September 16, 2011
FT-Burlington changed my life. Or more accurately, Brendan Stapleton changed my life.
In the fall of 2010, I was middle-aged, inactive, and morbidly obese. I had a lot of great things in my life with work and friends and a variety of interests, but over the years the weight gain had caused me to cut back on travel and the lifetime sports and activities that I had always enjoyed a great deal. I also knew that I was facing a future that would likely be filled with weight-related medical issues and a declining quality of life. I understood that I was at the point of needing weight-loss surgery, but that was intensely unappealing. And without lifestyle and nutrition changes, it would also be pointless. It was at that point that I made a commitment to myself to make an all-out effort to get healthy through exercise and nutrition, and I understood myself well enough to know that a personal trainer was my best option.
I had liked the FT ads on television, and I know now that I am so lucky that the Burlington site was closest to my home. Once I made the commitment, it took me a month or more to make that first contact, and only by email. And when Brendan called to schedule an appointment for a consultation, it took me a few days to get up my nerve to return his call. And then every day until the face-to-face appointment, I gave myself the follow-through-on-this pep talk. And the day of, I needed to promise myself to at least get to the parking lot outside FT. And when I did that, I talked myself into following through with that initial appointment. It was a nerve-wracking morning. And then, I got inside, and I met Brendan and Nate and we got started— and truly, the hardest part was over.
For me, making the call and getting in the door were the biggest challenges in this whole process. It’s not easy to get honest with yourself about your physical reality and about your lifetime of bad choices. And much harder than that, for me at least, was getting honest and open with someone else about my weight and my lifestyle. What I didn’t know then was that all that worrying was pointless, that Brendan is the consummate professional, that he’s direct and focused and incredibly knowledgeable and he’s also non-judgmental and solution-oriented and funny and friendly and so incredibly tuned in to which type of approach would work with me
as an individual.
The training itself was a lot of fun. It didn’t take long to quit worrying what other people would think of me because the sessions are private and Brendan and his team are so positive. And most importantly, I was doing it! I was following through on this extraordinarily important commitment to my health and well being, and I was learning every day how to make this a lifelong lifestyle.
That teaching component and comprehensive approach are part of what made me so successful in the short term and so confident about my future. Brendan and his team combine the actual cardio, strength training, and nutritional plan with teaching about cardio, strength training, active lifestyles, and nutrition. Moreover, they do it incrementally, subtly, and tailored to the individual, so I personally was always learning and doing a lot, both physically and nutritionally, but it was never more than I could handle and there were never any gaps in the path to my personal success.
In closing, I just want to say again how life-changing my time with Brendan and his team was. I didn’t possess the knowledge, focus, or personal accountability to do this on my own, but with their help and extraordinary expertise I have lost 125 pounds in eight months*. I have regained my health and physical vitality, and I have reconnected with my commitment to personal accountability for fitness. And most importantly, I now have the knowledge and drive for exercise and nutrition to maintain this effort throughout my life. And truly, the hardest part was just walking through that door the first time. Brendan, Nate, and Robin will take care of you after
With boundless gratitude and confidence in a fit and healthy future,
__A p.s. for people concerned about the financial cost: When I figured out that the personal-trainer model was my best chance at success, I knew it would require a significantly bigger financial commitment than a gym or just getting a good in-home treadmill. But when I did the math—the cost of FT versus the cost of future exorbitant medical care, the day-to-day costs associated with obesity, the cost of lost
opportunities and quality of life—it was clear to me that FT was a bargain, a short-term investment for a lifetime of gain. I would do it again in a heartbeat (a very slow resting heartbeat, I’m happy to say).