Janice Wallace, at 50 years of age, is one of the area’s popular fitness instructor and personal trainer. She is also a wife, mother of 4 sons and a grandmother with a full-time job. Janice lives a full and active life and wants to be able to continue this lifestyle as she ages gracefully. When I met Janice, she was meek and mild. To see her in this capacity is amazing. So I would like to put the spotlight on Janice Wallace, “That was then, this is now.”
Q. Ok Janice, let’s talk about your beginnings. As I said back in the day, you were sweet, low-key, didn’t want to talk too much Janice. What happened?
My health was declining from being overweight. Being a wife, having four boys and a demanding government job didn’t leave much time for me. My sons were very active and I wanted to be around to share their active lifestyle with them. So, I needed to change the way I was taking or not taking care of myself.
Q. So I take it you started working out?
Yes, I made the decision to change my lifestyle at age 27. I was so determined to exercise, I would take my baby to class and stand in the back to accomplish this mission. Thank God they were good babies.
Q. Why did you decide to become a fitness instructor and personal trainer?
After starting my fitness journey, I then studied different weight loss, nutritional, health and wellness programs. A couple years later, I became a certified group instructor and personal trainer. I’ve been instructing and training now for 11 years. I realized I wanted to help others on their fitness journey; it gives me joy and peace.
Q. So Janice do you teach just women and what age?
At the World Gym and other various locations, I have enjoyed working with a vast array of clients, from the elderly to the young, male and female. Due to a knee injury I had to take a sabbatical. But whenever I see former clients, they always ask me where I’m teaching because they want to attend my class. Man, it’s a great feeling to know that my goal of helping others is being accomplished.
Q. You mentioned a knee injury. Please tell us about that.
I sustained a knee injury while learning to bike with clipless pedals. I then somewhat went into a depression for several reasons:
- In retrospect, it could have been prevented. Trying to keep up with more seasoned riders and going beyond my ability to perform led to the injury. I started beating myself up. I should have known better. I tell my clients all the time that they have to prepare themselves before engaging in activities. It’s impossible to go from being a couch potato to running a full marathon without doing harm to your body. The activity performed will determine the appropriate type of training.
- I was upset because I could no longer exercise for a period of time and workout with the intensity my body had become used to.
- I had to stop teaching – something I enjoyed doing.
- Then, my vicious cycle of emotional eating began. Once the weight started creeping back on, then I came to my senses. I was determined not to go back. I had to remind myself of my goal to be around for my kids and grand kids.
- The knee injury wasn’t going to be forever, and I wanted to continue instructing and training. This was my passion. I realized I had to get myself together and look the part of a trainer, so the weight had to go. I began to learn to look at other forms of exercise like dancing. Even with the knee injury I knew I had to resist the emotional eating.
Q. What do you contribute to your success?
My mantra is supportive but stern. I do a thorough assessment of my clients which reveals a lot to me about them, and they find things about themselves. This case-by-case study focuses on their food intake, how to release stress, their medical and family history, as well as the basics – measurement, weight, etc. It’s not a one program fits all for me. It’s determining where a person is and where they want to be. The secret of my success is to develop a personalized fitness program where each client can achieve his/her goals, resulting in a healthier, stronger and more confident person.
Q. Any words of wisdom you would like to impart to our readers?
My advice for everyone is to listen to your body. It’s about what you are capable of doing at that time and not comparing yourself with anyone else. The intensity of the workout is up to you. But yes, we as instructors will push you to do more because we are assessing you and can see what you are capable of doing. It’s about starting at point “A” and progressing all the way to “Z”.
Exercise is vital to your health, especially as you age because the body is deteriorating. So renew our mind, actively seek what fitness program works for you and work hard at keeping your body strong in order to have a quality and independent lifestyle. Healthy food intake is crucial. Fruits, vegetables and water should be the main components of your diet. And always think, “portion control.
Thanks Janice for sharing your fitness journey and experience with BTM readers. Need a Personal Trainer? You can reach Janice Wallace at email@example.com.