10 Week Transformation (JoAnn Bowen)

JoAnn has an amazing success story. She is a CKO regular, easily averaging 3-4 classes a week since joining CKO Seattle in September 2012. JoAnn has lost weight and many inches off her body but her biggest success is increased life participation. That’s right, JoAnn, went from spending a lot of her time “sitting on the sidelines” to now doing numerous mud-run/obstacle races each year.

Strong is the new sexy, it doesn’t matter what the scale says, it only matters how you feel and how you live your life and JoAnn is embracing her new active lifestyle, living life to the fullest! JoAnn is not only becoming a healthier/stronger version of herself, she is also an inspiration to her daughter, Lizzie (also a CKO member). We often forget that as a parent you are your child’s biggest influence and if you embrace your own health your children will soon follow…

JoAnn just recently completed our 4th 10-week challenge and her results were amazing. She lost over 12-inches off her body, improved her fitness test and gained a better relationship with food, and as a result, no longer suffers from acid reflux (GERD)!!! Read more about JoAnn’s story below:

Thank you JoAnn for being an awesome member and a positive influence, both at home and at the gym 🙂


JoAnn All

March 2014 (on left) May 2014 (on right)

JoAnn Bowen interview:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

I am an official court reporter for Snohomish County Superior Court.  I work for a very hard-working judge.  We are pretty much in court all the time. Most people have the impression that a court reporter just sits there and listens.  Well, we do.  We listen very intently!!  But often you cannot see our whole being behind the bar.  And the court reporter’s job is actually very physically and mentally taxing.  We have to sit in pretty much the same position for up to two hours at a time.  And these days people talk so fast that our upper bodies are in this constantly tense state as we record word for word (onto that funny-looking machine) what anyone in the courtroom is saying.

Do you have any hobbies?

Well, CKO classes and boot camps are my year-round “hobby” but more of a lifestyle.  My other great passion for the last two years has been obstacle course racing (OCRs/mud runs) which I’m pretty sure most people hear me talking about.  Everyone also hears me say that I don’t like running.  But if you take a 5-10K course and throw in some obstacles and mud, well, now you’ve just upped the ante and made it so much more fun and challenging!!

Competing in her latest challenge

JoAnn (left) Competing in her latest challenge

How did you first learn of CKO?

I live very close to the gym so I’m usually driving thru that parking lot to get to Sears or Central Market.  My daughter and I saw the signs going up and then searched online for what it was all about.  We had done a little bit of cardio kickboxing with another place that quickly went out of business.  We knew what an intense workout it was and really wanted to get back into it.  I jumped on the coupon bandwagon and tested the gym out for a few months, but by October of 2012 I knew I was truly ADDICTED and needed to become a full-fledged, round-housing, body-squatting, dripping-with-sweat member.

What are some of your fitness goals?

My next goal is to get into more personal training.  I continue to look for more mud runs/OCRs to complete.  This year I’ve set my sights on Tough Mudder.  Not falling off those monkey bars is THE goal!!  I think more personal training will help increase my upper body strength even more.

JoAnn (lower right) enjoying life

JoAnn (lower right) enjoying life

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?  

The key factor that sets CKO Seattle apart from any other gym is the family/team atmosphere that the Renon’s and their trainers have created from day one.  I’ve made a lot of friends by being part of this gym.  I’ve even recruited a few to do some OCRs with me!!  The atmosphere is so positive and encouraging, you can’t help but feel like you are an integral part of the team.

What was the best part about the challenge?

It’s hard to pick out one best part of this challenge.  Learning firsthand that I have what it takes to make improvements in my health is empowering. Never say never.  I thought I could NEVER give up eating bread and pasta.  Turns out that I can!!  I also really enjoyed the fact that my daughter (also a member) and I did this challenge together.

The biggest surprise and a benefit I DID NOT expect from this challenge was that my acid reflux (GERD) completely disappeared!!  I’ve had GERD for 10+ years.  Probably more like 15 years.  Three weeks into the challenge I ran out of medication.  I can tend to be a procrastinator and kept forgetting/putting off going to the drug store for my meds.  Well, five days without my meds and I realized I had NO heartburn/reflux WHATSOEVER!  I truly could  not believe it.  Every night I expected it to flare up.  It didn’t.  I never once thought that wheat/gluten was the cause of this ailment.  No doctor ever recommended a diet change.  I always thought it was the pepperoni or peanut butter or the wine.  Nope.  It’s the wheat/gluten.  This health improvement will keep me from ever going back to the way I used to eat.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

Due to workload and just life in general, I couldn’t always get in the 4-5 classes.  But I didn’t beat myself up over it.  I did 4-5 classes when I could and was okay with the fact when I couldn’t.

JoAnn and her daughter, punching cancer in the face!

JoAnn and her daughter (Lizzie), punching cancer in the face!

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

CKO is just a great place to be.  I know I will NEVER regret a workout.  Because I have a sedentary job, it’s very important to me that when I work out, it’s a very intense workout.  The CKO trainers always deliver!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

Eating vegetables!  I’m getting better.  I think another 10-week challenge will help me improve on this.  😉

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

Keep offering the boot camps!  🙂 

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)! 

I’m so happy that my daughter is also a member.  We are great workout buddies.  We help keep each other motivated.

Here’s how I improved over the course of 10 weeks:

Inches I worked off:

  • Each arm is .75” smaller
  • Chest is 2.75” smaller
  • Waist is 2.5” smaller
  • Booty is 1.25” smaller
  • R leg is 2.5” smaller
  • L leg is 1.75” smaller
  • Total inches lost = 12.25-inches
  • Weight is down 6 pounds

Fitness test Results:

  • Increased 1-min push-ups on toes by 2, on knees by 5 (total increase of 7 overall)
  • Increased 1-min squats by 4
  • Increased 1-min sit-ups by by 6
  • Decreased 600-yard shuttle run by 14 seconds
  • Increased plank time by 20 seconds
  • Increased wall sit time 49 seconds

Thank you to the whole CKO crew — Garett, Jessica, Robert, Rod, Erin, Jon, Charmaine, and Kila (and some past instructors as well) — who guide us and keep us motivated.  I know I would not have come this far without your guidance and encouragement and support and knowledge.


JoAnn — (a/k/a Mama Bowen…per Robert  😉 )


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