“I realize that my weight loss and my new healthy lifestyle are the ways to protect my health and brings me great happiness.”
-lost 70 lbs.*
I was motivated to start losing weight when I looked in the mirror. I looked really long and hard, and I was horrified! For years, I had convinced myself that the mirror was lying to me. Now the truth was staring back at me. I was obese with a strong family history of heart disease and diabetes. My wakeup call came to me when my husband of almost 20 years, said to me, "You are beautiful no matter what and I love you, but you are NOT healthy, and that scares me." As true as that may have been, hearing it hurt me but it also made me face the brutal fact that I was risking my health. I have four beautiful children, and I needed to do everything I could to be part of their future for years to come. I want to be able to dance at their weddings and play with my future grandchildren at the park. I needed my children to see me lead by example. They had to know that obesity is NOT an option. Regardless of how "pretty" I wanted to become, first and foremost, I wanted to be HEALTHY.
Cindy, my Jenny Craig consultant, has been my loyal partner on my weight loss journey and is an invaluable source of encouragement and information about the weight loss process. When I first met with Cindy at my center, I discovered that my eating habits, to put it lightly, were horrendous. Turns out what I considered an "appetizer" was actually a full meal. Over time, I learned portion control from the Jenny Craig food and how to be satisfied with fewer calories by adding lots of vegetables and some extra fruit to my meals. I am a huge salsa fan. I put salsa on pretty much everything. I can do that on Jenny Craig. I also liked the fact that I did not need to deprive myself of the sweets I enjoyed. I learned to include them in my plan in the right sized portions. Another thing I love about the Jenny Craig program is how easy it is to follow the meal plan and how flexible it is. This was a key to my success. I'm a busy wife and mom of four and I own my own photography studio. I need easy. With the Jenny Craig entrees, I had prepared meals in the right portion size that I could have ready in minutes. Cindy also helped me find other ways to comfort and reward myself instead of using food. She encouraged me to persevere and reward myself for my efforts with a manicure, a new outfit or a cute pair of shoes. Much to my husband's dismay, I did reward myself, frequently I might add, with this new way of nonfood treats to celebrate my successes and lifestyle changes.
The only activity I was doing prior to beginning Jenny Craig was bending my elbow, from my plate to my mouth. That was it. No walking. No jogging. No gym. After I’d lost about 20 pounds, I figured it was a good idea to join a gym. I began in a cycling class. It nearly killed me in the first ten minutes, but I kept on cycling. Pound by pound, I was beginning to see a difference in my body. The scale was moving. It was empowering. I cycled all through my weight loss and then branched out into a bit of running. When I was within 10 pounds of my goal weight, a good friend threw down a gauntlet. She challenged me to run a half marathon. Insanity, I thought. I'm NOT A RUNNER. I don't run. I only run if people are chasing me. So, what did I do? I grabbed the closest neighbor and begged her to train with me. The plan was daily, at 4am. Why at 4am? Because in Phoenix 4am is the only time it's not 120 degrees. It was dark. It was ugly. I felt as if I would die with every step. But I kept going and I'm proud to say that I completed the half marathon!! It wasn't pretty, trust me. I hobbled in well past the full marathon runners but I DID IT! I finished the half marathon. In a million years you wouldn't have me believing that my body could do it. But it DID. I am still in disbelief. I have my medal hanging on my headboard. My bib is framed. And every night I look at it knowing I can do it. And I will do it again.
I lost 70 lbs.* on Jenny Craig and my lifestyle has COMPLETELY changed. I run a few mornings each week and hike. I'm able to chase my kids, walk the dogs, to swim and not be ashamed to be in a bathing suit. I accompanied my husband to a board of directors meeting for his airline company and felt like I was his trophy wife. I can do all the things I've always wanted to do, with only the limitations of my own mind. My body is finally in a place to do anything I ask of it and I look forward to new challenges. In conclusion, I guess the main thing I would like to hammer into people's minds is that IT'S POSSIBLE with the right mindset. It can be done. It's not easy. Having support from my consultant Cindy was a huge help to keep me on track towards my goal and for that I am grateful. I make the choice, sometimes HOURLY, to stay on plan. I realize that my weight loss and my new healthy lifestyle are the ways to protect my health and brings me great happiness. I can also say with absolute certainty that it is WORTH all the effort! I can finally look in the mirror and feel proud of myself.
*Results not typical. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week
"I have grown stronger and I am very grateful for the improvement in my personal life, the physical help, coaching and support that Curves has provided to me."
I had just retired from a job that I had enjoyed immensely and was easing into retired living, when I discovered "the lump". It signaled quite a change in my plans, and my life. Our family doctor saw me that same day, and put into motion appointments and tests. The year that followed was filled with treatments and in my little mind it was all "quite a blur". Fortunately, I responded to the treatment was declared "cancer free". Thank you Lord!
I decided to start paying attention to my body, and felt it was time to treat it better and to become "fit". A few days later I entered the front door of Curves in our amazing town of Port Dover, Ontario. Little did I know about the adventures that awaited me in that great little gym. Mary, the owner, manager and coach welcomed me warmly and began to immediately get me "on track" by introducing me to the Curves circuit. It wasn't long before I actually started looking forward to "getting fit" three mornings each week. I do admit though, that there have been a few cold wintery mornings when I was looking for a good excuse not to go. I should mention that at this time I was walking with a cane, something I had done for nearly 10 yrs. due to fibromyalgia. I wasn't certain just how the cane would fit into my workout routine, but Mary helped me find a way. Gradually, I began working out with a smile, and many laughs with several of the other ladies, as we sweated and moved to the upbeat music. By August, I had improved enough in my mobility to enjoy a holiday with my husband and good friends in San Francisco.
The following year, I continued at the gym and began feeling stronger. Suddenly, in early May both my husband and I got a flu bug....or so we thought. I worsened to the point my husband took me to the hospital. I was admitted and remained in ICU with a serious pneumonia, in an induced coma for three weeks. My family let me know that one of those weeks, I was on life support. I have limited memory of this time. I do recall waking up and looking at the skin on my arms and it looked like an elephant's hide. My first thought expressed, was..."well that was a waste of my time and money going to the gym all year". As soon as I said it out loud, my next clearer thought was...."perhaps if I hadn't been working out at Curves, and getting stronger, I may not have survived these 3 weeks". The nurse who was beside me, said, "Your last thought is the truer statement."
When I was released to go home, I had quite a time, as I was very weak. After a few weeks of visiting nurses and physical therapy, I was able to return to Curves. Mary, and many of the ladies, who I now count as dear friends, greeted me and hugged me back into the gym. I learned from my hubby that all those women, not only sent cards, and inquired after me, but had been praying for me too.
Not long after this, I began using walking poles instead of the cane which allowed me to have better upright posture. I walk with them everywhere ....in the house, outdoors, on the beach, in stores, and now I have been able to use these poles as I work out at Curves! Through the ups and downs of the past two years, I have grown stronger and I am very grateful for the improvement in my personal life, the physical help, coaching and support that Curves has provided to me.
* Results not typical. Curves Fitness members on average lose 5 lbs. over a 20-week period.
“At 20 years old, my doctor told me if I did not start losing weight I was going to need bariatric surgery.”
-lost 90 lbs.*
Up until now, I’ve always been overweight. I was born in Jamaica and lived there until I was thirteen. Food was love and I was always well-fed at my home or at my relatives’ homes. It was not unusual that I visited my grandmother and ate a meal at her home and then went home afterwards to eat another big meal. It wasn’t that the food was unhealthy. We ate mostly a variety of chicken and rice dishes. I just simply ate too much food whenever I wanted. I also had a sweet tooth and my favorite was homemade Jamaican coconut pudding cake.
We moved to Florida when I started high school. I was busy with friends, studies and work but never dated in high school due to being shy and overweight. I graduated at age 19 and decided to pursue a nursing career. I wanted to help people and entered a program to become a licensed practical nurse. My days continued to be full with work and school and I fell into a pattern of eating practically nothing during the day until I got home in the evening. Starving, I would eat a large dinner at about 5pm and then started grazing continually from after dinner to bedtime at about 1am. I had a sweet tooth, so when it came to sweets, there was no such thing as “I’ll save the rest for tomorrow.” A typical night for me was indulging my sweet tooth with juice, a handful of cookies, a half pint of ice cream, a large slice of cake and half a bag of chips while watching TV. I did not eat these foods all at one sitting, but had a steady trek back and forth to the kitchen throughout the night choosing a new snack each time. This was a pattern I’d been repeating nightly for years. Needless to say, I packed on the pounds and thought I would remain overweight my entire life.
The moment that thinking changed came after a visit to my doctor’s office when I was 20 years old. I weighed 241 lbs. My doctor told me if I did not start losing weight I was going to need bariatric surgery. I already had health problems as a result of being overweight and was taking medication for hormonal problems and was diagnosed with prehypertension. I remembered thinking I’m in trouble if I’m only 20 and already have health complications from being obese. I have family members that also have hypertension and high cholesterol which put my already compromised health at greater risk. Needless to say I felt sad and depressed about my situation. After leaving the doctor’s office I called my mom and told her what the doctor had said. I dreaded the thought of surgery and my mom urged me to join a gym. I hired a trainer for two weeks to show me how to use the machines, and he gave me an exercise and meal plan. Realistically, I knew I wouldn’t be able to follow his diet plan, even though I’d lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks, because I was starving all the time. Then I saw a commercial for Jenny Craig, and decided to join weighing 231 lbs*. I had no idea it would be the start of a very personal and successful journey to better health and nutrition for me. I met each week with my consultant Kim and weighed in. My goal at the start was to be happy with any weight loss no matter how small. I even considered maintaining as a victory. I would tell myself it took over 20 years to put on all this weight, so I didn’t expect to lose it overnight. I needed to change years of bad habits and for me I knew it would take time but I was willing to accept that.
What I like about the Jenny Craig program is how easy it is. I learned portion control from the Jenny Craig food, which is delicious and filling, and the ease of the meals come in handy when you are working full time and in school. What I learned from the Jenny Craig program was the importance of eating my meals throughout the day. My consultant Kim was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She taught me how to follow a meal plan of 3 meals with snacks in-between and how to manage my hunger by adding lots of vegetables and salads to my meals which filled me up. Eating the right foods during the day helped me be in more control to make healthier choices and to change my unhealthy habit of overeating at night.
Before joining Jenny Craig I was never physically active. I did not enjoy working out and I especially disliked running. But since losing the weight I now love to run and know what a runner’s high feels like. But honestly, I must say, even when I didn’t have time to exercise I would still lose weight just following the Jenny Craig program. Since losing 100 lbs.*, I have improved my health and was able to be on less medication. I am a happier and healthier me which has made me more confident and outgoing. I also truly enjoy shopping now! Along with losing 100 lbs.*, accomplishments that I am especially proud of are my career as a licensed practical nurse and purchasing my first home. My weight loss experience is extremely helpful for my career path as a nurse and I know I will be able to help my patients with what I have learned as well as be a role model of good health. All these happy events can also be stressful at times. I am proud to say that during these stressful times, I have not gained any weight, thanks to what I learned on the Jenny Craig Program. It has been an amazing journey and I couldn’t be happier with my lovely new curvy body!
*Results not typical. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week