As a nurse for more than 25 years, Jodi Orth has learned an ironic truth about her profession.

“We historically don’t take very good care of ourselves,” she said. “We are the first ones to grab a high-calorie Starbucks and McDonald’s, we sleep when we can, and we work 14 hours a shot.”

By the time her 45th birthday rolled around, Orth knew it was time for a change.

Jodi Orth (left) before she began fitness training

“I’ve never had health problems, but I noticed not only was my weight creeping up but my blood pressure seemed higher than it should be,” Orth said. “That’s a huge red flag. I take care of people who don’t take care of themselves. I don’t want to be one of those people.”

Finally, with her daughter’s wedding approaching, she walked into GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness’s Performance Center in April and met trainer Claire Van Overschelde.

“My significant other has been a member for over 10 years and is very committed and goes every day,” Orth explained. “I had a membership but wasn’t committed to doing anything structured and just decided I wanted help instead of randomly working out.”

Orth’s schedule, like many nurses, can vary in the hours and days she works. She asked Van Overschelde if they could work out together two days a week and if she could write a program for another two days.

“I just loved her attitude when she came in,” Van Overschelde said. “She just wanted to feel better, and that’s a good goal for a lot of people –to be able to do the things you want to do and live a long and healthy life. We could try a lot of different things, and she was up for anything, and it gave us a lot of freedom, which was really fun.”

Van Overschelde rightly suggested that Orth not expect results right away.

“Whether they’re coming in for weight loss or to feel better, I tell people to commit to three months,” Van Overschelde said.

“The first few months you don’t see as much progress as you want, which can be frustrating, but what’s so nice is, working with a trainer, we know it’s hard, but we also know that in a few weeks or months you’re going to start to see results, so we can help with the motivation as you’re beginning. Then you start to see changes and feel the progress.”

For Orth, a big measure of progress came in the form of a single pushup.

“I had tried for 25 years to do a real pushup, and I know it sounds goofy, but I wanted to do it,” Orth said. “Clair found exercises and forms and ways of doing it and was my biggest cheerleader. Not only did she get me to one pushup but now I can do 40. It’s unbelievable to me that I can be in better shape at 46 than I was at 20.”

Not only that, she has lost 30 pounds even though that wasn’t the priority.

“I feel better now. My sleep is better. At work, I lift patients who are very sick every day and never worry about hurting my back,” Orth said. “I feel like my core is stronger. I just went to Arizona and could lift myself out of a pool like I was a teen. My balance is better. It’s all the little things you start to think about as you approach 50. They’re all better than a year ago. And I think my face looks happier. Not only is it thinner, I just feel better on the whole.”

Orth and Van Overschelde mostly work on strength training “because I think it’s a lot of fun instead of walking on a treadmill for an hour,” Van Overschelde said. “It creates more variety and is good for long-term health. I just love Jodi’s attitude about everything. She works hard when she’s here and has a really good mindset about finding balance in her life.”

When she’s not at the gym, Orth enjoys other benefits GreatLIFE offers – from discounts at the Minervas salad bar and Chevy’s Fresh-Mex to golf and the ability to take advantage of multiple fitness centers close to home or work.

“I have said to everyone I work with: Come in and commit for six month,” Orth said. “I cannot stress enough what GreatLIFE and a trainer has done for me. It’s the most underutilized asset GreatLIFE offers. It’s a commitment, but it’s so worth it. She’s become my friend. She’s been my biggest cheerleader.”

Are you ready to start your GreatLIFE journey? Click here, or stop in any GreatLIFE location.


Nurse connects with trainer for life-changing fitness journey

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