Joyce Raymond’s Return to the Gym
A year ago Joyce decided to return to Empower Fitness after an absence of more than 7 years. Encouraged by her good friend Elaine Wilson (long time EF member), Joyce says she finally decided to return for the following reasons: she didn’t like the way she looked or felt; she wanted to overcome her embarrassment of exercising in front of other people; and she was depressed over the death of her sister. She also explained that she had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and felt she was getting weaker and was falling down a lot. She couldn’t ride a bicycle anymore due to her poor balance. So, at the age of 70, Joyce re-joined the gym on our Summer Special.
Weight Loss Challenge Was Great Motivation
Joyce got off to a slow start last Summer but explains that when she joined the Holiday Weight Loss Challenge in November her gym activity increased dramatically; Joyce explains “I didn’t want to let my Team down so I tried really hard to exercise more and eat better. I attended all of the motivational meetings and learned a lot”. As a result of her efforts, Joyce lost 10 pounds during the six week challenge and was one of the contest winners. Joyce explained that she then realized the benefits to her of a small gym atmosphere and the supportive environment that exists. She especially was motivated by the supportive relationship she developed with her Team Captain, Joan Malchow, which led to personal training.
The Benefits of Personal Training
Joyce was so encouraged by her success during the weight loss challenge that she decided that she wanted to do more and learn more, and began one-on-one Personal Training sessions with Joan Malchow, which she has continued to the present. Joyce says “I love Personal Training; Joan pushes me but she also understands my limitations so I feel safe”. She further explains that her PT has brought her to another fitness level in that she stays motivated and is always learning new things to do to improve her strength and balance.
Healthier at Age Seventy-One
Fast forward a year and ask Joyce how she feels now. She quickly says “I have more confidence in myself; I am much stronger, have better balance, am standing straighter, and have gone from a size large to a size small! I walk better, climb steps better, and get out of chairs easier. I so enjoy coming to the gym since everyone is so friendly and I don’t feel self-conscious anymore”. Joyce takes no medications and her doctor is thrilled with her exercising; in fact, she says everyone keeps telling her how good she looks now. And numerically, Joyce’s results are impressive; in one year she has lost 24.2 pounds, 5 inches off her waist, 5 inches off her hips, and 5% of her body fat! In addition to all the support Joyce has received from her personal trainer and other staff and gym members, her husband, Ron, has been her biggest fan. She says Ron loves her coming to the gym and introduces her with pride as his “new wife”. See photo below of a happy and healthy Joyce!