At 21 years old, Josh Wright’s eyes scanned over the two small words that stood between him and his dream of going skydiving: Weight Limit. The words were daggers. At 335 pounds, Josh stood 85 pounds over the legal limit, and a seemingly impossible distance from a meaningful personal goal. It was over the next two years that Josh’s unique weight loss story led him through ups and downs, and ultimately a long-term solution.
“I knew I was unhealthy,” Josh says. “For months I had been telling myself that I needed to do something about my weight.” But the unavoidable reality he faced that day struck a painful nerve when Josh learned that his health was inhibiting him from fulfilling a dream. “I had to do something.”
Josh began pursuing better health almost immediately by recruiting his best friend Cassie, joining a local gym and hiring a personal trainer. “My world flipped upside down,” Josh explains as he transitioned from zero physical activity to intense training. “I set a goal to weigh less than 200 pounds someday. At the time, it seemed impossible short of surgery.”
During the first six months of training, Josh’s weight dropped quickly. “It felt great,” Josh says, but it wasn’t long before his initial success met inevitable hurdles. “I moved to a new city, I wasn’t seeing my personal trainer anymore, and the holidays were approaching.” His friend Cassie notes, “We were having problems finding motivation because we didn’t have someone pushing us.” Admittedly, Josh and Cassie fell back into four months of weight gain.
One year after the start of his journey, Josh and his friend Cassie decided it was time to try again. They joined a new local gym, and this time discovered a game-changing solution that met their needs in an affordable and sustainable way.
WELLBEATS is a video-based group fitness program made available in Josh’s health club all day, every day at no cost to members. A touch-screen kiosk, dozens of video-based classes, and a 120” projection screen turn group fitness into a one-of-a-kind experience that Josh can customize to fit his schedule and his needs.
“I tried it and instantly fell in love.” Josh welcomed the much-needed accountability, but in a format that he considers “less intimidating” than face-to-face training, and more convenient. Cassie explains, “It was amazing to know that even if we couldn’t come up with our own workout without a personal trainer, we could do one of the videos.”
“It feels like the instructors are really right there.” Josh adds. “When they start a new move, they explain it first, then demonstrate. It’s like they know what you’re going to do wrong too, because they correct common mistakes. It feels like they are in the room with us!”
WELLBEATS classes were one of the few things that Josh and Cassie felt comfortable doing when they first joined their new gym. They appreciated the flexibility of participating any time of day, and began taking classes together at least three times per week. Between metabolic conditioning classes (their favorite), cycling, yoga/pilates, dance and more, they learned how to get the best variety in their workout routine.
Just over a year after the start of their journey, with a collective 250 pounds shed between Josh and Cassie, Josh reached his goal of weighing under 200 pounds. Upon hearing of Josh’s story and the success he had with WELLBEATS, Josh’s favorite virtual instructor, Sara Jespersen, took him skydiving to celebrate.
“Starting out at your heaviest, I think that was the hardest thing … getting into a gym and being comfortable workout out in front of other people,” Josh describes. “These instructors and videos completely changed the way I look at exercise and working out. I’ve gone from someone who knew absolutely nothing about working out, to being able to train and help other people. I credit most of it to WELLBEATS and everything they’ve taught me.”
Josh concludes, “I want my story to count. I want people to know that it’s possible, and even when it feels like results will never happen, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”