Trainer’s exercise programs target old, young and those with special needs
Janet Rollero, 50, is the first to admit that she is in better shape now than when she was in her early teens.
Back then, she carried 190 pounds on her 5-foot, 2-inch frame. Ms. Rollero’s journey toward health and fitness included almost a decade of yo-yo dieting, which turned into a serious eating disorder during her teens. Her experience has made her committed to sharing her story. She hopes that young women will take a page from her notebook, and find healthier ways to achieve a slim and fit body. Rollero established the Healthy U Fitness center in 1992 in the Whitehouse Station of Reddington. Now, she is launching a nonprofit division called Certified Fitness for Special Needs. “Through Certified Fitness, we will be offering customized fitness programs to those with special needs who sometimes fall through the cracks in the world of conventional fitness,” Rollero said.
A long battle
Like many of her clients, Rollero struggled with her weight in her younger years. Despite being a cheerleader throughout middle school, Rollero gained a substantial amount of weight early on in high school. “After years of rubber band dieting, anorexia and depression that resulted from my ongoing struggle with my weight, I woke up,” Rollero said. “I discovered that exercise combined with consistent good eating habits was the key to looking and feeling the way I wanted to, and achieving mind and body balance. “I want to incorporate my knowledge and put my own discipline to the test,” she added. “I have experienced being overweight, battled anorexia nervosa and regained my figure and health after three babies. This is just another positive experience I can bring to my clients.”
Rollero said she was inspired to find healthier ways of eating and remaining fit during her first pregnancy in her twenties. In 1989, after the birth of her third child, she began to intensify her workout routine. By 1991 she had made the commitment to becoming a personal trainer.
Rollero is certified through the American Council on Exercise, the Arthritis Foundation, WaterArt Fitness International, and the American Red Cross. Her goal now is to share her story with others, particularly young girls.
“I want to ensure that they don’t have to endure an eating disorder or a roller coaster weight battle,” she said. “With proper exercise and nutritional counseling, women of all ages can overcome the above obstacles,” Rollero added. “At 50, I feel the best I have ever felt mentally, spiritually and physically.”
For the first time in her life, Rollero competed in the 2012 MHP N.P.C Mid-Atlantic Natural Classic Bodybuilding & Fitness Championship on May 12 at East Brunswick High School.
“I did not place, but just being part of the contest was a win for me,” she said. “This is something that I have thought about for more than 10 years, and I am very happy and healthy — so for me that is winning.” Rollero entered the competition in the Master Division – Women over 35 Category, competing with 13 others. “To prepare for the competition, I spent four days a week doing strength training on specific muscles,” Rollero said. “On a daily basis, I was doing low-intensity cardio workouts, and limited my caloric intake to 1,500 calories per day, which consisted of seven mini-meals,” she said. “For breakfast, I was eating two-thirds of a cup of oatmeal, and I would also have three egg whites and one egg,” Rollero recalled.
She said a snack might include a protein drink. Dinner would be four ounces of chicken, four ounces of yams and raw vegetables. “I was focused on portraying myself as confident about my own physique, but not focused on perfection,” she said. “There were a lot of beautiful healthy people, yet we were all different.”. “I really don’t know how I compared,” she added. “I really did not focus on that. This was my journey, they just happened to be there.”
She is also a master trainer who has educated and certified new instructors for WaterArt Fitness International since 2004. “I am a personal trainer because I love teaching people the positive effects of exercise,” Rollero said.
Upon earning a bachelor’s degree in management from Jacksonville University in 1982, Rollero worked in sales and later as a financial analyst. In 1989, after the birth of her third child, she began to intensify her workout routine. By 1991 she had made the commitment to devote her energy to becoming a personal trainer. In addition to working closely with the clientele at Healthy U, Rollero works onsite with employees at Johnson & Johnson, the Dallas Group of America, and as a guest trainer/instructor at numerous resort destinations and cruise lines.
Rollero said she has made it her mission to use her experience to help others achieve fitness and health. “I am a personal trainer because I love teaching people the positive effects of exercise,” she added.
Healthy U Fitness center is on Route 22 West in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington.