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Richard Enos

{Member}Warwick, Rhode Island

Trax Transformations

My experience is that for most major life changes there’s a light switch moment. It’s the moment when a light is turned on that highlights the need for change … change that is needed but often overlooked until that moment in time when you realize it’s not only needed, but required. Sometimes it takes more than a single light switch moment before you’re compelled to take action. In hindsight, as it relates to my journey at Healthtrax, there were three light switch moments that led me to take action and do something about my health and fitness. 

The first was on Christmas Day 2017. I was nursing a case of walking pneumonia and had a coughing fit at the family dinner table. During that fit, I lost consciousness briefly, scaring my family in pretty dramatic fashion. They thought I had died when my head hit the dinner table. I was fine, but it was scary for them and for me. The second was actually not a single moment but a process. During 2016 and 2017 my wife was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. During that process, I realized that I needed and wanted to be around for a while. I also learned that I needed her more than she needed me. Two pretty big events … right? Interestingly enough, neither really spurred decisive and definitive action on my part. Like I said, it often takes more than one moment to spur change. The third and final was over the New Year’s holiday, when my Grandson turned one & the light was so bright it could no longer be ignored. Now that he was mobile, I was sweating and out of breath doing simple things like playing with him or following him around the house. When he left I was usually beat. I have wanted to make change long before the holidays, but it’s he that was the ultimate catalyst … he that, unknowingly flipped the final light switch on for me, shining light on just how sedentary & out of shape I had become and driving me to finally take action. 

On New Year’s Day I weighed in at 336 lbs., not an all-time high but close. I’ve always been able to lose weight. I’ve also always been able to easily put it back on, weighing as little as 215 lbs. and as high as 350 lbs. as an adult. I’ve never been able to keep it off over the long-term. My doctor has been on my case for as long as I have been seeing him. I’ve been on medication for hypertension for years. Now, it seemed like I had to do something! No more playing around! I began to research health clubs and came across the Physician Referred Exercise Program (P.R.E.P.) at Healthtrax. I knew my doctor would be thrilled to write the referral, and he was. The diagnosis was shocking when I saw it … Morbid Obesity! I made an appointment and met with Brandon Hayes, the Program Coordinator, and decided on the spot to join the program and Healthtrax. I felt very comfortable with the overall club environment. There was a diverse client base, which I found really appealing. I knew if I was going to come here for the long haul that fit was critical. Everyone I met seemed to really care about the members. It had been a long time since I worked out, but the Milon equipment circuit proved the perfect way to get me moving again. For the first month I went three times a week and completed three complete circuits each visit. I began to feel better, physically & more importantly about myself. I was doing something, at last, to improve my health & fitness. Brandon was of great help and support, and continues to support my efforts today.

As part of P.R.E.P. there are two sessions with a physical trainer. Brandon paired me with Austin Kirchner. I was hesitant to engage a personal trainer because I knew it was costly and felt I could figure it out on my own. But the sessions were free so why not? After meeting with Austin and going through the two “free” sessions, I had another light switch moment. I realized, after some reflection that although I definitely could figure it out on my own, I most likely wouldn’t. Austin suggested it was an investment in me and he was right. People, me included, piss away money on the stupidest stuff. Why not invest in me for a change? I’ve had enough with short-term results and need long-term results. Everyone is different, but for me, I needed to commit personally & financially in a serious way to get to where I need to be. It’s a weakness & a personality flaw. 

Austin’s help has been in multiple areas. First, there’s the exercise and physical activity portion of the changes I’m making. He gets me to the gym, challenges me and keeps me motivated to keep coming back and giving it my best. He brought a unique perspective to strength training that I truly like and appreciate. He provides workouts that are varied and challenging. Second, Austin has helped me completely change the way I eat and look at food, and I am seeing what I would call dramatic results. I want to mention that in addition to being the right trainer for me, Austin is also a great guy. He not only knows what he’s doing professionally, but sincerely cares about me as a person. That goes a long way. Here is just one example … Austin knows a bit about my wife’s journey battling cancer. On Mother’s Day, he took time to text me to see if my wife had a great day. Above & beyond for sure … and I mention it because he’s not only the right trainer for me … it’s important to me that he’s a good person. 

When I joined Healthtrax in mid-January I weighed in at 331 lbs. The only change I made was going to the gym three times a week. Everything else in my life was the same. During that first month, I was disappointed to have only lost three pounds. That was what I consider the bad news. The good news is that I was going to the gym three days a week and taking action to get healthier. I made no other changes during that first month. 

In summary, since joining Healthtrax in January I have lost a total of 43.8 pounds and 31.8 pounds of fat, the bulk of which has been dropped since working out with Austin. Additionally, I have gone from wearing 52” waist to 46” waist slacks. I had XXL shirts that didn’t fit that I can now wear regularly, and even a couple of XL. I feel better, both physically and emotionally, than I have in a long time. I have a fairly stressful life and have found that I am better able to negotiate my way through things on a daily basis. My weight and fitness have been life-long journeys with a slew of ups and downs along the way. Right now, I’m in a big up period and hope that I may have found the key to long-term success. Still a long way to go, but so far so great! Thanks to Austin, Brandon and all of the staff at Healthtrax for making the journey enjoyable. 

I don’t take many pictures. I’ve never really been comfortable in front of the camera … it doesn’t lie. I must admit that I’m pretty proud of this one though.