Summer Slimdown Success Story: Jackie Vanacek

Who would have thought that as a brand new member in the JCC’s Summer Slimdown Healthy Weight Loss Challenge I would actually win? I’ve reached my preferred weight from 15 years ago and I feel like a million dollars!

I had been trying to get back to my skinny self for a while, in an on-again off-again way. Summer Slimdown wound up being just what I needed to lose that last five pounds and an incredible percentage of body fat. I am thrilled to make some permanent lifestyle changes, thanks to an excellent and motivational staff.

As a Global Technology Evangelist in the software industry, I’ve been on the road a lot between the US, Europe and China. So I’ve had precious little time to focus on me. When I was asked by a prominent government official in China to be on the cover of their high-tech magazine with an entrepreneurship article I wrote for Beijing, it was a real wake-up call.

Thankfully, we chose a head shot for the cover, because the standing shots were not so flattering. And that was the motivation I needed.

The Summer Slimdown program has tremendous flexibility, being offered three times daily.  I benefited from the differing styles, expertise and workout design of the various personal trainers involved. The mix of core conditioning, cardio and strength training is ideal to lose fat and build muscle concurrently. I ended up looking good and feeling strong.

While I wanted to lose weight and tone up, I also need to maintain a high energy level to meet my demanding schedule. I got some valuable nutrition tips from Cameron that made an immediate difference.

Lastly, we had a really nice group of participants, all dedicated to working hard and having fun in the process. While it felt a little brutal at times, it was worth it. In the end, no one was more shocked than me when I held a plank for four minutes in our final assessment tests.

Whether you are just starting out or making progress in your own journey, I highly recommend the Slimdown program … it certainly worked for me.

Special thanks to fitness professionals Lisa, Delmar, Cameron, Brett, Etty, James and Bonnie for a wonderfully effective challenge. I really appreciated their dedication. Look for me in the gym—in a colorful new ensemble. I’ve been “exercising the plastic,” too. The rewards just keep coming!

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Jackie Vanacek

Written by Jackie Vanacek

Jackie Vanacek is a new member of OFJCC’s Fitness Center. You’ll find her “in the clouds” both for fun and as a Cloud Computing Evangelist in the software industry. When not sweating it out at the gym, she’s on another great travel adventure or writing about ancient wisdom practices.


  1. Bonnie McLaughlin says:

    Way to go Jackie!!!! Such an honor to know you!

  2. Jackie Vanacek Jackie Vanacek says:

    Folks – my other secret objective for the Summer Slimdown was to look as good as possible for the big photo/video opp! I had shared a little about it to our workout group before I left :-)

    Yes … I did it! Took my first tandem skydive ever — with the Navy Seals in San Diego!

    Have wanted to do this forever!

    Couple of guys from the Leap Frogs US Navy Parachute team, who do air shows with the Blue Angels, were gracious enough to take me on their own time. Talk about experts – both jumping and with a camera!

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