How One Physician Is Being An Example

Nov 03, 2016
Ashley Ann Lawrie


It’s a common irony that dedicated healthcare professionals are often challenged to follow their own wellness advice.

Kawan, a 44 year old physician, was no exception. Between busy work schedules and two young children at home, neither he nor his wife Carolina, also a physician, could squeeze out the time for regular exercise.

But Kawan saw that age had started to catch up with him.

“You can get away with it in your 20s, but I could see myself, I could feel myself, getting out of shape,” he said.

They often walked by the Glebe location of Free Form Fitness. Carolina signed up first, just after the birth of their second child, taking advantage of the introductory package of eight sessions for only $96. Her positive experience led Kawan to follow her example.

“We like the fact that it is very focused with a personal, one-on-one approach,” Kawan said. “Having 30-minute sessions that are so effective made it easy to fit into our lives.”

Kawan has been training three times a week for the past 18 months. He’s lost 15 pounds, trimmed five percentage points from his body fat and reduced his BMI to a normal range. He followed the nutrition plan prescribed by trainer Joey Blais for two months and then found himself in that sweet spot where he could be less stringent about his diet without losing the progress he had made.

But getting in shape is about much more than just looking good.

“If you have kids you’ve got to stay healthy,” Kawan said. “As a physician, you see the impact when people start to lose their health. This was as much for my family as it was for me.”

For this couple, it’s been hugely important to be in sync when it comes to fitness and nutrition.

“It is a very mutual supportive thing,” Kawan said. “We make time for each other to go and take turns watching the kids. We both understand it’s good for the other and our family. If one of us is happier, we’re both happier.”

He’s also learned firsthand that the virtuous circle of strong body = strong mind is no myth.

“I feel stronger, I have more energy,” he said. “I think the physical strength gives you more mental strength – there are a lot of pressures at work and it makes you feel more confident to deal with them.”

He doesn’t make a point of talking with colleagues and family about the positive changes he has made. “As long as I feel better and I’m happy inside that’s what’s important.” But people have noticed.

What’s next?

Kawan ran his fourth half-marathon this fall, setting a personal best, and attributes his strong performance to his training. His plan is to rely on FFF for strength training and conditioning to compliment the cardio and running he does outside the gym.

“We both intend to maintain this routine as part of our lives, for as long as we can,” he said.

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