By Michael Fagone
July 1st marked my two-year anniversary at DHAC. I’m sure most people don’t remember the date when they first started at their gym, but I do. It was the day I first started in 60/60, the day I first met Jason and the day I decided I was seriously committed to getting healthy.
A few months prior, I had lost my mother. I was recovering from gout and I was at a VERY unhealthy weight (about 480lbs). My doctor was pushing weight loss surgery. He said that I was beyond diet and exercise. A voice inside my head was like “oh yeah, watch me!” Sometimes it takes someone giving up on you for you to not give up on yourself.
By the time I started 60/60, I had already lost nearly 100lbs. I was eating well with the help of a nutritionist. I was consistently walking. But I was getting to a point where I had to decide whether I was going to really commit to this or just do what I was doing and hope I stayed on task.
My friend Kristen suggested the 60/60 Program. When I first met with Jason, I judged him immediately. I didn’t see how this young, fit guy was going to be able to help me. But I had made a decision to do this. I was just going to have to trust him, the program and the staff.
I am so glad I did. Jason, Dodi and Robbie were so helpful during those first two months. They provided encouragement and help whenever I needed it. I had a successful run during my time in 60/60. I took the tools I learned there to continue my weight loss.
I’m in a place that I never anticipated. People often say how good I must feel. I try hard not to think about it, to be honest. I just try and look forward and keep moving ahead. There have been big picture gains of course. I am carrying about 240lbs less than I was 2.5yrs ago and have come off 4 medications (3 blood pressure meds and 1 cholesterol).
But honestly, it is the little things that make me appreciate my progress more. When I go to a concert, I can fit in the seat without breaking it (been there). I can keep up with the kids that I work with. I can go anywhere and not worry about how much walking will be involved My world has opened up for me in ways that I never imagined.
This seems like an appropriate time to express my gratitude to the staff at DHAC who supported me from day one. I could go on and on about Jason– but he wouldn’t like that. I just will say that I could never have run close to 3 miles on the treadmill or tried things like TRX had it not been for the encouragement and support I have received from him. He only has had three expectations from me from the beginning: do my best, always try and never quit.
The trainers are the unsung heroes over at DHAC. They push us along when we need it, they pick us up when we fall and they give us the hard truth when we need to hear it. There is not one member of the fitness staff who hasn’t helped me in some way – be it an ear to listen, help with a machine or a blood pressure check. I appreciate every last one of them.
The most unexpected support has come from fellow members. Many remember me from when I first started. I am always met with compliments and praise, which I appreciate more than I probably say. I have met so many great people at DHAC. I cannot go anywhere in that building without seeing a familiar face. I have met an amazing group of friends at DHAC whom I cherish beyond words.
So yes, I remember when I first started at DHAC very clearly. It was a leap of faith and thankfully one that has paid off. Weight loss can seem impossible. But it IS possible. I am living proof that it can be done if you are determined enough. Don’t allow anyone to ever give up on you and more importantly, don’t give up on yourself. Sometimes you just need to find your motivation and the courage to take that first step. I promise you, it is worth it.