Finding the right team to achieve lasting results

Mar 08, 2017
Ashley Ann Lawrie


Brenda Vaillant doesn’t shy away from the truth. By her early 40s, she had become a “big, fat mama.”

She wore 156 pounds on a 5’ 2” frame after gaining 45 pounds in just three years.

“I never had any weight issues, I have always been fairly slim and in ‘good shape,’” she said.

But something had changed after 40, like it can for many men and women at this critical age.

Both genders can experience sudden weight gain due to natural metabolic changes and loss of muscle tone. What worked in your 30s in terms of nutrition and exercise may not in your 40s. Those favourite comfort foods begin to catch up with you.

Brenda was no exception. The weight gain became an issue in her marriage. Despite various efforts, she realized she couldn’t battle the bulge on her own.

“I tried Weight Watchers, Dr. Bernstein, diet food delivered to my home, and other complicated diets,” she said. “The only thing that came out of it was more weight gain and extreme frustration. I would give up often – like all the time.”

But she didn’t want to just lose weight. Brenda understood the importance and value of building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Toned lean muscle doesn’t only look good, it’s important to overall health as we age. Weight strengthening is good for the bones and joints.  And the more lean muscle you have, the easier it is to manage your weight.

So, Brenda tried working with a personal trainer, with mixed results. His schedule didn’t align well with hers and his overly restrictive nutrition plan was more likely to spark cravings than yield results.

But the she found her way to Free Form Fitness.

“Joining Free Form Fitness was the best decision ever,” Brenda said. “I walked in here with a broken spirit, depressed, and didn’t think that anything would change again.”

But it did. Not quickly. It took consistent effort over time, combined with nutrition counselling from trainers Nick Antal and Monique Vautour, to put Brenda on a sustainable path to better eating.

It took three months of this new routine, training twice a week, for the weight to finally begin to come off. A year after she started, Brenda has lost 20 pounds, half way to her target.

“I have lost all of the cellulite on my arms – I had stopped wearing short-sleeved shirts because of my arms,” she said. “For the first time in three years I can zip up my winter jacket. I am shopping in my own closet all the time, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

But most importantly, she can once again wear her wedding ring. Call that a good omen for a healthier marriage.

“I have to thank Monique and Nick for putting me on the right track,” Brenda said.

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