Jill Wilkerson is a true Texas girl, a native through and through. She was born in Waco, went to college at North Texas State, married a boy she had known since she was 8 years old, and moved to Conroe in 1984. She and her husband Leroy now have three kids and work together publishing the Home Focus Real Estate Guide and are involved in property management and other real estate ventures.

All this meant a busy and stressful life, and Jill says she let herself “go†for years. She made several attempts to lose weight and to shape up, but always failed to follow through. She developed a bad back and had to baby herself to prevent the pain and stiffness that resulted from a wrong move. She took time off from her business to go to a chiropractor every three weeks.

Finally, she experienced the difference a personal trainer could make in an exercise program when her church friends participated in a boot camp with a certified trainer and a regular scheduled time to work together. Jill found it easy to attend regularly and began to feel better and have fun.

One day she left from getting a manicure and noticed the Fitness Express exercise gym near by. Her sister in law was having concerns about the cost of the other bootcamp, and Jill decided to check out the offered services and the prices charged by Fitness Express, as a comparison. She walked through the door of the gym, and as Jill put it, her life changed at that moment. Ric Simmons, the owner, met with her and explained the programs he offered and invited her to try the gym out free for a couple of days to see what she thought. Jill welcomed the chance to get some free training time; little did she know how much she would love it!

Jill never looked back. She started with core-strengthening once a week and then started Boot Camp. She realized that improvement and healing takes time; it took years to get overweight and unhealthy and no quick fix was possible. As her program developed, she recognized the merit of a regimen that didn’t stress her body and that built upon itself. Her busy weekly schedule now includes an exercise each day; strength training, walking, boot camp, cardio, zumba, and pilates. She never gets bored.

The fitness center is her home away from home. Ric is her great motivator; he modified everything when she first came and needed it, and challenged her as she progressed in her abilities. “He listens to me and encourages me to take care of myself,†she said. The “small†atmosphere of the studio is a huge plus for her, also. “We are like a family with a common goal; we are getting healthier and stronger. The personal attention from Ric and the encouragement we give each other makes it comfortable and easy to keep up our goals.â€

Jill’s greatest self-revelation was about food. She has come to believe that everything that goes into her body must have a purpose, not just for the taste of it or the ease of getting it. She eats for strength, energy and good mental health now; she lost over 15 pounds with no effort at “dieting,†and she feels fantastic.

Jill, a deeply spiritual person, explains her new outlook. “I believe that God wants all this for me and my family,†she said. “He wants us healthy and strong and committed to the life he has given us here on earth.†No one could say it better or be a better example of the truth of our purpose than Jill and her new, intentional life.