When Did Jenny Craig Begin?

The Jenny Craig Story: How One Woman Changes Millions of Lives.
The Jenny Craig Story: How One Woman Changes Millions of Lives.

When did Jenny Craig begin? The company was established in 1983, but there is much more to the story than the date the program started. The Jenny Craig story involves more than weight loss.

When Did Jenny Craig Begin

Jenny Craig is a real person who was born in 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression. Genevieve Marie Guidroz was the youngest of six children living in Louisiana. Her passion for work began as a child whose work ethic surpassed material gain. In her autobiography, she writes, "I grew up believing that if you didn't work hard, you would die young."

Quest for Healthy Weight Control

Jenny's passion for weight loss may have stemmed from a number of factors. Her work ethic drew her to the fitness industry where she met her husband, Sid Craig. They worked together with the Body Contour fitness company before selling their share of the company. She started in the fitness industry in 1959, many years before meeting her husband.

Weight management was a motivating factor for Jenny because of her experiences with obesity. Her mother died of a stroke that was believed to be attributed to obesity. Her premature death at age 49 is a significant factor in Genevieve's motivation to help people to develop healthy lifestyles. In addition, Genevieve's mother had nine brothers and sisters. Eight of them died before the age of 50, and each had a weight problem.

Genevieve also had issues with weight after gaining nearly 50 pounds while she was pregnant. The desire to help others reach their goals for healthy weight may stem from a combination of her personal struggles with weight as well as the health problems her mother experienced.

Many assumed that Genevieve was born in Australia. However, she lived there for two years after the development of the Jenny Craig Company.

The Jenny Craig Company

When did Jenny Craig begin as a company? The company began in Australia because the couple were committed to a non-compete clause as part of selling their portion of the Body Contour fitness company. When the Jenny Craig company started, there were no clients and no success stories to sell the program. Genevieve took the reins on the task of promoting the weight loss program.

Advertising Success

For many years, Genevieve continued to be the spokesperson for the weight loss company. Gradually, one success story after another filled the history of Jenny Craig offering many opportunities for successful advertising. Genevieve suffered a form of dystonia in her jaw that prevented her from articulating well. Her daughter along with many successful clients took over the advertising portion of the endeavor.

Staff Training and Education

A cornerstone of the philosophy of the Jenny Craig diet is lifestyle changes the require counseling and support. In order to ensure that clients received the right guidance, Genevieve personally trained her staff when the company first began. She wrote the lesson plans for her staff training classes, as well as manuals for the staff and clients to use as a guide for the program.

A major focus of the Jenny Craig Diet is behavioral changes that are intended to last a lifetime. This appears to be a major factor in an individual's success on the program. The approach relies more on behavioral changes, including making healthy eating choices, exercising and practicing portion control.

Lifestyle Changes

When did the Jenny Craig begin focusing on lifestyle changes? Changes in lifestyle have been the focus of the weight loss program from the beginning. Genevieve suggests that people should enjoy themselves without worrying about counting calories or weighing foods. The program is designed to help people focus on making permanent changes in lifestyle in order to achieve optimal success. The counselors are integral to helping people succeed on the weight loss plan. Issues they are trained to address include:

  • Behavior modification
  • Challenges
  • Setbacks
  • Motivation
  • Nutrition education
  • Special requests or needs

Bright Future

Jenny Craig's beginning is important to consider if you plan to try this approach to weight loss. Success depends upon the realization that the program is not a diet that a person starts and stops. It is a change in lifestyle that begins with a difficult change in behaviors that should last a lifetime. Knowing about the motivation behind the company is an important part of having a bright future in your endeavor.

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When Did Jenny Craig Begin?