Getting ready for the big day

Nov 20, 2014

For Chad MacDonald and his fiancée, Rebecca Ross, reality hit hard when they went to book a photographer for their upcoming wedding.

“When you get married, all the attention is focused on you,” Chad said. “We both thought, ‘if I am going to have someone taking pictures of me for an entire day, I want to be comfortable with myself and feel good about how I look.’”

Chad and Rebecca had gone through what many young couples do. Slowly over time, due to busy lives and growing careers, health and fitness became less and less of a focus.

“It wasn’t something we actively talked about, but we each knew the other didn’t feel completely satisfied with our health and fitness,” Chad said.

The 33-year-old is the creative director of a digital agency down the street from Free Form Fitness’s Wellington location.

The last time Chad felt truly fit was during the transit strike, because he had to walk the four kilometres to and from work every day. He lost a considerable amount of weight over a short period of time.

But once the busses started rolling again, he resumed his old routine, and the pounds came back as quickly as they were lost. He held a monthly gym membership for years but seldom went.

It was Rebecca who decided the only way to shape up for their wedding was to get professional help – from the personal training team at FFF. She goes to the Dalhousie location close to where she works, while Chad sweats it out at the Wellington location twice a week on his way home from work.

Within five months, Chad has lost 40 pounds and trimmed almost eight inches from his waistline. Rebecca has enjoyed similar success.

FFF’s mantra is accountability. For Chad, being accountable to his trainers, Adrian and Erin, for his efforts and his nutrition has made all the difference.

“The trainers were so open and honest about the importance of being accountable,” he said. “Whenever I did have a small moment of weakness I would tell them and they were so good about getting me back in a positive mind frame and not dwelling on it.

“Once you’ve had an experience like that with someone and you see how invested they are in you, you really don’t want to let them down. That is what has driven my success.”

Unexpected benefits

And then there are the benefits Chad didn’t expect from shedding pounds and improving his fitness level.

He once suffered from intense leg cramps if he attempted to walk any distance, but that’s now gone. He is also making the four-kilometre walk to work every day (now with 20 lbs in weights strapped to his back!) and is happy to watch the bus pass by. He was a chronic snorer, much to Rebecca’s ire. Due to the significant weight loss that’s no longer an issue, either.

Improved fitness and nutrition has also helped him to better deal with the demands of a stressful and creative-centered career.

“I have found that my mental clarity is so much greater than before,” he said. “I am sleeping better, and my day-to-day energy is so much higher.”

When Chad first came to FFF, he and Rebecca were six months away from their engagement photos. Their goal when they began training was to reach their weight goals in time for this photo shoot.

“Before coming here, we both kind of dreaded this moment,” Chad said. “Now, I can’t wait. I’m so excited to feel good about how I look knowing that a full day of photos is around the corner.”

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