My Road to Fitness with Jim Laudani

Wendy and Alex at the Smuttynose relay in January 2012 before we began our journey to a heathly lifestyle.

My name is Wendy Apostol and I am a 46-year old mother of two teenagers.  I am employed as a Sales Administrator for a large corporation and work out of my home.  Here’s my story of how I went from flabby to extremely fit in just 3 months.

I have always “worked out” at the local gym.  I have always been active, but I am a little on the heavier, chunky side and had more body fat than I wanted.  At 45 years old, I wanted to look younger and feel better about myself.  So, I guess you could call me “average” . I wasn’t overweight at 130 to 135 lbs, but my BMI was 28%.  I ran a marathon, a few ½ marathons and some local 5 & 10k’s.   I participated in a few Triathalons, biked for charity and lifted weights occasionally. Yet, I was never thin, or lean or in great shape. My diet wasn’t the greatest.  I thought you had to eat less to lose weight, so I ate very small meals or skipped meals and couldn’t lose the weight… Until I met Jim Laudani.

I had known Jim and his wife, Kim Laudani for a while through our children’s activities, but had never talked much about his diet plans or workouts.

One morning at the local gym, Jim approached me and asked when my husband, Alex, was going to be ready to make a commitment and compete in a bodybuilding show.  My husband has always had a muscular build, but yet, he’s never been motivated to lose weight.  He was 5’9” and about 200 lbs at this time.  He regularly works out at the gym to lift and walk on the treadmill and plays softball.  His diet was about as good as mine was, which included a lot of processed sugary foods.  We talked about bodybuilding competitions and Jim’s diet plans.  I was intrigued.  I thought about it.  I wondered if I could do it.

My husband met with Jim and he introduced a bodybuilding diet plan.  I looked at his diet and thought that we’d have to do this together since I do the grocery shopping and most of the cooking.  I met with Jim a week after Alex to get my diet plan.

I weighed in at 130lbs with 28% body fat.  He said that was no problem, all I needed to do was to follow the plan.  He said I would look great! I thought about it.  What do I have to lose?  But I had my doubts.   I had tried all the diets – weight watchers, atkins, shakes, etc… and nothing really kept me motivated to stay on the diet because I never felt satisfied.

I started following the diet plan.  Since I already worked out a the gym each morning, I really didn’t change much of my routine except I stopped running everyday and lifted more.  The diet was challenging because I had never eaten so much! I never imagined I could eat so much and still loose weight. It seemed to go against everything I was taught and believed in.  I ate the right foods now and I ate more often so I was satisfied.

Alex and I weighed in each week, every Saturday morning.  I lost on average about 2lbs per week, and I felt great!! So did my husband.  Even my runs were stronger and faster.  I didn’t feel fatigued or tired and I was sleeping better at night.  It seemed so easy.  I felt stronger.  People began to notice the change and asked me what I was doing to get so physically fit.  I was healthier and much happier with the way I looked and felt.

At the end of June, the OCB Baystate competition was held in Amherst at Umass Stockbridge Theatre.  It was an extremely hot day in June, the sun was shining and it matched my mood.  I was very happy that I didn’t quit and I was here among all the other competitors.  In my mind, I had already won.  And I had told my husband the same thing.  We grew stronger and more confident together.  It was a wonderful experience.  I knew I had trained hard, followed the plan, and I was ready.  I ended up winning a 2nd place trophy in my age group and 4th place trophy in the Novice class.  It was a great experience, and I’ll never forget it.   I can’t thank Jim and Kim enough for all their support, wisdom, laughter, patience and positive motivation.  Words can’t say how thankful I am that they came into our lives.

People asked me if I’m going to gain the weight back, or go off the diet.  I tell them, I won’t go back to eating my “junk” food.  I will stay on my healthy diet by eating plenty of vegetables, protein and healthy carbs and drink plenty of water.  I feel great and I intend to stay healthy.   This is now a way of life for me.  I have transformed myself to what I have always wanted to look like and my husband also has the same attitude and confidence in himself.  We have gained some wonderful friends along the way.   Jim and Kim are very special to us.  We have become more positive in every aspect of our lives and we know we can do anything we put our minds too.  That’s empowerment!

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