Fred – Part 2: “A journey I would never EVER believe could have happened and still cannot believe that it did.”

After meeting with Brian and having a very detailed discussion of what I wanted from a gym, and what he had to offer, I agreed to a 60-day introduction. When I met Coach Jim the first thought I had was “What in the hell can this 25-year-old buff dude do for me”. This is just another lunk gym that is going to bombard me with “gym-speak”, and I will get lost in the fray and lose interest. More untrue words have never been spoken. Jim demonstrated exercises, most of which I was not able to do. If I was unable to do them, he altered the exercises to my capacity without any appearance of annoyance or frustration. There were some days I did not want to do it, and those days I spoke to my coach, and he would alter the workout or would make minor changes to accommodate whatever was hurting or bothering me. I was doing pushups to a 30-inch box instead of the floor. I would use my arms and hands to balance myself on my knees when doing lunges. I would do step ups to a smaller box. It was NOT a pretty picture and I hated doing it, but I paid for it and therefore I was going to finish it and then go to Planet Fitness and do these exercises myself.

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Fred and Coach Jim after Fred’s first 5k and trail run in October of 2023.

After my initial 60 days I had a reconsult with Coach Jim and found that I had lost ten pounds and was surprised at how well I felt. Then came the time for a life decision. Do I continue or stop? With much hesitation I took the leap of faith. I continued!

Not going to lie, the work outs never got “easier”. But they did get more doable, and I was noting changes in my body size. The shirt and pants started to get smaller. Most importantly, I had more energy. It was during this time I took advantage of a nutrition challenge they offered and provided a good boost to my body by dialing in my food intake and making it sustainable. Once I learned the 80/20 eating formula, I felt like a new man and eventually found a new respect for food.

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Fred’s story as told by his decreasing pant size.

At the time of writing this it has been 2 years and 6 months now and I am down 104 pounds, from forty-eight pants to a thirty-four, XXL shirt to a large and even a medium (if cut right) and can do more of the exercises on my own. I now enjoy weightlifting and have found a new respect for the sport. The physical transformation has been a game changer, but the mental clarity and better headspace has been impactful as well. I was not expecting such a boost in self-confidence. It has led to life changes outside of the gym. I no longer work as an emergency room nurse but as a nurse educator. I now have the confidence to stand in front of a classroom and lecture without being self-conscious about my size or the students focusing on the way I look rather than what I am saying. That is something I never expected.

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A weight lose journey is not only about the scale, but it also includes mental health and the ability to fit in with likeminded people. That is something I found at CrossFit Jungle Gym.


people working out in a group fitness class


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