A friend of mine took a chance.

Submitted by: Jackie Brand

James's Success Story

A friend of mine took a chance.

Bill Winfrey has been a friend for 30 years. Last year he became very concerned about my health. I weighed 350 pounds, walked with a distinctive limp, and took 15 pain pills a day, in addition to the 13 others the doctor had prescribed. I was a type-2 diabetic, with alarmingly high blood pressure. Sciatic nerve damage kept me in extreme pain. I lost feeling in my feet, and lost all strength in my legs. I could not walk up one flight of stairs. As a professional speaker, I had difficulty managing the 2 steps to the stage, where I now needed a chair from which I delivered my speech.

Bill was concerned enough to take a chance. This is the phone message he left for me:

“James, I know you have been looking for a way to get healthy, and I think I can help. Newbury Park Athletic Club has everything you need. Weights, machines, cardio, even chiropractic and massage. This place is only 2 blocks from your house! You can even walk there! And most of all, they have personal trainers. I just spoke to Jackie. She told me she lost a lot of weight herself, and she believes you can do the same. I hope you don’t mind, I gave her your phone number and told her to call you in 2 hours if she hasn’t heard from you. I am really excited about this! Bye. Bill.”

I couldn’t decide if I was upset or impressed with his assertiveness.
Oh yeah, he lives 3,000 miles away in North Carolina.

I didn’t wait for that call. Within an hour, I had joined the club and signed up for personal training with Jackie.

A turning point for me was when I realized the question was not “Is Jackie worth that much?” The real question was “Am I worth that much?”

The first month we met 2 days a week for 30 minutes per session. Now we work out 45 minutes a session three days a week. I do my own cardio 3 days a week. And I eat healthy, delicious food.

This year I have lost 82 pounds! I am no longer a diabetic. In fact, I no longer take any medicine. This past summer I enjoyed hikes in both Glacier and Zion National Park.

I even occasionally grace the Brazilian dance Zumba class at NPAC. Come visit! Trust me, it will be worth the laugh when you see me!

Thanks, Jackie! And thank you, Bill!


James Before


James After