Why did you come to One On One?
Throughout 2014 I was dealing with treatment for late stage cancer. Between surgery and aggressive chemotherapy my body was not in very good shape. I lost over 50 pounds of weight during my treatments, most of which was muscle. The weight came back slowly but in the form of fat rather than muscle. I was constantly feeling tired and weak. In addition, my wife and I were worried about the risk of injury as I tried to get back to doing the things that I love like skiing, hiking, running and mountain biking. Something needed to be done. After walking past One on One for months I finally stuck my head in the front door and met Sandra.
What does your exercise regimen consist of? How often do you exercise?
I come to One On One twice a week for an hour each session. Our family is also fairly active on the weekends.
Have your views on fitness changed over the years?
Until starting at One On One I had never strength trained. While I always enjoyed sports, I never gave any thought to a regular fitness routine other than running on a semi-regular basis at lunch time. Now I really appreciate the contribution of strength training to my overall wellbeing.
Why do you fit exercise into your life?
While dealing with the longer term effects of some fairly aggressive chemotherapy are certainly a reason, multiple studies have shown that strength training has a huge benefit with respect to overall health and is by far the best way to offset the general effects of aging. Even before my cancer diagnosis I had noticed that my strength was fading and the various aches and pains we tend to accumulate throughout our lives were getting worse. Exercise really helps to deal with that. Most importantly though, exercise just generally makes you feel better.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of fitness for you?
While I still have a ways to go, I probably feel better than I did prior to cancer. My energy levels are way up and my balance has improved. Stress, an old back injury and the usual aches and pains that used to bother me on a regular basis are no longer an issue. I look better and feel better than I have in a really long time. I am starting to feel strong again!
What has been your biggest challenge?
My diet. I love beer, fast food, high fat foods and salt.
What did your friends, family or spouse think of what you were doing?
My wife is very supportive. She was quite concerned about my lack of strength and the likelihood of injury as I starting getting back to skiing and mountain biking. When we met 20 years ago my 24 year old body was able to keep up with the 20 year old risk analysis capabilities of my brain. Like a lot of guys, while my body aged, my brain seemed to be stuck thinking I could get away with what I used to in my twenties. While my wife still questions my risk analysis skills when I am skiing and mountain biking, the work I have been doing at One On One seems to put her mind at ease somewhat.
When you fall of track with healthy eating / exercise, how do you get back on?
I don’t have a problem with sticking to exercising but diet is a whole other thing. I find it is really important to remember that every day is a brand new start. One day of eating horribly isn’t going to do that much damage if you get back on track the next day. Forget about it and move on. Healthy eating and the weight loss associated with it is a long term thing.
What are your goals now?
I am gradually losing fat and gaining muscle thanks to the strength training. I guess my goal is just to keep improving my overall health and wellbeing.
If you could give advice to another person who was struggling with their fitness what would that be?
Never give up. Also, fitness is a very personal thing. Everyone is different. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and don’t fixate on the bathroom scale. Just try to constantly improve and you will be surprised at where you can get to. If you start a program like they have at One On One and stick with it you will look and feel better than you can imagine. When I first started we weren’t even using weights, just my body weight. That has constantly improved over the last year.
Any other comments that you would like to add?
One On One has been exactly what I needed. I never went to the gym prior to my cancer experience and thought I would hate it. I also had a certain perception of what a gym like One On One would be. I expected the focus to be on body building rather than general health. What I have found is quite different. Most of the people I have met are just like me. People of all shapes and sizes looking to improve their overall health and wellness. One On One has a focus on healthy exercise tailored to the individual and also includes diet through consultations with a dietitian. I feel comfortable working out in the space and despite where I started from have never felt intimated or out of place. I actually look forward to it now.
Finally, having a trainer looking after my exercise program has been invaluable. Most people, myself included, don’t intuitively know how to strength train. They end up getting hurt and giving up. My trainer Danny always says “if it hurts, you are doing something wrong.” He is constantly adjusting how I move while exercising. When I have felt a twinge or soreness, we make a little correction to resolve it. I could not have done this without his help. What I am also finding is that learning how to properly use your muscles in the gym does not only benefit you in the gym. Whether working around the house or getting sore knees while hiking, the corrections I use in the gym fix the aches and pains of my everyday activities.