The Fitness Friend Challenge: Month Four


Rob and Dave staying strong in their commitment to wellness.

The 2017 Fitness Friend Challenge has reached the end of month four of ten (or make that twelve, maybe—I’ll get to that in a minute), and we’re here once again with a monthly update on how the
guys are doing. As we’ve been doing, we’re tracking the fitness, health, and nutrition journeys of two clients, Dave Liebman and Rob Perez, who began this undertaking January 17. Each month we
update progress to date, physically, nutritionally, and mentally. So far, it’s been all positives, with a lot of learning; month four showed more of that, and a gaining momentum.

As a reminder, these two friends, both of whom were looking to make some major life adjustments in the realms of health and fitness joined forces, under the watchful eye of Body Balance personal trainer John Perez and massage therapist and nutrition coach Kristi Reed. To add fun inspiration and competition to the endeavor, they put a wager on the line based on who loses, combined, the most weight, body fat, and inches by the end of the challenge.

So where are we now?

We are seeing progress with both participants. While Dave continues to lead in losing more in numbers, both men are continuing to make progress. To date, Dave is down 11.5 pounds, 7.24% body fat, and 12.75 inches, while Rob is down 6 pounds, 5.4% body fat, and 6.25 inches. But probably most importantly, they are both more enthusiastic than ever to continue on with the program of at least four workouts a week and following a healthy diet, and to continue to more firmly lock in healthier habits.

Rob expressed a beaming enthusiasm for the movement aspect of the program. We caught him on a week off from work and he’d committed to getting in to train or take a boot camp class every day, sometimes coming in twice a day. He’s experiencing continued strength and flexibility, the latter especially in his back, which had previously been a consistent source of pain. And he’s fitting into clothes that used to be too snug, and holding onto even smaller sizes in happy expectation of fitting into them soon—whereas before, he was just looking to get rid of them.

Rob also noted that he really thrives working with a personal trainer; that extra support inspires him to work harder, as does working out with a friend. “I’m really motivated, and I feel like I can do anything,” Rob says. “I just need some direction. And, when I’m working out with other people, the time just flies by.”

For Rob, a sticking point continues to be portion control. “I just get really hungry sometimes,” he says, “and that’s when I slip.” He also notes that his cooking isn’t as flavorful as the meals that Kristi comes up with, so one strategy is to learn to use more herbs and spices to create more fulfilling meals. “Sometimes I feel like the food I make just isn’t very satisfying,” he says. “It feels like by cutting out the less healthy options I’m missing out on something.”

But he recognizes that this is all a matter of altering long-held habits and retraining his palate, and he’s fully committed to continuing to hone in on more and more consistently making better choices. He does note that having a hectic workweek and keeping up with family doesn’t leave him with as much time as he’d like to dedicate to making healthy changes, so he’s making changes as he can, with the understanding that this process takes some time. To further progress, he’s keeping on with working closely with Kristi to iron out better shopping, cooking, and portioning habits. It is clear, Rob is steadily on track to ironing out the ever diminishing bumps in his health path.

Dave is also more enthusiastic than ever to keep at it! “I’m really starting to feel the benefits of being healthier,” says Dave. “I’m stronger, both cardiovascularly and muscularly. I really feel like I’ve turned a corner when it comes to making better choices for my health. This is a major life change.” Like Rob, Dave is having no problem sticking to his workout regimen. When these two are at Body Balance together, their “Let’s do this!” attitude is palpable; both men are working out harder and more often than ever before. Also like Rob, one of Dave’s big challenges has been diet, with Dave’s sliding being more toward rich gourmet options. But that’s changing. “The big shift with food is that I make the healthy choice,” says Dave, “even when the bad decisions are right there in front of me.” He added as an example, “I forgo the fries option and choose the salad instead.” Dave’s conviction is rock solid and his increased energy and well-being are noticeable.

Getting back to what mentioned up top, that this is no longer just a ten-month challenge, this truly dynamic duo is so enjoying this friendly competition that they’ve decided to keep it going until the end of the year. At Body Balance, we’re thrilled to get two more months to follow their health and wellness pursuit. Stay tuned!

Cherie Turner

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