J Lott Wants to be Your Motivation
There are some who meal prep on Sundays, call the gym their second home, and have their week meticulously scheduled around upper body and leg days. Some get their fitness needs from group classes or personal trainers. A lot of people have their routine workouts set for 3 days a week at their local gym, and some make it to the gym ever so often or maybe not at all. Either way, fitness motivator J Lott has the charisma to motivate them all.
MOBImag caught up with him to discuss the mental and physical aspects of fitness and his upcoming Body Beautiful campaign.
Tell me about how you got into health and fitness.
I’ve always been into fitness. I come from an athletic background. My mom, my dad, my brother, my sister – they were all either track runners or basketball stars. My dad got drafted to the NBA and my brother was about to.
I played football all the way up until graduating high school. Right when I was about to break into college I had to decide if I wanted to still go out and continue to play football (even though I was smaller) or did I want to pursue a professional dance career. That’s when I made the choice and pursued the professional dance career. Throughout college I would dance and I would still workout because I was always trying to get bigger. Back then I was always trying to gain weight because I was always the little guy. No matter what I ate or what protein shake I took, I could never gain weight.
Did you ever feel pressure to live up to your father or fit in with your family through fitness?
Oh definitely! I’ve always known about my sexuality and knew something was different since I was running around on the playground. Of course I suppressed it and and dated girls, but I always knew. Even though I enjoyed playing football, I would have rather been dancing. I loved dancing from a young age. I wonder how my life would be had I explored those other areas I was interested in. I was tough and good at it, but I would have went more into the artistic and dance world.
What brought you to New York?
All my life I wanted to motivate. I wanted to inspire people, but I didn’t know exactly how. When I was in Houston I was content so I moved to New York to find what I really wanted out of life.
How important would you consider health and fitness?
Ultimately, it’s extremely important. It’s your health, it’s your body, and your well-being. I think there’s a lot of aspects and avenues that got into health. Sometimes I preach this in my class: health can be a spiritual thing, a mental thing, or a physical thing. It’s not just working out. It’s everything combined. If your health is deteriorating you can’t do anything physically. If your health is deteriorating mentally or emotionally it holds you back.
I’m actually working with a trainer now and working out a lot. You have to be very motivated. How do you stay mentally and physically fit and focused on health?
For anyone deciding to get into fitness and health, they have to love what they’re doing. In order to actually be of service you have to love what you’re doing. With that, I love what I’m doing. It’s not necessarily the training aspect. It’s more so being able to show other people the value of health and fitness and seeing them become more confident. At the end of the day, I love what I do because I love to motivate people. The physical comes with it.
What’s your personal fitness routine? Mental? Physical?
Outside of teaching classes, I try to workout on my personal time at least 3 times a week. I love running not just for the physical aspect, but it’s also a great way to meditate. Sometimes I’ll listen to gospel because it’s encouraging and just run. When I’m running it’s for the mental. I meditate and I pray. That keeps me going and that keeps me pushing.
Who’s someone that you’ve trained that has a story that’s stuck with you?
There’s a few people actually, but there’s one person who sticks out to me the most. She’s a young lady - her name is Danielle. She came from a family that was big on fitness, but she’s always been a heavier girl. She’s dealt with some health scares that have prevented her from losing weight. She had surgery a few years back that actually caused her to lose weight, but she went into a depression and gained all the weight back. She started coming to my class and she was drawn to my personality. She was in a funk and I remember her saying, ‘I don’t really know why I’m here...I don’t know why I’m working out,” but she mentioned that if she was going to work out, I would be the one that could push her and raise her spirits.
She later reached out to me for personal training. What people don’t realize is that personal training can be more of a soul session. In that hour I’m so much more connected to my clients. I’ve had clients cry and I’ll hug and comfort them. They could be coming in from a bad day, but they’re coming. From working with me, this girl has gained so much confidence and lost so much weight. When she comes to class, everyone notices it. It’s not even about her losing the weight. It’s about her mental health. Now she’s feeling herself and I love it! She’s sent me letters. Her family loves me. She’s so inspiring and so determined. I’m actually using her in my next visual. It’s the Body Beautiful campaign and she’s going to be in it. I have other stories like that, but she sticks with me the most.
Wow! That is such a great story. You mentioned your Body Beautiful campaign. Tell me more about that.
The Body Beautiful campaign revolves around loving yourself where you’re at. We all have goals and we all have things that we want to change, but again - fitness starts with your mental. You have to love and accept where you’re at before you can get to where you want to be. The campaign is going to feature me with seven different models of different races and body types, sharing their different stories. I’m not the type of trainer that’s going to say, ‘ok, it’s time to get these summer bodies correct.’ It’s not about that. If that’s your goal, that’s fine. I’m focused on building your confidence. The Body Beautiful campaign shares that message. I’m also having a donation based pop-up and I want to partner with an organization to donate proceeds.
I can’t wait for that to roll out! Anything else you want to share with readers?
I have a lot of projects! There’s the Body Beautiful pop-up that I’m working on. Lit Fit is growing and I’m starting to host more pop-ups. I’m hosting a pop-up in Houston in October. Everyone can follow me for updates on pop-ups, events, and fitness motivation at @jlott333!