I first met Jim some years back – his wife Claudia is a close friend of my wife Sherry!
Jim is a very large man – standing 6’5 ” of taller!
He loves to cook and always was making BBQ for his employees!
Claudia was interested in what Sherry was doing for her health.
Then – Jim became interested.
He sent me this email – I had no idea he was writing it.
It is such a story of health and a journey for a individual
who one day said enough is enough!
IN HIS OWN WORDS – JIM MARTIN!
My name is Jim Martin, and I am 65 years old. I live in Reston, Virginia, I still maintain a full-time job.
Heaviest Weight: 350 pounds
Current Weight: 260 pounds
I struggled with my weight my entire adult life. It led to binge eating and weight gain. Before trying Juice Plus, I had done yo-yo diets my whole life. My weight has gone up and down 50 to 80 pounds over the years, but nothing ever stuck.
Before Juice Plus, a typical day consisted of a lack of sleeping of no more that 4 to 5 hours a night and grabbing either a breakfast burrito with an apple juice or a chicken biscuit from a drive thru. I would go to work at my incredibly stressful sales job from 7:30-4:30 and get little to no movement at work. I would always eat out for lunch and pick very unhealthy options—sometimes I would even get dessert (cookies) with lunch! After work I would come home and eat dinner around 6:30 pm and sit on the couch until it was time for bed. Before bed, I would usually have ice cream or another dessert. Sometimes I would wake up and get a “midnight snack.” I was literally eating around the clock.
The first time I heard about Juice Plus was almost a year ago. I was not into fitness at the time, but back then I thought Juice Plus would help me lose weight and promote a good immune system. However, after years of putting on weight, I started learning more about it and decided I wanted to give it a try and joined the “Shred Your Way” Facebook group.
My turning point came on January 6, 2020 with the “Shred Your Way” Sugar Shred Challenge, No sugar for 10 days. As a result of completing this challenge, I have completely removed sugar from my diet for the past 11 months. I have no sugar cravings or desire to eat sweets as I did in the past. This all happened two months prior to the COVID lockdown and I was stress eating like crazy. It was a Monday morning and I stepped on the scale that I had been avoiding for months. After I read it, I just said, “That’s enough.” Something had to change.
My goal when I started this journey was to be in better shape than I was when I was 45. Back then, I was 260 pounds and less than 20% bodyfat. From the start of this journey to get healthy, I told myself that I wanted to be in better shape in the next year than I was in the last.
I found that adding Fasting, Healthy eating and Walking to my journey
I loved it so much, I added the Fasting (Zero Fast), Food Monitoring (MyFitnessPal) and Walking (Fitbit) apps to help me stay on track. It has been a huge help in my journey. Tracking the fast, steps, and foods It helps me to see trends, and with that I can make adjustments. I love being able to look back and see how I have done. The Shred Your Way Facebook group has also been a great source of motivation.
I currently follow a 16:8 fasting schedule, walking 8 to 10 miles a day, and eating about 1500 to 1800 calories a day, while trying to keep it flexible. Most days I end up following 17:7 Fasting, 25,000 steps and 1600 calories. I change my fasting times to suit my lifestyle. If I want to go out and have a big dinner with my wife, I will just do a longer fast leading up to it, so I stay in a deficit. And some days when I am hungry, I will break my fast at 13-14 hours (minimum of 13 hours to be considered fasting). I listen to my body and hunger signals. That is what I love about intermittent fasting—it is all about flexibility.
The first few mornings I started fasting I was so hungry, but honestly by the second week my body had adapted well. That is part of the reason I have been able to do this so long (coming up on 7 months). It is not a struggle for me to follow the plan.
Aside from the weight loss, fasting gives me freedom from food, walking gives me the movement I need and Juice Plus give me a healthy immune system. I no longer feel like food is my source of comfort. I can focus my thoughts and feelings more. I also did change my overall diet. I discovered tons of extremely healthy choices. However, that is another writing exercise.
Here is what I typically eat in a day:
Breakfast: Black coffee, breakfast cereal (Ezekiel or Sola brands, no/exceptionally low sugar) blueberries, raspberries, almond milk, and chia seeds.
Lunch: Arnold whole wheat bread or a Mission brand low carb whole wheat wrap, turkey or ham, mustard, lettuce., tomato and Kettle Brand avocado and Himalaya salt potato chips.
Dinner: Taco Bowl (steak, brown rice, pinto beans, salsa, cheese,) Kevin Brand Chicken entrees with steam veggies.
Snacks: Mixed nuts or, protein shake (1G or less sugar) or apple or protein bar (2G or less sugar)
Dessert: 1oz70% Dark Chocolate
I feel completely different now that I added fasting and walking to my Juice Plus daily routine. I no longer have a need to eat wasteful and harmful foods like sugar. Before, I would always eat a huge lunch and then be worthless for hours afterwards. Now, I experience the mental clarity that comes from eating the right foods, fasting, and walking. I am tracking all my calories in MyFitnessPal because I wanted to stay in a deficit, which was key for weight loss. I aim to eat 1,800 calories each day. I walk 7 days a week. It has been great.
These three changes contributed the most to my weight loss success.
Change 1: I gave myself more than a year to reach my goal.
By taking a longer-view approach, I do not get discouraged by little missteps. I still have plenty of time to reach my goal. When you set a short timeframe to reach your goal, you can get discouraged if it does not happen “fast” enough.
Change 2: I focused on healthy eating at first. I’ve done diets before, and when you change everything in the first week, you drain yourself of willpower and end up falling off the wagon. I just focused on finding healthy food choices that minimize or eliminate SUGAR. SUGAR is the killer of any plan that includes weight loss or a good immune system.
Change 3: I do not get discourage… focus on the big picture
Life happens, and if I get down on myself for being human, that is not going to help me in the future. So instead, I give myself grace and understand this will happen. I acknowledge it and move on instead of making myself feel like a failure. I could barely walk a mile without resting, now I can complete a 10K in less that two hours. It takes one step at a time.
I hope my successful journey can help other archive the life changing experience this has been for me. I think the most rewarding part about making this change has been the mental clarity and focus that comes in the last few hours before breaking a fast. I do not feel mentally drained. But the weight loss has made the biggest difference. It is going to allow me to live an active life well into old age. If I had continued putting on weight, I would have been in extremely poor health within the next five years. But now I feel strong, and I do not feel deprived.
As a side note – Claudia Martin has literally folllowed in Jim’s footsteps.
What do you do with your strawberry plants in the Fall from the TOWER GARDEN ?
Every year – and we have been growing in the Tower Garden ‘ s for seven years – we have had strawberry plants left over – so – instead of throwing them away – I just took them out and stuck them in the ground !
We have this area right beside the house where my back flow is . And now – each year – these plants come back and thrive there ! Last year – I picked 10 to 14 quarts of sweet strawberries – and they spread.
This area was dug up two years ago to install our irrigation system and you can see where they put in the back flow. So – in two years time – they have spread and filled the area back in again.
The concept of healthy eating – is that we GROW as much as we can – for ourselves. The two smaller ones – Cassidy and Taylor – will come over – and when the strawberries are nice and red and ripe – will sit out there and pick and eat them – teaching them you can eat from the Earth and not always from the store. Taylor asked me the other day ” ARE THE STRAWBERRIES READY YET PAPA ? “
Our wish – and the WHY we do all this – is to install for Generations to come the value of eating healthy – eliminating process foods – cutting back on sweets and dairy ( the Myth of dairy ) – Gluten – and eating more fruits and vegetables – passing this onto the grand kids of today and hoping that they in turn pass it onto their children.
Life to us is changing habits – instilling new ones in the kids – and inhance memories of growing up with PAPA & MORMOR as the younger ones callus or Grandma and Grandpa as the older ones call us.
Memories are formed at young age – as in Taylor just saying the other day – she is 8 years old. Her and her parents and sister lived with us for one year while they awaited there new home being made ready. Sherry and I were having a conversation – about in the future moving South.
She spoke up from her homework ( we pick them up from school ) and said ” MORMOR & PAPA – you can’t move -I have too many memories here” ! And then went on to tell how she remembers her bedroom and how they shared it together – her mother and fathers room and the front room where they had their doll house. They were only two and one half when they lived here.
So memories play a big part of our lives – and grand kids even bigger. Instilling memories of us and health is the legacy we want to have – one that enriches their lives and that of their children. That memory has led to our motto #livinglifetotheplus and our own health and lifestyle. This in turn led to the concept of TEAM GENERATIONS and the impact that since we started has on hundreds of families just like us.
If you want to find out how – why and more – follow us on this blog – visit the web site http://www.sf.juiceplus.com – I hope this helps explain – and if you TOWER GARDEN – just remember -those STRAWBERRIES can and do survive the Winter – just plant them and watch them spread.
WOW – 52 years ago – over one half century – and in a few days – 70 becomes the new norm and new start of a decade. So much has changed – so much has come and gone.
I started and ended my career with the same company 47 1/2 years later !
And it is were I met and married my second wife – we celebrate 37 years next month.
Sherry and I started dating in April of 1981 – we had found out in passing that we both were going through a divorce by accident. I worked in Shipping and she in payroll – as I was passing her desk – one of the other ladies said to me – “I hear you are getting a divorce” !
I answered ‘ YES” and then went my way – she quietly observed this and when she brought my shipping orders out – she told me ” I overheard . I am also getting a divorce” – to which I relied ” Then we should go and have a drink and talk about it ” !
That began a 15 month process of dating – engagement the following December at Christmas time – and marriage in June the following year. All the while juggling two divorces and inter mixing four children into one family. My two sons and her two daughters. WE DID IT ! Not easy – but the results have been fantastic. My two sons still live back in NWPA & her two daughters both followed us South to NVA. My son runs a energy company with state contracts for the elderly and my other son has joined him. One can build a entire house from the ground up – he did not get that from me – and the other is a ranked pool player in his spare time who travels the entire country winning his way to Vegas a half dozen times.
Our two daughters are also very successful – the eldest followed her mother into the health and nutrition field and most likely will attain National Marketing Director for the Juice Plus Company at the conference in Austin Texas in October. Our other daughter also followed their mother – but she – one year ago -opened up a franchise https://www.facebook.com/529KidsConsignLoudoun/ near where we live. She maintains both the Health & Nutrition business and her new
store which is coming up up the one year anniversary. In our very busy lives – we have managed to change our lifestyle in eating – giving up a lot of what I had eaten for 35 years or more.
Sherry is my rock and has been all these years – by accident we learned of one another’s dilemma – we ventured forward on a whim – and soon became friends – she is my best friend – we combined a family – and 13 years ago – she changed our lifestyle to a healthy one. She is the guiding force and well respected as a Certified Health Coach – she is a pillar to her TEAM -known and loved by all as “MAMA BEAR ” !
In a short while on 5 -7 -49 I will turn 70 years old – and another WE WERE MET TO BE TOGETHER ” sign – she will turn 70 on 7 – 5 – 49 !!
We eat healthy – we love healthy and we promote health. Our family in NVA has followed us not only here – but also on the pathway of HEALTH & NUTRITION ! Soon – in October – the oldest will attain the highest level in the Juice Plus Company -living life to the plus as I call it.
This is my story – this is my life – well – part of it – many other chapters to tell
My sincere thank you to my wife and our family – a new lifestyle 13 years ago and a new life 37 years ago. I am the most lucky man in the World or so I believe – and I am WINNING OFF THE FIELD ! Thank you – enjoy & HGD !
If you would like to be a part of her team – Sherry Fitzsimmons