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Sep162012

Six Women, Four Months, 100 Pounds - Burr Ridge, IL

A true story

This is about six women who work together at a successful small business in suburban Chicago.  To celebrate the company’s achievements Chris, the CEO, would spring for such perks as breakfasts, lunches and a bottomless candy dish.

Success, of course, went to the group’s waists, but they were enjoying their achievements and camaraderie.  Spandex and blousy tops hid the embarrassing part of the company’s success, for a while. 

In January of 2012 Chris began to recognize the need to re-think some of the incentives that had been so enjoyable.  To start, she signed up everyone at Lifetime Fitness, taking advantage of a “Bonus Bucks” promotion to schedule personal training sessions. 

They were all—Chris included—a bit skeptical at first.  Chris had been a member of LTF for over ten years, working out faithfully (pretty much) once or twice a week using free weights, machines and group classes.  She was also a dedicated cyclist, but still she had been unable to prevent creeping weight-gain.  Chris had come to suspect it was an annoying but unavoidable part of the aging process, but she didn’t want to accept this without a fight.  So she and her group put themselves in the hands of the personal trainers at LTF, who provided information, guidance and feedback aimed at achieving specific weight-loss and fitness goals. 

Not all trainers are created equal, so it’s worth mentioning that John Clark stood out as exceptionally skilled.  He varied the training sessions, introducing Hydro Training, boxing, Pilates and strength training, targeting specific issues with infectious enthusiasm.  What he taught his charges about the interaction between diet and exercise provided insight, not just for the week but for a lifetime.

Danielle Pender also merits special mention for infusing her Zumba classes with charismatic doses of energy and passion.  Her classes are always crowded, but this merely adds to the energy in the room.  Chris often carried an extra pair of shoes in her gym bag, and on one occasion she felt compelled to offer them to a girl who’d left her shoes at home in order to spare her the disappointment of missing Danielle’s class.

Springtime reckoning

Four months after they began, the six were more than 100 pounds lighter and had lost a combined 20 inches from their waistlines.  Perhaps most important, they’ve made changes in their lifestyles incorporating exercise and healthy eating.  And their success has helped them realize a new level of positive energy.  They’ve truly earned their success, but the women agree that the personal trainers and group fitness instructors at LTF provided the key spark.

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