Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Joy Fit Club Transformations

“‘I was invisible,’ said Rosemarie Jeanpierre, the newest member of the Joy Fit Club. ‘I was constantly thinking people were judging me through my physical appearance. As a defensive mechanism, I developed a personality that would keep people off.’ The 45-year-old nurse from Los Angeles, who once weighed 220 pounds, recalls a painful, chubby childhood. She dreaded attending school because she was teased and bullied by her peers. From a young age, she felt inferior and self-conscious; she thought she would ‘never measure up to anything.’ Physically, she suffered from shortness of breath, fatigue, chronic joint pain and severe migraines. Her one comfort — and cause of pain — was food. Rosemarie never felt motivated enough to change, until a routine checkup with her doctor alerted her to the severity of her situation: She was in danger of having a heart attack. ‘My doctor said that I was pre-diabetic and my cholesterol was critically high — I was so scared of what could become of me,’ Rosemarie explained. ‘It was at that moment that I decided I had to lose weight.’ The very next morning, Rosemarie marched to her local library, intent on educating herself on nutrition and exercise. Her newly adopted motto was ‘When you know better, you do better,’ as Maya Angelou said. She then proceeded to cut down on fatty foods and opt instead for high-protein, low-carb meals, like baked chicken with spinach for dinner or hard-boiled eggs on whole-wheat toast for breakfast. For exercise, she mapped out a light cardio workout, concentrating on one hour on a treadmill and half an hour with weights, which helped her immediately shed noticeable weight. Her treadmill routine morphed into a running habit, which soon became a daily passion. And for the first time in her life, Rosemarie felt empowered. Through discipline and strong family support, Rosemarie was able to lose 110 pounds in just 18 months. Now, at 110 pounds, she can walk with her head held high, unashamed. People treat her differently – not only because of her new physique, but because her confidence is noticeable. ‘I’m no longer invisible,’ Rosemarie said. ‘My new lifestyle gave birth to a new me. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.’”


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