It’s one thing to be confident. It’s another thing to exude confidence, which is just what Sally Donnelly does now.

“I’m a confident woman to start with, but my weight really held me back,” said the 63-year-old Somers Point woman, who has now lost more than 60 pounds through Weight Watchers and working with personal trainer Patrick Mullin at Body in Balance in Linwood. “So, (by) losing this weight, exercising and feeling healthy, my confidence has soared.”

“When I came in here (Body in Balance) I called myself a Weeble. I was just so round. I wobbled. Now it’s like I can walk, I can climb stairs. I can come in here and I’ll look at Patrick some days and say, ‘Wow, remember when I had to do this to get to this. I couldn’t do so many things. I would just (say) I can’t, I can’t do it. And I would try and try and try but I was not physically fit,” said Donnelly, but all that has changed. “I think it’s absolutely wonderful. I am so happy and every day is a joy for me now. It wasn’t before, but it really is now.”

“We have a small conversation usually at the beginning of the warm-up and there was more than one incidence where I can remember her saying, ‘I can finally get up to the top of the steps without being out of breath. Or, I can finally do a wall-sit,’ when in the past she dreaded those. Now, she doesn’t have so much dread when it comes to those exercises,” said Mullin, who’s approaching one year of working with Donnelly to transform her body and her life. “Overall her mood, her spirit, everything, has really progressed. She’s really feeling confident and happy with the success she’s having.”

Over the past couple weeks, the two have be working to increase Donnelly’s stamina, reduce her waistline and strengthen her abdominals. Her sedentary lifestyle has been replaced with superset workouts packed with squats, planks, free-weight and rope exercises.

“She’s gone from doing 15 sit-ups in a set, now she’s worked her way up to 20. So, I’d say she’s progressing nicely,” Mullin said.

“Going forward what I’ve been trying to focus on with her is finding new exercises to challenge her. We’re now coming up on one year working together. The body has the likelihood that it’s going to adapt to some of the things we are doing. So, the challenge now is finding new things now that are going to create muscle confusion for her and also finding tweaks in her diet,” said Mullin, adding he has been working with Donnelly for a timed 2,000-meter row. “The rower is something we’re really pushing to get below 10 minutes.”

She’s almost there now at 10:14.

Next week: We’ll check back in with Jenny Greaney, who is training for her first triathlon. And we’ll check back with Donnelly next month to see her progress.

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