You can change who you are at FFF – I did

Apr 11, 2017
Ashley Ann Lawrie


It’s been four years since I first stepped through the door of Free Form Fitness.

A lot has changed. I’ve changed, in ways I never expected. Sure, there’s the visually obvious—I’ve lost almost 40 pounds and cut six or seven inches from my waist. Within five months, I was able to escape the blood pressure meds I’d been on for two years and avoid the need to add cholesterol meds.

But the truly important stuff has happened on the inside. Losing fat, gaining muscle and definition, accomplishing new personal bests in the gym – these things have boosted my esteem and confidence. I’m more centred. The stresses of balancing family, client work and my ambition to publish a novel are much easier to take in stride.

I learned that being overweight and out of shape wasn’t only a threat to my longevity, it eroded my quality of life, my ability to enjoy life.

The gym has become a regular routine of three times a week, but the biggest change of habit has come in the kitchen.

I’m the guy who in my youth would sit down during the holidays to watch a movie and polish off a quart of egg nog, a large bag of chips (about 10 servings), a bowl of mixed nuts and a tub of dip. It added up to a “snack” of about 2,900 calories. These days, I know I should be eating about 2,200 calories just to maintain my weight as a physically active person. Do the math.

I had the sense to lay off that kind of gluttony long before I first came to FFF, but still, I was on a potentially fatal path of poor nutrition. And family history was not on my side – my grandfather had died of a heart attack at 47, my father had open-heart surgery at 60.

Incidentally, I turned 47 myself earlier this year. It made me consider what it would be like for my family to lose a husband and a father. This isn’t a pleasant train of thought, but it is a necessary one for any man hitting his 40s. Changing my life, changing the way I treat my body, isn’t just about me, but the people who matter to me, too.

I’ve learned a lot, about how to exercise, how to eat and how far I can push myself, thanks to the FFF team. I still rely on these guys to keep me on track and redefine my limits. They have made me the man I am today.

Maybe my story will resonate with other 40-something men who feel they need to do something substantial with themselves and just don’t know where to start. I can only hope it will. I say this with all sincerity – if I can do it, so can you. You just need some help from these “personal trainers who care” to set you on the right path. But it’s up to you to find the personal motivation that will keep you on it. I know what my motivation is. Best of luck finding yours.

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