We have the pleasure today of introducing you to client, Bill Eaton, a guy who has TRULY transformed his physique and didn't go bonkers in the process. Bill trains with Christos Monastiriotis and does nutrition work with Jenn Stofferahn. He tells you how it all happened here in this Client Spotlight. If you or anyone you know is trying to lose weight, this interview is a must-read!
TrueFN: How long have you been working with your trainer, Christos, and your nutrition consultant, Jenn?
E: I began working with Christos and Jenn about 7 months ago in July 2015.
TrueFN: Why did you start working together?
BE: I had gained an enormous amount of weight over the past several years. Friends and family members had begun quietly expressing alarm about my obesity and how it was shortening my life. In June, while having lunch with a very good friend whom I hadn't seen for years, I could tell that she was visibly shocked by how fat I had become. However, she quite deftly and diplomatically diverted the discussion to her husband, who had been worried about his weight and had begun working successfully with Christos and Jenn at True Fitness and Nutrition. As she described the methodology TFN uses, the support and professionalism of Christos and Jenn, and the very obvious results for her husband, it sounded like a program that not only made sense but would probably work for me, too. I had long realized that I was relatively ignorant about good nutrition and nutritional habits; I simply ate whatever was convenient or available. I also realized that I needed guidance and support to get me back to the gym, as well as adding exercise and good nutrition into my daily rhythm. Building one new healthy habit a week into my schedule and learning intellectually why each of these new habits made sense, was a winning formula for me. I wasn't overwhelmed by the changes in my lifestyle, but, instead, embraced them much more easily than I could have imagined.
TrueFN: How has your physique, strength, and/or mindset changed since you started?
BE: Since working with hristos and Jenn, I have lost over 40 lbs and about 6-7 inches from my waist. I've (happily) had to buy new clothes and unpack clothes I hadn't been able to wear literally for decades. I now routinely take part in activities that I had avoided as too tiring only a few months ago. Walking up and down stairs used to wind me. Although years ago I used to enjoy jogging daily and jogged for relatively long distances, before I started going to TFN, I literally had trouble running across a street. Bending over to tie my shoes would take away my breath. I'd break into a sweat if I tried to dress too quickly in the morning. My legs were too fat to cross. I'm convinced that my obesity was a cause for problems that led to a knee operation about 6 years ago. I had used my bum knee as (yet another) justification for avoiding exercise. All of that has changed since partnering with Christos and Jenn. I now seek out (happily) opportunities to exercise. I walk to the grocery store and other shops in my city rather than driving. I run up and down my stairs without thinking twice about it.
I'm jogging again and my knees feel so good that I often forget which knee had the operation. I gladly go to the gym without worrying that folks will laugh at the fat guy huffing, puffing, and sweating profusely. I shop along the perimeter of the grocery store, rarely venturing into the center aisles. I think differently about food; it's now fuel rather than a pastime I plan my meals rather than eating impulsively. Even going with friends to restaurants, which I do frequently, is different since I now unconsciously curl my nose at the fatty caloric stuff that used to be staples of my diet. Most of all, I notice how differently and better I feel now. I'm more conscious now of how eating fatty and sugary foods -- or even eating too much food -- makes me feel and that, too, helps keep me from making bad food choices.
TrueFN: How many days a week do you exercise?
BE: I try to exercise at least 4 times a week. I meet with Christos once a week and, on the other days, I go to the gym and follow a program he developed for me.
TrueFN: Life gets busy, how often would you say you miss a workout?
BE: I'm much better dhering to a regular exercise schedule when I can control my schedule. That's not always possible. I still find excuses to keep me from the gym. However, I feel accountable to Christos when I let myself down and don't go to the gym. I also feel the difference in my energy level and mood, so that is an incentive to keep on track.
However, it's rare that I don't exercise at least 3 times a week -- which is a 300% increase over my previous rate of workouts!**
TrueFN: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your sessions with Christos?
BE: Each orkout session is different and the intensity varies throughout each workout, depending on what we're doing that particular day. Christos is like a mind reader, and knows (even when I try to disguise it) when I'm slacking off. He pushes me to do more than I would have thought possible. He also encourages me, particularly when I think I'm at my limit, reminding me often how far I've progressed since last July. And, just as importantly for me, he helps me intellectualize what I'm doing in any exercise and why it's useful/important. He's always available by phone, text, or email, to answer questions or give advice. His suggestion, for example, to send him email reports on every workout I undertake on my own, helps me feel accountable for building exercise into my lifestyle, but also gives him information and data points that he can use to modify our in-person workouts and my individualized workout program when I'm on my own.
TrueFN: How important is smart nutrition in your life?
BE: I think about nutrion now any time I eat. I'm conscious of food choices I make and try to make wise choices -- not because I feel shamed into making good choices, but because I understand and notice the negative and sometimes subtle impacts of bad choices. That doesn't mean that I always make the best choices. I'm still tempted by ice cream. But I can now feel (and anticipate) how that ice cream will affect me later that evening or the next morning. That awareness tempers my unbridled enthusiasm for ice cream. The same is true when I overeat some of my favorite dishes; I know there's a price to pay in how I feel afterwards.
TrueFN: Has anyone in your life been inspired by your changes?
BE: I'm not sure I've "inspired" anyone by the changes I've made in my physique and habits. However, everyone has noticed the dramatic change in how I look. Some friends joke now with mock exasperation that they have to choose restaurants for our outings that have healthy items on the menu. Many friends, when commenting about how much weight I've lost and how much fitter I look, are very interested in learning more about the TrueFN philosophy and program that led to these results.
TrueFN: What's your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
BE: Gradual, step-by-step changes in fitness and nutrition habits pay dividends and are much more likely to become part of a new healthy lifestyle, rather than the overly ambitious frenzy of well-intentioned but short-lived changes that we make each year as New Year's resolutions.
Trainer Perspective - Christos Monastiriotis and Jenn Stofferahn
TrueFN: Christos, what is it like to work with Bill?
CM: Working with Bill has been a great pleasure. He is focused, determined and honest about everything he does out of the gym, whether it's nutrition with Jenn or getting to the gym, which is extremely important and rare to have in a client. Each week it seemed Bill was shrinking before my eyes. Despite everything he has been through he stays true to his goal of bettering himself, and that is truly inspiring to me. Everyday he comes in and is ready to get to work with what I have planned for him. Even though he will dread some of the exercises (the prowler!), he still pushes through and completes it. I can tell he has found his form of therapy in weight lifting and has really made it part of his life. I feel honored to be a part of his fitness journey and can't wait to see what the future holds for him.
TrueFN: Jenn, how does Bill set an example as a nutrition client?
JS: Bill started out with us already possessing a critical ingredient for success in losing weight. Bill takes the effort seriously! He had already made up his mind to commit to a process before walking in the door, all it took was an endorsement from a trusted friend for him to seek out our guidance at TrueFN. Bill has made outstanding progress so far because he's confident in the step-by-step habit change approach and, combined with his hard work in the gym with Christos, he's built exciting momentum. Every increment of progress inspires him more, which keeps the ball rolling. Mindset is the MOST important aspect to success in changing your body. Bill is the right attitude and it's why he has results. Kudos to Bill for his lifestyle change!