Fitness Success Story: Kathi Grossman

July 29, 2016 by karen

Kathi Grossman joined Club Fit in October of 2013 at the recommendation of her doctors. Read how Club Fit has helped to impact her life and help her reach her fitness goals.

 

Kathi before, and how she looks today, showing her remarkable transformation.
Kathi before, and how she looks today. Amazing progress on her fitness journey!

 

I have been morbidly obese all my life. I ended up with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, and no cartilage in one of my knees. I was injecting insulin up to four times a day and taking numerous medications. I finally had enough! I had WLS (weight loss surgery) on September 22, 2011, and lost 210 pounds, which changed my life more than I ever could have imagined. Within hours of the WLS I was off all medications. I am still medication free, except for supplements. Having been obese all my life, as the weight came off, other issues arose. No core, no muscle tone, loose skin EVERYWHERE!! My doctor gave me a prescription to join Club Fit on the HelpRx program, which was the best thing that could have happened to me. Personal Trainer Russ was my first encounter with a trainer. I was pretty intimidated, but Russ took his time, listened to me and my physical limitations, and designed a routine just for me. This was the beginning — I started taking classes, and I mean everything, even things I thought I couldn’t do just to challenge myself. I started with Retro-Low, Low-impact Zumba, Kickboxing, Definitions, 4×4, Corebar, Spin, and Yoga. If they had a class I was there. I started to see where I fit and what I liked to do. This could have been overwhelming as exercise was NEVER a part of my life. Now I love to spin and weight train and do a few machines. The instructors were excellent and most helpful. There are so many wonderful people who have escorted me on my journey. There is, however, one person who stands out and that is General Manager Mark Cuatt. He took me under his wing and gave me a crash course in nutrition and then an exercise regimen for me to follow. He didn’t have to do that; he has enormous responsibilities running the club on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, we would meet at the gym, I would email him my food menus and things started to change again! This has not been an easy journey. I had a few setbacks but, to date, I have lost 250 pounds!! As I type the number it seems surreal.

I take advantage of most of the things Club Fit offers. I have a MYZONE belt, I use it always and should I forget it, I am lost. I do the FIT-3D scans, which help you see the transformation you are attaining. This experience would not have been as successful without the help of so many of the personal trainers, instructors and coaches. I wish I could name all of you, as you are all very special to me, because at one time you made it a point to help me with your time, advice or even a friendly “Hello!”. ALL of you have made an impact in changing NOT only my outward appearance but teaching me that being healthy is an everyday choice. Mark Cuatt told me once, I am always going to wage this battle in my head with my weight. Some days I’ll win and some days I’ll lose; but “never give up” is the moral of this story.

So I thank Club Fit for helping me find ME—the me I was meant to be. You have helped to give a healthy me back to my husband, children and granddaughter. Hopefully I will be around a long time still working out, and if I can inspire ONE person through my story, then I have made a difference!

“Tough Cookie” Julianna Vano Fights Lymphoma

April 27, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

 

Young Club Fit Member Juliana Vano battles lymphoma with attitude and energy to spare. She is “One Tough Cookie!”

"Tough Cookie" Julianna Vano Fights Lymphoma
Club Fit Member Julianna Vano is “One Tough Cookie.”

“One Tough Cookie”! That is how Julianna Vano’s family and friends describe the energetic, nonstop 10-year-old. And she has proven this to be true since her diagnosis in December of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma, the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, accounting for up to 30 percent of newly diagnosed cases in the United States. It is an aggressive cancer, but the Vanos, members of Club Fit Jefferson Valley, reacted quickly, and Julianna is well on her way back to good health.

Mom Joann noticed something was wrong back in November, when Julianna became lethargic and was experiencing abdominal pain. “She’s my Energizer bunny!” she said of Julianna, an avid dancer, and soccer and basketball player. “I knew something was wrong when her energy dipped.” The initial bloodwork at their doctor’s office hinted at Hepatitis A, but when it didn’t improve over two weeks, they went to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and scans revealed masses on all of Julianna’s organs. Treatment was started immediately.

Julianna was on a 20-day chemotherapy cycle, checking in to the hospital every 20 days for 5 to 7 days, then taking a week or two off. But she remained active while she was home, continuing her dance classes 3 to 4 days a week (hip-hop, jazz, ballet…you name it, she does it!) and actually competing this past March! She also recently performed at the halftime show during a Westchester Knicks game. Because of the risk of infection, Julianna was taken out of school and her tumbling classes, but is being tutored at home. Does she miss school? “I think she misses her friends,” laughs Joann.

It was supposed to be a three-month process, but the treatment schedule became longer when a follow-up scan showed a small mass remained on Julianna’s kidney, but the hope is that the additional treatments she is receiving now will take care of that. Going forward, they expect her to have four rounds of “maintenance” treatments, then be free and clear by August. “Through most of this experience, if Julianna didn’t lose her hair or wear a face mask, you’d never know she was sick!” says Joann.

The whole Vano family is active, with Julianna and her two siblings, Bella and Tommy, frequenting Club Fit’s Energy Center, and Mom and Dad spending time in the Fitness Center. As mentioned earlier, Julianna plays travel soccer and travel basketball, and is also a Girl Scout, and plans to return to her activities once treatment is completed. Club Fit is showing their support by hosting two fundraisers for the family at both Club Fit locations, a Spin Class and Kids’ Zumba class. May 20th at Briarcliff and May 27th at Jefferson Valley. All proceeds are going back to the Vano family.

The Vanos are also starting a team for Yorktown’s Relay for Life, aptly named “Team Tough Cookie” (which at this writing is the top fundraising team so far)! Look for their tent on Friday, June 12 at Jack DeVito Field in Yorktown Heights. But you can also get in on the action early by joining us at Club Fit for the Spin and Zumba events, and showing your support for our Tough Cookie Julianna and her family!

Keeping Our Kids Healthy by Avoiding Childhood Obesity

February 17, 2015 by Liz

By Ashley DiSalvo, School Teacher and Summer Camp Co-director

When we think of childhood, we think of laughter, playing with friends, and being carefree. However, childhood obesity rates have been on the rise for the last three decades and that means a trend toward devastating physical and mental health implications for our nation’s youth. Luckily, one of the most effective preventative measures is simple: more time spent playing.

The CDC recommends 60 minutes of daily activity for children age six to seventeen. While 77% of children ages 9 -13 reported spending free time on physical activity during the seven days prior to the survey, that number dropped to just 27.1% for high school students! Studies show that by senior year, only 35% of students are even attending weekly physical education classes.

As rates of physical activity decrease, the rates of children and adolescents who are overweight and obese continue to rise. According to the CDC, in 2012, one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Sadly, the obesity rate of children age 6 – 11 rose from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012. In addition, children and adolescents are at risk for many of the same weight-related ailments as adults. For example, obesity increases risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Other health issues include joint problems, sleep apnea, and prediabetes, a condition where high glucose levels indicate a high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Since childhood obesity is a strong indicator of obesity in adulthood, these health issues can expand to include greater risk of stroke and certain types of cancer later in life.

As adults, we are constantly bombarded with media outlets that inform us of the newest super foods and how to “slim down in 7 days,” but the reality is that healthy eating habits and engaging in regular physical activity are habits that are formed over time and they are solidified by genuine enjoyment in the benefits of those habits. Who wants to go hike a mountain, or attend a spin class, or challenge their flexibility in a yoga class if they don’t enjoy it? That’s why at Club Fit’s Summer Camp we provide a variety of physical activities such as Zumba, yoga, karate, swim, and a variety of sports so that all of our campers can find an activity that they truly enjoy and can develop into a lifelong “healthy habit.” Regular physical activity in children and adolescents improves strength and endurance and aids in the development of healthy bones and muscles. But the benefits don’t stop at the physical. Physical activity has also been shown to decrease anxiety and stress and to improve self-esteem. In addition, an increase in self-esteem is linked to greater academic performance as reflected by achievement and more time spent on task during the school day.

National trends depict us as a nation less inclined to physical activity as we age and therefore more apt to develop life threatening illnesses. At Club Fit’s Energy Camp, we encourage children to develop healthy and active lifestyles by providing opportunities for physical activity that are more aligned with “play” than “exercise.” Whether the campers are trying out pickelball for the first time or taking tennis lessons from a pro, summer camp is one of the best ways to introduce children to a variety of physical activities that can help establish lifelong healthy habits.

active healthy girl

Learn more about how your kids will stay healthy and active at Club Fit Summer Camp!

Click here to Meet our Camp Directors!

Want to get your kids involved in an activity or sport now? Check out some of our ongoing programs for kids by visiting the “Sports” section of our website!

Here are just a few things we offer:

Basketball
Flag Football
Sports Nights
Football Kickoff
Pickleball
Pick-up Sports
Soccer
After School Sports
Sports Scramble
Volleyball
Self Defense
Zumba
Yoga
Karate
Tennis
Swimming

We offer programs for various ages from Preschool all the way through High School and Adulthood! Come visit us and try our facilities for free and see what living a healthy lifestyle in a healthy family oriented environment can do for you!

Superhero Transformation, Part 6: Zumba Me!

October 4, 2012 by Kendra

I worked very late tonight (like we all do on occasion), and was concerned I might not have time for an exercise class.  I’ve been sticking mostly to group exercise classes lately because I find it easier to follow through with the exercise in a group, and because the Club Fit instructors are SO great with new faces.  I’m always, always made to feel welcome and supported.  It makes trying new things so much more comfortable, and more fun. I’ve been doing mostly spinning for cardio (I’ve gotten better at that!), but I missed the last class by almost half an hour.  Also, I knew I should really be trying new things and varying my routine.  Luckily, Zumba didn’t start until 7:05 pm, so I decided to give it a shot.

It’s hard not to have heard about the Zumba craze by now, and I seem to be the only one I know who hadn’t tried it yet.  I gathered from the huge crowd of people lined up outside the studio door ten minutes early that this was definitely going to be fun, if nothing else.  When the studio opened up, the music was playing already.  People tossed their belongings to the side and quickly grabbed their favorite spot.  I followed suit, not permitting myself to slink to the back of the room, but to stand up near the mirror where I could see myself and be motivated to work hard.  Our instructor Liz hopped in with a huge smile, turned up the music, and asked if anyone was new. I punched my fist in the air, ready to rock, and I was rewarded by Liz with a high five and a shiny strand of gold Zumba beads!

Sweaty Me, with Zumba Beads

Liz was a POWERHOUSE of energy!  Whatever she’s eating for lunch, I need some, because she was still energetic at the end of class when most of us were just shuffling our feet.  The moves were fairly easy to follow, but I still stumbled a bit, just being new and getting adjusted to the flow of the class. She reassured us that we didn’t have to follow her exactly, just to move your body, move from your heart, and have fun! And I did.

It was hard work. I had sweat dripping in my eyes, and my knees felt really sensitive from constantly stopping and turning around when I realized I was shimmying the wrong way, but it was definitely fun all the way through.  The very best part was the cool down at the end of class, where we struck dramatic stretchy poses in front of the mirror to an intense Latin ballad. Seriously, guys… I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling it is to have a super zippy instructor point at you and yell “YOU’RE AWESOME!”  EPIC props go to Liz Mallon today. I’ll definitely be back to take her class again.

There’s a Club Fit for Everyone!

May 17, 2012 by Liz

Club Fit inspires our members to get more out of every day.

It’s a place to work out and a place to unwind. It’s a place to play your favorite sports and a place to take charge of your health & well-being. It’s a place for kids of all ages and people of all levels. It’s a place to meet friends, socialize and indulge a little. With so much you and your family can do here, it’s a world apart from fitness as usual.

And it’s all right here, in a refreshingly relaxed, welcoming environment. From the moment you come in the door, our people know you by name, and our exceptional trainers and staff are always here to help.

There’s a Club Fit for everyone. What’s yours?