Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 4:54pm
Join the J Locations Schedules
Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 4:54pm

Listening to His Body

Antoine Griffin Goes After His Health and Fitness Goals 

Antoine Griffin is coming off an “exceptional workout”: after going at it for nearly three hours he’s feeling a mix of energized and exhausted, and pumped.

Antoine works out with the J’s very own Harold Harris on Mondays and Wednesdays, but today, a Friday, he worked out on his own. (He typically works out six days a week, including a long distance swim).

Since April of 2015, when he first joined the J, Antoine has dropped from a 44” waist to a 34” waist. He originally weighed 269 pounds then dropped 76lbs. to his current weight of 193. He is 8lbs. shy of his goal weight of 185.

A Baltimore native, Antoine joined the J after a co-worker at the Social Security Administration told him that his [son] worked out here and loved the facilities.

Antoine was told the J had “great energy, a great environment, and excellent trainers,” and that’s what Antoine has discovered.

Before beginning any kind of workout regimen, Antoine’s doctor told his patient, “Hey, if you want to see your grandchildren then you are going to have to make some serious changes.” At the time, Antoine had high blood pressure and was sleeping with a CPAP for sleep apnea.

Antoine found the J to be the right place for his own fitness, health and wellness needs, and for those of his family. Antoine’s daughter, Kayla, enjoys the pools; his son, Khalil, loves to work out with Dad.

Both children are thrilled with Dad’s transformation, especially Kayla, who kept a journal tracking her father’s progress.

“This is all about being a positive role model,” says Antoine: “By your actions you teach kids to be wise and be healthy.”

Yet exercise alone didn’t do it. Antoine’s diet had to change as well.

Working with Harold, Antoine restructured his diet to include smaller portions of meats lean in protein, like turkey, turkey burgers, fish, and chicken, and, of course, lots and lots of veggies.

“This is my new lifestyle,” says Antoine, “I want to live longer.”

A former athlete, Antoine explains, “I have the discipline to continue what I’ve started. The main thing is to not become too complacent. I still haven’t reached my goals, and if I stop now, with the strides that I’ve made, I may return back to the old patterns. I need to be better and continue doing better. I can get here six days but if I am not eating right than forget about it.”

“No mac and cheese.”

“Lettuce-wrapped burgers instead of buns.”

“You can give yourself an opportunity to cheat just a tad but more than that and you’ll fall back into those old traps, and I don’t want to make my body work any harder than it has too.”

Antoine is committed to making sure each workout is better than the previous one.

“It’s amazing to look in the mirror and not be ashamed. And it’s wonderful to go to the doctor’s office and have no ailments you have to pay to treat.”

“I’ve built so many relationships and friendships working out at the J. The trainers are my mentors. I see their commitment and I want to do more.”

“You need to listen to your body. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. If you believe in your heart and your mind and your spirit that you can reach and exceed your goals then you can condition the body to follow the mind.”