For nearly four months residents of the town of Easton Massachusetts have seen a familiar face walking their streets morning, noon and night. Speaking with and inspiring people wherever she goes on a mission to lose weight (150 lbs is her goal). So far she has lost 65 lbs in 4 months.
Here now for the first time is her story, a person who has always put the needs of others first and has turned personal heartbreak into triumph. To participate in the Spot Jan project follow Spot Jan on Facebook and post when and where you see her walking (street/time).~ Andrew
“As a dedicated primary care giver for both my ailing mother and wonderful special needs brother, I had become used to putting other people first. I do not have to tell you the responsibility of these tasks was great but I undertook them with love. After all, I have known all my adult life that I would be responsible for Bob when my mother could no longer be, and I was happy to do it.
My first knee injury was a challenging year-long rehab process that slowed me down in a lot of ways, but I continued to make sure mom and Bob were taken care of. They came first. In July of 2012, during a business trip to Hong Kong, I realized I was once again able to walk a couple miles without pain in my knee. I was finally healed! A few days later, guess what happens? I fall and wreck my right shoulder. A week after going under anesthesia for a closed reduction in a Chinese hospital, I endured the long and painful flight home from the Far East to be reevaluated by American doctors. What followed was an exceptionally trying period of my life.
- 3 shoulder surgeries in two years, with lots of physical therapy in between.
- Soon after surgery number 2, I lost my youngest brother, Bob, very unexpectedly.
- Six months later, just before surgery number 3, I lost my mother.
Those 2 deaths changed everything for me. For the first time in my adult life, I was not responsible for anyone but myself. It was a huge change, but not one I could think about then as surgery, physical therapy and healing were taking precedence.
Follow Spot Jan on Facebook and post when and where you see her walking or just send your support!
As 2015 began, I promised myself that never again would any injury sideline me for years the way the knee and then the shoulders did. I was determined to get healthy and fit. Didn’t know how, but I was on a mission. I went to the gym 4 times a week, but wasn’t seeing results. In March, I took a BIG step outside my comfort zone, and got in touch with personal trainer Drew Peterson. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. At the same time, I started wearing a fitness tracker (Vivofit first, but now a Fitbit). My step count started going up fast once I started paying attention to it.
I started working out with Drew March 26th…5 days later, I was laid off from my job. Since I firmly believe everything happens for a reason, I took a deep breath, and decided that while I wasn’t working at a job, I would work on myself. I started walking a lot, and working out with Drew twice a week. I lost about ten pounds that first month, but I was building muscle, strength and endurance. My walks got longer and longer, and the weight started coming off faster. I started hearing from people, some I knew some I didn’t, that they were seeing me everywhere. Drew was hearing it too. It was so motivating to me, and a casual conversation during a training session has turned into this awesome page.
To date, I have lost over 60 pounds, but I am not done yet! So when you see me walking one of my favorite routes through North Easton or Borderland State Park, or any other place you may find me, honk, wave or better yet, stop and take a selfie with me, and post it along with where and when you saw me. If you have a chance, walk with me for a while. I’ll always appreciate the company, and we can get fit together!
I am also hoping to use this platform to raise awareness for the Easton Food Pantry and *Charity to be named in support of Bob’s condition*”