Laura Seigle

Faced with a debilitating injury, Laura Seigle’s retirement was looking pretty grim. She was overweight, needed serious surgery that might not work and had several family and personal issues that kept her feeling down.

But only a year after her retirement, things are looking up. She joined the Jewish Community Center in February and has lost 41 pounds and has no plans to slow down.

Seigle retired from teaching elementary school in November 2013 and her doctor said she needed surgery to repair a torn tendon in her foot. The surgery is only effective about 80 percent of the time, so in order to ensure better results of the surgery, she needed to lose weight.

When she joined the JCC, her goal was to lose 40 pounds by October or November. Unable to move much, she started taking chair exercise classes with the seniors, and her doctor suggested she get in the pool. “He told me, ‘Water is good for everything.’ So I started doing deep water aerobics with Pat, and then Water in Motion with Beth,” she said.

Water aerobics helped her feel better, which enabled her to do more exercises on the floor. She tried a cycling class, but found that it was too much pressure on her foot.

She found she was losing weight but had trouble losing it in her abs, so she tried Pilates. She took Pilates IM=X training with Bekki Jo Tressler, and found that it really helped her. She graduated to mat Pilates classes and began taking a J-Barre fitness class, too.

“The Pilates reformer (IM=X instruction) is not cheap, but it’s worth it,” she said.

There are some exercises she still can’t do, but isn’t worried about it.

“I have to modify everything, and the instructors have been wonderful,” she said.

She now visits the JCC for about two hours every morning and evening during the week. “All the trainers here are really encouraging,” she said.

She isn’t on a specific diet, but she just tries to watch what she eats and never goes hungry. “My blood pressure is way down, and my cholesterol is terrific,” she said.

Keeping focus on her fitness has become a priority.

“My family and friends know not to try to reach me during certain hours of the day,” she said. “But I do have a life!”

Her advice to others who want to get active but feel they can’t is to just keep trying.

“You have to be willing to try different things,” she said. “If something isn’t working, what will make it work? You have to be willing to change.”

Now she has decided to lose 20 more pounds and delay surgery until January.

“I would tell anyone, ‘You’re not too old, you’re not too heavy or too impaired to work out,’” she said, then she scurried off to another JCC fitness class.


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