To say that training at Kettlebility has changed Bob and Colleen’s lives is not hyperbole.
In 2014, Bob knew he had to make some radical changes. He weighed 285 pounds. He suffered acute sleep apnea. He couldn’t sit on a bike without pain, let alone pedal it, when his son asked him to ride around Greenlake. After breaking his leg in a game of pickle, the ER doctor told him it wouldn’t have broken if he weren’t so overweight. His wife of 18 years, Colleen, worried that he was going to die.
Bob had tried weight-loss programs in the past but they didn’t work. He joined gyms—and never went. He Googled gyms closest to his house (figuring that would make sticking to exercise easier) and found Kettlebility and Andrea U-Shi Chang. “It looked kind of extreme in there, but I walked in one day and asked Andrea if she could help me and she immediately said ‘yes, I can help you help YOU…I know you can do it…’”
Bob started training and eventually he and Colleen both joined Kettlebility’s Transformation Challenge, a high-accountability 12-week camp designed to help people move better, get stronger, leaner, and smarter about food and lifestyle choices. Colleen, for her part, was tired of hiding her body inside baggy men’s clothes. “I needed to do something for me,” she says. “I was so used to doing for everyone else.”
To prepare for the challenge, they purged their cupboards of 11 bags of food they would no longer eat. “It was really liberating. I realized that everything else in our world had to change,” Colleen says, noting that before the challenge their family relied almost exclusively on eating out. “We learned how to shop, how to cook, how to eat, how to sleep. We learned how to take care of ourselves.” Bob and Colleen, who run a production company together, settled into new routines. They now shop and prep food together. Bob does breakfasts; Colleen does dinner. Meals are centered around the home.
Besides radical body changes (Bob lost 65 pounds, Colleen lost 35 pounds and dropped six clothing sizes), the Challenge also radically changed their life as a couple and a family. Before, work came first and care for themselves, their family and their relationship as a couple a very distant second. Now, that’s reversed.
“Before I went into the challenge I didn’t understand what it meant to take care of myself; I learned that in the challenge,” Colleen says, noting that she used to routinely stay up until 2am working, then rise at 6am to get their son ready for school. “I realized you can’t take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself first. Our marriage was at a precipice. We were going to bond in a way we didn’t bond before. Or we were going to get divorced. And the challenge inspired us to really commit to each other.”
Bob adds: “We realized that we can still eat right, train our bodies, work on making better choices every day, and still keep our business going. We could prioritize ourselves first and the rest of life can adjust to that.”
Now, they are able—and excited—to do the things their eighth-grade son wants to do with them: swimming, camping, bike riding, rowing, roller skating, ice skating, zip lining.
“I feel like I do a better job of taking care of my son AND our relationship,” Colleen says. “How Bob and I communicate changed. We have a whole other level of emotional connection. We have watched each other change our bodies, and our lives.” Colleen now opts for more form-fitting women’s wear. “The challenge allowed us to see each other in a different light, both physically and emotionally.”
For Bob, the challenge taught him “living in the now. It revealed the reward for living impeccably. That focus on self-care that went with the diet and the accountability—all that went way beyond the studio. You learn to be honest with yourself. It bleeds out to everything.”
Oh, and about those bags of food they purged from the house: their most recent purge wasn’t food, it was all the way-too-big clothes they no longer need.
Kettlebility: Own Your Movement, Earn Your Strength.