As a personal trainer and fitness spokesperson, I have many people reach out for help and advice. Last year I met Jeff Jones. He called recently to let me know that I inspired him to get moving and less than a year later, he’s lost almost an entire person. Here is his story:
Andrea: When did you first realize you were overweight?
Jeff: I have always struggled with my weight, and up until the time I was 8 years I just chalked my chubbiness as being healthier built than my peers.
I use the words healthier built because that was the nice word that my mom would tell me when I complained about the teasing children at school. Finally when I was nine years old, my mom gently had to let me know that a change in my diet and more exercise was needed to just be healthier. That was the first time in my life, I realized I was overweight and through sports and a different diet I was able to slim down for several years.
However, even during those times, I always had the dark cloud of being a cheeseburger away from being overweight. This thought constantly haunted me.
When I turned 16, and my first car was the driving force of immediate weight gain. Fast Food places easily satisfied my cravings. I rebelled against the healthy food choices given to me at home.
During my sophomore year, I gained between almost 100 pounds and was FAT. I continued to struggle with my weight and prior to going off to college I finally lost 40 pounds-- however, a short lived success. While off at college I gained back the 40 pounds and gained an additional 70 pounds.
By the time I was a senior in college I hit rock bottom, I was feeling depressed all of the time, and like so many overweight people I still just did not realize how big I had gotten. Society could not see me for me past my size. It became the norm for people to judge me and count me out before they even let me in.
Andrea: What was the turning point in your weight loss?
Jeff: My turning point, believe it or not, was first lady Michelle Obama's Lets Move campaign. It sparked a desire in my heart to hear our First Lady rallying to raise a healthier generation of kids.
When you are overweight, you lose reality and control with your weight gain. I knew I was not lazy. I did care. I counted in our society and I was prepared to show the world how worthy I could be. I knew I had the power to take control taking and I knew I could change.
The 8cityjourney was the start of something for me to publicly announce that I was going to fight my obesity, and I have never looked back since. The bonus from me taking accountability and truly believing in myself is that I now know without question that I have the power within myself to change my life. With every pound I loose I gain and reclaim a piece of myself that was hidden because, of my weight gain.
Andrea: What are the key things you would tell someone to get started ?
Jeff: Trust in yourself and do it for you! So many times, myself included, individuals try to loose weight for the wrong reasons; to impress someone,to get ready for a special event, and other external reasons. I would tell anyone struggling with their weight to do it to create long lasting healthy lifestyle changes. I would tell them that they are worthy and they need to take action right away. There will be good and bad days, but if they fall off the wagon just to get back up and get started.
Jeff Jones has lost over 100 pounds and is keeping it off as well as inspiring others to take the first step. Sign up for my newsletter at www.andreametcalf.com to find tips, recipes and motivation.
Andrea Metcalf is a healthy lifestyle spokesperson, author of Naked Fitness and fitness expert for Anytime Fitness. Contact her directly for a free seven day pass to an Anytime Fitness location near you.
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