Tip of the Week

Roll with the punches! Life is gonna smack you right in the face when you don't expect it. If you're head's on straight, you're certainly gonna handle it just fine. Roll with it. Complain a little bit, and let it go.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Success Story: Jillian with No Last Name :)

Christina, New York, New York

I was always active growing up and very much a tomboy, playing ice hockey in high school. When I met my husband six years ago, I was in my early thirties and still in shape, but in the years to come I slowly started to gain weight and do my workout routines less and less. Then I had several major medical issues that really sidetracked my health — and my life. Five days after my 35th birthday, I was hospitalized with a blood clot in my lung and was later diagnosed with a genetic blood-clotting disorder. After I recovered from the blood clot, I began experiencing extreme pain and had stomach swelling that was later diagnosed as endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body. To finally relieve the pain, I had an operation and reconstructive surgery on my belly button. I made a promise to myself when I was recovering that I would become healthier. Back then, I had been eating junk food at lunch and ordering take-out dinners four times a week. I didn’t fit into any of my clothes — and my husband was only two pounds heavier than I was. When I had no pain or excuses, it was finally going to be time to get back in shape!

My husband and I always watched the Biggest Loser, and I loved Jillian's approach to fitness. I bought her Making the Cut book and stocked my refrigerator with healthy foods, while setting up my living room to start doing the workouts. I lost more than ten pounds with Jillian’s book and enjoyed the food and routine so much that I also signed up for Jillian's Web site. I have lost 25 pounds* to date. I love to cook and got in the habit of bringing all my meals and snacks to work so I always have healthy food and I never get too hungry.

I have followed the program strictly and incorporated rebounding, a mini-trampoline class at the gym, three days a week into my cardio. After the weight loss, the Web site's workouts have continued to tone and challenge me — so I never have an excuse not to work out. I never thought I could get back into the shape I was in when I was 20 and be healthy inside and out. I just turned 39 and have finally learned how to control my weight and eat healthy while enjoying life. I love my sculpted arms, and my new belly button looks great with my toned abs! Now guys at the gym ask me for advice on toning their abs — which makes me smile.

The scars from my surgery for endometriosis show the journey that my body has been through, and I am very proud of my strong body now. I started wanting to lose only ten pounds, but I have continued this new way of life with Jillian's guidance and have made a total life change. I feel like I can do anything, and I continue to reevaluate my goals every time I meet one. I never thought I could wear short shorts again, but since I lost over six inches from my hips, my legs are looking toned again for the first time in 20 years. I am still realizing that I have changed, and the picture of me in my mind is slowly catching up to my body's real image.

Best compliment: Trainers at the gym, my family, and my coworkers have all been so complimentary of my weight loss, which has kept me going. I received the most meaningful compliments from my coworkers who say I am their inspiration for starting a workout routine again and getting in shape. I did this for myself, and I am in awe of how my journey is starting to help other people realize that it is never too late to get back into shape.

Activities now: I now have the confidence to try new classes and incorporate the strength routines from the Web site into the weight room at the gym. I switch my cardio routine weekly to incorporate a Zumba dance class, rebounder class, cardio sculpt class, and Jukari, a unique class which is inspired by Cirque du Soleil and combines aerobics, strength training, balance exercises, and core training — and gives you a sensation of flying). For my strength training, I use Jillian's online circuits, which always give me the best workout. Now, I am able to lift twice the amount of weight I used to, and I can run for one hour on the treadmill — even after my hour-long cardio class.

Advice for others: If you want to make a change in your life — whether it is losing weight or eating healthy — always set up your environment so you are less likely to fail. Stock your fridge with healthy foods, get a set of weights, remove all toxic chemicals from your home, and get rid of all the processed foods in your fridge and freezer. I cook 90 percent of my meals, and that keeps me healthy and in shape — and saves me money. I love Trader Joe's since it stocks so many organic choices at great prices and snacks (for my husband) without artificial flavors or preservatives. Keep a food journal and be sure to weigh and measure everything so you have a record of how much food you eat — and should be eating. Set small goals for yourself, and, if you have a small setback, get back on track. You will succeed if you put your mind to it.

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