A JJ is someone who joins the gym in January, and while some regular gym rats hate the influx of newbies, it’s been nice to read that many of you make an effort to include them. After all, some of them do stick around! Some people are even leaving the JJs Operation Beautiful notes in the locker rooms to encourage them.
Without further ado, here are some more JJs. I’ll be following up with them throughout the year and in January 2014! Check out the first of the JJs for 2013.
Jessica wrote, “I have a membership at the local YMCA, and even went to spinning classes there for a while, but fell off the wagon. Something has to change because I’m 28 years old and I feel 58. I’m the fat vegan and I hate it (an anomaly, I know, but Oreos and vegan ice cream were enjoyed a bit too much). I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome when I was 21 years old and have really been battling my weight ever since. The weight piles on easily and is so hard to lose. I lost 40 pounds back in 2007, but I did that the unhealthy way (Lean Cuisines and skipping meals), and I gained it all back PLUS more.
I lost my father in November 2010, and from then on my emotional eating started. Everything in my world felt so wrong (losing my Dad, unhappy at work, unhappy at home), and I turned to food to make me feel better. I’d binge eat on my lunch breaks at work to escape the unhappiness there. 40 EXTRA pounds later, and I’m on blood pressure medication (at 28 years old!), my body hurts and I’m severely unhappy. All the extra weight has affected my mood, my relationship (I’ve lost my mojo and confidence), and I can’t seem to get out of this vicious cycle.
I just finished my first semester of my 2nd Master’s degree and plan on switching careers when I’m finished. I walked the dog for a brisk 30 minutes yesterday in the NYC cold. I’m going to try and walk at least 30 minutes a day (which is hard to do, as I have stupid plantar fasciitis in both my feet) and maybe one day start jogging. I’m so ENVIOUS of runners – - I even DREAM that I run and like doing it. Sad, huh? I’m going to CLEAN up my diet and try to do something else, like walk around my job’s neighborhood, when I feel an emotional urge to eat crap. Something has to change…because I don’t think I can stand another year of depression, mood swings and lack of confidence. “
Nicole wrote, “I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight… All through high school, I hated my size and became really self conscious. In college, I put on even more weight and got to right at 200 pounds. I decided to do something about it. I started to walk with friends and eat better, and eventually, I lost 20 pounds. After I graduated college, I signed up with a personal trainer, I lost 20 more pounds, and felt even better!
Then my life started to unravel. I ended a 3.5 year relationship with this guy I dated/lived with who made me feel horrible about myself, my aunt was dying from cancer, I had a full time job and was going to night class 3 times a week. My relationship with food and the gym turned obsessive. It was the only thing I could control in my life at the time. It took about a year of this for me to realize how all those things that were going on in my life at the time screwed up my relationship with food and working out. I decided to stop my unhealthy behaviors, which was good. I gained back some of the weight and was really happy. However, the cycle began to repeat itself – I got lazy, gained back even more weight, and before I knew it, I was at a bad place.
In the summer, I made a commitment to myself again. I started running after work with my boyfriend Mike and it was a great hobby for us to have. After work, we would go to the park or to the gym, and we were seeing results and loving it. Mike had never been a runner and ran his first 5K with me in June. He was hooked. In August, we did a 5k mud run where about a mile in, I tore my ACL and Meniscus. I was devastated! I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t going to be out of commission for so long because of this injury. After 2 surgeries and a million hours in physical therapy, I am now cleared to start going back to the gym! I won’t be able to run for a while, but I can do the bike and other low-impact things. I thought it was very fitting that this happened the first week of 2013…I definitely felt like I was going to be looked down upon as one of those people who just started to go to the gym because it is the beginning of the year. I know I used to think that way about all the people the first few months of the new year… but now I am going to embrace it. I am back up to about 190 and my goal for this year is to lose the 40 pounds that I gained over the last few years. Mike set his goal at 25 pounds so we are working on this together! I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me.”
Meagan is ready to get truly healthy so she can have a baby! Meagan wrote, “My husband and I have been married for over two years now, and we’ve decided that this is The Year – time to start a family! I sincerely hope that it will be easy for us, but the reality is that it’s not in my control. But my health completely is – and I know that living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing I can do between now and whenever that Big Fat Positive happens (and beyond)! I have been working on healthy eating and fitness goals for some time now, and both my husband and I are using the fresh start of the new year to really get focused on our health together. Think of me next week – I’m joining a January boot camp!”
Arlene wrote, “While I’m not planning to join a gym this month, I am making 2013 the year I finally get healthy. At 41 years old (42 in October), it’s long past time. My mother died at age 59, having had a heart attack and bypass surgery, and getting diagnosed with diabetes while in the hospital. She’d been overweight (okay, obese. I hate that word.) for as long as I can remember. I want to avoid a similar fate.
With that in mind, I’m making 2013 my year of "consistency." I plan to consistently make good, healthy choices and make a huge dent in weight loss. I probably can’t hit my goal weight of 170 my 42nd birthday, but I can get back below 200 pounds.
My eating plan of choice this go-round is Weight Watchers. I started on New Year’s Day. So far, so good. I’ve been eating well. Strangely, it seems to be more food than I was used to! I’m also working on making simple swaps, like drinking water at Starbucks! My exercise plan isn’t up to snuff yet, because I plan to get a handle on diet first, then add in workouts. I want to be logging regular workouts (3x a week) by mid-January. “
I really like Arlene’s simple goal of consistency. It’s such a hard thing to achieve, but so powerful, too. I love the Gympact app – it’s a killer way to ensure consistency. Nothing like having cash on the line!
I loved the tips you guys had for the first group of January Joiners (check out the comments). Do you have any tips for Arlene, Meagan, Nicole, and Jessica?