Weight-Loss During a Pandemic: Plymouth Man Shares His Story
Before the state ordered gyms to temporarily close on Nov. 21, Mike Leonard was a frequent visitor to the Plymouth Life Time Fitness.
“I go to class twice a week and I work out up here on Saturdays on my own,” Leonard said.
Exercise is a priority for this 64-year-old from Plymouth, but that hasn’t always been the case.
As recently as August of 2019, Leonard weighed about 275 pounds. That’s when he decided he needed to make a lifestyle change.
“I’ve had the ups and downs. And you know in the past, I’ve always lost the weight. And I figure I could just go back to eating again because I lost the weight now, and then the problem came back again and again and again,” Leonard said. “So this time I was committed to my health and committed to getting myself back into shape and then not going through the same routine I’ve gone through many, many times.”
To accomplish that goal, he sought the help of Life Time personal trainer Keri Anderson.
“Mike and I are not only client and coach, but we’re friends at heart,” Anderson said.
Forming healthy habits
The relationship between a client and coach is an important one, as one of the key steps to losing weight is building a foundation of healthy habits.
Over the course of the past year, Anderson helped Leonard make those small lifestyle changes.
“It’s not your on and off trend diet, where you completely fail,” Anderson said. “You’re working on small behaviors and they don’t feel so daunting as tasks. So a lot of people that do it the right way don’t have as much of a hard time going on and off the wagon.”
However, a lot of people probably don’t expect a pandemic to hit during the middle of their weight-loss journey.
Yet while it was common for people to pack on a few pounds during the initial COVID shutdown, that wasn’t the case with Leonard.
“I got so far into this journey that I lost about 30-35 lbs prior to COVID, and there’s no way I was going to let this get sidetracked,” he said. “You have to keep the discipline. You got to keep focused.”
During the months-long shutdown, he did just that, with Anderson helping him along the way.
“And we stayed in contact throughout the whole thing, just virtually or over the phone,” Anderson said.
After starting off weighing 275, he dropped 75 pounds — 25 of which were lost during the first COVID shutdown.
And he did it all through healthy eating, exercise and discipline; which is something he plans to continue during this current shutdown.
“We’re going to get through this. I’m not going to lose my discipline,” Leonard said.