At the end of the last summer, I was in the worst condition of my life. My weight was at an all time high and my activity level was at an all time low. Even simple activities were a challenge; I dreaded tying my shoes in the morning. I had tried so many diet and exercise programs, but could not make any of them stick. I knew that I needed something different; I needed some help.
I decided to join the Body Challenge competition at Grafton Anytime Fitness, hoping that the program would give me the jump start that I needed. My goals were simple, lose some weight and get a little healthier. Little did I know, this experience would change my life!
I had the good fortune of meeting Michelle O’Toole, the head trainer and the leader of the Sunday Body Challenge team. Over the next 19 weeks working with Michelle, I lost 84 pounds! I did that by eating an amazingly healthy diet and working out consistently. No supplements, no gimmicks, just a solid program that I could enthusiastically embrace.
In the first week we met, Michelle encouraged me to attend her class. At my size, I was hesitant, but I gave it a try. Michelle could not have been more accommodating. She offered me alternatives to any exercises I could not do, and in some cases alternatives to the alternatives. I can still hear her words, “Everyone can so something, just do what you can”. In my physical condition, that was music to my ears.
I made it through that first class and it changed my whole perspective on working out. I had always gone to the gym. I was that guy who walked on the treadmill, lifted a few weights, but never showed any great improvement. I left Michelle’s class thinking, “Mike, you have to work harder, you need to step up your game”.
And I proceeded to do just that. My workouts got better and better, my weight continued to drop, and my energy level skyrocketed. Michelle encouraged me every step of the way, made me believe I could go further than I thought. This helped me go way outside my comfort zone, completing my first road race ever, a 15 mile duathlon, then two 5K races. Now I am signed up for a triathlon. And something funny happened along the way, I went from having modest goals of just losing some weight, to a goal of really wanting to get fit!
I’ve also learned along the way that working out is only part of formula. Michelle taught me the Diet Doc program and it has been the key to my success, providing me a great nutrition plan as the solid foundation to achieving good fitness. The Diet Doc program taught me the right amounts of food to eat, the right combinations of food, and the best times to eat them. The program could not be easier; I feel that I eat like a king, not deprived of anything.
It’s not often that you cross paths with someone that really makes a difference in your life. I am proud to say that Michelle has been a person who made a difference in mine, and helped me change my life for the better. Michelle has such great knowledge of health and fitness which she uses to teach, encourage, and keep you motivated. But beyond the nuts and bolts, she really cares about your success. I can’t imagine a better trainer for health and fitness. Michelle is the best!
There are so many people to thank for helping me towards my goal of getting fit. Obviously thanks to Michelle O’Toole, for everything. To my wife Deb, for all her support, making me the most fantastic, healthy meals every day, having faith in me, and for waiting for me to come around – love you babe! Thanks to Megan Rogozenski for coaching me in the duathlon and holding my hand through it, teaching me to spin, and for inviting me into her racing world. Joe Vitiello for teaching me strength conditioning. And last but not least, Grafton Anytime Fitness and all of the great people there.
This has been an amazing journey for me. I feel like I’m getting my life back through hard work and good healthy choices. I’m not done yet, and in some ways I’m just getting started. There are more goals to hit, but they are different goals now. They are not so much numbers on a scale, but a new lifestyle, with no limits, where I am active and fit and enjoying life!