January 13, 2017
I remember the first time I met Jo, we were in posh glass walled offices in Central London having a development meeting and she rocked up looking absolutely amazing.
Smashing all stereotypes that if you are fat you are stupid, lazy and unstylish Jo is the smartest most vibrant woman I know…and she is very driven having held very senior roles at a number of corporate businesses.
She looked so together…and I was honoured that she had offered to help offer me some consultancy to grow the Too Fat to Run brand, alongside a work colleague of hers who was also a member of our growing community.
Jo first got involved with my community when she did our Countdown to Christmas Challenge in 2015, and then went on to join the early version of The Clubhouse our online running club. I didn’t know what she did for a living, but she always gave such great advice whenever I was stuck with anything.
A few months later when I announced the details of our 2016 Too Fat to Run Retreat in Rhodes (you can read how the ladies got on here) she was one of the first ladies to sign up, and I felt honoured that she had such faith in me to give up a weeks annual leave.
Jo was a great asset in the group in Rhodes, she took part in all of the sessions with great gousto and was a brilliant support to the rest of the ladies, especially during the times we were off duty…in fact she started her own Joga sessions in the mornings for the ladies who had enjoyed the official Yoga sessions so much and wanted to make the most of the glorious pool side location for a morning stretch.
Towards the middle of the week we went on a fantastic excursion to a place called Lindos, where the task for the day was to climb to the top of the acropolis…which had literally hundreds of steps…the rest of the day the ladies could shop or lay on the beach with a cocktail if they so wished (cos thats how we roll)
Jo and I ended up walking most of it together in the heat, huffing and puffing, and avoiding donkeys and having a good old chin wag about how the retreat was going.
Jo’s background is in Human Resources, specialising in the change management of huge organisations…but actually many of the skills, and the knowledge she has is absolutely transferable in terms of supporting women to make changes in their lives.
The other thing to mention is, that half Italian Jo is a great cook, and got enthusiastically stuck in back at the villa helping Elizabeth who we nicknamed Cinders as she was always in the kitchen, prepare our meals.
So, we eventually reached the top and took some time to take it all in and get some fun pictures.
Then on the way down from taking in the beautiful panoramic sea views of Rhodes, Jo said,
Well, you know if you want me to come back next year and help out, I would be happy to
And that was that…Jo became our fourth member of the Too Fat to Run health and happiness retreat staff team, so now we have
Me…Plus size fitness extraordinary (ha ha) overseeing all the running and fitness activities across the week…we also have some visiting fitness facilitators too.
Donna Kenny….an amazing weight loss hypnotherapist who leads all of the group workshops, mindset sessions and group meditations. She can also do 121 sessions if you have specific issues around specific foods.
Elizabeth “Cass” Konti…is basically our gorgeous eyes and ears on the ground retreat host, who makes sure we get fed and watered each day, and that we get to where we need to be and on time…she used to be a holiday rep you know and has lived on the island for like 20 years or something.
And then of course there is….
Jo Franco – Who will be heading up pastoral care, and supporting women with their 121 goal setting…oh and helping out with food, and of course leading her Joga, and making us all laugh with her fabulously funny stories…she really is a jack of all trades, last year she directed our end of retreat video…oh and she featured in it, in a lovely red dress, wind blowing her hair as she stood all picturesque by the pool.
She doesn’t know what she has let herself in for!!!
Jo has seen fantastic progress with her running, and weight loss too and has made real steps with eating better since coming off the retreat.
She is a brilliant coordinator of Too Fat to Run efforts in Yorkshire where she is based.
She will be a huge asset to the team in May, and I can’t wait to spend some more time with her…come along and you will absolutely see why!!
We have 10 ladies signed up already, taking up most of the triple rooms, but we still have doubles and single rooms available. For more info and to book click here
If you have any questions at all, or would like to enquire about room availability and prices please email firstname.lastname@example.org, we can also advise regarding flights