Jamie Lynch was fighting for her marriage.
She and her husband constantly argued because Jamie was always mad about something. She was irritable and snapped at any little thing that happened.
But most of the time, nothing really “happened”.
She was just unhappy. Not with her husband or with the fact that she just had two beautiful babies.
No. She was unhappy with weighing 386 pounds.
“I was just at the end of myself… I was tired. I was exhausted. I would come home from working all day and didn’t have the energy to spend time with the kids. I would just fall asleep. It was almost as if my kids were robbed of a mom.”
This was unlike Jamie.
Jamie was a happy go lucky kind of gal. Although she says she always struggled with her weight, she was also a pretty active person. She enjoyed playing sports like softball, field hockey, and volleyball. She’s always loved food but says her active spirit kept her weight in check throughout her life.
That all came to a screeching halt when she became pregnant.
She continued to work full time until she went into labor but she lost all motivation to do any kind of physical activity. She says all she did during her pregnancy was come home and watch hour after hour of TV.
It wasn’t until after she gave birth the second time that she realized her weight had gotten out of control.
Coming home from the hospital after having her second child, she weighed in at almost 400 pounds. Her health was now a big concern for her, her doctors, and her family.
“These were my first two kids so I didn’t really know too much about what to expect but I guess I had this false illusion that once you have the baby, you kind of just lose a lot of weight. You don’t realize all these bad habits and choices that you’re making eating for two which really is just I’m eating because I’m pregnant and I want to eat. You don’t really feel the aftermath until it’s all over.”
Jamie was discouraged.
Once she returned to work her 45 hour a week office job, it became even more difficult to find motivation to do any kind of physical activity. She had so little energy that most days she just picked up take-out for dinner, ate, and fell asleep on the couch.
The more Jamie grew frustrated with her weight the more she and her husband argued.
On the rare occasion that they went out, Jamie was the bubbly girl everyone knew and loved. But that always changed when they got back home.
“My husband would be like, ‘I don’t get it, we’re out around people, around family and you’re nice to everyone but to me, I get it all.’ ”
Jamie desperately needed to get out of her funk.
She started walking here and there but she knew she had to kick it up a notch.
She then saw the status update on Facebook that would change her life.
Randomly scrolling through her newsfeed, she saw one of her friends post about taking an ILKB class. It was January 2016 and everyone was talking about their New Year resolutions and she kept thinking she had to do something to turn her life around.
Jamie was intrigued by how much fun her friend was having. But it was how different the workout seemed that ultimately brought her to take that first step through an ILKB door.
“I just remembered that feeling of: ‘Ok this is it. I can’t rob my kids of a mom anymore. I need to be different…’ I went in and I was like, ‘My health is so important to me so that my kids have a healthy mom and have a good example. I don’t want to be 400lbs. I want to make a change.’ ”
Jamie immediately signed up for an iLoveKickboxing membership.
While she describes it as one of the hardest things she has ever done in her life, she did end up taking her first class. She says she could barely breathe or even run for most of it. She didn’t know most of the moves in class either.
But by the time the class was over, Jamie felt something she hadn’t felt in a while.
She felt happy.
Click below to see Jamie doing her thing in class.
Happy because although she wasn’t at the fitness level she wanted to be, the encouragement of the instructors made her believe that she was more than capable of reaching her goals.
She knew she could save herself and her family.
“The instructors were so encouraging they were like, ‘Listen just try your best. Just do the best that you can. Little by little you’re going to learn and you’re going to get better.’ I held on to that and I really received that encouragement…I went home and I felt good about it. I had so much energy I cleaned my whole house. My husband was like what happened to you at kickboxing? Like what did they give you? He was joking around and was like you’re so nice. I guess it was the first time in so long that I felt good…I didn’t realize I allowed how I was unhappy with myself to effect probably the most important relationship in my life.”
Five months later and Jamie is now under 300 pounds. She’s lost over 70 pounds and counting.
She says she’s been able to lose the weight by just taking it day by day. Little by little she pushes herself every time she goes to class. That means striving to do one pushup even if it’s on her knees. That means making up her own version of a burpee. But above all, it means staying committed and never giving up.
And she thanks her instructors for installing that belief in her.
“I remember I was at that place where I didn’t even believe in myself. I’m just so thankful and I tell them, ‘I’m going to tell you until I’m blue in the face. I’m just going to keep saying thank you and thank you’…Even though I had two kids and it was a happy time it was a low place for me. I wasn’t really happy with what I was seeing in the mirror. It’s just amazing to me how one little thing like a kickboxing class can change so many things in my life.”
Nowadays Jamie is so connected to health and fitness that she installs it in her everyday life. On her lunch breaks she’ll either lift some weights at the small gym in her building or she’ll go for walks. She comes up with creative ways to not sit at her office job like volunteering to be the one who makes the copies for everyone in her department. She takes the stairs instead of the elevator and even started parking her car far away instead of fighting for the closest spot.
She also no longer takes her frustrations out on her husband.
“I would say he experienced the most change because I come home happy. I get all my frustrations out (at kickboxing). I feel better about myself…My husband is like you’re so happy when you come home. You can kick-box everyday of the week if you want.”
Jamie says she’s very much enjoying her fitness journey and is happy every time she is able to do something she wasn’t able to do before.
So what advice does Jamie have for you?
“You have to start somewhere and not give up. You never know. Anything is possible but it all starts with taking that first step. I always tell people and they laugh because they think it’s funny but if I can kickbox at 350+ lbs anybody can. You can do it you just have to try. Take the first step, make yourself completely vulnerable and at the end of the day it’s only your first class once.”