A Leaner Body, A More Peaceful Mind: Jill Kaufman Shares Her Story

You have tried many different ways of exercising and staying in shape. What have you learned or done different in working with Pure Joy Wellness?


I have always thought that your approach is a holistic approach. You don’t just focus on fitness, you pay attention to the whole picture. I have been through a divorce, a baby, and a marriage. In all those parts of my life, you have helped me with both physical and mental preparedness through diet and exercise, and a holistic plan.  You know, sometimes it’s not just about the exercise. I have always really valued your advice because you get the big picture and what I really need in each moment and that changes over time. It’s not always the same message. I think that’s really unique and important for  a fitness professional to understand that about their clients, and you do. I think that is something that really makes you stand out.

Switching gears a bit, what is a day in your life like?
Well, I get up at 10 minutes til 7 a.m. I make my daughter’s lunch and I get my boys up.  I make everybody breakfast.  I have two step boys, who are 9 and 11 years old, and a daughter who is 10.  My husband typically gets our boys to school and I get our daughter to school.  Then depending on the day, I will either go straight home and take meetings or phone calls from home. Or I will go to a meeting space that Apple [my employer] has and go to meetings.  Or I will sit in a Starbucks on the Upper West Side [in New York City] because I have calls to take that I have to take in that moment and I don’t have time to get back downtown because my daughter goes to school [way Uptown].  So I am sort of all over the city.  It’s my job to put technology in school districts.  So I am on the phone most of the time and I work with the New York City Department of Education and Union City, New Jersey. Each day is a little different depending on the demands of my job. Generally, by the 3 o’clock hour I pick my daughter up, unless I am in a meeting, and get her to her after school activity and then continue to have my calls and do work.  Depending on the night, assuming every body is home, we have a family dinner. Then we get the kids’ homework done and get them ready for bed. After that I typically will do a little more work then I go to bed, or I will kind of chill out. My husband also works from home so we often do a little catch up work at night.

That’s a demanding schedule. Where does your fitness fit in?
Well, you know I work out twice a week with you, one time in the evening and one time in the morning. That has changed a little over the years too. When I was preparing for my wedding I worked out three times a week with you because I was in a different mode.

It’s interesting and cool that you and your family have dinner together most nights. Is it always a healthy meal?
Yeah, I think  it’s important that we do that.  I typically have a pretty healthy household.  We let the kids have unhealthy snacks every now and then and I give them sweets sometimes. I don’t forbid them anything because I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live.  But for dinner we always a have protein, we always have a vegetable — a green vegetable. Sometimes we’ll have a starch, sometimes we won’t. It depends also on if I am trying to slim down a little bit. I will talk to you about how my plate should look. So, around those times, I don’t need the extra potatoes and rice, instead I should have more green vegetables. So, I try to instill that in my family as well, and make sure that our table has healthy foods and whole grains and fruits and vegetables.

How has your family responded to the healthy food — have your husband and children been totally receptive?
Yeah, you know it’s our norm.  I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater and we always have big bowls of fruit around. I think it’s just natural for us.

What’s your favorite exercise that we do and which do you detest? 
I detest burpees! My favorite exercise is the forward walking lunge with the curl and the shoulder press all together…doing that across the floor. I love your complicated exercise combinations.

How has your body changed?
I am definitely leaner and more toned, thanks to your technique.

How do you feel different now after all the work we have done together?
It’s very poignant that you ask that. Recently we had a conversation and you told me that you noticed these tulips all over the city, and every time you turned around there were tulips, and they were just so beautiful.  I thought about how great it was that despite your crazy life, and running all over,  and subways up and down, and your being in and out of places all over the city, much like I am, that you took time to stop and look at flowers and notice beauty around you. I really took that in because I had been struggling with some stressful stuff.  After you said that I started taking walks through the park sometimes when I was on a conference call, and looking around and trying to see things that I hadn’t seen before, and really trying to live in the moment and not let my mind go to all this future worry and concern. It was really helpful that you told me that story in just a very unassuming innocent way in the middle of a workout.  It really spoke to me.  Since then I have tried to implement that in my life to try really enjoy the moment and really stay present.  You know even though we have stress in our lives, we need to try to exist in a stress free environment as much as we possibly can.