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Soul Transformation: Justine Dunn

After a long struggle with her weight, JUSTINE DUNN began exercising and lost more than 100 pounds. But it wasn't until she began riding at SoulCycle that she was able to transform her mindset. "I’m finally happy with who I am, and I have the confidence that I lacked for most of my life," Justine shares in her Soul Transformation…. 

Justine (right) with instructor Nicky B.

Feeling good about myself was never easy for me, until I started going to SoulCycle. To start from the beginning, I have fought a really tough battle with my weight my entire life. By the time I was three, my parents were really worried because the amount of weight that I was gaining each year was not normal. Even though I was always an active kid with a healthy diet, by the time I was 13, my weight had skyrocketed so high that I was considered obese. To add to the problem, it was impossible for me to lose a pound unless I basically starved myself. Being so heavy at such a young age did a lot of damage to my self-esteem, and I had nothing but negative thoughts about myself.   

It took me until my freshman year of high school to master some control over my problem. I started to educate myself on what and how much I could eat without gaining weight, and because this was the first year that I wasn’t playing a sport, I added exercise to my daily routine. From then on I was focused, persistent, and driven, and worked as hard as I possibly could to lose the extra weight I was carrying. By May of 2014, I had lost over 100 pounds.

While I thought that losing weight would solve all of my problems, it didn’t. Despite the fact that I was completely transformed on the outside, my mind was still in the same place it had been before, and the distorted perception of myself that had developed was only getting worse. Once I had lost the weight I needed to, I became obsessed with the scale, weighing myself multiple times a day to make sure I wasn’t gaining any of it back. I also forced myself to work out up to three times a day, on top of drastically restricting the amount of food I ate. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t able to see that I was no longer the person I used to be. I didn’t know how to overcome the mental state I was stuck in, and then I was introduced to SoulCycle.

I took my first ride at SoulCycle on July 20, 2014 with Ryan F. A friend of mine who rides often suggested that I join her because she thought I’d like it. I didn’t know anything about SoulCycle except that it was a hard indoor cycling class. I was secretly kind of dreading going because I was never a group fitness type of person, but I figured I might as well try it since I was getting really into fitness and bored of the training I was doing on my own. 

I was a little nervous when I got there, worried that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the class. As soon as the ride began, though, I felt I had entered into another world. I immediately fell in love with everything about SoulCycle, and knew that it was something I wanted to make a part of my life.
For a while now I’ve been riding at least once a day. I take classes with a few different instructors at different studios and love all of them. For the past couple months, though, I’ve mostly been riding with Nicky B. His class is the highlight of my day. He’s extremely motivating and encouraging, and his rides are always amazing.

SoulCycle has impacted my life in so many ways. Riding has reset my mind to focus on wanting to be fit and strong, not skinny. More importantly, I’m finally happy with who I am, and I have the confidence that I lacked for most of my life. It didn’t take long after my first ride to realize that I really wanted to be an instructor, so that’s the goal that I’m working for now as I continue my journey with Soul.

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