A Personal Milestone

A bit over three months ago, I got a call from Mojo McKay from Rocket 101. He was calling in response to a contest entry I had made back in December of 2012. I’ve won plenty of radio contests, tickets, beer, etc., but this one was different. This contest was called Rock your Rolls Off 2013, in partnership with Nautilus Fitness & Racquet Club. I had submitted my story about why I wanted to lose weight, get healthy and make a real lifestyle change. A quick summary of that is a lot of bad health in our family history, plenty of bad habits, and a lot of laziness. At the time the light at the end of my tunnel was a train and I didn’t know how to get out of the way. I was selected as one of four contestants, and I was to be paired with a personal trainer at Nautilus for an eight week challenge to lose weight and get healthy.


January 16th, I was paired up with Dan Jackowicz, a.k.a. “Danny Twoguns”.  We started working out the very next night.  For the next eight weeks I spent three nights a week at Nautilus doing things I’ve never even considered before, and this isn’t the first time I’ve worked out.  I learned terms like kettle bell swing, blast off push-up, TRX row, and was re-acquainted with an old nemesis from gym class, the burpie.  I sweat and worked like I never had.  I put in extra time, and I ate a totally different diet (and thought that I didn’t eat bad before; I was wrong).  Perhaps most importantly, after 17 years, I finally quit smoking.

I came in second in the contest, but statistically I felt like I won.  I decided to keep working until I really did win.  I might not be as strict on the diet as I was, but I’m still there three days a week plus one.  I’m seeing changes in myself that are remarkable.  I think I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I’m more flexible, more stamina, overall I might be healthier than I’ve ever been.  Three months in to this new lifestyle now, I’ve lost 32 lbs and 5 inches off my waist.  I haven’t been checked since the end of the contest, but that weight is almost all fat.  I weigh less now than I did when I was 21 and I’m in better shape.

I couldn’t have done any of this without a whole crew of people.  Most importantly, my wife Danie, who took on even more time with the kids so I could work out in the evenings.  She recognized why I was doing this: for her and the kids.  I was on a path to an early end.  Second, Twoguns Training and everyone’s support at Nautlius.  Danny Twoguns is now a friend of mine, not just a trainer at the gym.  Everyone on the Twoguns team, Annette, Dawn, Maggie, Joe, everyone there has been so supportive and helpful.  I’m even ok with being known as “Jammin’ Jesse” there.

This is by no means the end.  This was more than a contest, more than a few prizes and a free meal.  I’ve made a real lifestyle change and going to Nautilus is a part of that now.  I couldn’t imagine going back to what I was before.  In the words of my neighbor “Dude, you were getting HUGE.”  My next goals are these:  By the time I’m 33 in June I want to weigh what I did when I graduated high school, ~215-220.  Then, at our 15 year reunion, I want to be at what I proclaimed my original goal to be when I started this, I said I wanted to lose 60 lbs, getting down to 208.



5 thoughts on “A Personal Milestone

  • Linda Graffius

    Tears in my eyes. I’m so proud of you! I was also getting very worried about your health and just when I was going to talk to about your health, you took the steering wheel and headed down the right road. I have been behind you 100% and will continue to support you on your journey. Keep up the good work! Oh, and as you once told Dad when you were a little boy, “wake up and smell the coffee”. I’m glad you woke up to this problem. I love you! Mom

  • Cyndi Treiber

    Jesse- so proud of all the hard work your putting in but most of all the dedication and consistency it is taking you to keep going. I never wanted you to be half dead at thirty, your too fun to pick on! Now I know there will be tons more years of hilarious family moments and for that I’m excited. We don’t have Dad around soi look to you, my brothers, to remind me of everything he wanted for us and everything we are! Thanks for sticking it out so that I can be reminded every day for many many days of just what it means to be a “Graffi”. Love you little brother!!


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