Jon and MC!
Our Breakthrough Spotlight members for September are Jon and Mary Claire (MC)! They are a great example of how committing to improve their health and fitness together has not only helped them get great results, but has also brought them closer as a couple. We are excited to share part of their story!
Breakthrough: We have Jon and MC here for our Spotlight this month! This is the first time we have ever featured a couple, so this could go on for a while – haha! So, we just love having you guys, and we have seen you both accomplish some amazing things in a short period of time. Would you guys maybe share a little about how you were feeling before you joined us here at Breakthrough, and what was your motivation for getting started?
MC: I thought I was confident and had a good sense of self, but I wasn’t as confident in my body. But coming here has instilled a greater sense of value in myself, and I’ve noticed I’m just overall a happier person. And I think it’s also strengthened the bond Jon and I have. This has been something we have wanted to do for quite some time, and I feel it’s brought us closer in our marriage too.
Breakthrough: Hey, that’s a nice bonus! It does make a difference to have that support and understanding at home.
Jon: Well, I agree with everything you said… I feel like we both had things personally that we wanted to improve upon both physically and emotionally. We tried different things, different gyms and would try to go together. But making a bigger commitment like we have here has really helped. And we have each other to pick each other up. If one of us feels tired in the morning, the other helps encourage that we can do it.
Breakthrough: Yes, that really helps! Was there anything in particular that made you feel like now is the time, and you were ready to make that bigger commitment?
MC: I had experienced a lot of body changes that I wasn’t happy with. And I wasn’t seeing the results I was looking for with what I was doing before in my exercise and diet. Also, just overall health… We have had a lot of family members who have suffered from heart attacks and passed away, and that was an eyeopener for us that we needed to take responsibility for our future. And help each other become healthier people inside and out.
Jon: Yeah, and I think Breakthrough is the only place I have found that encompasses that idea. Other places you might have a trainer that just wants to throw a whole bunch of things at you all at once, or just wants to make you feel tired by the end of the workout, but that doesn’t really set you up for the future. One thing that is really pivotal is having you guys not just as coaches during the session, but to map out the training program as well. On my own, I know I wouldn’t be tracking everything, or having the knowledge of where to go next. So not only do Mary and I support each other, but we feel really backed up by having this great team of coaches guiding us as well.
Breakthrough: That’s great! It really does work best when you have both social support and professional support, so I’m glad that you guys are feeling that. And we feel very blessed that that supported feeling extends across the gym so that the whole community of members and coaches really feel it!
Jon: Well, and that’s something else that at other gyms, a lot of times when you walk in you feel that there is a competitive nature. But here it’s the opposite. No one is here to show each other up. You are just walking in to a community of friends… helping rack weights together… working to support each other. That type of environment breeds positivity.
MC: It’s conducive to success!
Jon: Yeah! It’s… what do I want to say… not “allergic”…
Jon: Ummm… It’s CONTAGIOUS! Contagious!
MC: Ooohh! Haha!
Jon: The excitement is contagious!
MC: Well, I agree! I’ve never felt this safe and free at a gym before. I was always self-conscious, and I dreaded the feeling of people watching me, or the judgement, or the inner dialogue of not feeling comfortable. But I feel none of those things here – only positivity and all the things I need to just have an awesome workout!
Breakthrough: Good! That’s how it should be! So, any surprises for you guys? Any results you maybe weren’t expecting… or anything different than what you thought it would be?
MC: I mean, aside from us getting up at 5am three times a week… haha! That’s already an amazing goal achieved! Just seeing our bodies change over the time we have been here…
Breakthrough: So, can you guys share about some of those changes? Jon, I know you emailed me recently about your weight loss results…
Jon: Yeah, I think I started at about 215 and now I’m at 195! But I think one thing to mention is that I know I had to trust the system, and know that 20 pounds doesn’t just come off overnight. It’s not just a sprint, it’s a marathon. And there were times that maybe the scale wasn’t changing very quickly, but I knew my clothes were fitting differently, and I was building muscle at the same time as losing fat.
Breakthrough: And something else I think is worth pointing out is that you have achieved all of that even with less than ideal things going on in your life. You had surgery where you had to stop training for a month, you had work challenges, you guys moved… that’s a lot to deal with! So, yes, our approach is about learning how to still do what you can to stay healthy and reach your goals even when life gets crazy – because it will!
MC: Right, it’s sustainable.
Jon: And aside from just the weight loss, seeing how our skills progress has been great. For example, in one of my early programs I was doing sets of 2 or 3 pull ups. Then my next program didn’t have pull ups, but it must have had other things related to pull ups that I didn’t realize because a few programs later I saw pull ups on there again, but this time for 5 or 6 reps. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do that, but I could! So seeing that progression is a surprise… Like seeing Mary’s front squats today…
Breakthrough: Oh yeah! Her 90 pound squats today, and 150 pound deadlifts the other day! Impressive stuff!
MC: I never thought I would be able to do that. Very exciting!
Jon: It really makes it exciting to have things like that to look forward to.
MC: And I’m really happy with the results I have seen. I’ve lost just over 10 pounds, and I see a restructuring of my body. I’m down two clothing sizes. It’s pretty crazy!
Breakthrough: And this is really just the beginning for you guys!
MC: Yes! We are just getting started!
Breakthrough: Now, we always like to have people share their “why”… their deeper reason for prioritizing their health and fitness. Can you guys share your “why”?
MC: It really loops back around to when I said I am a happier person. That affects every aspect of my life. I’m happier with my job, with the day, and I feel like I have so much ahead of me. I’m happier with Jon because I feel like we are accomplishing something huge together. Just overall, my why was to be healthier and I feel that! My stress levels have improved tremendously… I was seeing affects from being super stressed out during grad school, but now after my workouts I feel so great it’s almost like being on vacation! That alone has been a huge… umm…
MC: Yeah, allergy – haha! No, benefit was the word I was looking for.
Jon: For me, both sides of my family have heart issues. So I really want to take ownership of my health now. Now I know that I don’t have to be stuck where I was physically – I can break through that. And I really want my mom and my dad to join in this journey too, and have them be a part of that “why”…
MC: We are slowly reeling them in, but it takes time to catch big fish…
Breakthrough: Yes, that’s a great way of putting it.
Jon: I just really want to include other people in the things that I’m enjoying. It’s important to me because I know I’m feeling better, and losing weight and just building confidence. And that’s a big why for me too – I wanted to have more confidence in myself. And I feel like I had that confidence in the past and I wanted to get that feeling back.
MC: You’ve gotta get your groove back, Stella!
Jon: Haha, exactly! And we just hope that other people we love can share in that same experience.
Breakthrough: Yes! Well, we sure love you guys, and especially love that you want to see other people reclaiming their health and confidence. And that’s really why we like to do these Spotlights… so you guys can help inspire others. So thanks for sharing!