From Fat to Aerobics Instructor
By Janet Malure
My journey began in January 2001. I had tried different diets and lost a few pounds but was not losing what I needed to. I had been to Weight Watchers years before and had done well on the program. Unfortunately, I put the weight back on and was miserable. When I saw my picture taken with my best friend at Christmas 2000, I was horrified at how heavy I had gotten. Before I even joined Weight Watchers I lost a few pounds because I was so embarrassed about my weight.
My beginning weight when I joined Weight Watchers was 163.2, which was very heavy for my 5'2" frame. I had been a member of Spa Emporium for many years but for the first few months of 2001 I was traveling heavily for business (which was a major factor in my weight gain). My exercise routine consisted of getting to the club when I was in town (or at least trying to). When my traveling slowed in May, my time at the club slowly increased. My weight loss was steady, but I was still not at my goal weight.
In September 2001, I had more time to refocus my energies on my exercise routine. I had made some new friends at the club and their support kept me motivated. When I reached my goal weight (135 lbs) and became a lifetime member at Weight Watchers, I decided I needed a more challenging exercise routine. I started working with a personal trainer, Denis McCourt and it is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Denis is an awesome personal trainer and a great motivator. With his guidance, I have reached goals I thought were out of reach. Within the next few months I saw an incredible difference in so many areas besides the weight loss—such as 6 3/4" inches lost, 3.6% body fat lost, increased strength and endurance and the beginning of muscle definition which had been one of my goals. I went from a size 12/14 to a size 6/8, but the greatest change was increased self-confidence.
With the encouragement and support of two wonderful mentors/friends, Denis and Michelle Kroesen, I made the decision to go for certification as an Aerobics Instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). I ordered the books and started studying always knowing help was there if I needed it. Denis and Michelle always made the time to answer the numerous questions I had. They were my best cheerleaders, constantly reminding me I could and would pass the exam.
You cannot imagine my elation the day I received the letter that I had passed the exam and was now certified to teach. It was a day I will never ever forget! I have looked back at this journey and still, at times, can't believe how much I have changed since that first Weight Watcher’s meeting.
I was lucky that I had help from many friends along the way. They have made a positive impact on my life and I am glad to have them as my friends. I also want to say thanks to my husband Nick and all of my workout buddies (you know who you are) who kept me going and celebrated with me when I reached these two major goals in my life.
I have gone from being overweight to winning a bodybuilding competition at age 48 and I am still competing today (I turn 50 this year). I currently hold the title of NPC Florida Masters Champion—Women Over 40 and I won three bodybuilding competitions in 2004. My bodybuilding success was achieved under the expert training of Tim Gardner and Team Body*Tech. Tim took me to the next level of my journey and I could not have won the bodybuilding competitions without his guidance and support. He saw the potential and helped me achieve the success I have had in bodybuilding. I am competing with Team Body*Tech this year as well, and I'm also taking time to study for the ACE Personal Trainer certification exam.
I have learned that you can do what you set your mind to do. The biggest change I have had to make was not in my diet or my exercise routine—I had to make a commitment to myself and believe that I could effect these changes. It's been a long tough journey and it is one that will now last my lifetime. You can do it too!