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Camper Spotlight – Shehnaaz J. Spreading Joy and Sharing A Secret Goal

»Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

  Congratulations to Shen, our April Camper Spotlight.  JCF made her happy and now she is spreading the joy to others.  Here’s Shen’s story in her own words: I started JCF during the Rock My Skinny Jeans Challenge 2016 Summer edition. I think it was the best decision I made in a long time. In fact, let’s rephrase — it’s the best thing I have done for ME period. I was 4 months postpartum when I joined JCF and have never looked back since. It’s become a way of life for me. I managed to get back in shape, tone up, get my confidence back, be positive about the way I looked at myself in the mirror and the way I looked at life, all while being a part of a group that boasts of such excellent camaraderie. It helped me get back on my feet. Anjuli, my friend, was signing up for Skinny Jeans. She talked to me about it. Initially I was reluctant having just delivered my second child a couple of months prior. I then reached out to Sweta, who I knew was an OLC mom with 2 kids . I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to manage waking up in the mornings and wouldn’t see the Skinny Jeans Challenge through to the end. I was afraid I would get burnt out. Sweta and Anjuli guided me along the way. JCF brings about such a feeling of being part of a team, being a part of something that everyone can benefit from. Support and love from your peers is one of the most important aspects of life and it is very easily taken for granted. The Secret Sauce that JCF boasts of really makes their recipe work. I remember feeling terrible for a year after my first child was born; borderline depressed, under confident, out of shape and not in control of my emotions. It was a tough phase for me and I couldn’t imagine having to go through that again. I attribute the positive change in my attitude wholly to JCF. I remember how difficult it was to wake up early, nurse my newborn and sneak out to get in my workout. It was a daily struggle. My emotions and hormones were on overdrive. But through all of that, I came out stronger. I am extremely proud to have achieved what I did and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. The workouts kept me going, helped me be ‘present’ for my family and for me. If you are happy, the world around you seems to be a much better place. If you are happy, you can make others happy, you can spread the joy. A lot of times we look for happiness in the wrong places. JCF made me Happy. Going forth, I want to try and run a half marathon. That has been a secret goal of mine for a while now. I am hoping my workouts at JCF help me strengthen myself further so I can achieve this mini goal of mine. I would definitely like to lose some more weight and become more toned. I want to hit my goal of getting that summer body. I feel like I have hit a plateau during and post the holidays. I’m in a constant rut with the kids, home and work. I have become complacent. I need to work on my drive again. Get back into the game with a clear mind. I advise everyone I meet to join JCF. I am the unofficial JCF ambassador :) It is the best combination of workout, nutrition knowledge, teamwork and camaraderie. The coaches are knowledgeable, understanding and warm. The entire program works on making you stronger, fitter and more in control of your self. JCF gets your mind right :)...

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Camper Spotlight – Kiley R. Pushing Her Limits and Recognizing True Success

»Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Congratulations to Kiley, our March Camper Spotlight.  Even when you think you’ve done all you can do,  something clicks and you realize you can do more!  Read on for Kiley’s story in her own words. I found JCF through my sister, Gill, after I moved up here almost 2 years ago. I had recently finished training and completing the NYC marathon and knew that I needed something to keep me going and remain as active as I had been. I officially signed up on January 2016 and never looked back. The success I have had with JCF is that I have realized that I can push myself so much further than I ever thought. It has changed the way I look at certain exercises and especially weight training. There is always this stigma that lifting weights will make you look too bulky. JCF has shown me that is not the case and that I am stronger than I ever imagined. It incorporates weights, cardio, HIIT, tabata in a way that makes you use muscles you didn’t know you had or in a way that is different than you ever did before. My biggest struggle that I have had with JCF, and really any type of workout, is being controlled by the number on the scale. Society doesn’t make it any easier when all that is shown are models that are stick thin. JCF has taught me that the number shown is not what is important but what is important is how you feel. Specifically the fit test, which shows you there are more important “numbers” (BMI, body fat % and muscle %) to look at instead of just what your weight is. I have found that I am no longer fighting to keep that number low but to understand as a whole where my body and health is at every month and how much further I am coming in my fitness journey. An immediate goal of mine is to look and feel amazing on my wedding day. Long term, I want to be able to maintain my weekly schedule of JCF. Life gets busy and I know we all fall off the wagon but working out is more than just attending a few sessions; it’s making it a whole lifestyle. I know I feel better throughout the day when I force myself out of bed and get to the gym. The camaraderie and family-like atmosphere is really what keeps me coming back and is what I would tell anyone who is interested in JCF. I know that every morning I will see the same amazing group of people in that gym. It’s early, we’re all sleepy but we are all in this together. Everyone lifts each other up and there is no negative competition, just competition to push each other to our “no quit zone”. There is no judgment and everyone is so welcoming. JCF is truly a melting pot and I think anyone looking to better themselves and experience a life change will look no further after their first...

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Camper Spotlight – Daizzee Releases Over 50 lbs and Transforms from the Inside Out

»Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Daizzee lets her guard down to give us a peek at her struggle to overcome those ANTs (automatic negative thoughts). We are so proud of her physical and mental transformation. I became a member of JCF Bootcamp in April 2015. I was angry, hurting, feeling wounded and betrayed. Things had gone awry in my personal and professional life and my self-loathing led to a period of depression. I had a tendency to be an emotional eater and my 5’9″ frame had ballooned to 200 lbs. I’m not a former athlete nor would I describe myself as an avid exerciser. I have however, been a member of other gyms in the past and had even worked out on my own and remained in relatively good shape but this time was different. I was overwhelmed physically and emotionally and needed help. I was at a point wherein I had just about given up on myself completely. I didn’t believe I could do this on my own and I knew that any exercise program I joined must include individual and/or group instruction. After finding out about JCF I was impressed with how comprehensive the program is with its offerings of individual follow-up meetings with Coach Daris, guidance and instruction in nutrition, and on-going health and fitness seminars, in addition to its HIIT exercises. ( Something I had never done before) It was apparent that the program was going to require hard work and dedication. I still wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was at my lowest energetically and beating up on myself had become my norm. Coach Daris could see how unhappy I was and encouraged me to stop living from the past and emphasized the importance of self-love and me taking care of me. Ultimately, I was motivated to join JCF because of the connection with Coach Daris. It was evident that JCF values the inner well being of its members as much as the obvious outer physical transformation that comes about with fitness and working out. My biggest struggle after joining JCF had to do with me getting out of my own way. I was very angry with myself for having gained so much weight. I was frustrated because I had difficulty moving, keeping up with the group and doing the exercises properly. I could barely run. I was sore all the time, had to apply ice and soak in Epsom salt baths to realize any relief and hated it whenever we were broken into competitive groups to workout because I felt all eyes on me and believed that my slow moving self held my group back. Many a session, I’d be in the back of the gym crying, quickly wiping my tears away so that no one would notice. Yet, I kept hearing Coach Daris’ words and seeing his face. He saw strength in me that I didn’t know I had. No one had expressed such belief in me before especially when I felt I didn’t deserve it. The truth is that in the beginning I continued to show up at bootcamp so as not to let Coach Daris down. It had nothing to do with me. After about a month although I hadn’t noticed a major weight change I did begin to feel better physically and had greater flexibility. I made a commitment to stop beating up on myself and not to say anything mean-spirited to myself that I wouldn’t think of saying to a friend or someone I cared about. It became easier to incorporate healthy eating and drink more water. I felt deserving of the “hi-fives” and words of encouragement I’d receive from fellow Campers. I was learning to embrace and believe in me just as I was — overweight and all. By August of 2016 I had released over 50 lbs. My body fat has dropped from 41.1% to 27.2%. My muscle % has increased from 25.4% to 31.3%. I’m able to go in my closet, close my eyes, touch a clothing item and be able to wear whatever I touch. If it doesn’t fit it’s because it’s too big! Running still isn’t my most favorite form of exercise but at least I can do it now. I can do the much respected burpee without having to utilize a chair. I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment, am proud of myself for not giving up and am so grateful to Coach Daris and the entire JCF team for supporting and inspiring me.  I look forward to improving my overall fitness, getting stronger, increasing my stamina and gaining muscle definition. I can’t stress enough that without my internal transformation...

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Camper Spotlight – Kymberlee Finds Her Path and Doesn’t Look Back

»Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Kymberlee is one of JCF’s Veteran Campers.  Her dedication and willingness to re-commit and challenge herself anew is an inspiration to us all.  Read on for a glimpse into Kymberlee’s journey! I started JCF in April of 2010. I remember vividly because the day that I called Daris was a day when I had left my house at 5 a.m. for a 6 a.m. call time with a client.  I then went straight from one television studio to another – for a separate client, and THEN went back to the office for meetings. When I was on the train that morning, I remember thinking that if I could get up and leave the house at this ungodly hour (sorry early morning JCFers!) to tend to the business of someone else, I should be able to exercise that same commitment for myself. By the time I arrived to my office, I had resolved to recommit myself to working out. My plan was to find a program that I could do for a month, in order to jumpstart my regimen, and then resume working out on my own. I found JCF online, called Daris that same afternoon, and I started the following week. I also vividly remember my first workout with JCF, I really didn’t think I would be able to finish. It was the hardest workout I had ever done in my life, plus I was out of shape and overweight. I finished the workout, was motivated by all of the encouragement that I received from anyone there, and just resolved to do the work. So, I kept coming back. I lost 37 pounds during my first year of JCF and became fitter than I probably had ever been – even though I formerly ran track and was very active. I also gained a greater sense of overall energy and focus to accomplish all that I need to on any given day. I took one break from JCF because my work schedule was insane and it was easier for me to workout in the city. I tried a lot of new, studio workouts (even a stiletto boot camp, which Daris won’t incorporate! :). During this time, my foundational workouts were rowing and Pilates. I really missed JCF during that time. The diversity of the workouts, the group dynamic and the total body focus that we get at JCF are elements that just aren’t present other places. I have also had one other time of “falling off” just due to life changes and losing control of my schedule, but I found my way back. My biggest struggle is stress management, coupled with stress eating.  JCF has taught me, though, that working out is essential to healthy stress management, and the program’s evolving focus on nutrition has helped me turn a huge corner regarding consistent, healthy eating. I heard about boot camps before, and I was intrigued by the concept. So, when I had that light bulb moment about reincorporating workouts into my schedule, I thought a boot camp would be a good start. I thought it would be the perfect 30-day fitness immersion, after which I would go back to what I had done before falling off of the wagon : running and doing classes at the gym. I joined JCF so that it could help me regain the discipline that I once had, but I stayed because I loved the program. Not only did I lose weight, gain muscle and improve my body composition overall, but I became a mentally stronger person, a more focused and disciplined person and a more balanced person. My stress level at the time of joining JCF was dangerously high, and it was taking its toll on me because I had no outlet for dealing with it. JCF was and is the perfect workout for me because, while it is challenging, it is also invigorating and fun. I push myself to new limits during workouts, and I have a good time while doing so. JCF also requires total focus, so during a session my mind is off of any stress triggers and – afterwards – I have the stamina to productively deal with almost anything. I joke to my friends (who find NOTHING humorous about anything I tell them we do at JCF) that JCF is like P.E. or recess for adults. That saying takes nothing away from the effectiveness or the constant challenge of our workouts, but the group atmosphere, the coaching and the creativity of the workouts often remind me of recess and they make it easy to stick with the program. JCF has been transformative for me...

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Camper Spotlight – Kristen Taking Ownership & Getting Results

»Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

We’ve been thankful to have this month’s Camper Spotlight, Kristen, be a part of the JCF Nation.  Kristen has totally embodied the JCF Spirit from Day 1 in June 2015.  Fast forward one and a half years later, it’s been awesome to see her improvement in strength, body composition, and overall fitness, including her mental fitness.  Way to work, Kristen!  Read her story in her own words below. Before JCF, I didn’t exercise on a regular basis. I had moved to Jersey City a few months prior and hadn’t worked out in probably 6 months. I had a conversation about exercise with my doctor, and she said something that really stuck with me. She said that if I didn’t start making exercise a priority now, that I was less likely to start when I’m older. After thinking about my long-term health, I was determined to find something I could build into my everyday routine. Little did I know what I was getting into! JCF isn’t just about working out, it’s about taking ownership of both your mental and physical fitness. It educated me in how to eat right without feeling deprived. That was something I thought I was doing until I joined the program and really learned about what and how to eat for the results I wanted. JCF has taught me how to exercise to maximize my gains and see results I didn’t even think were possible. I really enjoy that the coaches keep things fresh, consistently switching up the workouts and keeping us learning by consistently introducing new exercises. I love that they’ve instituted the monthly Fit Tests so that I can track my progress, stay educated on my body composition and celebrate my gains! Since joining, I’ve dropped over a point in my BMI, gained 4.2% muscle and lost 8.1% body fat. I find that I no longer groan when I think about working out, my body craves it (I’m finally one of those people!). Friends, family and even strangers ask me about my fitness regime and I no longer fear the bikini! All of this progress is something I’m truly grateful for, but what I treasure the most is that JCF shows me every day that I have way more power within than I think I do. I can do that extra rep, I can lift a higher weight, I can take on a new challenge and succeed. It’s taught me not to overthink it and to just go for it! Starting every day overcoming fear and hesitation has become something so ingrained me that it has influenced all other aspects of my life. I changed careers and took on a higher level of responsibility, I am trying out more active hobbies like City Challenge, backpacking, and leading hikes and meetups in my spare time. Even when I feel that hesitation, I’ve learned how to handle it and I don’t let it stop me. “All day, every day” really rings true and has become a mantra for me. Thank you JCF team, coaches and campers, for helping me change my life for the better. I look forward to continuing the journey with...

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Camper Spotlight – Julie Takes a Chance and Strikes Gold

»Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Congratulations to Julie, our July Camper Spotlight.  Julie expected to jump start her motivation with a 21-day challenge, but she’s still hooked.  Below is the story of Julie’s journey over the past 7 months: As many of you know, my daughter is Coach Caitlin.   I would never have known about JCF if Caitlin was not part of the JCF Team.   My official start day at JCF was November 1, 2015 but my true start date was a day in June at a family and friends boot camp session in the Park.  As soon as I was introduced to everyone I immediately felt the camaraderie and encouraging, enthusiastic atmosphere surrounding the JCF family.  After that session I would receive periodic emails of upcoming events.  One email in particular caught my attention.  It was a 21-day skinny jean challenge in October.  So I thought, “Why not?” For 21 days I could handle the drive from Summit to JCF and it would be the motivation I needed to get back into shape after recent foot surgery.  After the 21-day challenge ended I could not imagine not coming back and seeing all my fellow campers and continuing my journey to a “better body better life”.   I’m happy to say, seven months later I am still a camper after that 21-day challenge and absolutely loving it. Success for me is making it to 5 sessions a week.  People ask me how I drive into JC every night.   I explain that it is not the drive but the JCF family and the way I feel after every session that motivates me to come to as many sessions as I can as well as the motivation I receive from my fellow campers. In addition, I have to admit I do love to exercise – exercise has been part of my daily routine for the past 35 years.  I will usually stick to a program that I love, but sometimes it just doesn’t love me, meaning injuries, which brings me to proper form, thankfully due to the watchful eyes of the coaches, my form is getting better and my back and neck are thankful!  I have noticed, over the last few months that I am definitely stronger, stand up straighter have lost inches and finally my muscle % is higher than my body fat (yeah)! Thank you coaches for keeping an eye on me.   Prior to JCF I had been practicing hot yoga for nine years when I decided it was time for a change so I placed my membership on hold and I joined a large gym, which also offered hot yoga along with group classes, etc.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I did not feel comfortable in this large atmosphere.  I missed my small hot yoga studio where I knew almost everyone and the instructor based classes were monitored.  Unfortunately, during my first month at this gym I injured my foot.  I placed my membership on hold and had surgery.  After my recovery for the first time in my life, I was floundering – I knew I didn’t want to go back to the large gym.  So I asked Caitlin to help me – she gave me some exercises to do at home and encouraged me to use weights.  Soon I realized I do not do well on my own – I need the energy from a group to motivate me.  That is why I am thankful for my JCF Family for encouraging and motivating me to do better every day! If I can encourage anyone, just try to get out of your comfort zone and try something new if you need a change from your old exercise routine or, if you have never exercised, try a JCF boot camp session.  At the age of 55 I love being challenged, especially by the younger campers.  I often am pushing myself to keep up with the camper next to me counting burpees or squat jumps (I am a little slower, but that’s okay).  I hope to continue this active, healthy lifestyle for a long time to come and “only have good and great days”.  Go JCF “better body better life” and “all day everyday”. Julie, we’re glad you decided to embrace a new journey!  Hope you’re as proud of yourself as we are.  Keep bringing that hard work and...

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