(Pictured from left to right: Vern, Levi, Malka, and Lisa Engbar.)

From Sedentary to Strong: A JCC Denver Weight-Loss Story

Written by Shlomit Ovadia of JCC Denver

Denver native Vern Engbar, 56, has been involved with JCC Denver since his youth. Yet, his relationship with the community center reached new heights when he lost nearly 30 pounds with the help of JCC Denver Fitness Center’s personal trainers.  

It all began when Vern switched jobs six years ago, leading him to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle that caused him to gain over 40 pounds. 

“I wanted to try and cut that back and strengthen myself to prepare for the years ahead of me,” Vern shares about signing up for personal training sessions.  

However, despite getting stronger and feeling healthier after two years of working out, Vern wasn’t losing any weight. Just last April, Vern stepped on the scale to learn that his previously 150-pound frame was clocking in at a shocking 202. 

“I finally decided enough was enough, it was time to make a change.” 

JCC Denver Fitness Center personal trainers recommended Vern ratchet up his weight-loss efforts by implementing a hybrid workout schedule that included cardio in addition to just weightlifting. They also provided nutritional guidance to help steer him in the right direction. 

“I needed to work to change my diet if I really wanted to accomplish what we were talking about,” referencing his advised shift from calorie-counting to focusing on protein intake, which greatly aided his efforts.  

For further motivation, last summer, Vern participated in one of the Fitness Center’s weight-loss challenges that are held periodically throughout the year. Within a few months, the father of two had dropped down to just 174 pounds. 

“In my mind I said, ‘it’s an hour a day, I’m gonna give myself an hour a day to take care of me and 23 hours a day to do everything else and enjoy what’s in the world.’” 

Now, Vern frequents the JCC Fitness Center 3-5 times a week, meets a daily step goal on walks with his wife Lisa, routinely stretches, and takes yoga classes at JCC Denver. His children are also active at the J; son Levi works at the Fitness Center Membership desk, and daughter Malka worked as a Lifeguard last summer (pictured above).

“I like the training staff; they are very friendly and knowledgeable and always very present. It was their coaching, support, and continued being there that helped me.”  

Vern wants others to know that “It’s really about listening to what your body is telling you,” and implementing what is within reason of that, as well as having workout buddies for accountability.  

It’s never too late to jumpstart your fitness journey with the J. Book your first complimentary, 60-minute session with any of our nine highly qualified fitness trainers today.