John B.

Mel Korum Family YMCA

Before joining the Y, John weighed 280 pounds and his only choice of exercise was walking his two dogs. It was January 2015 when the veteran noticed a billboard that guided him to join the Y. John began to explore different workout routines that led him back to his boot camp weight.

He began his routine in the pool, adding a lap each day that built up to swimming non-stop for an hour and dropping 10 pounds. He then discovered Tai Chi classes that provided him a great balance in his exercise routine. When his routine became a little much, John needed time to overcome a shoulder injury.

"By May [2015] I had lost another 10 pounds, but the two hours of Tai Chi was too much for my left shoulder," he explained. "I had to forget about the motto 'No pain, No gain' like a number of new members who may try too hard when they start and then end up hurting themselves."

After returning to the Y, he worked at a more relaxed pace combined with a serious diet. That was when he noticed the weight coming off at a more rapid rate. John's workout routine include walking around the track, adding a lap each day, and returned to Tai Chi classes. After one year at the Y, John said he was able to walk a whole hour without pain or loss of breath.

John wants to encourage other members by saying, "It took me 40 years to become overweight, so give yourself time and take it slowly, knowing that the fat is turning into muscle. I used to go to the casinos for the free buffet, where everyone is unhappy and overweight. Instead, for about $2 a day I decided to go to the Y and become a happy person."