How James Found His Thing
For years, James’ felt his weight was holding him back. But it was after he couldn’t keep up with a friend on a hike, he realised it was time to make a change for good. In 2016, James joined Goodlife, lost over 30kgs and has made lifelong friends. Now, he’s using his skills as a chef to give back to the community that’s given him so much. James (along with his personal trainer Jaye) host regular meal prep classes for the Goodlife Maroochydoore community where they teach the basics of healthy cooking. Here’s how James found his ‘thing’ at Goodlife Health Clubs.
Name: James Knox
Home club: Maroochydore
When did you first sign up at Goodlife?
What motivated you to join a gym, and Goodlife in particular?
My friend was a personal trainer there. They had some really positive things to say about the club so I decided to join. Tell us a bit about your personal story and how training at Goodlife helps you in your day-to-day life? I suffer schizoaffective disorder and have overcome a serious back problem. My training is making a huge difference in strengthening my back, controlling my weight and management of day-to-day stress in my life. You could say I'm a changed man.
Why do you exercise?
I went on a trip with a friend and really struggled to hike. Not being keep up with my friend and experience that with her, made me realise I needed to do something about my weight. Initially I started to exercise to lose weight but training has done so much more for me than I ever thought possible – it is giving me years back on my life and has totally changed the way I not only live but see the world.
What do you love about it?
Besides the massive physical and mental changes, I love the people I've met on my health and fitness journey. My personal trainer Jaye is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The sense of community at Goodlife Maroochydore is clear every time I workout there, the members offer a little encouragement always means so much.
What’s your favourite type of training? Why?
To be honest I like it all. Jaye constantly changes it up so there is always something new to challenge me, but recently I’ve started cycle classes and love it!
Have you had to overcome any big hurdles in life and at the gym? Tell us about them…
I suffered a serious back injury and the doctors told me I may never get back in the kitchen. As a chef, it was a huge blow. After an operation my condition improved but I had to change my lifestyle for fear of going back to that. Joining Goodlife has given me the confidence to believe I can do whatever I want without fear of my body failing me.
Have you experienced weight loss during your time with Goodlife?
When I first joined Goodlife, my starting weight was just over 130 kgs I'm now under 100 kgs and still losing more!
What have been the biggest physical and mental changes you have noticed since joining Goodlife and discovering your love of exercise?
At first it was a slow process having lost so much flexibility I couldn't do burpees or sit-ups but now I can pretty much do whatever Jaye throws at me. I might not be the greatest at anything but I know how far I've come. Mentally I have become a far more positive person I'm sleeping better than I ever have which has reduced the stress in my body and I have so much more energy. On the days I’m not working, I always schedule in physical activity. I’ll train with my personal trainer and go for a run with other Goodlife members. Before I joined Goodlife, I used to sit on the couch and watch movies but now I just don’t have the time! As a chef I’m really passionate about food so my personal trainer Jaye and I host meal prep classes with other Goodlife members where I teach them the basics of healthy cooking.
Who has had the biggest influence on your gym experience?
Without a doubt my personal trainer Jaye. I also consider her to be an invaluable friend. Her entire outlook on life is something I can only hope to replicate myself.
How does training at Goodlife, and the experience you have in club, help you outside of the gym?
Having more energy has let me get back to leading a fuller life and getting back to enjoying the outdoors and enjoying this beautiful country. I'm now even more focused at work. Having a more positive outlook I believe has attracted more positive people into my life and I have made some truly great new friends. As a chef I worked long hours and didn’t want to cook. It lead me to making bad decisions with food and eating. Now I make it a priority to prepare my food for the week and it makes everything so much easier. It’s helped me realise my passion for food again.
Is there one particular event where the escape of the gym and the support of the team or members there pulled you though?
I had a really stressful time in 2016 when I changed jobs. By going to the gym regularly With Jaye’s support and going to the gym regularly, it helped me to look forward to my daily workout and focus on things I could control instead of focusing on the negative.
What has been the reaction from partner, family, friends, colleagues on your results from the gym?
My family and friends have been so supportive and proud of the way I’ve gone about changing my lifestyle.
What drives or motivates you to achieve your health and fitness goals?
Besides seeing my own physical and mental change I draw a lot from Jaye’s other clients. She is always so proud of how well we are doing and loves to share success stories. It's so good to see that we are all on this journey for different reasons but we are on it together. My goal is to work out and lose enough weight to have enough fitness to travel and hike through South America, I’ve realised anything is possible.
Have you made a circle of friends at the gym?
Yes, I have they are now part of my new better life we build each other up you can't do this by yourself you need to surround yourself with like minded people to stay the course.
What was your greatest fear had you not decided to join Goodlife and change your lifestyle?
Ending up back in hospital with a severe back injury or suffering a heart attack.