An inspirational story of one man’s journey back to health has attracted lots of attention from members and trainers at Anytime Fitness in New London. Al Brant has made that journey—and here’s how he did it.
“Being a husband, dad, and middle school principal, I never made time to work out,” said Al Brant. “I have been overweight since early childhood. I have tried exercising and dieting, losing a few pounds here and there but eventually putting them back on I yo-yoed with my weight just like you read and hear about.
“About six years ago after peaking at over 340 pounds, I told myself this was it,” he continued “I started working out, eating better, and jogging. I got my weight down to about 275 and ran a half marathon. But as winter set in, much of my weight loss was put back on.
“With a growing list of health concerns—diabetes being the biggest—my doctor told me it was time to switch to insulin or have gastric bypass surgery,” said Brant. “I had thought about the gastric bypass surgery, but just couldn’t pull the trigger on it given the costs; it was not covered by our insurance. At the same time, my mother was failing in health, mainly due to being overweight and having diabetes.
“My weight loss journey began through gastric bypass surgery. In my 14 months since the surgery, I have lost 100 pounds and went from 3X/4X clothing to large and extra-large, sizes I had not worn since my middle school days over 30 years ago,” states Brant.
“Once I completed the surgery, my health improved almost immediately and I started walking and jogging daily. By the summer of 2013, I had lost a great deal of weight and had a lot more energy,” said Brant. “But in August, I discovered I had lost muscle strength with the weight loss.
“In late August, I tried to shoot my bow to get ready for the bow hunting season but was unable to pull it back. This was an eye opener for me,” said Brant. “I had my bow dialed down and began doing some exercises in the basement with dumb bells. After several months, I realized I wasn’t making much progress with my scattered training routine.
“So, I joined the local fitness club, Anytime Fitness in New London, to help me work on my strength building. I learned that I need to have a trainer or someone checking in with me weekly and pushing me in my workouts. Knowing I have to check in with my trainer Rob Schoettler has made the difference for me,” commented Brant.
“I know having the gastric bypass surgery provided me a tool to help manage my weight, but it cannot be in isolation,” concludes Brant. “I will still need to exercise and workout to maintain muscle tone and strength in order to be an active participant in all the outdoor activities I enjoy.”