Dave Fredericks hated exercising until he walked through the doors of the Eagan Y in June. Plagued with high blood pressure and sleep apnea, he knew it was time to make a life change and live healthier not only for himself but his family as well. The health issues that he suffered were one thing but for Dave it was more than that. For years he had been unable to go on rides with his kids at an amusement park because he couldn’t fit in the seats. A simple task that most parents take for granted but to Dave this was really the “light bulb” moment that spurred him to take action.

Upon joining the Eagan YMCA in June, Dave scheduled his adult fitness consultation with Personal Trainer Alex Ballweg. It was at this appointment that Dave decided he was ready to dedicate himself to his health once and for all. Alex began by making Dave feel comfortable in the fitness center. They walked through the cardio and the strength training equipment and came up with an initial starting plan. At 397 pounds, Dave was hesitant about working out amongst the other members. He didn’t want anyone looking at him. Alex convinced him that working out needed to become an everyday habit in order for his health to improve. So, each day Dave gathered the courage to come into the Y and sweat five days a week. Alex continued to encourage Dave with tips here and there. His support helped push Dave to achieve more and helped keep him on track. He knew Alex sincerely wanted him to be successful in his weight-loss efforts so he decided to invest in some personal training sessions. They now train together twice a week. His workouts consist of high-intensity interval training and full body circuit training. In addition to personal training, Dave enrolled in one of Alex’s specialty classes, a 30 minute boxing class. The rest of the week he will come in on his own and perform 60 minutes of cardio or repeat one of his previous workouts with Alex. Dave contributes having a personal trainer as his main motivation. “Alex has put so much effort into helping me. I’m so grateful for all he has done for me and really don’t want to sabotage all of his work. He keeps me coming in.”

Studies have shown that for any weight loss program, keeping a food journal is an important tool for keeping weight off. It will help monitor your caloric intake, but it also gives you insight into why, when, where and how you eat. Dave agrees this has been a huge help to him. “I used to frequent Cold Stone Creamery quite a bit. I would walk in there and I was like Norm on the hit TV show “Cheers. They all knew my name! This has all changed now. Journaling on MyFitnesPal has really opened my eyes. Once I started working out, I found that food really hasn’t been a big struggle for me during my weight-loss efforts. It’s all about changing the portion sizes and allowing myself a taste here and there of some not so healthy foods. It’s all in moderation.” Dave does admit that scheduling his workouts between work and family life can sometimes be a little tricky, but he makes it work.

“The changes that have come with my weight loss aren’t just in my appearance. My confidence level has increased as well.” Since his weight-loss, Dave has become much more interested in trying new things. He’s getting involved in his community. He started acting with the Black Dirt Theatre in Hastings- something he has always wanted to try. He loves it! In addition his wife and daughter are becoming more active along with him. Both of them are participating in the Try the Y, a 6-week healthy living program encouraging members to become active in different areas of the Y. Not only does he have the support of family but also the support of his church community. Dave’s church offers a support group entitled Fit for Life which focuses on the spiritual health of a weight-loss journey. Together they share success stories, discuss their struggles and swap healthy recipes.

To date, Dave has lost 40 pounds, 72.7 inches and is down 7 pant sizes. His goal is to lose another 95 pounds but he’s less concerned about the number on the scale right now. He’s focusing on doing what’s right for his health now and going forward in life.