Joe Wakefield

Crestwood’s Wakefield
loses 100 pounds

At 450 pounds, the 31-year-old
said he felt “worn out.”

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. – (March 2003) Crestwood resident Joe Wakefield was tired of feeling bad. At 450 pounds, the 31-year-old said he felt “worn out” all the time and wasn’t happy with his health or self-image.
Like many others, Wakefield’s weight not only made him feel lethargic and unattractive, it posed health risks. He began experiencing knee and back pain, exacerbated by his job as an electrician, which required a lot of standing on concrete floors and ladders.

Joe Wakefield

Joe Wakefield holding
a pair of pants he
used to wear.

In June 2001, Wakefield decided to do something about his condition. He joined Prime Time Fitness in Crestwood in an effort to lose weight and get in shape.
“I was planning on coaching little league football in the fall,” Wakefield said, “and I wanted to be able to get out there and run around with the kids.”
Lewis Oliveros, a personal trainer and owner of Prime Time Fitness, remembers when Wakefield first began coming into the club. “He was carrying so much weight his back was really bothering him,” Oliveros said.
Wakefield started working out about three days a week, mostly walking on the treadmill. But by the end of the year, he hadn’t achieved the results he had hoped. As a new year’s resolution, Wakefield decided he would really dedicate himself to weight loss.
“We were at a New Year’s Eve party, and I said, ‘Tomorrow I’m going to change my life,’ “ recalled Wakefield. Immediately, Wakefield began working out with renewed purpose and vigor.
“He decided to do it 100 percent in January 2002. That’s when he really dedicated himself,” Oliveros said. Wakefield began working out two to three hours each day, every day of the week. He also started watching his eating habits and gave up fast food, junk food and alcohol.
Wakefield set small goals for himself. His first was to get down to 400 pounds; then to 350 pounds by May 7, his birthday. “I reached 347 by May 7,” Wakefield said.
In addition to his weight-loss goals, Wakefield set workout goals. “I set goals on the treadmill for how long I would walk and at what incline level.”
It was those benchmark goals, said Wakefield, that kept him motivated. Wakefield’s weight loss continued steadily, and people started noticing. “After you lose weight, people start making comments, and that motivates you even more,” Wakefield said.
Fellow Prime Time member Brian Rankin agreed. Like Wakefield, Rankin lost an incredible amount of weight, 100 pounds, and has kept it off for eight years. “Once you start seeing results, you’re addicted,” Rankin said.
Wakefield’s hard work and dedication has definitely paid off. Now just a little more than a year later, Wakefield has lost nearly 200 pounds and has gone from a 58-inch to a 40-inch waist. “My wife gets on to me because I’ve spent a fortune on clothes,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield has plenty of encouragement and advice to offer individuals facing circumstances similar to his own. “Set small goals. Throw away all the junk food. But the main thing is to make up your mind that it’s all up to you,” he said. “I didn’t have surgery or take any miracle drugs.” Instead, Wakefield said it was dedication and a lot of saying “no.”
Fitness experts also offer advice to those wanting to begin a fitness-oriented weight loss program. Oliveros advises beginning slowly with cardiovascular workouts, such as walking or biking, gradually increasing frequency and length as fitness levels improve. Prime Time offers personalized training and consultation as well as a variety of exercise equipment and free weights. But the main thing is to get started, whether at home or at a club, Oliveros said.
Wakefield continues to work out seven days a week and would still like to lose a few more pounds. He credits encouragement from his wife, Billie Jo, his family and friends and the staff of Prime Time Fitness for helping him remain dedicated and reach his goals.

• For more information about fitness, weight training and weight loss, contact Prime Time Fitness at (502) 241-1665. The club offers personalized training programs, a variety of exercise equipment and free weights, a racquetball court and whirlpool spa.

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