Health and Wellness contacts
Jill Langlois and Linda Guillory have been best friends since 2009. Jill joined in February and Linda has been a member for over 10 years! Jill was diagnosed with high blood pressure at 18 and has battled with it for over 30 years. In March 2011, she suffered a rare life-threatening condition called Aorta Dissection, which split her aorta in two. Jill spent 10 days in the CICU and was sent home three weeks later not expecting to survive. Jill quickly contacted her sister-in-law, who was in charge of the Texas Cardiology EMS Rescue Program, for help and answers. She was flown to Houston, Texas and immediately operated on at St. Lukes Hospital. She beat the odds and survived, and is now working on regaining control of her health and her life. Three years later Jill was cleared for physical activity by her doctor, she was recommended to the Y. She toured the Paula G. Manship YMCA and immediately fell in love with the facility, the staff, and the huge community
involvement. She felt assured that the fitness staff was able to provide a workout regimen to achieve her goals. Right away Jill told Linda about her experience at the Y, so the next month Linda joined Jill in working out. They are now not only best friends, but also workout partners. They both agree that they could not achieve their fitness goals without one another. They are each other’s strength and motivation! Jill and Linda constantly challenge each other to work harder and be better. They have both lost a significant amount of weight. Jill has lost 15 pounds so far, and Linda has lost 25. Working out together has made them feel better about themselves and more enthusiastic about life. They look forward to continuing this journey together. Jill is planning her upcoming wedding and Linda is planning her upcoming "special" birthday. They both have a lot to look forward to and the Y is a tremendous asset to their journey.
Sometime between 2006 and 2007, at the age of 21, Lance Craft experienced chest pains, a lifestyle disease symptom usually reserved for those who are 50 to 60 plus years of age. He used this knowledge as a catalyst for a drastic lifestyle change. Craft began humbly. He started his journey by walking with a friend, who lived in the same apartment complex. Soon after, Craft expanded his odyssey into a fitness-based lifestyle, joining the YMCA. Immediately, Craft began to appreciate the warm welcome he received from the staff and members of the Paula G. Manship YMCA.
The same staff and members soon became mentors for Craft, warning the overzealous but well intentioned beginner of the detrimental effects that could occur if he continued to work out too hard too often. Lucky, Craft found his niche in exercise and lost 140 pounds. Although the weight was lost, Craft knew that losing the weight only the beginning. Today, Craft is devoted to maintaining his fitness.
“The bottom line is,” said Lance. “If you don’t want it bad enough for yourself, nobody can want it bad enough for you."
As a member of the team which originally dedicated and blessed the opening of this facility, Rabbi Barry Weinstein has a very deep--‐ seated and beyond physical connection to Paula G. Manship YMCA. This man of faith began a journey towards physical fitness and well being at a very young age, in a “ym”class in middle school. Ever since that time, life has taken many twists and turns, regarding Mr. Weinstein’ health, including childhood asthma, intermittent fights with obesity, and even the unenviable challenge that is pre--‐diabetes. Despite all these things, he chose to stand up and take back the control of his health. And, one way he has done this is through the Manship Y’ equipment and fitness options, as well as the expert exercise instruction he receives through his trainer, Nick Ortego.
Mr. Weinstein has experienced many positive outcomes, including the loss of 50 to 60 pounds over the past year and a half, and feels that it was through his efforts and the help that the Y provides. Plus, as an added bonus, Mr. Weinstein does not take any diabetes related medications today.
Let Barry Weinstein provide another layer of inspiration to all and motivation for all of YOU to keep working towards your health and fitness goals and objectives. Remember, we are keeping our eyes and ears open for the next Manship Member Spotlight.
Hard-working wellness seeker, Jason Collier, is a fitness fanatic who exercises at the Paula G. Manship on nearly a daily basis. Despite the presence of an insidious genetic anomaly, Friedreich’s Ataxia, Collier fights against the slow, oncoming changes of his motor functions in his wheelchair.
This proverbial mountain that stands in his way does not stop this 30-year-old from living a healthy lifestyle. Collier is a highly motivated and inspired man, who has been able to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Louisiana State University.
Collier’s defining mantra 2 Corinthians 4:9, "Persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed." This excerpt is what he lives and breathes by, and he shows his dedication every time he comes into the weight room. Collier continues to work just as hard as other gym regulars, if not harder. He also feels that because of his consistent efforts of weight training he has been able to stave off the cardiovascular decline seen from typical Friedreich Ataxia patients.
"I’m young; I still have time to lose it", was always my reply whenever someone asked about my weight. My name is Naomi Collier and my weight loss journey is not an overnight success story. It took a lot of sweat, tears, complaining and hard work to get to where I’m at today. I’ve been big all my life and overcame stereotypes. I had convinced myself that I loved the way I looked, and that it was my mission to make everyone else love it too. For years I embraced my size and the thought of losing weight seldom crossed my mind.
My "come to fitness" moment happened about two years ago. My best friend got a job as a lifeguard at the YMCA and she suggested coming in and spending time with her. I began taking classes such as kickboxing, boot camp and water aerobics. By the end of the summer I had lost 23 pounds. After the summer, my friend and I returned to school and I discontinued going to the Y. In the fall of 2011, I went to the doctor for my annual blood test and received some unsettling news. My good cholesterol was low and my bad cholesterol was too high. My results indicated that without weight loss I would be at risk for heart disease. My doctor said this was an "easy fix" as long as I increased my exercise to five times per week and eliminated all fatty foods from my diet. After a good laugh, reality set in and I began to worry.
I was a full time student, worked part time and 5 days per week just didn’t seem possible. So I approached Joe, Southside YMCA Director, and expressed my concern. He suggested that I get a personal trainer, someone who can motivate me and keep me accountable for my exercise regimen. He assigned me to Gina Stonich, who, at first glance, is sweet, caring, and innocent, but once the workout began was ruthless, takes no prisoners and is hard core. She’s exactly what I needed. Anytime I wanted to quit she encouraged me to keep going. Every day I came in to workout -whether it was one time per day or multiple times - the entire Southside staff and members kept me encouraged. They told me that excuses were not an option and failure would not be tolerated.
Today, I am 100 pounds lighter because of the hard work, dedication and great support system. The Southside YMCA has saved my life and I will forever be grateful. The struggle is real but entirely worth it. Stay tuned to my story, this is just the beginning.
My name is Mande Taylor and I joined the Dow Westside YMCA in August of 2011. I decided to join because I, at that point, had recently graduated from graduate school and had gained 30 pounds due to the stresses of school. I was also going to turn 40 that year and was not pleased with how I felt, looked or my lifestyle.
I started by taking classes, running on the treadmill and lifting weights. I am proud to report that I have lost 26+ pounds and have dropped more than two pants sizes. I still go to classes, lift weights and run on the treadmill. My goal is to work out five days each week for at least an hour and a half.
Some days it is very hard for me to stay motivated and go workout, but the constant motivation of my friends, family and Y staff that compliment my progress and continue to push me past my limits, help me through. I have a lot of stress in my personal and professional life, and the Y helps me control it in each aspect of my life. As I strive to be a good role model for my teenage daughter, I use this as motivation to stay in shape and live a healthy lifestyle.
I feel you are never too old and it’s never too late to start getting in shape, changing your habits and motivating yourself, as well as others, to live a better and healthier lifestyle.
"My journey toward health began in September 2011 when I moved from Le Mans, France to West Baton Rouge, LA to work at the Dow Westside YMCA. I grew accustomed to the European lifestyle: eating lots of bread, cheese and wine and walking everywhere because I had no car.
During the summer of 2011, I was roughly 185 pounds. By the end of October, I was near 205. My clothes no longer fit and I was uncomfortable in my own skin, so I took my friend’s advice and joined the Y.
I started out slow, focusing on the habit of going to the gym at least 3 times a week. Once I had that routine, I started the "Couch to 5k" program on a treadmill. Words of advice: get good shoes before you start running, and a treadmill is not the same as running on concrete. It was a very humbling experience to be one of the last to finish my first Happy’s 5K, well behind the guy with a stroller and two kids.
The Y has a lot to offer. Try different things and find out what works for you. For me, the personal training fee is a deal that cannot be beat. Spin class, running club, abs, etc. There is something for everyone here. All you have to do is put in the hard work! I’m now under 180 pounds and will soon be able to challenge that guy with the stroller. I’ve dropped from an extra large to a medium shirt, lost 4’’ off my waist and feel more confident and capable than ever before."
My name is Stu Tully and my weight loss success is still a story in progress. I was always tall and large growing up, but it wasn’t until college when I really started to pack on the pounds. I may have had academic success, but as I neared the end of my doctorate, I realized that unless I was to do something serious about my weight, those degrees would have been for naught.
Luckily, it was a chance friendship that really changed my story. I met Jordan Watts (a personal trainer at the YMCA) randomly at a Bible study. He pestered me to let him train me. Although I was hesitant, I agreed, and that’s when the change started. I’d always been adept at cardio, but Jordan forced me to lift weights and do
crossfit exercises I wouldn’t have otherwise done.
Because of Jordan, I began using the plethora of services available through the Y. I’ve done classes, swimming, as well as countless hours on the elliptical. Although we certainly had success through this training, my weight wasn’t going down due to my diet. It was Jordan who encouraged me to go to a dietician, and I’m grateful to him for his support.
Since the beginning of 2013, I’ve lost 95 lbs. But even more important than the weight loss, I’ve gained
self-confidence, as well as a brighter outlook on life, and most importantly, a dear friend in Jordan. I know I have plenty of weight left to lose, but I know with the support of the Y, I will achieve this goal. My best advice I can give to others who need to lose weight is to know you’re not in this alone. There are people at the YMCA who genuinely want to help you and will support you in whatever way you need.
I began Two Sizes Smaller at the A.C. Lewis branch in January 2013. I had gotten married six months prior, and had gained almost 10 pounds in that time. Between work, graduate school, and married life commitments, my health had taken a backseat. I was unhappy with my weight and knew that something had to change. It was frustrating because I've always been a smaller girl (5'1"), and when talking with friends, I was always told "oh you don't have any weight to lose!" It was then that I saw the flyer for Two Sizes Smaller and decided to give it a try. I needed a place where I could talk about my struggles with food without being belittled. I wanted to learn some new ways of exercising so I wouldn't be bored at the gym. These were my original goals, and if I happened to lose a few pounds, then that was a plus.
During my time in the class, I learned so much about nutrition and exercise. In the nutrition portion, I learned about the components of food, how to actually read a food label and count calories, and how to make healthier decisions. I really enjoy eating out, so this was especially helpful to knowing how to avoid entrees at restaurants that would completely destroy my new healthy lifestyle. The exercise portion of the class turned out to be really fun. I was able to participate in new exercise classes, like gravity and sports circuit, which I had always been too afraid to try. The weight area used to be intimidating, overwhelming, and stressful; now I enjoy it. The use of the ActivTrax system has made it so simple to use the free weights and the weight machines. The group workouts in the weight room during Two Sizes Smaller gave me the courage to do it on my own.
At the end of the twelve week course, I had lost 9 pounds and a total of 6.25 inches around my body. But more importantly, I gained confidence, knowledge, and skills to keep it off and live a healthier lifestyle. It has been a year since I completed Two Sizes Smaller and I am proud to say I have maintained that weight loss. I still enjoy eating out, but I also enjoy going to the gym three to five days a week. I don't necessarily diet but I know what I'm putting in my body and am also aware of what I need to do to work it off. I have continued my weekly weigh ins so that the weight doesn't sneak back on. I enjoyed Two Sizes Smaller much more than I thought I would, and would recommend it to anyone who just needs that extra push to live a healthier lifestyle.
I really believe Two Sizes changed my life. At age 60 I saw this ad in the paper for Two Sizes Smaller. Enrolling was one of the best things I could have done for myself. It was a nice chunk of change, but well worth every cent. Five years ago I had not worked out since I was in my 30's.
I vowed to myself to be a good student. I listened to the trainers and the nutritionist, and without any reservations, followed their instructions. I also went to the gym on days when I did not have classes. I was strict regarding diet and nutrition. No excuses. The nutritionist was an expert from Pennington. I was very faithful in keeping a food and exercise diary... which I did for three years after the course.
I found I got out of this what I put into it. I lost 16 1/2 pounds after the twelve weeks. I continued working out and lost a total of 25 lbs. To this day, I work out 5 days a week. I really believe that this program changed my life because I put in 110% effort during these 12 weeks and beyond.
I found the trainers and nutritionist to be very professional.
Once you join, join our 9 AM classes. Aerobic and step on MW & F. Pilates on T & Thurs. Look me up. I'd be glad to workout with you.
Things weren’t going so well for me back in 2006. I saw the ad in the paper for the Y’s “Two Sizes Smaller” 12-week weight loss/well-being program for women with two trainers and dietary counseling. I said ‘What do I have to lose?” Turns out: 60 Pounds!
I did the class twice, as learning new habits is hard! Four years later, I have kept within 10 pounds of my “new” weight, by continuing what I have learned in this LIFE-ALTERING PROGRAM. I have made peace with food, and discovered a new body buried under that old one!
What I lost (60 pounds) is far less important than what I gained. My cholesterol levels are those of a different body (267 to 177). I no longer suffer from a chronic cough (I was never a smoker). The heartburn is gone. My jeans are a SIZE 8 and I no longer wear “camouflage” clothing. Best of all, there’s a new love in my life! (He’s been around awhile, 47 years, but now we are dating!) Birthdays no longer faze me! I say “BRING IT!”
Thank you, eternally, to the YMCA!
My success story is a
continuation. I've been coming to the YMCA since October 9th of 2014. That day
totally changed my life for the better. At that time I entered a program called
ActiTrax. My weight at the time was 302 pounds and my current weight is 273.2
I feel totally
rejuvenated. It has boosted my self-esteem 360°. The staff and members are so
welcoming and friendly. Some of them know you by your first name. It has
become like a second family to me. I love how losing the weight has made me feel.
The staff and members have really encouraged me to stay strong and not to lose
faith. I love all the different machines because they really challenge me
to give my all.
One of the members
that has contributed to my success story is named is Mr. Levert Kent. When I
first came here I was always looking down and wouldn't look anyone in the
face. Now, thanks to Mr. Kent and God I'm smiling at people,
laughing, and talking with them. There are several of the
staff members that have contributed to my success story and their
names are Matt, Don, Gwen, D'Andre, Susie, Aidan, Poni, and Rosalyn. Those are
the names that I could remember, but there are so many more.
All I can say is that
both staff and members at the A.C. Lewis YMCA have contributed greatly to my
success story. I love the staff and members here so much. It's like my safe
haven. The YMCA does so much for so many people. My success story is a
continuation that is ongoing throughout 2015. I hope to lose another 30-40 lbs.
Thank you and God bless. Submitted
by Marcie Williams.
Being healthy means more than simply being physically active. It’s about maintaining a balanced spirit, mind and body. The Y is a place where you can work toward that balance by challenging yourself to learn a new skill or hobby, fostering connections with friends through our lifelong learning programs, or bringing your loved ones closer together through our many family-centered activities. At the Y, it’s not about the activity you choose as much as it is about the benefits of living healthier on the inside as well as the outside.
The YMCA offers unlimited access to a variety of group exercise classes as a membership benefit. Whether it's yoga, kickboxing, cycling or something in between, there's sure to be a class worth incorporating into your wellness routine.
Need more information about the classes we offer? Click here!
You broke the mold. Shouldn't your workout program do the same? Get the personal attention, motivation and expertise you need to achieve your health and fitness goals with YMCA Personal Training.
All YMCA personal trainers are nationally certified to ensure they have the knowledge and expertise to develop a wellness program to best address your specific needs and interests. YMCA trainers are also hired for their passion and commitment to upholding the Y's mission to help you reach your fullest potential.
Individuals and group sessions available.
Click Here to find out more about Personal Training!
The ActivTrax system provides members with an easy and efficient way of scheduling workouts, meal plans and nutritional grocery lists. The training program serves as your workout partner and understands your wants, needs and goals.
To start up an ActivTrax account set up an appointment with a wellness coach. Once enrolled, login to ActivTrax and begin planning your exercise experience. To continue your training, track your progress online.
5 Steps Strength Test
Begin your ActivTrax experience by taking a quick 5 step strength test. Then ActivTrax will prescribe exercises based on your results. Each routine will include the amount of weights and reps to use during your workout. You can print this information from home or from an ActivTrax kiosk.
With every visit to the Y, ActivTrax will provide you with a new workout, maintaining your exercise routine while keeping things fresh and interesting. Along with scheduling workouts, the program will recommend what equipment to use, how to set weights and the length of rest between sets. Regardless of fitness level-beginner, intermediate or advanced-ActivTrax provides easy and successful ways to challenge your workout.
Along with ActivTrax’s unique fitness program, the plan includes a nutritional component that complements your workout routine. ActivTrax’s nutrition engine maintains a database of over 70,000 food options and offers a specialized dietary menu that compliments your work out
This system is offered at four of our locations. And they’ve just added the free mobile application for this system.
Click Here for more information!
We will get you on the right path to help you reach your fitness goals. Once you join the Y we will schedule your Jump Start appointment where you will have an opportunity to meet with one of the fitness staff to set goals, get assessed, and get your Activtrax log in code. You will also get a free YMCA t-shirt for completing your Jump Start appointment. Your Test Drive will be scheduled next if you want to go through that first workout with one of the fitness staff. Complete Your Path to Wellness within the first 30 days of joining the YMCA you will receive a YMCA workout towel. There's a lot more on Your Path To Wellness and it's all free when you join the Y.
Members are able to choose the kind of appointment they are most comfortable with. Whether you're new to exercise or in tip-top shape, our first appointment experience is an opportunity for us to get to know one another. Whether you want to lift weights, take classes, swim, play sports or have some other interests in mind, we want to make sure we do our part in helping you get started on the right foot.
1. An appointment designed specifically for members who want to incorporate RESISTANCE TRAINING in their exercise routine. Our Wellness Staff will discuss your goals, create a program that's right for you, setup your wellness profile and make sure that you're comfortable using this equipment.
2. A 30-minute appointment that is designed specifically for members who are primarily interested in ACTIVITIES OR GROUP CLASSES. Our Wellness Staff will review class schedules, answer any questions you may have, set up your wellness nutrition profile and make sure that you're comfortable using the facility.
Members who attend their first appointment within the first two weeks of joining are 6X more likely to achieve their goals. Let's make sure you're one of them!
Southside YMCA offers Rock Steady boxing to fight Parkinson’s disease with a fitness program designed of improve quality of life, sense of efficacy and self-worth for those affected by this disease. No boxing experience is necessary and people of all ages are invited to participate. Several medical studies on exercise and Parkinson’s Disease have shown that forced intense exercise can slow the progression of the disease. This program has shown the ability to slow down the progression of this disease
Click here to view the flier.
Youth Wellness Policy
Youth between the age 12 and 14 are allowed to workout in the fitness center and may participate in our group exercise classes once they have received their Youth Fitness Button from one of our YMCA Fitness Trainers.
Here’s what you need to do:
Set up a training session for your child with one of the Fitness Trainers.
If your child completes their training session with flying colors we will give them a Youth Fitness button. They must exhibit to our staff that they are mature enough to work out and obey the fitness center rules to receive their button.
Have your child wear their Youth Fitness button every time they come to the YMCA to workout. They will not be allowed to work out without their Youth Fitness button.
Parents need to be in the YMCA building when their child is working out in the weight room and must be participating with their child during any group exercise class. You may not drop your child off and leave the premises.
Children can stay for no more than two hours per day.