When we read the brief business profile that Jan Oliver submitted for our new section on female entrepreneurs, we thought here was one smart lady.
“My 3-minute program was created for the woman who can’t stick to a diet or exercise plan” Jan wrote. “As a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience, I know there is only one way to lose weight: Eat Less and Exercise More. I have seen it time after time, in patient after patient, and in multiple settings (not always in sickness). It is the goal of my company to dispel weight loss myths with this one simple truth. I want to show you, three minutes at a time, how to incorporate exercise into your day naturally, without all the hype and dramatic wardrobe changes. A commitment of three minutes a day is a great place to start and totally do-able. Write to me today, tell me about your greatest challenge, struggle, mind game. What makes you go into a food frenzy? I would love to hear your story and will do my best to serve you with professional and accurate information and a passion to see you succeed.”
FOF: What is your background and what led you to this weight-loss program?
JO: I’m 60, divorced and have three kids. My oldest is 31 and the youngest is 25. I’ve been a nurse for 39 years. I was a labor and delivery nurse for 13 years in Spokane, WA, then we moved to California for a short time, and then back to Washington. I’ve worked in all fields of nursing, including ER, rural nursing, psych, rehab, geriatrics, and now I’m in hospice, so I’ve kind of come full circle, from birth to death. My job is admitting people to the hospice service, which is called Hospice of Spokane North. It’s been around for 45 years.
I’ve seen a lot of people lose and gain weight over the years, but there’s only one way to lose: Eat less and exercise more. I work around a lot of women. Nurses have a tendency to gain weight. They grab things on the run and they eat all the crap people bring in. They’re exhausted when they get home, don’t feel like cooking, and they’re stressed, which releases cortisol. But you have to get back to the basics: Eating more causes weight gain.
Have you experienced weight issues yourself?
I gained 20 pounds in the last 20 years and lost about 10 pounds since I started this program. Now I want to lose the other 10. I’m 5’6” and currently weigh 140. My baseline weight is 130. I do my 3-minute workout and walk about four miles a day. I try to do a 4-mile-an-hour pace on the treadmill, but I love being outside when the weather permits.
When did the 3-minute workout idea hit you?
I started doing this in my kitchen when I was cooking, and my kids laughed at me and said, ‘Mom, you should do a video. You always see all those perfect Barbie-doll shapes on videos, doing impossible exercises.’ So I started by thinking I’d do a 3-minute workout, because even 10 minutes is kind of hard for me. I taped myself in front of the computer for 365 days, and added a little tip each day, covering the challenges and experiences I came up against. I honed the program down to a few exercises you can do standing up, to work the core and the upper body. I’m really big on keeping my arms in shape. As we age, our arms show it. I used to lift weights when I was in the 20s, so I know the upper body muscles are some of the easiest to get into shape fast.
Does your 3-minute program incorporate cardio, in addition to stability and bone building exercises?
I don’t take my pulse, but I do jogging and knee decks so it does bump up your cardio. Research shows that short bursts of moderate intensity exercise (called exercise snacks) are beneficial for your blood glucose and insulin levels. That came out in Diabetes Alert Day! from the American Diabetes Association.
Moderate intensity exercise:
Of course, if you work out harder and longer, you get greater benefits.
If someone is way sedentary, and starts out doing three minutes of exercise a day, she’ll realize how easy it is to get started and will see that exercising actually fuels the fire instead of draining you. You have more energy when you get up and do something. A lot of people think ‘I’m on my feet all day at work and that counts as activity.’ But you need to exercise muscles that you don’t normally exercise, to exercise your major muscle groups and your abs. Being on your feet all days doesn’t mean you’re working out.
If you feel old and act old, you’re going to look old. I’ll see someone in her 70s who looks like she’s in her 90s, or I’ll meet a 90 year old who acts like she’s in her 60s.
How does someone get started?
I created three courses, including a four-week course that takes you from the first 3-minute workout to what you can do after a year. I cover the mind games that you play with yourself, the psychology of it, and explain the scientific research I did. I provide videos and audio and links to different sites I use for my exercise routines. My introductory course is $36.50. I also have a free course that I created just to show people how to look and feel good.
I’m working with my sister, who is diabetic. All her pies at Thanksgiving were salty because the sugar container accidentally got filled with salt, and I said, ‘this is a sign.’ I thought ‘Why is she still eating sugar, especially now that she’s on insulin?’ As a designer she’s so busy all the time, but she’s motivated by the short exercise routines I gave her. I’ve also been sending her motivational tips, like the importance of drinking lots of ice water throughout the day to make you feel fuller. She likes the idea that she can do my program anywhere and anytime.
Is everything online?
Yes, but I also send emails and I want to be available for questions. It would be nice to make a living from this and retire from nursing. I also will do classes in the workplace and I’m networking in my community to get speaking engagements.