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story.lead_photo.caption Lynn Cofield, founder of Barbell Butterfly, poses for a portrait while practicing her competition poses at Legends Gym & Health Club in Texarkana, Texas. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

Barbell Butterfly is a lifestyle program that gives participants a road map to live a healthier life. The focus isn't only on nutrition or exercise but on changing the way you think.

The program is the brainchild of Lynn Cofield, a former nurse turned health and wellness coach, who used the same techniques to complete her own metamorphosis. She is also a certified nutrition coach and certified in physical fitness.

At her heaviest she was 266 pounds and miserable. Now she's fit, happy and looking to share the what she's learned from first-hand experience with others who need it.

"I've really begun to incorporate changing your mindset from 'I can't' to 'I am,'" she said. "I teach people to learn how to believe in themselves and turn off self-doubt. It's what I like to call the bully in your head."

Barbell Butterfly has evolved since Lynn started it four years ago. At that time, she was hands-on in the gym leading work outs with the butterflies but her number of clients grew quickly and that model became unmanageable. Nutrition education has always been a component.

Now much of the program is online. Depending on which plan a person signs up for they can get a meal plan, a work plan, personal one-on-one coaching and access to private Barbell Butterfly Facebook groups where members share tips and support each other every day. Many members are local but Lynn has taken Barbell Butterfly international.

"I've been able to reach a larger group of people. I've even got a couple of butterflies in the U.K," she said.

For local butterflies there are some hands-on opportunities including a weekly support group, occasional girls' night out events and challenges.

At her heaviest, Lynn Cofield was 266 pounds and miserable. Now she's fit, happy and looking to share what she's learned from first-hand experience with others who need it. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

"The personal touch is still very important. I feel like going online has allowed me to help them dig deeper to help them change their mindset. You can know what to eat all day long, have the best nutrition label reading skills and the best fitness plan but if you don't get your head in the right mindset, there will always be a struggle," Lynn said. "I believe it isn't food and it's not even fitness. It's what goes on in our heads. We are our own biggest enemy so we have to build a strong mindset to get up everyday and take care of those choices."

The battle to lose weight is a tough one for many people.

"The reason people struggle with their weight — Lord knows I did for years and years — is they try to fix it with fad diets or going to the gym. We're taking small pieces of the puzzle but we're not putting it all together," she said.

Lynn's butterflies are seeing phenomenal results.

"Last week, the six-week challenge top winner lost 5.2 percent body fat. Most people in the challenge lost between 10 pounds to 16 pounds.

They continue to be very, very successful. I'm truly their coach and I'm there coaching them all day long. We're on Facebook on those butterfly pages. I've provide them education pieces, fitness pieces. I'm always giving them motivational or educational content. That's a huge component for their success. I do recipes and lots of videos just showing them how simple it can be when it comes to meal prep," she said.

There are a variety of options available starting at about $25 a month up to the Firestarter plan which cost $99 a month. Firestarter in the most comprehensive plan and includes weekly calls from Lynn, all four Butterfly School courses, downloadable Butterfly nutrition education documents, weekly Butterfly support group meetings, members to seven private Butterfly Facebook pages and more.

"It's very affordable," she said. "I've tried to expand Barbell Butterfly to include options for everybody regardless of age or physical level."

Clients come to Lynn in several different ways.

"I have several doctors in town that refer people to me but word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool you can use," she said. "If people are happy about their progress they're going to tell other people about it. My whole purpose is just to help these women."

She says a lot of women, especially middle-age women, struggle with depression, anxiety and the sense of never being enough.

"We get the highlights of everybody's reel but not the real. That's why I'm so passionate about helping them up here," she said, pointing to her head. "When I started taking control of what I ate, hitting the gym, changing my circle, I had unknowingly completely changed the dynamics of my life."

(For more information, visit the Barbell Butterfly website at lynncofield.com or check out the Barbell Butterfly Facebook page that's open to the public.)

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