I never struggled with my weight growing up or even in my young adult years. I was always an active kid, I ran track in school, and then I joined the U.S. Army right out of high school.
I never really had to watch what I ate. Even after having two boys, I still tried to stay active so I would have the energy to keep up with them.
At the age of 28, after being in an abusive marriage for eight years, I got the courage to take my boys and leave. I found myself moving back to the town I grew up in. At my 10-year high school reunion, I ran into my high school sweetheart, Jeremy Clark. As luck would have it, we were both recently divorced. The flame was rekindled immediately! We dated for three years and then got married. I was finally in a happy, loving relationship! I knew he loved me for me and not for how I looked, so watching my weight was not important to me.
But I remember one day we were out shopping and I was trying on jeans. I kept having to try the next size up, and the next, and the next, until I settled on a 15. A 15! I had never been in the double digits in jeans! I made excuses and said that particular brand must run really small, but on the inside, I was so embarrassed and ashamed.
I yo-yo dieted and would lose a little bit, and then gain it right back. I tried at-home workout videos, but never stuck to them. In 2010, I started going to a boot camp class. I worked out four days a week and really cut back on my food. I was probably eating no more than about 1,200 calories a day.
The weight was dropping off and I was toning up, but it didn’t last. I had started working a full-time job and dealing with teenage boys, so my fitness went on the back burner.
In 2013, I had to have a major surgery. After the eight-week recovery time, I tried to start working out again, but just couldn’t get back into it. Then in 2014, I had to have a hysterectomy. Again, I faced an eight-week recovery time.
Jeremy had been working out pretty regularly by this time, so I would join him at the gym, but not very often. He had told me about this guy named Jim Stoppani, who he had been following, and had been doing some of his programs. He suggested I start with Jim’s Shortcut to Shred program.
I took one look at this tattooed, muscle-bound guy and was like, “There is no way I will be able to make it through one of his programs!” I argued with Jeremy that his programs were geared toward guys who wanted to build big muscles and not for women like me that just want to lose weight and tone up.
Boy, was I wrong!
Unfortunately, I had to have two more surgeries after my hysterectomy, both with six- to eight-week recovery times. My motivation to work out was non-existent. My last surgery was in August 2016, so by October I was given the all-clear to start working out again.
I took one look at myself and was disgusted. I told Jeremy I was ready to change. He was already going to a gym he liked, so I got a membership at another gym. I tried to go by myself, but I just didn’t like it. I felt really self-conscious and was too afraid to ask for help. I started to find every excuse not to go. Eventually I just stopped going.
In December, a new gym opened up in our area. We made the decision to cancel our memberships at the other gyms and go to this one together. Working out with Jeremy made all the difference in the world! He was there to coach me, encourage me, support me, and push me way out of my comfort zone. I definitely would not be where I am today without his guidance.
Jeremy had been taking JYM supplements for a few years, so he educated me on what I should be taking and why. I also read Jim’s Dieting 101 and began to follow that as well. With Jeremy’s help, I played around with my carbs and found what worked for me.
In 2017, I completed my first ever JYM challenge, the Summer Shred Challenge. I felt amazing! The program was Super Shredded 8, which is a tough program. But I did it! This was the turning point in my fitness journey and when I really fell in love with lifting weights.
Since then, I have completed six JYM challenges and a number of Jim’s programs. At the beginning of my journey, I weighed 168 pounds. I currently weigh 150 pounds. I have lost a total of about 15 inches.
The biggest challenge for me has been diet. I quickly learned that what works for some may not work for others.
In March 2018, I started Intermittent Fasting Carb Cycling. This has really helped me drop excess body fat and stick to a healthy eating regimen. The supplements I currently take are Pre JYM, Post JYM, Pro JYM, Alpha JYM, ZMA JYM, and Shred JYM.
I am 44 years old and in the best shape of my life! Gone are my ideas that only men lift weights. A valuable lesson I’ve learned from Jim is to train for your goals, not your gender.
I’m getting ready to start the 2019 New Year’s Challenge, and I’m excited to see even more changes in my physique!
I want to thank my husband for not allowing me to give up and for introducing me to JYM supplements and to the JYM Army. The love and support the entire JYM Team and JYM Army have for each other is amazing. I am honored to be a part of such an awesome group of people!