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The tough love and accountability Michel needs to stay on track

Aug 25, 2016
Ashley Ann Lawrie

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New research led by Ottawa’s Dr. Doug Manuel illustrates what most of us already suspected – your lifestyle choices around food, drink and exercise do impact your life expectancy. In fact, not smoking, eating healthy, exercising regularly and cutting back on the alcohol can add up to an almost 18-year difference in how long you might live.

That comes as little surprise to 60-year-old Michel Tremblay. By his 50s, a sedentary lifestyle and a fondness for wine, bread and pasta had left him quite overweight, diabetic and with high blood pressure.

“Every indicator of bad health was mine,” he said.

A trip to Europe with a friend, where he was always puffing to keep up, stirred his need to take action. Another friend referred him to Free Form Fitness.

“I realized I had to do something,” Michel said. “My thinking at the time was, whatever my trainer tells me to do, I would do it, even if he tells me to jump in the Ottawa River.”

Over the next two years, he lost 60 pounds and freed himself of medication. When his FFF trainer left to start their own training business, Michel followed, loyal to the trusted relationship they had built.

But last fall, Michel decided it was time to return to FFF. He felt his relationship with that other trainer had become too easy-going and familiar – Michel was no longer getting the push he needed, the accountability. His commitment had started to slide, due in part to a new role as executive director of a national association – a demanding job that requires a lot of travel and plays havoc with his healthy routine.

He realized he needed the support of a training team that works together to keep clients on track and accountable when they show up, when they don’t, and for what they do in between their sessions.

In January, Michel came back to FFF. With the support of the FFF team and the encouraging atmosphere, he quickly got back on track. His blood pressure is again under control, he has more energy and he just feels better.

Nutrition remained a challenge, due to often eating at restaurants while travelling and the fact that his partner just wasn’t on the same page and didn’t share his health goals. But Michel’s desire to improve his health and beat those life expectancy statistics recently led him to make big change in his relationship.

“I had to make the decision about what is best for me,” he said.

Michel wouldn’t hesitate to recommend FFF to anyone in his shoes, because this is a team with a shared commitment to helping clients reform their unhealthy habits to live better and longer lives.

“I would recommend people in my position come here for the accountability,” he said. “For the exercise part, every gym does it, but what’s different is the accountability.”

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