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LEARN AND LIVE: Fitness for life? Be sure to do it your way

Christopher Heimerman
Christopher Heimerman

STERLING – You hear about great feats of fitness all the time.

Deb from work lost 50 pounds.

Did you know Jeff from church ran a marathon?

Hey, have you seen Bob Doyle, the guy from Rock Falls, lately? He's lost more than 100 pounds.

Did those fitness breakthroughs stick, though? Bob's did, for one. At 63, he's kept the weight off, and he's done it by doing things his way.

He's also quick to point out his way might not be mine, yours, or anyone else's.

"You’ve got to do it yourself," he said. "What works for me might not work for someone else. Everyone’s on their own.”

As for Bob, he attended a lifestyle medicine class in the fall of 2010 with Bryan Frederick, who prescribes “caloric prescriptions,” as he calls them, through his business, TNC Fitness. Frederick sets a daily calorie limit for each of his students, accompanied by the promise that, if they keep their consumption under that mark, they'll lose weight.

Frederick is also a clinical exercise physiologist at CGH Medical Center by day, but he doesn’t tell his TNC students to work out.

Bob did it his way. He worked out, pretty much right out of the chute.

Typically, Frederick said, the exercise regimen will become part of a person's fitness plan – but not before the underlying problem, diet, gets fixed.

“It’s about truth and commitment, and I can give you the truth,” Frederick said. “No one else can give you the commitment.”

And no matter how much they poke, prod, or test you, they don't know you.

Do you love to work out? Hate it?

Do you find dieting easy? Excruciating?

Answer those questions first, then get after that weight-loss goal. If you build a fitness plan on things you don't believe in, you might as well build it on sand. You won't be happy, and when the weight is off, you probably won't stick with the plan, and those pounds will be back around the next holiday, if not sooner.

Worse yet, if you just shoehorn exercise into your plan, you could get hurt long before you feel any benefits.

*Poof!* goes the confidence.

Here's the best part of being true to yourself: Frederick points out that most often, when folks fix their diet and lose the weight, exercise "bubbles up," eventually becoming something they enjoy, even something they can't do without. That shouldn't be surprising. It's easier to enjoy something we're capable of doing, yes?

When folks find their own way, write their own story, it becomes quite a read – and a lengthy one.

“It’s much more long-lasting that way,” Frederick said. “The things you learn on your own, you remember. The things you learn in school, you forget.”


Diet plans come in many shapes, sizes, and philosophies. Bryan Frederick, through his TNC Fitness classes, determines a caloric prescription for his students.

A weight-loss success story himself, Frederick has been teaching classes since 2016, and is eager to chat with folks who would like to learn more about them. Call him at 815-772-3873 to find out more about class availability, cost, or any other additional information.

“If you don’t hear back from me in 24 hours, I’m dead," Frederick said. "I know what it’s like to be desperate.”

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