By: Jennifer Belcher
A few weeks ago I was scrolling through Instagram when I found myself frozen in awe at a transformation post by Jersey City Kickboxing. I knew immediately that I needed to feature the woman in the photo in our “Faces of the Brunswick Center” series. Her side by side transformation was nothing short of incredible. After learning more of the story behind the photograph, I realized it was far more than just a “before and after” weight loss journey. Fleurdelis’ inspirational story is one of dedication, motivation, commitment, and family.
Fleurdelis first came to Jersey City Kickboxing 2 years ago as a parent who had her two boys enrolled at the academy.
“Both my boys are being trained by Coach Paul, Coach Ralph, and Coach Sosa. My oldest started training 2 years ago,” she explains.
In February of 2018 Fleurdelis started her own fitness journey. At 210 lbs, she was fed up with always feeling tired and unhealthy. She knew if she did not make a dramatic change in the way she was living her life, she could end up with diabetes, a disease which runs in her family.
“With having two boys I couldn’t bear the thought of them having to see their mom so unhealthy. I started going to the gym 30 mins a day for 7 days a week since this was all my body could tolerate. This went on for about a month,” recounts Fleurdelis.
As she slowly built up her strength and endurance she was able to add more to her weekly routine. At first she added fitness classes such as Zumba and weightlifting. She kept this up until June of 2018 when she realized she needed to up the challenge even more for maximum results. Familiar with her sons’ instructor Coach Paul, the owner of Jersey City Kickboxing, she reached out to him for advice.
“Once I realized I needed a more intense workout, I spoke with Paul and he suggested I try out the adult classes.”
Kickboxing proved to be exactly what she needed to push her mind and body and help her finally reach her health and fitness goals. From February to June, Fleudelis lost 20-30lbs. However, her major weight loss and toning came from kickboxing where she lost a total of 50-60lbs. It wasn’t always an easy and happy process, however. Halfway through her journey, her eldest son came to her and confessed that he was being bullied over his weight. Kids were telling him that he was heavy because his mom is heavy. This was exactly what she needed to give her the will to continue what she had started.
“A mother will do anything to always protect her children,” she said.
Along with working out, she also focused on changing her eating habits.
“Losing weight and toning are not all about working out. It also comes from the kitchen. A year later I have been able to keep the weight off and am healthier than ever,” she proudly states.
Currently Fleurdelis attends classes at Jersey City Kickboxing Monday – Friday. The best part is, she’s been able to make it into a family affair. From 5-7pm each of her family members is involved in a class. Her youngest son attends the 5pm class, her teen attends class at 6pm class, and she rounds out the evening by taking the 7pm adult class.
For Fleurdelis, kickboxing is more than just a challenging workout. It is a special part of her life that helped show her what exactly she was capable of, mentally and physically.
“Kickboxing has changed my life, especially when it comes to my fitness level. I was never into any type of physical workouts, but kickboxing doesn’t feel like a normal work out. It is intense and fun at the same time. I was never one to exercise as the commitment necessary to make it work was somehow never attainable. However, that all changed when I met Paul Clark and started to attend kickboxing classes. JC Kickboxing has shown me how to incorporate the art of Muay Thai and the correct form of boxing.”
Fleurdelis finds the classes to be strategically structured and having the ability to take both cardio kickboxing and Muay Thai classes is a great experience. She speaks highly of her coach and owner Paul, complimenting him on his ability to train a variety of clients, regardless of their fitness level.
“He works on your strengths and weaknesses, improving all aspects of total body fitness.”
Complimenting the obvious benefits to her weight and physical fitness, her classes have proven to make an impact in other parts of her life.
“Being a teacher, kickboxing has helped me in lowering my stress level, given me more energy, burned calories, has boosted my confidence to a very high level, and toned my entire body. It also helps me learn self-defense moves which is something all women should learn.”
In addition to being able to take part in an activity with her actual family, Fleurdelis has also developed a second family through Jersey City Kickboxing. She applauds the staff’s ability to create a welcoming, warm, and friendly environment which has enabled her to create loving relationships that make her feel like she has known her coaches and classmates for years. She even was able to meet the owner of Worry Woo’s, another Brunswick Center business, who she attends morning classes with and has given her advice for her teaching career.
Motivated by her two young sons and her desire to turn her life around and get healthy, Fleurdelis set herself on a determined path of change and devotion. Through a local community of expert teachers and students, she found exactly what she needed to spark her transformation and to continually push her past new challenges and obstacles each day.
Jersey City Kickboxing is located on the 3rd floor of the Brunswick Center and is owned and operated by Paul Clark. For more information on Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and other services visit www.njkickbox.com.