Here’s how Fitness Together helped Jeff and Diane McConocha lose weight and get healthier

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Fitness Together Studio Manager Dawna Natale reports Jeff and Diane McConocha’s numbers are pretty amazing. To date, Jeff’s muscle mass went from 156 pounds to 168.6 pounds, and his body fat percentage dropped from 36% to 30%. Diane’s started at 41.2% and dropped to 40.8%. Pictured L-R: Diane, FT Trainer Jenny, and Jeff. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

Jeff and Diane McConocha were self-proclaimed couch potatoes. Even before he was forced to work from home this spring and she lost her job, they both admit to “never really doing much” in terms of physical fitness. No gyms, trainers, diets or exercise classes.

“We can’t use the pandemic as an excuse,” she says. “Fitness has just not been a part of our lives. Since we’re both in our mid-60s, we’ve come to realize inactivity isn’t actually the best plan for healthy aging. As soon as I saw the special offer for the new Fitness Together studio in Highland Heights, I signed us up. The studio opened on August 16 and we were there on August 17, ready to start on the road to improvement.”

Diane says in terms of goals they have them all covered, a desire to improve flexibility, lose weight, gain strength, and follow a better diet.

“Overall, we just needed to feel better,” she adds. “Within the first few weeks, we noticed a big difference across the board. Now Jeff is able to walk up and down stairs much easier, and we’ve both lost inches and improved our balance and coordination.”

Tale of the Tape
Studio Manager Dawna Natale reports the McConocha’s numbers are pretty amazing. Jeff’s muscle mass went from 156 pounds to 168.6 pounds, and his body fat percentage dropped from 36% to 30%. Diane’s started at 41.2% and dropped to 40.8%.

“Although I haven’t lost a lot of weight yet, I feel like a different person, totally energized,” she says.

As a pre-diabetic who has to take daily meds, Diane says she saw the writing on the wall.

“I would like to get off the meds if possible, cutting down my risk factors and living a longer and healthier life,” she says. “I haven’t had my A1C tested since we’ve been training here, but I look forward to seeing if it has dropped.”

Dawna says nutrition is a big part of their success, and that getting the couple to journal everything they eat has helped make them more mindful of the role food plays in their life.

On their new journey with Fitness Together, nutrition is now an integral component of Jeff and Diane McConocha’s early success. The training team at Fitness Together have the couple journal everything they eat so they are more mindful of the role food plays in their life.

Pushing Them Harder
Diane describes the twice-weekly workouts as “challenging, but fun,” and says that doing them along with Jeff makes them even more enjoyable.

“We’ve got each other’s back,” she says. “And we always push each other and celebrate the progress.”

Diane says Fitness Together came into their lives at just the right time.

“With our activities being so restricted due to Covid, it’s reassuring to see all the precautions the trainers take here. We feel completely safe,” she says.

Not only do trainers wear masks all the time and disinfect equipment constantly, but they also take temperatures before each session. Plus, with the private, well-equipped training suites and staggered appointments, clients don’t encounter other clients at the studio.

Continual Assessment Keeps You on Track
Dawna says they assess clients every six weeks to make sure they are progressing.

“On a bioelectrical impedance scale, we measure weight, body fat percentage and water percentage, and take measurements of chest, shoulders, waist, hips, arms and legs,” she says. “We also do performance tests. An example is seeing how long they can hold a plank. This gives us a clear picture of their fitness level and progress made.”

Fitness Together is located next to Chipotle, just off 271, at 6267-A Wilson Mills Road in Highland Heights. Other studios are located in Concord, Brecksville, Bay Village, Medina and Fairlawn. Call 440-426-2800 or visit FitnessTogether.com/highland-heights for more information.