June 2016 Member Spotlight: Claudia Jacobson

I’m a single (and ready to mingle) 63 year old mother of 3 and grandmother of 6 (so far). I work as the Head Technician for a local ophthalmologist and have been doing it for almost 25 years. I love to travel and spend time with the grand kids. I’m often a homebody though and enjoy reading, doing puzzles and yes, watching good TV!

I grew up in a time when girls weren’t really encouraged to be active. As a result, by my teen years I began to struggle with my weight. After my 3rd child was born, fitness was becoming popular and I joined several work out classes at the local Jewish Community Center.  I lost the baby weight and was getting stronger. But over time, my weight started creeping up again.

When I was divorced, I quickly lost a lot of weight (not the greatest way to do it), and was at my lowest weight since before I had kids.  I realized that I had to do something so as to not gain it back again. Due to several ankle injuries (thanks to step classes), I couldn’t keep doing the classes I liked.  My sister-in-law introduced me to Shawn, who she knew from Bally’s.  He was also doing in-home training at the time, and we worked out in my house for almost 2 years.  Then he and Jeff opened Excel Fitness and I was one of the original training members.

I’m not much of a gym person, but I worked hard at my sessions and found I could do things I never thought possible. I supplemented my training with at home treadmill and elliptical work, along with yoga DVDs. After Shawn left, I split my 1 hour of training between Jeff and Ilicia and I actually liked the variety of working with 2 different trainers.  They never trained me like my age– they kept after me to keep going. I kept the weight off for about 7 years, but as before, it started creeping up again, gaining about 2-3 lbs/yr.  My theory was- “It’s ok.  I’m healthy.”  I was working out hard, but felt that I could eat more because of it.

Last summer, my last child got engaged and I knew I had to do something different.  I had reached the point on the scale that I swore I’d never want to see again. I wanted to look as good at his wedding as I did at the other 2.  I finally realized that exercise wasn’t enough, and I joined a weight loss program, that interestingly, requires you not to work out for the first 6-8 weeks, because of very low caloric intake. In just under 3 months I have lost 22 lbs. I couldn’t wait to get back to exercising! I think I finally understand the importance of working out and eating right!

Presently, I work ½ hour with Jeff and ½ hour with Heather and they’ve been very understanding and supportive. They continue to train me like I was 25 years old and get the best out of this girl who always hated exercising!

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