Working It Off

A year ago, Denise Barnes weighed almost 250 pounds. Today, she’s 85 pounds lighter thanks to a lot of hard work and help from her personal trainer at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Denise, a registered nurse, says she’s struggled with weight her whole life and has tried about every diet out there.  She even lost 100 pounds on the Atkins plan, then gained it all back in just six months.

But as Denise turned 50 and began planning a trip to Ireland with her mom, she felt a renewed sense of motivation to lose the weight. She was concerned about developing a blood clot on the long flight (a risk that increases for overweight passengers) and wanted to fit into the airline seats. She was also concerned about the amount of walking the trip might entail, as she had developed foot, hip, and back pain as a result of her weight. So she made an appointment with Aurora BayCare personal trainer Regan Kust.

Regan started Denise out slowly, keeping her comfortable with the challenge level and pace. But the more she exercised, the more her comfort and confidence increased.

Four months into training, Denise had already lost 40 pounds. “The weight started coming off,” she says. “And the more the weight came off, the more I could do.”

Denise visited Ireland in October 2014, with no reservations about her health. She and her mother walked every day—with no pain whatsoever.

Today, Denise continues to go on long walks without running out of breath. Her feet don’t hurt anymore, and neither do her back or hips.  She’s in the best shape of her life.

“This has been a long time coming,” she says. “I’ll never have to skip something because I’m too heavy or too tired. I can do it all!”

Denise before and after personal training


Learn more about our personal training programs or weight loss through bariatric surgery.