Makeover 2012: Fitness

Debbi Platt leads a busy life. With two college-age kids and a part-time job, she still finds the time to remain active.


An accomplished martial artist (she is a second degree black belt in tae kwon do), Debbi is no stranger to hard work. However, after beating skin cancer last year, she decided to take on a new challenge, losing weight.

“I’ve been struggling to lose weight for years, but I’ve always felt like I was missing something,” she says. “I’m hoping to find that missing piece of the puzzle and start losing weight.”

Enter Tony Duncan, owner of Body Science PFT in Wilmette.

For Platt, the problem wasn’t that she wasn’t putting in the hard work to lose weight. She was concentrating too hard on strength, instead of working on all four pillars of fitness: balance, cardio, strength and flexibility.

To jump-start Platt’s workout, Duncan suggested starting with some dynamic stretching. First used by professional athletes, dynamic stretching dramatically reduces the risk of fitness-related injuries, especially in people who are usually sedentary. These stretches also improve your balance, by making you more aware of where you are in space.

Next, Duncan recommended mixing in light strength training, cardio and dynamic stretching. This simple plan helps Platt focus on what will be most helpful for losing weight. Duncan also recommended a diet containing more lean meat and vegetables, noting that she was “Eating foods that her body wasn’t digesting well,” which impeded her weight loss.


5 Tips To Jump Start Your Fitness Plan

1. Discuss your cardio, exercise and meal plan with a professional to ensure it’s right for you.
2. Make a schedule of times to exercise and commit. Never try to just squeeze it in. Be committed!
3. Start off slow. No plan works overnight, so try to ease into it. Overdoing it will only cause a setback.
4. Journal your results. Write down how you felt when you started, how you felt when you finished and how well you followed your meal plan throughout the day.
5. Connect with a fitness friend. Keep in contact with someone who you feel will help you stay motivated. This is a lifestyle change and it often takes outside help.

makeover-fitness-expertMeet the expert:

Tony Duncan
Body Science PFT
335 Ridge Rd., Wilmette

Biggest Challenge:  Pushing people as hard as possible while staying in a place that’s safe and doable.
Specialty: Helping people with injuries stay fit without exacerbating their pain.

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