Yep, you read that headline correctly. One of my Fort Collins personal training clients lost 60 pounds in 4 1/2 months. Let me tell you the story.
In February, I received a voice mail from a lady who was calling from out of state inquiring about personal training for her son. Now to give you a little background, whenever a parent calls stating that they want their children to get in shape, I am VERY hesitant to find out the details. In the past, this situation has gone horribly wrong. I understand parents have all the best intentions of wanting their children to be healthy, but basically forcing it on the kids has never worked.
After I listened to the message, I thought to myself, “Here we go again.” So I sat on it for a couple of days. I didn’t call her back while I thought about it. I kept going back and forth trying to convince myself that maybe this time it would be different. I finally decided to call her back, get the details and then make a decision.
When I spoke with her, I found out that her son was getting ready for his wedding. He was VERY out of shape and wanted to be healthy for his wedding in June. They had a honeymoon lined up for a month in Africa, so he needed to be in shape for that too. She said that this would be her wedding present to him. So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go talk to him and see what I was dealing with.
So I called David, and we set up a consultation a few days later. When I do consultations, I have a pretty rigorous questionnaire that I go through. I want only those clients who are serious about wanting to change their lives. If someone seems like they are not interested in being serious about all of this, then it allows me to weed those people out.
After this questionnaire with David, I fully admit I was not very impressed (and he knows this too!). It seemed like he was willing to do it, but I wasn’t too sure about his commitment. He also has visited quite a few hospitals over his lifetime because of various accidents. So I was going to be dealing with a LOT of physical limitations. However, there was something that was nagging at me. A few times during the consultation, there were little nuggets here and there that stood out. For one, he did say that once he starts something, that he will see it through to fruition (I’m paraphrasing now). That alone made me hesitate to stop myself from telling him that this wasn’t going to work.
He wasn’t willing to commit right then and there, so I told him that was fine and that he could think about it. In my experience, when someone tells me they need to, “think about it,” I know I will never hear back from them. As I left, I thought to myself, “He isn’t going to call me back.” When I got home, I called his mom and told her that I wasn’t going to push him into anything. If he wanted to try this out then he needed to call me. There would be no follow up from me. He needed to make this decision.
A few days passed and, lo and behold, David called saying that he was ready to get started. I was STUNNED (yes, he knows about this reaction too!).
So we got started. David was 260 pounds when we got started. He’s not a tall guy (ha ha!), so 260 pounds on his frame is obviously not a good thing. With all of his physical limitations, it was a challenge to figure out routines that were going to get his metabolism going and start losing weight. There were a lot of exercises that I couldn’t do with him that I do with my other clients.
He also needed to start eating better too. The days of him eating like he was still in college were over. But he didn’t starve himself and he didn’t go on any special “diet.” He just started eating sensibly by making better choices, eating in moderation and allowing himself to cheat every once in awhile.
When he went to see CSU play in the NCAA basketball tournament and when he had his bachelor party in Las Vegas, all bets were off. It was OKAY for him to go off the rails in regard to his nutrition on these trips because when he returned, he would get right back on the program.
But he couldn’t bring himself to overindulge on these trips! That is how focused and dedicated he was to lose this weight and make a lifestyle change. I mean it was his bachelor party for cryin’ out loud!
Even though there were physical challenges to overcome, David pushed himself like no other. He wasn’t going to give up. Just when I thought that he couldn’t physically do something else, he pushed right through it. Since we initially only met 2x/week in the beginning, he needed to do something else when he wasn’t meeting with me. He has an elliptical machine in his basement, so we started him on some interval training. Well, it seemed like every week he wanted something else to push him even more on those days that we didn’t meet. He wanted to amp up the interval training as much as possible.
Eventually, he asked me if we could go to 3x/week with him paying for the extra session. It was then I knew he was serious about all of this. He wanted to lose all that weight. I started having him run his stairs in his house too. When that got too easy for him, he kept pushing the number of times he went up and down the stairs. He has two flights of stairs: one from the basement to the main floor and then from the main floor to the upstairs. One day I went over there for a session and he told me he ran up and down the stairs OVER 100 TIMES the day before! He kept going until even his dogs (who were doing it with him) finally tired out!
David also told me when we first got started that he hated hiking and he hated riding a bike. But guess what? One day he said over the weekend that he climbed up Horsetooth Rock with his fiancee’. The other time he got the bike out and actually rode it! I believe both times the conversation started with, “Guess what I did this weekend? Yeah, I have become that guy.”
During all of this the weight just kept falling off. He had to get his suit for his wedding altered. He had to go out and buy all new clothes.
Now as we were training, David and I would get into it. Since I am a CU grad (GO BUFFS!), and David is a CSU grad, we had our moments of trash talking. We also did a lot of trash talking outside of our respective universities as well. But that is what I like to do during my sessions with my clients. I like to keep it fun. I am not Jillian Michaels, and I am not Bob Proctor. I am not going to be ridiculously serious, and I am not going to be touchy feely all the time too. We are going to have fun come hell or high water. I want to hear laughter between those grunts and groans!
And there were a few times at the beginning of a session that David informed me that the previous session was too easy. He did this at least a couple of times before he finally figured out that telling your personal trainer that something is too easy is not necessarily the best way to phrase it. 🙂
As we got to the end, David reached his goal early. He lost 60 pounds. So it was time to see what else he could do. He continued to push himself and he kept losing weight.
David got married at the end of June and he and his lovely wife had a wonderful honeymoon in Africa (even though he had to go back to the hospital a week before his wedding for an appendectomy, but that is another story for another time).
When I look back on it, I am EXTREMELY happy that I did not tell David in the initial consultation that I wasn’t going to be able to take him on. And I am EXTREMELY happy that he decided that he wanted to take a chance with me.
David is NOT going to go back to the way he was. He has made a lifestyle change. He eats healthy now (in moderation just like everyone else should). He actually MOVES now.
It has been my absolute pleasure being a part of David’s metamorphosis. David’s story is exactly why I became a health and fitness professional. It’s all about helping people change their lives. And I am blessed to do it every single day.
And to get one last dig in about David, he does owe me lunch for the CSU football team losing to CU. We are going to have sushi next week. 🙂
Core Fitness and Nutrition