At 450 pounds, Jeff Groom could barely tie his shoes. His high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, edema and heart issues were all contributing to a dangerous outlook for his health. Without making some major changes, Jeff was facing a life of limitations and significantly less time with those he loved. And his health was not the only thing affected. The weight threw a shadow of hopelessness on every aspect of Jeff’s life, including his interactions with friends, colleagues and family.
The decision to change one’s life is often the outcome of millions of setbacks, and then one ultimate shove. For Jeff, that shove came at the beginning of January. He began his journey when he finally faced the negative impacts on his life from an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Jeff knew he had to make a change, and could no longer endure the turmoil he was cultivating in his own life. He felt like he was slowly killing himself. One January morning, Jeff called a meeting among those he loved most, apologized for his mistakes and vowed to change his life, not only for himself but for them.
“I had everything I could want but happiness,” Jeff says. And with that goal in mind he decided to get serious about losing weight. He had been working with Fadi Malouf, whom he had met through a friend, for about two years. When he decided to make a real change Jeff knew he would not only need Fadi’s expertise, but also his support. Jeff went through numerous trainers in the past and he knew he was not an easy client. This is why he needed someone who was more than just a trainer, someone who would push him, coach him and care for him like family.
“I’ll pay you but I’ll fight you. I’m better at not doing what you tell me,” Jeff frankly told Fadi at the beginning. And Fadi accepted the challenge wholeheartedly.
The first steps Jeff took in his journey were cutting out alcohol, cutting back his red meat consumption, increasing plants and lean protein in his diet, and working out. He began to enjoy lifting weights and becoming more active. Fadi pushed him in the gym and provided him with nutrition counseling to help Jeff fuel his body correctly. He also helped Jeff sort through the mental part of weight loss as his life coach.
With such a significant amount of weight to lose, Jeff decided to undergo bariatric surgery a couple months into his journey. This helped him immensely, but he still had a lot of work to do.
“What people don’t often realize is that obesity is not the problem, it’s the solution to a deeper issue,” Fadi says, “Once I help clients identify the underlying issues and work through them, they can find the happiness they lost and care for themselves enough to lose the weight and be healthy long-term.”
Jeff recalls a difficult time at the beginning of his journey when he fell off the wagon and felt lost. He called Fadi in the middle of the night and told him he was struggling. Fadi dropped everything and went to be with Jeff and help him through his difficult time. Even though Fadi pushed him and they were usually sarcastic, this time Jeff needed the support of a friend.
In 9 months Jeff has lost over 200 pounds. His outlook on life has completely changed. He found the happiness that was lost from his life before and for the first time in a long time, he is excited about the future. His friends and family have also noticed a change in his attitude. Jeff discovered when you care for yourself and foster self love, you in turn care for those around you more.
For the future, Jeff is focusing on work and growing his business. In many ways he is promoting a healthier business, just like he did for himself- restructuring and not working with dishonest people. He is putting his family and company first.
Jeff’s nutrition and fitness regimen now consist of portion control and working out when he can squeeze it in. Jeff attributes much of his success to working with Fadi. The program he followed was unique from what he experienced with dozens of trainers in the past. Jeff says he still eats things he enjoys, but it’s not about eating large amounts of food, but more about taste. Changing his overall relationship with food has led him to his success with weight loss.
Fadi could not be more proud of Jeff. Playing a role in someone completely changing their life has given him a huge sense of purpose.
“Personally, Jeff has been one of my most rewarding clients to work with. I’ve seen him transform entirely and he is so much happier now,” Fadi says. “I know we will be life-long friends.”
Jeff believes anyone who wants to lose weight and get healthier should give Fadi a shot.
“The main thing about Fadi is he truly cares about the individual, not about the dollar amount. It’s a relationship and he really cares about people and their health.”