By Pat Young, Fort Stewart Public AffairsAugust 15, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- You cannot truly understand the effort it takes to fight weight problems, unless you have been there. One warrior who has fought and won that battle is Frenchi Jones, a Marne Family member who recently lost nearly 130 pounds.
Originally from Washington, Jones grew up loving music and dancing, but due to health issues and a lack of confidence, she didn't feel well enough to get out much.
"You go through life and run into issues," she said. "I had self-esteem issues and started putting on the pounds. I didn't feel good about myself."
After reaching 270 pounds, with doctors telling her she needed to lose weight or face the threat of full blown diabetes, Jones decided to do something about it.
With the support of her husband and three children, Jones started going to Newman Fitness Center where she met Fitness Trainer Sharoya Bryant.
Bryant told Jones how she used to be overweight, but exercised to sculpt herself into a new person.
"She (Bryant) looked great, with confidence and a flat stomach," Jones said. "She helped motivate me, and I decided I was going to make that happen for myself."
Jones said at first losing weight was a slow progress, but she stuck to it. She started with aerobics, walking as far as she could before stopping. Though it was hard and at times she didn't feel like she was making any progress, Jones remained strong willed and eventually made it to one mile, then two, then three. After a while she started to see a difference.
"I started running into people at the store and they couldn't believe it was me," Jones said of her noticable weight loss.
Jones worked her weight down to 140 pounds. She said she started regaining her self-esteem.
She started to push herself further and tried her hand at competitive sports. Jones played rugby for Georgia Southern University. After graduating, she found she enjoyed competition, especially against herself, and took up boxing - training with former pro-boxer Jimmy "Hurricane" Williams at Newman Fitness Center.
Jones said she now helps others battling a weight problem to acheive their personal goals.
She added that people who want to make the same kind of life-altering decision she made can get assistance at one of the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield fitness centers.
Both Tominac and Newman fitness centers offer several programs to help Soldiers and community members meet personal challenges and stay fit.