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Thursday
Mar272014

The 40%: They Need You!

By Nancy Murray Young

In my role as assistant editor of CBI, I spend much of my time gathering the images that enhance the magazine's editorial content, tweaking text, and transforming press releases into succinct, engaging morsels of news.

Recently, though, while working on my first CBI feature article (see "Innovate to Compete!" April CBI, pg. 38), I discovered an opportunity to transform not just words, but myself.

During the past several years, a string of illnesses, surgeries, and odd accidents, exacerbated by stress and age, left me considerably overweight, in chronic pain, and struggling with a number of physical limitations. There is, to be sure, a certain degree of wicked irony in my current professional life!

When CBI Editor-in-chief Craig R. Waters asked me to write about the new mind/body center and spa at The Weymouth Club, located in Weymouth, Massachusetts, just south of Boston—and a 30-minute drive from CBI's office—my excitement about the assignment quickly gave way to apprehension.

How could I limp into one of the most respected fitness facilities in the area, in my plus-size outfit (with coordinating cane), representing this equally respected magazine, to interview owner Sally Goldman and Executive Director Jeff Linn? The phrase "gym intimidation" can't begin to describe how I felt.

Decades ago, I'd lost 100-plus pounds and kept it off for many years, walking 60 miles a week, attending aerobics classes, and eating a healthy diet. I never thought I'd have to go through the process again. Now, in my current unhealthy, deconditioned state, I didn't think I could.

My visit to The Weymouth Club to research the article changed that negative notion—and may, indeed, have changed my life.

Owners Sally and Steve GoldmanOver the course of 25 years, Sally and her husband, Steve, have created a welcoming, inclusive wellness community, staffed by expert professionals who are equally committed to the Goldmans' goal of helping people of all ages and fitness levels live healthy, energetic lives.

That unique environment—so different from my old conceptions about health clubs—made me think: maybe I can be healthy again.

A month ago, I started a fairly new program at the club that combines nutrition, behavior modification, stress management, and fitness education, along with exercise. Although I've encountered a couple of speed bumps on this road back to health, thanks to frequent communication from "my" coaches at The Weymouth Club, I'm still motivated and optimistic.

In the coming weeks, I hope to share some of this journey with you, to let you know what works, and why—because I represent two important groups that need this industry's help: the one third of American citizens who are obese, and the 40% of "women of a certain age" who are part of that startling statistic.

-Nancy Murray Young, n.young@fit-etc.com

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