenient really has helped me to stick to it.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: Right now, it’s probably to gain more muscle mass and get more definition.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A: I’ve dropped about 25 pounds. I’ve dropped from a size 16 to a 12. It’s been real slow, but I also know that because it’s been so slow, it’s probably going to be easy to maintain. My fiancé showed me a picture from when we went to Florida in 2017, and I didn’t realize I was that heavy at 195 pounds. I didn’t feel like I was 195 pounds. Now, when I compare pictures side by side, I can’t believe how different I look.

Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

A: Committing to it. I finally had to make myself a priority, because at my job, I don’t move much. I would run from work to a school event or work to an athletic event. Now, the kids just know that I’m not going to be home until 7 p.m. I might go to a band concert in my sweaty gym clothes because I’m going to go to the gym beforehand. That’s just the way it is. During tax season, I would be in the office until 9 p.m. Now that I have my own business, I am still making myself a priority. When I book appointments with clients, I have them no later than 4 p.m. because I know I want to get to the gym at 5. So, if I have to come back later or work eight hours on a Saturday, I’m willing to do that so that I can make sure that I go to the gym. It’s not even a habit for me anymore, it’s just what I do.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: The fact that it was so convenient for me to just walk from my office to the gym. I enjoy the water rowing and the high-intensity interval training classes. Everyone in the gym is so friendly, and they welcome you in class. The combination of it being so convenient for me and (owner and trainer Carrie McDonald’s) leadership just keeps me coming back.

Q: What is your gym pet peeve?

A: When the schedule changes last minute. You almost look forward to it. And having to leave when it’s cold outside and you’re all sweaty.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: My fiancé, Ian Wilber, and I spend time with his family on the weekends. My son plays soccer almost every weekend. I have a motorcycle I should ride a lot more than I do. Now I just do a lot of planning for the wedding.

Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?

A: The water rower. I’m looking into purchasing one for my home because I like it so much. That way, if I can’t make it to the gym during the week or on weekends, I’ll have it at my house.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

A: Find something you like doing. Don’t be afraid to try different things until you find something that you like. Make sure you get some guidelines, someone who can show you the proper technique. If your technique is not right, you’re not going to get near as good of a workout in. It’s never too late to get started. You just never know, and if you find something you like, it’s just easier to stick to it.

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