Food / Mind / Body

How Derek Lost 70lbs and Regained Control of His Life

Name: Derek

Age: 48

Occupation: Higher Ed. Administrator

Weight loss so far: 70lbs


How Long have you been training with PP:
I started on May 1, 2017


What was your reason for reaching out to Philly Phitness?

I had several reasons.

  1. In January of 2017, I got an infection that brought me within inches of losing my life due to septic shock.  I spent 33 days in the hospital, with 5 days in a coma and two long stints in the ICU.  While being horribly out of shape was not the direct cause of the infection, I have no doubt that it indirectly was involved.  After surviving and recovering, I knew I needed to get healthy.
  2. I was an adult athlete playing competitively until I was 35, but after I “retired” I gained a ton of weight and got out of shape.  Trying to self-motivate at the gym or running was not cutting it.  I needed a coach and some direction and purpose, as if when I was still playing.
  3. Having been an athlete and having an ego, I never considered a personal trainer.  “I know how to work out,” I told myself.  But after a decade of decline, it was clear what I was doing was not working, and needed to try something new.  I remember it hitting me, “Wait, why not a personal trainer? Why am I resisting this? Why not give it a try?”

What was the first ‘epiphany’ or ‘ah-ha’ moment you had?

I was still in a walking boot when I came in to see Perry for a consultation.  I was still a bit unsure about my physical condition after my hospital stay and the foot where my infection started was broken (literally) and bruised.   After a long conversation with Perry about my story, I could see he genuinely cared about me.  I asked him, “given my broken foot being in the walking boot for at least another month, when do you think I should start?”  As I was asking the last part of that question, he interrupted me politely, but with some force and said: “YESTERDAY”!!!   That fired me up for the first time in years.  He knew what I needed was not more rest or taking it easy.  I was thinking, “Alright, let’s go, I’m ready.”

How did working with Philly Phitness effect you in your personal life?

One word.  Energy.  Lot of new energy I had not had in years.

What have been some of the biggest hurdles / obstacles that have occurred and how did you get through them?

The new item on an already busy schedule was a challenge, but it was also a blessing.  If it was me and my gym membership, I wouldn’t have gone most of the time.  Having an appointment keeps you committed, and you have to work the rest of your life around it.

The other thing is that physically, it is hard work, in a good way.  Some days you just do not want to go, but I was always glad I went right after the session and for the rest of the day.  There is a pride you get battling through those times that builds as you go.  Knowing that great (spectacular) feeling when you are finished a tough workout was what trumped my feeling of laziness and wanting to skip the hard work.

How has working with Philly Phitness changed your perspective towards your future-self?

I know where I need to be and I know what I need to do to get there.  And I also know for fitness, or anything, no matter how much you think you can do it yourself, it is always better with a real pro helping you get there.

Is there anything about Philly Phitness in general or the team that you’d like to share with someone who may be learning about them for the first time?

I knew I was getting a trainer and training sessions. I really didn’t realize how much I was going to be part of a family at Philly Phitness.  I didn’t realize how my trainer was going to be a real motivator in all aspects of my life.  I didn’t realize how much they would all be rooting for me and my progress.  The positive energy is everywhere there, even with the other trainers who see you coming in and out.  It’s a true family Perry has cultivated.

The other thing I wanted to share was when I met with Perry, he said he was really good at getting the right trainer for each individual.  I really feel Victor was the perfect person and has the perfect personality for me.  I cannot speak for others, and this is nothing against the other trainers, but Perry really backed up that claim.

If you had to pick 1 word to describe PP / your trainer – what would it be an why?

Intelligent – I really wanted to put “savvy”, but that would undersell it.  Victor always seemed to push just the right buttons to get the most out of me, not scare me, keep me showing up, keeping me safe from injury.  I was amazed really at how often he would do and say just the right thing.  He’s a really smart guy and Perry seems to only hire bright people