Tuesday, December 27

My Journey from 200 lbs Back to 150 lbs: December

by Craig Ervin

You should know that I am writing this after having attended and conquered four out of the five holiday parties scheduled for this year. No cakeball was overlooked. Mother’s homemade meatloaf was devoured. I may have even seen the bottom of a bag of chips. Though I promise, I didn’t eat ALL the chips! So with that being said, how have I done with the weight loss over the past month?

Well, since November 22, I’ve lost 9 pounds!

Last time, I reported that I had been unable to shed any pounds since I started my weight loss journey in October. As soon as I aligned my eating habits with my workouts, the weight started to come off. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised with the 9 pounds of weight loss considering the dizzying amounts of amazing food I’ve had around me this holiday season. Of course, I did allow myself a few indulgences–something I haven’t always done when concentrating on weight loss. I allowed myself a few treats while maintaining the focus of my goal. I found that I was a bit more relaxed when it came to being around the temptation. I told myself that having a few “off” days would not completely destroy my efforts–and I was right!

Believe me though–the extra calories are certainly not staying around for long!

A few Fridays ago I had the “pleasure” of attending my first Kettlebell class. Talk about a workout! I don’t think “pleasure” is a word I would associate with this over-the-top workout. I thought I knew what I was in for. Never underestimate the power of a hunk of metal with a handle attached to it! The instructor, Kara Nefouse, was aware that it was my first class and was very helpful in making sure I was maintaining the proper form. Kara really threw me a curve ball when she stopped at the end of one of our sets and told us to take two laps around the track. She must have noticed the look of, “Oh no, I have to run?!” on my face and decided to take a lap with me to keep me going. The motivation definitely helped! Kettlebell is a tremendous workout and I’ll be mixing more sessions in with my routine.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m officially back in the game, and it feels great! I’m ending 2011 with an enormous sense of accomplishment and will be beginning 2012 with a refined focus. Cheers to the New Year!

More About Craig Ervin


Wednesday, December 14

What You Never Knew... an Interview with Joani Rothenberg

by Susan Gabovitch

Question: How many ways can one woman enjoy the JCC?

Answer: Apparently quite a few!

Joani Rothenberg has been a constant presence at the JCC for over 15 years. What does she enjoy doing here? That all depends on the day and time. Joani has always been an enthusiastic participant in our group exercise classes including, but certainly not limited to, indoor cycling, strength training, Piloxing, Zumba, kickboxing and BodyPump. While she loves having such a wide variety of classes to choose from, Joani says her favorite thing about the JCC is about more than the exercise opportunities. It’s the sense of community she gets whenever she steps through the door that brings her back time and again.

Far from just exercising here, she also shares her considerable artistic talent with our JCC community. As you may know, Joani was commissioned several years ago by the Glick family to paint a mural depicting “Life at the JCC.” Her vibrant interpretation of JCC life now hangs in our west lobby. Joani says she discovered what the JCC community truly is while she worked on the mural in the former cafĂ© area. As she painted, members stopped by to chat and watch her progress – children, grandparents, families and staff – all of whom offered suggestions and demonstrated how they  are invested in the same sense of community as she is.

The completion of Joani’s mural inspired the creation of our Arts Camp with Joani as the instructor for 4 weeks each summer. She works with the children to develop their own understanding of the creative process and helps them identify the beauty and wonder in the world around them as well as within themselves. This past year, the campers created an enormous mural of their own for the annual all-camp Lip Sync show, and they designed and constructed two mosaic benches for the JCC Community Garden.

Joani’s family, which includes husband Jeff, and kids Leela, Maya, Ben and Tal, each contribute to the incredible sense of community that we are all privileged to enjoy here at the JCC. You will have the opportunity to meet the family in the spring when they participate in a family art exhibit in our gallery

Until next time…

More About Susan Gabovitch

Tuesday, December 6

Winter Exercise

by Katherine Matutes, PhD

Icy side-walks, decreased sunshine hours and colder temperatures can make it a challenge to keep your exercise routine going during the winter months. What can you do to keep your motivation high when lounging around at home sound so cozy?

Mix it up!
Now is the time to try that new group exercise you’ve been curious about (check out piloxing with Anne on Wednesdays at 7:30-8:30 am or Fridays at 9:30-10:30 am). You'll be amazed at how a novel type of exercise will challenge your fitness and improve your body in new ways.

Hook up with an exercise buddy.
One of the biggest obstacles to continuing a fitness routine is maintaining a commitment. Find a partner with a similar schedule and commit to showing up together. Knowing that someone else is expecting you to show up will make it easier to follow through even when you don’t really feel like it.

Take a pedometer out for a spin.
Being aware of how much or little you are moving can be a great motivator to squeeze even more movement into your day. Hitting 10,000 steps a day is an ideal goal. If you stop by the new Health & Wellness wall in the Mordoh Fitness Center, you'll learn how you can win a pedometer!

If you plan to keep up with your outdoor exercise, be sure to invest in high quality thermal layers to regulate body heat by adding or removing layers. But also be aware when the temperature or wind chill is below 0 degerees, it's time to move your exercies indoors.

Commit to a thirty day challenge.  
Set a new fitness goal to achieve over the next thirty days such as increasing the time or distance that you usually walk and promise yourself a reward when you reach this new goal, like a new pair of walking shoes. Maybe you’re ready to take on the JCC Annual Indoor Triathlon coming up Sunday, January 29th!

Give yourself an early holiday gift
of personal training sessions.
You can take your fitness to a new level or just learn new exercises during personalized training sessions. The trainer will help you find the extra motivation to push yourself a little harder!

More About Katherine Matutes, PhD