When Chris Marion, a Knoxville radio producer, was told by his doctor to lose weight or face the possibility of a stroke; it wasn’t death he feared most. It was missing upcoming graduations and weddings, being with his family and playing guitar with his dad that motivated Marion to finally change his life’s outlook. Knowing he needed a change and he needed help, Marion sought out a personal trainer. He found Andrew Henderson, owner and personal trainer at Fitness Together® (FT) in Knoxville. The two worked to transform Chris from an overweight father and husband with a lot to lose, into a man who is ready to take on the challenges the next day brings.
After 18 months of training, setting goals, and working with every day behaviors that were counter-productive, Marion is 75-pounds lighter from a high of 280. His blood pressure, once 220/12 and at stroke level, is now where it should be at 120/70.
“I didn’t really think that I could do it, but these guys here did,” says Marion. “They gave me a plan, they gave me a process and they gave me a person to make sure that I made progress and got results.”
For individuals like Chris Marion, who know they need to make a change but don’t know where to start, personal training provides the combination of accountability, coaching and motivation to make a change happen. Personal trainers, like the ones at Henderson’s FT studio, are health and wellness transformation experts. They provide what each client needs to be able to take their health and wellness into their own hands.
“When it comes to losing weight, you have to explore your options,” says Henderson. “It’s not uncommon for people really overweight to come to a personal trainer, because they feel more comfortable working one-on-one in a private setting. If you are struggling with motivation and overwhelmed with life, sometimes personal training can be helpful.”
Henderson worked with Marion to design a new nutrition and fitness program every six weeks, and breaking everything into smaller goals. There were weekly weigh-ins, but it wasn’t the weight loss that motivated Marion as much as setting life goals and meeting them.
“Numbers on the scale aren’t motivating,” says Henderson. “Having a longer life and being able to do things, does.”
When making a life transformation like the one Marion endured, there are specific moments that become life-long memories of the change.
“The first time Andrew and I worked out together we walked up the hill and we were just walking, we weren’t doing any other thing, like any other exercises with the walk, we just walked,” Chris added. “I got not even a quarter of the way up the hill and I had to stop because I couldn’t go any further. I finally made it to the top of that hill and I think that was the biggest emotional experience that I had.”
Marion’s weight loss had one other motivating benefit: lowering his blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes, and at one point Marion had reached stroke levels. Having reached normal blood pressure levels, Marion is now being taken off some of his medications and is no longer at risk for stroke.
See Chris tell his story in his own words in this short video.