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Chiropractor, husband, father, first in family: Jay Villani

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I changed in almost every aspect you can imagine. Mentally things started to clear up and make more sense in every aspect of my life. Physically I felt much better and people could see the dramatic transformation that was taking place.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

My name is Dr. Jay Villani, I just turned 50 in January and I’m from Verona NJ.   

I’m a chiropractor and have been a chiropractor for 22 years and I own Verona Spine & Wellness Center.  It’s a center that offers physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and of course the backbone of the practice centers all around chiropractic.   

I do not have any ties to a military service or background.   I wish I had gone to the Marines in 1988 and was signed sealed and delivered until I got a partial scholarship for college at the last second and enrolled at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

I am married to my lovely wife Marisa for the past 20 years and have been together for 30.   We have two children Sophia age 17, and Michael who is 15 as well as our 3rd “child” our 3 year old black pug Leo.

What brought you to the First In Family initially?

I was brought into the First In Family back in October/November of 2017 by a friend, John Freedman.

John lives in my town and we’ve known each other for a bit for our kids are all around the same age. We also go to the same gym.

It was at this gym where I saw John and could see a very visible change or transformation from what I had known him to look like. From there we sat on the stationary bikes and he told me about the program and he said “doc, this is soooooo you”.    

Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.

To be honest, I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with food. Traditionally pre-First In Nutrition, my weight could go all the way up to 200 lbs or I could cut for a couple of weeks (1998 Atkins) and get lean.  

The problem was finding that balance and getting off of the hamster wheel of being good for 2, 3, or 4 weeks only to fall backwards into that comfortable rut that every one of us knows too well about.     

I don’t know if I was struggling to make progress or struggling to sustain progress. What helped for me was eliminating alcohol as a personal decision/choice in February 2016.

What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?

I’d say that the lightbulb moment for me was to come to terms with taking advantage of my profession.  Being a chiropractor deals with wellness and that extends over into diet and nutrition.  I said to myself, you need to tighten up and get ripped or appear to be more physically fit than you are right now.     

An example I’ve always held dear was….. would you go to a Cardiologist that smoked?  No! Correct?  So I thought a physically fit chiropractic doctor of wellness is what the public would like to see and how I felt that I needed to look and feel like.

What was the journey like and what changes did you make?

Well the biggest change quite honestly was to have structure. Real structure for once in my life. It was literally not holding your finger up into the wind and saying “hey what should I do?!”

It was an easy transition FOR ME. I’ve always said if you give me 1,2,3, directions to get 1,2,3 results, and I mean 100% life changing results, I’m going to follow that plan.

To be honest I never changed the way I ate outside of portion size. The plan is to pick the foods you want to eat or incorporate into your daily plan.  As the adage says EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT BUT HIT YOUR NUMBERS!  

My training during all this time never had to be altered or weaned in any bit.

How do you feel after making those changes?

I feel and felt great making the changes. I signed onto something that made total sense to me for the first time in my life.

I changed in almost every aspect you can imagine.

Mentally things started to clear up and make more sense in every aspect of my life.

Physically I felt much better and people could see the dramatic transformation that was taking place.

What did your friends/family think of your transformation?

I started just weeks before Christmas in 2017.  With no disrespect to any nationality or state, Christmas in NJ (let alone an Italian household) is something to experience, witness, and or behold. Especially Christmas Eve.

Starting this process during that period and being 100% on point was very pivotal in establishing a very firm/mental base and toughness. During the early period my family/and friends were for the most part very supportive, but at the same time very stand-off ish. They did not understand the whole “weighing” and bringing my scale everywhere.

It was mostly met with “you look great why are you punishing yourself or why don’t you live a little”. Now with that, we all know that’s an insecurity in them… your family or your friends.

Two years later I’d say most people know and are used to the scale/weighing/process. If they don’t, I’m happy to have a conversation and explain the process.

Were you active or did you workout during your journey?

For the most part I am active.   I do go to the gym and I do what my arthritic 50 year old abused body from football will allow.  My days now include the gym 4 days a week breaking the body into chest/bi’s, back/tri’s,  legs/shoulders, & core.  I try to walk 30-45 minutes each morning on treadmill before the workout.  The other 3 days I like to do hot yoga which has greatly helped my life as well in all aspects.

What does being First In mean to you?

Being First In to me means I’m part of a family.  A very tight knit family that gets it.   And what I mean by “gets it”, is we have the best kept secret in all of nutrition which is macro tracking.

I try every day to be 100% on point and while it’s difficult at times and I’ve fallen off of the wagon, I’ve gotten right back on.

Being First In also means being honest when you need help to get back into the right frame of mind by our awesome coaches.

What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future?

What’s next for me is to become a coach with First In.   I look forward to the day when that becomes a reality.

What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?

I’d say the biggest challenge was mentally bringing a scale out to dinner or to a friend’s or family gathering and dealing with all of the opposition that I faced.

Other than that I found tracking to be extremely easy for me to do anywhere mostly because of MyFitness Pal.

What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?

1- Have patience. It took years for some if not all of us to be where we are or were before starting the program. It will take patience for things to fall in line.

2- Establish a support group. In my opinion, the opposition to this from people you know, love and have been around your whole life is going to be the most difficult part of the whole journey. Surround yourself with people who support you and your goals.

3- Don’t beat yourself up if you fall out of line, miss your numbers, or fall off the wagon. I tell people if you signed up with First In you’ve made a commitment. That in itself speaks volumes to what you want to accomplish and since signing up is progress, you are 200% a better person than when you weren’t holding yourself accountable.

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4- Don’t yuck anyone’s yum. I’m guilty of this from time to time, but First In is by far in my opinion the holy grail/fountain of youth :). Understand what works for you or me might not work for another person. Be considerate and respect the journey someone else may be on.

5- Communicate with members and coaches. I tell people this program can be for every single person on earth but isn’t for everyone……  as you know a HUGE majority of people won’t even consider the program because of weighing/tracking and that’s just the way it is. It can be a very rough and difficult journey at times, do not hold that in. Communicate and ask for help, it can really help you get over the hump and continue/prosper.

any advice for someone thinking about getting started?

Just jump in…..rip the band aid off and get to it!

ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?

Contact us for more info:

ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?

Contact us for more info:

Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.