LHF: Hi Larry, thanks so much for being our August spotlight interview! To start, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Larry: Thanks for letting me tell my crazy story! I’m Larry Raber, I moved to Jupiter full time in May ’17 from Nashville, TN with my beautiful soul mate Sherry. We love the South Florida lifestyle going to the beach and boating all around the area.
LHF: Were you always into personal fitness?
Larry: That’s where my story gets crazy. But no! I had been in Nashville while Sherry was here in Jupiter (work related). I was working long hours, feeling down not being with Sherry, and eating poorly and I mean stupid bad habits. Lets just say so bad I ballooned to 378 lbs. Size 56 waist and 4XL shirts! I’m 6’2″, so not the best weight for me. Fast food sure puts a hurting on a fella.
LHF: So, how did you get involved with Loggerhead Fitness?
Larry: This is where my story got so much better! Sherry had already belonged to Loggerhead and then added me to the membership. With Sherry as my inspiration, I started eating better (Thank goodness she’s an awesome cook) and going to Loggerhead three days a week. I dropped about 30 lbs. in a couple of months. Sherry then suggested that I consider a personal trainer. Enter one outstanding person in Paul D’Ambrosio. When I first met Paul I could hardly bend over, had pain throughout my joints and back and sitting at about 345 lbs. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do all the exercises, weights, cardio, etc. I had heard all the horror stories of personal trainers channeling drill instructors. This wasn’t Paul. He worked with me on such a respectful level. He didn’t just show me workouts, but created ones that worked for me as I progressed. He instilled habits in my workout and diet. I had a lot of ups and downs (for awhile it seemed like more downs) but Paul’s support never wavered.
LHF: Do you have a preferred types of workout?
Sherry and I went to Hawaii last Thanksgiving. I started working with Paul in June before then. I set a goal to hike Diamondhead while there. Paul increased my cardio and fine tuned my diet. I went from doing 10 minutes of cardio to 30 minutes! Also, I could bend over without discomfort and no pain! By the time we hit Hawaii, I was down to 303 lbs. When we hiked Diamondhead, I felt like a new man! Having lost that weight made the vacation so much more enjoyable. I really enjoy my time at Loggerhead because it gives me a chance to concentrate on me. I really like combining weight machine training, along with cardio, especially the rowing machine. I now spend 3 days a week with 1.5 hour workouts most times.
LHF: That is so great to hear! Do you believe you have seen much progress since joining?
Larry: Absolutely! Since joining Loggerhead in May ’17 I’ve dropped over 100 lbs. to 272 lbs. as my lowest weight so far. I’m now at size 42 waist and 2XL shirts. Back in April I stopped working with Paul (low 290’s) and wanted to see how I would do on my own with all the tools and habits he had instilled in me. That’s not to say we don’t talk, he’s always checking in with me and giving me encouragement. I could never express how much I appreciate what Paul has done for me! Thanks, Brother!
LHF: Larry, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Any parting words or advice for people wanting to get started with personal training?
Larry: If you’re able to work with a personal trainer, do it! Establishes healthy choices and freedoms. It helps you believe in yourself and rock on!