Meet Jeff, our April Boot Camper of the Month

Pinellas– In just the first 15 days of attending Total Body Results of Pinellas Boot Camp, he dropped 15 pounds. He is gaining muscle, he worked off his belly, and he is beginning to feel more like he did when he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1970s. Meet Jeff Shelton of Largo, our inaugural Boot Camper of the Month.

Jeff began training with Julia Zammito at boot camp on Dec. 1, 2010, and quickly dropped to 195 from 210 in two weeks.

“I knew I was overweight and I had to do something about it,” Jeff said. “I was getting real tired of it. It was only like 15 pounds, but 15 pounds is a lot. I want to see my grandkid grow up. I needed to do aerobics, which I was not getting.”

Jeff set goals to trim down and build muscle mass and decided that boot camp was the way to go. He has been lifting weights regularly ever since he joined the Marines in 1973, but in his later years, he has still gained weight. At nearly 56, it was time to go back to boot camp. He knows it works.

Jeff served in the Marines through 1976 and worked on trucks as a mechanic in Japan. His final rank was an E4 corporal, and he still looks to his commanding officers for inspiration. They were the same age as he is now, but they still ran circles around the younger guys. Knowing that, he wants to now lose at least 10 more pounds and to get into super shape like he was while in the service. He works out six days a week, and boot camp is helping him achieve his goals.

“It’s getting me in better shape every time I go,” Jeff said. “I feel stronger every time I go there. My endurance is way, way up, and I proved that recently by doing all those agility circuits. I even amazed myself. I was amazed by what I could do.”

Julia picked Jeff for Boot Camper of the Month because she is amazed by his accomplishments. He came in with specific goals and has already met them through determination and sticking with the program.

“He’s like a machine out there, and it just makes me so happy to see how far he’s come and to see how in shape he is now,” Julia

said. “He’s in great shape, and it’s amazing and awesome to see him. He races people, and it is fantastic to see how far he is coming.” Jeff notices a huge contrast between his fitness level now compared to when he started three months ago.

“The first week I didn’t have any endurance,” Jeff said. “I had a heck of a time keeping up. And my legs were on fire for two weeks straight. But I really feel better and I am going to keep going with it. I just push it a little harder than I really have it, but the point is, I can now.”

His confidence has shot up, too. Jeff said his self-confidence had sunk from walking around with a big belly, and even his daughters had talked to him about it. He knew they were right. They had grown up with their dad always in good shape.

Jeff is a St. Pete Beach native and a Dixie Hollins High graduate. After he left the Marine Corps in 1976, he came back to Pinellas County, got married, and had three daughters, who are now grown. He is a history buff with particular interest in early American history, and he runs a pool service but is now semi-retired. Jeff’s first grandson was born in October of 2010, and that was his wakeup call. He realized he wants to make sure he is healthy so he can watch this little one grow up.

“Everybody needs to do this if they want to live longer,” Jeff said. “It’s that simple. And Julia works with you (to make sure you do it safely.) … You’ve got to get up off the couch. You can’t take a pill for this. And you will feel better mentally and physically. It’s that simple. It fights depression, too.”

Jeff said Julia is an amazing motivator and pushes him to meet his goals.

“She is really, really good at what she does. That is why she has such an effect,” Jeff said. “She’s very charismatic. She should have her own television show. She’s like a female version of Richard Simmons. … She’s so effective, also, because she doesn’t give you much of a break. I think that’s important – you keep your heart rate up, and you burn fat that way.”

Julia has also taught Jeff more about nutrition. Even though he said he’s not perfect, he has given up bread and French fries, and even being around Julia is a constant reminder to him to eat better. He said just looking at her, he knows she eats right and that is inspiration. But perhaps one of the biggest motivators is just how he feels when he is at boot camp.

“I feel alive. I just feel alive,” Jeff said. “And you’re surrounded by all these people doing the same thing. I mean let’s face it, look at
our society. We’re the most overweight society in the world, and it’s sad. Especially younger folks. And I like to be around people who want to be healthy. Or at least trying.”

Jeff doing some partner work at Boot Camp!

Julia said she has noticed major changes in Jeff. He now has gotten rid of his belly and has a handsome V-taper. His chest is taller, his shoulders are broader, and he just glows. “It’s freaking the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen,” Julia said. “Losing weight changes people on the outside, but what is crazy and so important is how it changes people on the inside. He walks with his head up and is just happy. He has lost the weight he wanted to lose, and he’s sticking to it. He goes to the gym on his own. He’s changing his lifestyle and is reaping the benefits, and I just think he’s back. He’s unstoppable.”

CONGRATS Jeff on your success & being our Boot Camper of the month!

Written by: Alexandra Lundahl


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