Member Spotlight: Jean Kimmel | West Hills Athletic Club

Member Spotlight: Jean Kimmel

Congratulations to Jean on being the 2018 WHAC Biggest Loser!

Evan and Jean.I joined West Hills years ago to participate in tennis classes and play on USTA teams. Tennis helped me regain some fitness I lost when my children were young, it was fun and I met wonderful people. But when I tore my ACL in a tennis match about 5 years ago and was unable to play tennis anymore, I struggled to find other fitness activities that I could enjoy and more importantly, that I could incorporate into my life long term. The loss of tennis plus other life events left me very overweight, putting my health at risk (particularly since diabetes runs in my family).

Then I found TEAM YELLOW in West Hills’ 2018 Biggest Loser Competition! Led by the dynamic duo trainers Evan and Lauren and with an incredibly committed and supportive team, I was able to use the team’s group training as a launching pad to a broader exercise / healthy lifestyle regimen. I’m not proud to admit that I NEED to be held accountable – when the alarm goes off at 5am, I need to know that if I don’t show up to training, my group will be saying “Where’s Jean?!” (Yes, kind of like Waldo but without the international flavor.) The Yellow Team was great in so many ways and despite vast differences in fitness levels and physical capabilities back in January, each team member exceeded personal goals, including teammates who also placed very high in the competition’s final weight loss rankings. During the 10 weeks of the competition, I had to re-set my weight loss goal three times and ending up beating my most unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky goal by losing 32.4 pounds. I’m thrilled!

Moving forward, I know that I have more weight to lose and I can foresee struggling to “stick with the program,” so to speak! But West Hills’ group training structure works well for me and I am continuing it now that the competition has ended. I’ve also done some 1-on-1 training and shockingly, I seem to have become a spinner! Talk about a rough ride! But every program that I have tried at West Hills has provided an encouraging, flexible environment that strikes the difficult balance between challenging the most fit participants while also accommodating the needs of others like me who are not yet there. For me, it is the people at West Hills that helped me achieve the progress that I’ve made already and that hopefully, will help me continue to move forward. This includes other West Hills members too, so big shout out to Mary, a longtime friend and fellow soccer mom, who helped introduce me to spinning and continues to support me in my efforts to achieve my healthy life goals.

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