A family that trains together, stays together!

Dec 13, 2016
Ashley Ann Lawrie


On her first date with future husband Stu, Alison was a month away from running her first marathon. By their fourth date, Stu had bought himself a pair of running shoes.

You could say fitness defined their relationship.

Then they got married and had their daughter Charlotte. The demands of parenthood changed everything.

“It all fell off the back of the truck except for what our daughter needed,” said Stu, a 40-year-old policy analyst.

“But you can go too far the other way and make nothing about you,” said 34-year-old Alison. She works as VP of community relations with a healthcare services company.

It’s all about finding the right balance – a healthier you is a better parent. With parental leaves over and routines adjusted to their new life, Alison and Stu wanted to get their fitness back on track. Both had gained weight and lost muscle mass and tone after more than two years without regular exercise.

Residents of Westboro, they often walked by their local Free Form Fitness location and saw the introductory package of eight sessions for $96.

“We thought ‘what do we have to lose?’” Alison said. “We both saw the value of a scheduled session with a personal trainer and having them design a program for us, the discipline and accountability. It sounded like just the right fit.”

They’ve been training several times a week since May. Flexible scheduling makes it easy. Alison trains in the morning, while Stu comes in the evening. It’s the first time either has followed a regular routine of cardio and strength training and they’ve been surprised by the unexpected cathartic effect.

“The main reason I wanted to join was to get active again and lose the baby weight,” Alison said. “What I didn’t expect was how much calmer I feel after a workout, how much more productive I am at work.”

Stu agreed. “I get my best sleeps after I work out because my mind is cleared.”

But of course, they have lost weight. Alison has cut a dress size and added muscle tone. “I can open my own jars now.”

Stu has lost some weight, but the biggest change is in his body composition, swapping fat for muscle. “I’ve got the strength to do more work around the house now without getting tired out, like carrying bags of sand, or even lifting my daughter as she gets bigger.”

“And Stu looks super handsome,” Alison added. “I look better, I feel better, my clothes are fitting me better. I wore shorts again this past summer for the first time in years.”

The best part is that they have each other for motivation and support, including at home in the kitchen.

“We just keep things in moderation,” Alison said. “The funny thing is you don’t want to put the bad foods in your body anymore because it doesn’t feel good to eat them.”

They’re always there to back each other up, even during those times when Alison doesn’t want to get out of bed for her session, or Stu doesn’t want to end the day with his.

“It’s really good to be doing this together because you have a better appreciation for what the other person is going through,” Stu said.

“It’s fun, another shared experience you have as a couple, something else you can talk about together,” Alison added.

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