Kim Fox: A Lifetime Commitment to Women's Wellness

Kim Fox's childhood dream of becoming a nurse evolved as a career that has encompassed that calling as well as study and work in the related fields of health, nutrition and exercise. All have combined in the achievement of Kim's goal: to promote wellness among all populations, especially women.

Kim grew up in a very active family of five girls in Fremont, Calif. "My mother was a pediatric nurse and, by the time I was in sixth grade, I felt called to be a nurse, too," says Kim. She went to Ohlone College and became an R.N. (Registered Nurse) at 19. Fifteen 15 years later, with her two sons in high school, she attended the University of Phoenix to obtain her Bachelor's Degree, graduating cum laude and fulfilling a promise she had made to a very inspiring high school science teacher. Kim worked in various aspects of the nursing profession including critical care, emergency, and hospital supervision for 20 years.

As her years in nursing passed, Kim began noticing the differences in the types and ages of patients she treated. "When I was 19, someone who came into the ER at age 50 with a heart attack was the talk of the hospital because 50 was too young to have a heart attack. Fifteen or twenty years later, we were seeing people who were having heart attacks, diabetes and all sorts of chronic diseases in their 30s and 40s. That prompted me to question why frequent incidents of those diseases were occurring at a much earlier age."

That questioning led Kim to a deep interest in nutrition. She educated herself about nutrition and went to work for a nutritional supplement company for two years, learning as much as she could about the foods Americans eat and about the diseases that were preventable. "I was learning that many of the people who had come into the emergency room probably wouldn't have been there if they had taken better care of themselves.

"I had the fortune of meeting Joyce Daoust, one of the clinical nutritionists who worked with Barry Sears on The Zone Diet. It had dawned on me that she had the principals that had been written about in the 1940s down to a science. As a society, we had become sidetracked by many, many fad diets, but the early nutritional studies had shown us exactly what we should be eating to sustain good health. I spent some time promoting nutritional seminars for Joyce here in the Bay Area and then I heard about Curves from an associate who brought a video tape back from a trip to Oregon. I saw Curves as an ideal way for me to reach women so that they would be empowered to take better care of themselves.

"Just a year before becoming involved with Curves, I was at Canyon Ranch, a medical spa in Massachusetts," Kim remembers. "Sitting outside in our robes one evening, I said to my husband, Dan, 'If I had an opportunity to run something like this, this would be my dream.' Two years later, I opened our first Curves."

The Curves workout encompasses three key components to overall health; cardiovascular training, strength training and stretching. Utilizing hydraulic resistance, its circuit of 13 machines provides greater resistance as the person working out becomes stronger and more physically fit. The prescribed 30-minute workout is designed to promote healthy hearts, strong muscles and flexible joints.

Curves also offers nutritional supplements and Six-Week Solution classes, which utilize the Curves method of boosting metabolism to lose weight.

Kim learned about Curves in 2000 and opened her first facility on San Ramon Road in Dublin in 2001. In 2002, the Mission Plaza Curves on Santa Rita Road opened, followed the next year by the Hacienda location at 4555 Hopyard Road in the Crossroads Shopping Center. In 2004, Kim opened her fourth facility in the Waterford Shopping Center in Dublin.

Kim and her husband, who is an emergency room physician, have witnessed the rise in diabetes cases, which often can be attributed to obesity, a significant problem in this country. Research has shown that a woman who loses just seven percent of her body weight reduces her risk of contracting diabetes by 60 percent. "Physical activity is a major factor and Curves offers a convenient and simple way for women to make that lifestyle change," Kim states.

According to Kim, most of the women who come to her facilities have never before been to an athletic facility to work out. "They may be as young as 10 or 11 or as old as 80, but a majority are between 30 and 55. Whatever the stigma - the presence of men, women in tight clothing, embarrassment about their bodies - they are just not comfortable at a gym. We remove those barriers and they see how comfortable they can be exercising with others. We say 'No men. No mirrors. No make-up.' We want women to come in, exercise and get fit. What sets us apart is the presence of a coach to encourage our members and make sure they are using the equipment correctly.

"Hacienda is a wonderful location for a business that caters to busy women because our workout fits into their schedules and lifestyles so conveniently. The majority of members work out on their lunch hours because our program fits well within the time they have and, because we monitor heart rates closely, post-workout showers aren't necessary," Kim states. "Women can freshen up and go back to work feeling energized for their afternoon's tasks and free to be with their friends and family after work." For women who want to exercise before or after the workday, Hacienda Curves is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 -11:00 a.m. on Saturday.

"We know that working women appreciate the fast, fun and efficient workout we offer. We also know that employers have a stake in their employees' wellness and offer companies a special enrollment package," Kim adds. "If ten women from the same business enroll together, we waive the registration fees and also offer discounted monthly fees.

As an additional service to women, Hacienda Curves offers its meeting room to women's groups during club hours for private classes in such topics as self defense and hula lessons, as well as for meetings, at a nominal fee. Capacity is 50 persons and a room reservation is required by calling Gail at (925) 460-0404 or contacting Kim via email at . Catered refreshments and lunches are available.

One of the features that attracted Kim to Curves as a franchisee was the company's commitment to several charitable causes on a national level, particularly breast cancer research. Locally, Hacienda Curves has sponsored food drives for people and for pets. More than 2,000 pounds of food was collected last year and donated to local organizations, including Tri-Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR). The next food drive will be for the month of March. Between February 27 and March 11, new members will be entitled to free membership registration with the donation of a bag of groceries when they join for the year.

"I have watched women come through the door, literally with their heads down, with very low self-esteem and feeling very badly about themselves. I've seen the power of exercise and good nutrition, which I've always believed in, change that. To see women grow and blossom into themselves is probably the greatest reward I can have. Everything in my life has led me here. This is what I was meant to do, making a difference in people's health, strengthening women."

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