Going from Skinny Fat to Fit: With a Personal Trainer

How working with a personal trainer helped me on my journey to get fit.

TrainingI don’t know why most guys have a stigma about hiring a personal trainer.

A few weeks ago, I got into a conversation with some of the neighborhood dads about healthy habits. We were all lamenting about how hard it was to make time for exercise and that eating healthy was a chore.

I mentioned that, for me, I had to make my health a priority. I changed my diet and I committed to exercising four times a week. That was received with a chorus of attaboys and goodforyous.

Then I causally added: “The biggest impact to my health my was decision to hired a personal trainer.”

Silence, followed quickly by “I just couldn’t do that.”

Silly, right? We hire people to help us with our taxes, our lawns, and our laundry, but won’t turn to a professional when we need help meeting health goals. For some, a personal trainer might be overkill, or not needed. For me, it was a necessity to getting in shape.

Three years ago, I was oscillating between 135-150 lbs, with most of the weight in my abdomen and thighs. I was “skinny fat”, saved only by an over-active metabolism. Unfortunately, as I got older, my metabolism slowed and my pants got tighter in all the wrong places.

My previous attempts at getting healthy would always start out well: one or two visits a week to the gym, a 20 minute run… but by the of the month, I was back to bad habits (salty and fatty foods) and no exercise.

Finally, I said enough, and walked into a gym to start a membership and hire a personal trainer. My first sessions weren’t that great. I ended up bouncing between a few different trainers (due to their schedules and availability).

I was ready to throw in throw in the towel, until I connected with my current trainer, Kojo (@truthhealthandfitness). He started me on exercises that were effective as well as morale boosting. I started seeing muscle added and fat melt off.

For me, hiring a trainer worked for a few reasons:

  1. Education: I didn’t know my way around a weight room and needed someone to provide direction on proper form. In addition, I needed guidance on variations to target different muscle groups.
  2. Encouragement: My first 6 months were tough. I HATED going to the gym. Our sessions (only 30 minutes when I first started) were the hardest part of my week. My trainer was able to find the right balance between pushing me, and knowing when I needed a break. Now, we work out for an hour, and it’s often one of the highlights of my week.
  3. Accountability. A session where I half-ass it is like throwing money away. I have to bring my A game when we have our sessions… and to do that, I have to be working out on my own and eating healthy for the entire week (not just the days I work with him).

Three years later, I’m at a healthy weight and BMI1. I’m lean and strong. I’m eating much better. My clothes fit better. Most importantly, I feel good physically. For that, I’ll gladly continue working with my trainer.


  1. 172lbs; 23.1 BMI… #humblebrag

Leave a Reply