Jeanne's story

Jeanne Myers has been coming in to the JCC 5-6 times a week for the past 5 years. She dropped 50lbs in less than a year when she joined and has maintained her achievement ever since. “I feel so much better than I did years ago - physically, emotionally - I have four grandchildren and I’m now in the best shape of my life."


Jeanne's story, in her own words


You need to take care of yourself first.

I married young; I was 19, my husband was 20, and we had our first daughter 10 months later. I had four children within 7 years and I was busy raising them, and didn’t take care of myself – I just took care of them. Coming to the JCC to exercise is something I’m doing for me and I had to get over feeling a little bit guilty about spending so much time on myself because I’m so used to taking care of my kids and grandchildren. And I thought it’s kind of being selfish, but then I’ve heard from a lot of people "You need to take care of yourself first," and I’m not getting any younger. Now I’m in the best shape of my life. I want to continue being healthy and hopefully live to a ripe old age.


Starting to exercise is not easy but it’s worth it.

Be prepared; your body is NOT going to like it at first. My youngest daughter and I started coming most evenings to the workout room and we got on the treadmill and did the machines. And then I kind of got brave and I started trying some of the classes and, at first, they were very intimidating. I stood in the back, I didn't want anybody to see me and I felt very uncomfortable having people see me move around but the classes were fun. I got hooked on them and started doing that regularly. Five years ago was the first class I took and I've been coming ever since.


Everybody has to have a starting point.

Where I am today, there is no way five years ago that I could physically do what I do now. People look at me and say “How do you lift those weights?” and I tell them I didn’t start out like that. You have to let your body adjust to doing it, first of all. You have to have the right expectations; you can’t have these delusions of grandeur that you’re going to go from being a couch potato to working out 5-6 time a week at high intensity. First of all, you’re going to be sore and hurt and say “This it too much, I can’t do it,” and your body is not going to like it either. It has to get used to changing from being sedentary and you just have to take it slow.


Commitment is key.

I actually injured my foot a year ago and I had a cast on and couldn’t work out. It was horrible. I sat on the couch for literally three weeks with my foot up. I could still use my body so I didn’t want to completely stop working out but that was really hard after I have been doing it for so many years. So I'd come to the classes – I could do upper body exercises, and I could still come to the weight room. There have been days, I’ll admit, that I have to drag myself out of the nice warm bed and drive here and do the classes, and there have been times that I have just said forget it, "I’m going to sleep in." But every time I do make the choice to stick with the exercise, I'm happy I did and it feels great.


Words of advice?

Start slow; don’t expect this to be easy. Understand that sustainable change is gradual and takes time, which is exactly why you should start today. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if you don’t do something, the same amount of time’s going to pass whether you sit and do nothing or whether you start eating healthy and working out. So why not do that and work gradually towards your goal of being healthier than not do it at all? I know it’s hard to get started, I know it’s difficult to continue, and I know people have busy lives with work, kids and family but you do have to make it a priority if you want to be healthy.


My future goal.

There’s a lady in the boot camp class at the JCC who's in her sixties and she holds her own! In 15 years, I want to be like that. There are a couple of ladies in our step class who are in their seventies - they are inspiring to me because they are physically able to do these classes. I just hope I can maintain this years to come.


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