Georgette Richmond, of Mays Landing, is an over-50 baby boomer who got tired of feeling tired, and of the extra weight she was carrying. But she was about to quit her gym membership last July, because her routine there - mainly aerobics - wasn't working. She had lost weight, then put it back on, over the past year.

She went to Tilton Fitness to cancel, and Fitness Director Paul Brones happened to overhear her reasons.

"I told her, ‘You've paid for a couple of (personal trainer) sessions. Let's try to get them in during your last month.'"

By the time she had worked with Brones twice, she didn't want to quit anymore.

He showed her how to do more than aerobic exercise. In one-hour, full body workouts two to three times a week, he focused on strength training, with cardio work included. She stuck with it, and after five months is stronger than she's ever been. In the process, she toned her muscles, and lost weight and inches.

Her 13-pound weight loss from 138 to 125 has been great, but more dramatic is her waist measurement, which fell from 35 inches to 28 inches. That translates into going from a size 11 to size 4, she said. (She lost 2.5 inches off her waist in the first month alone.)

And her percentage of body fat has fallen from 38.6 percent to 31.2 percent. But the real payoff is how she feels, she says. She saw a dramatic difference when she was doing an ordinary chore.

Early in the summer she put in her window air-conditioning unit. She said she needed to struggle to get it onto a chair, then push it slowly to the window, and had difficulty lifting to install it. So when she went to remove it in the fall, she took the chair with her and prepared for another struggle.

"But I took it out of the window and found I could easily carry it out of the room" into storage, she said. That's when she knew how much stronger she was.

And in the process of strength training, the late-shift casino worker quit smoking after a 35-year, two-pack-per-day habit.

"I had to make a choice. Smoking got in the way of my life. It was no longer a comfort - it was a hindrance," she said. "Now, I spend on (trainer) Paul what I used to spend on cigarettes."

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219