Being overwhelmed is a common feeling for people trying to lose weight.  It can be a long, frustrating process.  Finding balance is the key to sticking with things for the long term.  You have to have a proper mixture of strength training, cardiovascular activity, healthy eating, accountability, and forgiveness when you mess up.

I met Jason Hodge at a gym in 2006. My husband, who was training for triathlons, gave me one on one with a trainer as a gift. I had mixed feelings as to the message he was trying to convey with that gift. At that time, I was the coordinator of my high school reunion and we were preparing for our 30thclass reunion. I had just lost about 15 pounds and I was ready to firm up and shed the last 10 pounds. I wanted to look my best when I reunited with my old friends. I instantly felt at ease with Jason who was not at all pushy nor was he intimidating. I was not looking forward to grueling torture and barking orders from a drill sergeant …I just wanted someone to care enough to encourage me without scolding me. Jason was very kind, patient and firm in a caring way. Patient Jason held my hand for just a little while and slowly increased my level without any torture or scolding. I admired him for the time he took to research my questions and explained to me how it would benefit me in the end. The first thing he did after an evaluation was to encourage me to set goals. At the time, my goal was short term and he said that was okay, for now, but in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle I should set more long term and defined goals. I remember him telling me over and over that today is a new day when I felt bad for not eating right that week or was about to give up because I was not seeing dramatic results quickly. He taught me that balance was so very important in all areas of my life. Working on my balance during exercise strengthens my core which makes other exercises easier and safer to do as well as improves my posture. A balanced diet is just a healthier way to eat and maintain the desirable weight without feeling deprived. Balance in life in general enables me to be happier and more productive. I noticed when I balanced my life I became better at time management and was able to eliminate the “I cannot find time to exercise” excuses that I became so good at creating. Jason tailored a program to improve my posture and strengthen my core and I found that not only inches dropped but my stress level decreased. With a stronger body and better posture I noticed I had more energy and felt better about myself. I reached my weight loss goal and was not embarrassed at my reunion. I felt better than I have felt in a long time and I was a happier and more productive person. I now understand what Jason meant by setting long term or lifelong goals because I have not maintained that balance and it is throwing me off balance in all aspects of my life. Today is a new day; I think I will work on balance today. Thank you, Jason; you are a wonderful caring man who taught me balance is the core of so many important parts of my life.

– Jinx Hayden
Grand Lakes resident