SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The holidays and losing weight don’t often go hand-in-hand. But, one Sioux Falls woman has dropped the pounds, and is keeping off the weight, through hard work and help from others.

A snowstorm wasn’t enough to prevent Brenda Girouard from making it to the gym.

“Nothing slows me down. If you ask anyone in the gym they’ll tell you that I’ll be at the gym, rain, sunshine, snow, storm, pretty much every day,” Sioux Falls resident Brenda Girouard said.

Girouard has been coming to Top Fitness in Sioux Falls for nearly five years and has lost 70 pounds since starting her journey to better health.

“My blood sugars were through the roof, I had type-2 diabetes,” Girouard said. “Had two children at home and all I could picture was I’m not even going to make it to see their weddings and see my grandchildren if I don’t do anything now,” Girouard added.

The 50-year-old mother of 2 weighed nearly 200 pounds and almost baled on her first training session. She did not and learned an important lesson on day one.

“Food is a huge part of the weight, you know 80% or more of your weight loss is going to come from what you eat,” Girouard said.

“She was committed, connected, and then she was coachable,” Top Fitness owner Jesse Frost said.

Top Fitness owner Jesse Frost has been working with Girouard since day one but says it takes a village to stay the course.

“Even myself, if I don’t have that accountability within my family or my friends I see myself slipping as well, so keeping a strong connection and community is one thing that’s going to help you have success,” Frost said.

Today, Girouard is lifting weights, running marathons, and competing in triathlons, and has no intention of putting the pounds back on.

“Last year I went off of diabetic medicine and so that was huge for me and that’s my ‘why’. I’m not going backwards, I’m not going back on diabetic medicine and I’m going to keep going,” Girouard said.

And she has this advice for anyone looking to start a weight loss journey of their own.

“Set goals, be consistent, watch what you’re eating and find a community that will support you, just like Top Fitness,” Girouard said.

Brenda already has races and events scheduled through June 2023. Her husband joined the gym a year after she started her journey and has lost about 50 pounds.