After two rounds of major surgery in 2020, Jo Leaf is fighting back with fitness

Jo Leaf has had a more challenging year than most. After being diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she underwent major surgery in February and in April, having to go through the latter alone due to the first national lockdown restrictions.

After undergoing a mastectomy where the surgeons removed tissue from her stomach to reconstruct her breast, she was discharged from hospital and as part of her recovery, placed on tablets and injections. Naturally a very active person, Jo was determined to stay healthy and positive during her recovery and once gyms were able to reopen in July, joined Anytime Fitness in York.

“I count myself as incredibly fortunate,” said Jo. “Luckily I was able to have my operation at a time where others haven’t been able to due to the ongoing challenges facing the NHS. I was told that one of the side effects of the tablets I’m on is weight gain and I was determined not to let that happen. I’m one of these people that rarely ever sits down so I wanted to make sure I stayed positive in my recovery, not staying still and dwelling on things.”

With Anytime Fitness York on her doorstep, Jo goes at least three times a week. A typical gym session would include a combination of cardio activity such as the treadmill and cross trainer, combined with machine weights for upper and lower body. Having to fit in exercise around her job as a pre-school manager, she is full of praise for the team at Anytime Fitness York.“It always feels like they’ve got time for you and there’s a real community feel,” said Jo.

“I’ve been a member of cheaper gyms before and from my experience at Anytime Fitness, I feel it’s worth the extra money to invest in yourself and be somewhere you feel comfortable. The staff are always making sure things are clean and members are very considerate when it comes to wiping down equipment.”

With Jo coming from a sporting family and also owning a dog, she tries to keep active even outside of the gym and her future goals are to sustain these healthy habits.

“All I want to do is keep going and keep active,” added Jo. “I want to get myself to where I used to be. I’ve put on two stone in the past year and I’m already one down. I’ll have to be on medication for five years after that so exercise will keep me going and staying positive.”