Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Small changes can make a huge difference. Don't put your life on hold while you wait for a number on the scale.” -- Tracey Wilson

At 252 pounds when she first joined the Finley Y, Tracey was so overweight that she had to hold her breath to tie her shoes and couldn’t walk non-stop for 15 minutes. When she got diagnosed with Celiac disease, she had to be very careful about what she ate. After two years of a gluten-free/milk-free diet, and losing slowly, 10 pounds at a time, her whole outlook has changed.

“It’s made an AMAZING difference in my life; I’m so thankful that I don't miss any of the foods I can no longer eat. I've also had a blast reworking my favorite recipes to meet my new diet needs.”

Tracey 100 Pounds ago
Tracey started her journey 100 pounds ago by joining, a free online resource that focuses on healthy life changes. Through the virtual resources, weekly weigh-ins and support she was been able to write and post her experiences, make new friends, and motivate others to stay on track. She’s even become a champion on the website, posting retrofitted recipes and challenging other users to make life changes.

Tracey has re-engineered versions of once forbidden recipes and given them a healthy spin. After developing a menu of dishes, she’s cooked for kids at camps with similar food allergies.
“I’ve come up with my own recipe for coconut milk cheese for pizza, macaroni and cheese, etc. To see a child so excited to get a gluten and dairy-free pizza on pizza day at camp is so rewarding!”
Tracey Today

Healthy eating combined with exercise has brought her weight down even quicker. After competing in a couple of 5K races, Tracey currently walks/runs 2 – 6 miles 5 days a week. She has discovered the joy of riding her bike “for miles and miles with a smile.” She’s also added the gym, pool and strength training three times a week.

With her newfound energy, Tracey is enjoying more quality time with her children, Jana, 15, Gillian, 13 and Nathan, 12 and likes that she’s setting a healthy example.

“I want to be a healthier mom, reminding my kids every day that I am so thankful for them and so blessed to be their mom…they are the best kids ever!”

A strong advocate of taking weight loss slowly, Tracey has successfully followed through on small life changes. “I no longer let my weight define who I am. I’m taking it 10 pounds at a time, one day at a time…all the while focusing on living life!”


  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my story. It's a blessing to tell others that a healthier life is not only possible, but it's so worth it! I got my start at Alexander Family YMCA, to have a place to work out with my kids was so important to me. I can't put into words how much the encouragement meant to me..and a refuge for me after my mom's stroke. Some days I could only get away long enough to run around the track for 20 minutes and pray in the Chapel, but the Y was the key to keeping me focused on my health as I was caring for her. When I moved we switched to AE Finley and I'm so blessed by everyone there as well. There isn't a number on the scale that compared to how much fun it was to enjoy the waterslide with my kids :)

    My journey wont end when I hit that goal number on the scale, it's become a part of my life..a fun part to enjoy in such a wonderful community as the YMCA. The staff and members are such wonderful people and I'm so proud of all the Y does to better our communities.

    Again thank you all for being such a huge blessing in my family's life!

    1. I have "known" Tracey for years. The only reason I am replying as anonymous is because I don't understand the other choices! Tracey can find humor in the most dismal of times and she is truly an inspiration to others. Her faith in God, her devotion to her children, and her dedication to better herself through exercise and diet leaves me in awe of this lovely person. She LOVES the YMCA and talks of the organization daily. She and the YMCA are a perfect fit! Tracey, I look up to you and I'm sure hundreds of other people you have shared your success with (if not thousands) feel the same as I do. Keep up the good work. I am so very proud of you.

      Traci from Ohio :-)