* What I respect and love the most about Joan’s journey is that it is a journey we can all embark on. She has done this without a pill, fancy program or surgery. It took a strong mind, to make a right choice and determination that we can all attain- if we just CHOOSE to take the leap. COME OUT with us and make a difference. Even if you simply just come out and do everything wrong...you are changing from the inside out. There is no "failure" as long as you just move! My mom used to always say; "Life is a gift", and I have never understood this more clearly than I do now. I wish she had lived long enough to have seen me at this part in my own journey ~ Tara Sauciukas, Brantford ON
Wanted to share how I feel after smiling and sweating through one of Joan's Zumba classes...anyone seen the commercial with the little girl looking in the mirror and shouting all sorts of great affirmations...well that's me after class...all the way home in the car shouting "I love Joan's Zumba Class"..."I love that I am able to do Zumba" " I love how much Joan loves doing the class" " I love that we can all sing along, and hoot and holler" and "I love just how great I feel shouting out everything I love about Twoonie Zumba". Some nagging health issues over the last 6 years had me gain weight and I was very inactive. Long story short, I have lost 50LB this year, (reached that goal just today!!) and if someone had told me even a short year ago that I would be doing Zumba, I would never have believed them!! Thanks for helping me get fit and having so much fun doing it!!!! Thanks for being who you are, and what you do, it is why I enjoy the classes so much! ~ Jane Salvatore, Brantford ON
* Before I started going to Zumba I had a gym membership that I might have used twice because I felt uncomfortable because of my size and I felt like everyone was watching me. Just wasn't my thing!!! I was told about Zumba on Wednesday nights so I Google it and talked to one of my friends about going and trying it out. But I was scared to do it by myself. From the first night we went til now Joan has made us feel comfortable and has been an amazing role model. I look forward every week to going to Zumba. ~ Melodie McCreath, Brantford ON
* I have been going to Joan's Zumba classes since Jan and I LOVE her classes. It is 60min of pure sweaty energy! I look forward to my classes with Joan. I go once a wk and when possible I try to get to 2classes each wk. I am not a very coordinated person but I find her instruction to be easy to follow. You can tell she loves what she does by the expression on her face as she pushes us to do the best we can do. ~ Vannie Denison, Brantford ON
* My favourite part of Joan’s Weight Loss Group & Zumba is that she does not promote nor endorse being skinny. She is continually encouraging good health incorporated with fitness. Her Zumba classes bring us more energy and they thrive on happiness and our well being. I’m a firm believer that being fit should never be judged by your dress size but by how much energy you have and making healthy food choices on a daily basis. Joan’s Zumba encourages good fitness, fun and energy which help us to carry that into our everyday lives. With Joan…You will sweat, smile, feel your body working, feel good, and above all else SMILE!!! ~ Sarah Marie, Paris ON
* Joan u have inspired me to continue my weight loss journey even when I wanted to give up. I just remember everytime I step on the scale now that I do have a lot of hard work ahead and I know I got a lot of work still to do on my self-esteem and self-confidence, but in the end it will be all worth it. I am very glad we met. When I am havin a day where I wanna just give up, I think of how far u have come in the short time I have known u. U look amazin and I hope one day I can look at myself and say, "I look just as good as Joan!!". Ur truly awesome and don't ever forget that my friend. Crystal Tucker, Hamilton ON
* Joan is a new friend of mine, we met on face book, I enjoyed her atitude and thought she was an interesting women when I first met her. She was way more then that, she was a women working on loos...ing her weight and starting a different lifestyle, something I have had challenges with all my life. Joan has been very successful and is very inspiring as her website is also very inspiring. She gives you hope that it can be done. Though I have been successful in the past, I got heavy again, it is more difficult when you are older. But in seeing Joan's success and how she never gives up, you cannot help but feel you can do it if you will only try. I love the fact that Joan has become a Zumba instructor, I wish I lived near her so I could attend her classes. Her own testmonial helps people, you cannot help being motivated by her. Even her posts she makes on Face Book are very helpful. I am so happy that I came across her and became her friend, even though we have never met. I share her joys with her success and just knowing someone has come as far as she has, gives me enthusiasm. I have been swimming more and trying to eat healthier. Betty Patton, Peterborough ON
* I just wanted to let you know I really look up to you with your Thinspiration thing. You look amazing in your pictures. I've actually been having alot of self conscious issues lately and you've really inspired me. I know I'm not fat, but I'm horribly out of shape and when I went to my gym consultation they said I had 31.6% body fat. That's horrible: (But one of your statuses on Facebook really made me think. You're right; One hour a day may equal a year later. I'm gonna try to start getting in shape now. Thanks. Penny Alexander, (Highschool Student) Brantford ON
* Thanks for coming to our TOPS group Joan. After your visit last week; our group was so inpsired by you, that we had an overall loss of 20.5 pounds and NO gains. One of our members has your picture up on her fridge, to keep her motivated. You are very inspiring. Bravo and Good Job.
Mike Jennings, TOPS Leader, Paris ON
* You’re looking great! I find your story very inspiring. Before, I read this I was seriously thinking of going to join a gym tonight ...now I definitely will stick to my plan. Sandra Colwell, Brantford ON
*Joan...you are a big inspiration to me. Last year, my doctor said to me in exact words, "Your cholesterol sucks" The way I see it, when the doctor puts it like that, time to do something about it. Even so, I've had a tough time sticking to it. Fast food is cheap and convenient, and as far as a sweet tooth, I think I have about 5 of them. Lately Ive been reading your posts and thinking if you can do it, I have no excuse. So, thank you for kicking my butt ! Craig Clark, Brantford ON
* (Regarding willpower) It's Called Joan Power. You are my Idol. Marian Wood, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
*I just want to say how much I respect and admire you! You have so much willpower and motivation and are a real inspiration to other people! I've watched you for the last few months and I am amazed at the dedication that you have made toward a goal that you have set and have reached beyond that goal. Leah Jeffreys, Memphis TN
* Totally Awesome. You have a natural verbal skill to relate to an audience...keeping things real is so easy for you and you'll have success in this too I trust. All the best forward!!! Joe Hunt, Brantford ON
* The past year I watched Joan Minney transform into a new person inside and out! I have tried dieting. My whole life but could never grasp the motivation. But when I saw how Joan had changed I somehow got the courage to go forward. I signed up for kick boxing and have started watching what I eat and have lost about 5 pounds! Thanks Joan! You truly are an inspiration! Shelby Lucier, (Highschool Student) Paris ON
*Joan, You are an amazing woman, both inside and out! Way to go and keep going! My mother has a story something like yours only she is still at the over 300lb stage with lots of diets behind her as well. She was very thin in her 20's and the weight has not stopped adding on. I am afraid of following in her footsteps. Your story is an inspriation. Thank you for sharing. Corrie Bradfied, Brantford ON.
* Hi Joan, Wow! Lorne just forwarded your website to me. Good for you! Now that is the spirited Joan I remember 25 years ago at the Aquatic Centre. A very inspirational story. I miss those fitness days and motivating all the class participants. Lorne just reminded me of my monthly membership at my fitness centre. It’s time to return and you are right when you say one pound at a time. Congratulations! Tracey & Lorne Kadish, Brantford ON
*I love the wording you use on your website, it's like you are talking directly to me. Good for you Joan. You faced up to your challenge, came out of your comfort zone and achieved.
Tom Southern, Liverpool England.
* This is wonderful news, if anyone can inspires someone out there it is YOU! You look wonderful, what an amazing transformation. We're proud of you. Sue & Kirk Plewes, Ingersoll ON
* A big Congratulations and all the best of wishes, luck and happiness for Good Health always. Good for you. You are an inspiration to everyone. I was also very heavy and weighed 211 lbs. many years ago and my health wasn't good either. I did what you did and I went down to 145 lbs, and now I have managed to keep the weight off for the past 10 years. I will never let my weight become a danger to my health any more. I am a great Fan of yours. Dianne Green, Brantford ON
* Do you see the goodness that has come out of so much negativity? Billy Minnery, Brantford ON
* A Special Note from my Sister, Anne Minnery ~ Brantford Ontario.
In recent years I could honestly say that my sister, Joan, had a heart as big as she was. I am now even more thrilled to say that she has a heart bigger than she is! Joan has had a weight problem most of her life. I remember her as a little girl being hugged and cuddled as the little ‘pudgy’ one. I, myself, have a physical disability in that I contracted polio when I was a young child and have had to deal with that my whole life. Joan has had her own physical disability in having to deal with weight issues and feeling insecure as a result. She compensated for her feelings of insecurity by putting an emotional shield around herself and adopting a ‘you can’t hurt me’ attitude. However, that emotional shield also involved eating which was her emotional crutch to help compensate for not having the “look” that she longed for.
I watched and worried as Joan got bigger and became alarmed for her health and well being. I knew that the resolve to start taking her health more seriously had to come from her, and her alone. It has been a true inspiration for me to watch Joan make the decision that she was going to get her health back and I just knew in my heart that this time she was going to do it. I watched her walk the streets in all types of weather and she never gave up once, even when she had a scary situation happen from some guys passing by in a car. She just put one foot in front of the other and kept marching toward her goal. I thrilled as she grew increasingly slimmer and healthier and she started to look amazing. Her eyes sparkled more and her figure started to come back and she started to gain some of that inner confidence back. Even though she is not at her goal weight yet, I have no doubt she will get there. All in good time as the saying goes.
Joan’s success has inspired me to look more closely at my own health issues. I cannot walk and therefore exercise is difficult for me. I have taken up chair aerobics, however, and am delighted to say that so far I have lost about 8 lbs. It is a much slower process for me than Joan but who cares, this is not a race, it’s a new healthy lifestyle and I’m loving it. We both eat much healthier now and even my dog has lost weight!