Saturday, August 9, 2014
Changing for the better, or worse

By Tony Wagner Citizen Columnist

Dear Mr. Fitness:

After reading some of your latest columns, I was wondering if you had any of your clients experience a change of life? Have you had people really completely change their lifestyles? Do they do it for the rest of their lives, if at all? Thanks.

-- Life Change

Dear Life Change:

A complete change of life? You bet. There have been many -- some good, some not so good.

A bad example: one woman was dragged to my office by her husband because he wanted to get her into shape. She was against it at the start, but truly became quite in shape. Really in shape. Holy cow in shape. You get the idea.

Well, she left her husband. Not a real good result marriage-wise. But, she experienced a lifestyle change! Unfortunately, so did he.

I do have a good result though. Allow me to use a former client's story:

John was an avid bowler and was quite adept at knocking down those pins. So good, he considered turning professional. That's pretty good. Now, John loved to eat. After a bowling tournament John and I went to a fast food restaurant. John ordered and consumed three double Whoppers with cheese, three large fries, two large chocolate shakes and two apple pies! Needless to say, I was impressed and appalled.

John became fatter and fatter. He would eat like this all of the time and did not exercise. He eventually weighed 303 pounds on his five-foot, eight-inch frame. His enormous girth began to interfere with his bowling stroke. Having to whip the ball around an oblate spheroid is not good, if you know anything about bowling. This superb bowler had become mediocre at best. Finally, he enlisted my help only after it affected his bowling (not his health, go figure).

I worked with John for 18 months without fail. During this time he was relentless to achieve his goal. He lost an incredible 114 pounds. He still weighs that same 189 pounds today! Cool. Naturally, that wonderful bowling stroke came back and he tore it up at the lanes! Yeah!

I'm sure your thinking, yes, this is a lifestyle change! However, that's not the whole story. John told me afterward that he never dated because he was embarrassed by his bulk. He never, ever, asked a girl out on a date.

With his new, slimmed down healthier physique, he doesn't feel awkward asking them out now. John told me that being able to date was the best part of changing his life. Better than being able to bowl!

So, here was a guy who truly changed his life by getting into shape. And it ended up completely different then he or I ever imagined! Way to go John!

-- Mr. Fitness

Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at and come visit at Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 292-2930.