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A Private Trainer Made the Difference

September 14, 1998|JOAN CONNELLY

Prior to my 58th birthday, I was a woman who had joined six to eight gyms, gone on every weight-loss program that had been popular the last 38 years and shunned all avenues of sports and exercise since taking golf lessons in high school. I was a classic "yo-yo" dieter, going on a popular diet, shedding the weight, only to put it back on.

In March 1997, I turned 58. I was 5 feet, 3 1/2 inches, 178 pounds, and my blood pressure was 155/95. My cholesterol count was a high 248. All of this with a history of lower-back pain, caused by a herniated lower disc. To say that my husband and two grown daughters were concerned about my heaviness and longevity was a gross understatement. In an act of major desperation, my dear husband, Pat, bought me six sessions and an evaluation with a private trainer. That gift certificate sat on my dresser for two months before I had the courage to act upon it.

May 19, 1997, was a turning point in my life. I walked through the doors of IFC (Independent Fitness Consultants) and met the man who would turn me into an athlete, Bob Moore. I had a preconceived idea that I only wanted to improve my health and was not interested in going on another diet. The first couple of sessions, I was exposed to the weight-training equipment. I thought I looked pretty silly trying to lift a barbell. After 15 minutes on the treadmill, I was exhausted. But an amazing thing happened: I was having a good time. Within two weeks, I was slowly giving way to the diet. Bob was proving to me that I was not getting enough fuel for my body to complete the workouts. Over the next few weeks, I found the value of the combination of a sound diet and exercise program that IFC provides.

All I had to do was meet my appointment and let my trainer, Bob, guide me for that session. This was more valuable than just going to a gym with no direction. Staying home when I felt tired was no longer an excuse.

In the past year I achieved goals I once thought unattainable. As my statistics indicate, I have lost weight (43 pounds) and inches, and developed a sound muscle and strength base. In addition, my new diet has provided me with better eating habits.

Today, I am 59, weigh 135 pounds and wear a size 8 swimsuit. My blood pressure is 120/70. I have had no back pain, nor have I had to take medication for my back in over a year. More important, my enthusiasm, excitement and dedication to continue my program is at a new high.

I am having the time of my life!

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We'd also like you to send us full-body color photos of you, before and after.

Send essay and photos to "How I Did It," Health, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, and include daytime and evening phone numbers. No phone calls, please. Submissions cannot be returned.

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Vital Statistics

Name: Joan Connelly

Age: 59

Occupation: Nursery school


Height: 5 feet, 3 1/2 inches

Old Weight: 178

New Weight: 135

Time to Get There: 16 months

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