Food became Holly’s comfort and soon, she weighed 224 pounds. At only 5’2”, she was obese and suffering the side effects of obesity, including very high triglycerides, low HTL’s, low Vitamin D and of course, depression. She was also suffering from the onset of Fibromyalgia and was extremely tired, napping all day, yet unable to sleep at night. The muscle and joint pain she endured was excruciating, her knees, lower back and ankles so painful it made functioning in daily life nearly impossible. Holly’
At the end of 2009, Holly knew things had to change. So, she did what most people do and made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight “I had made resolutions year after year, but this time, I knew I had to commit”, she said. “My life literally depended on it”. Holly joined her local gym. She began going every day for an hour, running on the treadmill, going to all the aerobics classes, or doing some other type of cardio. After a couple months of that, she had only lost a few pounds, was still tired, still obese and still sick. She lost motivation and stopped going.
That’s when Personal Trainer Matt Elliott called her. “I noticed her at the gym working out on cardio all the time, and she really was working hard, but I could tell she wasn’t getting results”, Elliott said. “We decided to do a “Biggest Loser” type of contest and I immediately thought of her. I called her and convinced her to come in and join the program.”
Matt, a Certified Personal Trainer and Manager at Grand Island Athletic Club, went on to describe the beginning of Holly’s transformation. “The first time we did this contest, eight people signed up under several different trainers; three signed for my team. Holly came in first place, losing almost double the pounds that the second place competitor had lost. Two of my other clients came in third and fourth place. The second time we did the contest, several weeks later, and after seeing Holly’s success, twelve people signed, three for my team. Once again, my clients came in first, third and fourth, and Holly was number one with almost triple the pounds lost over her nearest competitor.”
What made the difference for Holly? And what made her so successful compared with others? Holly will say it was Matt, and Matt will say it was Holly, but it really was a combination of the two. Matt’s Personal Training philosophy is simple. “You really have to weight train to burn calories but you cannot have a “cookie cutter” approach to weight loss and training. Each individual’s body type, lifestyle, motivation, determination and even their budget has to be taken into consideration”
But still, Holly only worked with Matt three half-hour sessions a week, so why the dramatic weight loss? “Holly gets it”, he said. “She really listened and paid attention. She asked questions about everything. And she understood why we trained the way we did.” Holly says she never has been one to go about something half way. “I really wanted to be healthier. I now had a son who needed me and depended on me. When my mom died, it made me realize the impact of a parent’s death on someone. I was determined to be there for my son.” But she also admits she could not have done it without Matt’s program. She believes that all the determination and motivation in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have the knowledge to back it up. “Matt’
Today, Holly is a svelte 134 pounds, and a size 4 with a body fat of 16%. She dropped 45% of her body weight and 25% of her body fat. She also dropped an unbelievable 18 dress sizes in 8 months. And although not everyone gets those huge results, it’s possible to lose 20 pounds in as little as 6 weeks with the right training program, and no drugs, no shots, no starvation diet. In fact, Matt believes you have to feed your body to keep your energy level up and to prevent your body from eating your muscles. “It’
The weight loss and toning of her body has given her a renewed self confidence she hasn’t had for a very long time. But, more important to Holly is that she is now a “healthy mom”, which was her ultimate goal. She has the energy to chase after and keep up with her now 3 year old son. She has competed in several 5K races, running an average 11 1/2 minute mile. Her depression is a thing of the past too. “I’m truly happy now. I feel good and, I feel like I look good too. I still miss my mom of course, that will never change. But I feel the best way I can honor my mom’s memory now is to be a good mom to my son and to keep myself healthy for him.”
I’m sure Bonalee would agree.
About Matt Elliott
Matt Elliott is a Certified Personal Trainer and Manager at Grand Island Athletic Club in Stuart, Florida. He is a former Martin County lifeguard and collegiate baseball player and has been a gym manager for 5 years. He will be hosting another “Biggest Loser” contest in January. He can be contacted at 772-634-6804 or emailed at matt.elliott.mvn@
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