Parrish Health & Fitness Center Helps Members Lose Weight — Fast.

(All you have to do is show up and be ready to work)

Let’s begin by busting a few fitness myths. First, there is no magic pill for weight loss. Second, you cannot spot-reduce belly fat. And third: ladies, weight-lifting alone will not make you “bulk up.”

Moving right along, let’s get the excuses out of the way. You’ve tried “everything” but could not lose the weight. You don’t like to diet. You have written off your weight loss as a hopeless case because you are too old, or too lazy, or too busy, or too broke, or too much like your mama, or … (insert your favorite excuse here).

Now stop the excuse abuse! It’s time for some serious intervention.


Both Fred, 47, and Tracy, 43, have sedentary office jobs, but their commitment to making healthy lifestyle changes is strong.

“I … go home for a healthy lunch and snacks now. I also cut out regular soda, white bread and margarine,” Fred says. Perhaps the biggest lifestyle change he made is starting his “power garden,” which contains a variety of seasonal veggies. “I still go out and eat once in a while, but I modify what I eat, and tell them not to bring the bread.”

As for her dietary changes, Tracy is limiting processed foods and eating more vegetables. “I can’t digest veggies because I have a gastrointestinal disorder, so I have to blend them. I feel so much better now, and I’m happy to impress upon my kids how important [good] health is,” Tracy says.

The lifestyle changes don’t end there. Fred and Tracy committed to a regular exercise program at Parrish Health & Fitness Center. “I started with Zumba classes and tried all the classes once my stamina increased,” Tracy remembers. “But the scale would not budge. When I tried the high intensity circuit training, I knew I had found my niche. This was my new addiction, and it was a good thing.”


When Fred Ramos joined Parrish Health & Fitness Center in October 2012, he’d been taking medication for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol for nearly four years. He weighed 274 pounds, consumed an average of six cans of soda a day, and ate most of his meals in fast food restaurants.

Fred was not a happy camper. “When I first started taking the meds, I thought, ‘Well, that’s what they make medications for.’ I did not want to change my ways,” he confesses. “But, then I started reading more about what these things [fast food, soda, etc.] were doing to my body. My wife convinced me that we should start making changes now so we’ll be around to see our granddaughter grow up.”


Tracy Minerva started her campaign to lose weight in July 2011. She had just quit smoking, after a heart scare that turned out to be a false positive. She weighed 276 pounds, suffered with chronic sciatic pain and weakness in her knees, and could barely complete a six-minute workout on the elliptical. She felt trapped in her own body, and her confidence was shaken. “I was the poster child of excuses. I felt frustration and stress, and just got tired of who I’d become,” Tracy says resolutely.

She simply refused to allow her life to continue down its current destructive path.


Fitness specialists Teresa Morgan and Lucas Jordan introduced HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to Parrish Health & Fitness Center members in the fall of 2012.

“People today want to get results as quickly as possible. That’s exactly what metabolic circuit training does,” explains Lucas. “Circuit training enables participants to target different aspects of fitness, whether it’s cardiovascular, muscular strength, or endurance.”

Here’s how it works. The instructor sets up a variety of stations. A specific exercise is performed for a specified amount of time at each station. The instructor keeps track of the interval and lets participants know when it’s time to rest. The rest period is usually half the exercise interval time. Then participants move to the next station and so on. Classes are 45 minutes long, with several bouts of exercise and minimal rest between circuits.

“This type of training not only improves your lung capacity, it also sets you up for a higher calorie burn. So you burn fat, and build lean, strong muscles simultaneously,” says Teresa. “And here’s the kicker … your body will keep burning calories after the class is done.”

Five minutes into the class there is not a dry face in the place. Everyone is breathing heavily, and it’s obvious the group is working hard. But that’s exactly why they come. They want to be pushed. They want to sweat. They want to see results.


Fred and Tracy have lost 107 and 100 pounds, respectively, since they started down the road to wellness. “Fred and Tracy were successful because they were consistent and persevered,” Lucas observes.

Fred’s doctor began to wean him off his medications in January 2013. By June, he was completely independent of prescription medication. “No one wants to die young,” he says, “but more important than living a long life is having a good quality of life.”

To ensure his quality of life, Fred goes to Parrish Health & Fitness Center up to six days per week. “I was never really a group exercise person, but the interval classes are always different, always fast-paced and fun. I haven’t been in such good shape since I was 15 [years old],” he notes.

Tracy has renewed confidence, and has rekindled a passion she once had for golf. “I have always had the talent and ability, but I was too self-conscious to do anything with it,” she confesses. Now there is no stopping her. She is training to become a certified instructor for the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals Division.

“I hope I can help one person by sharing my story. It’s so easy to get down on yourself and cling to the negative baggage that life throws at you. But if you just keep moving, before you know it, you’ll be feeling and looking lighter than ever,” she says. “Just keep moving. Just keep moving. Just keep moving,” Tracy smiles.

Parrish Health & Fitness Center is located at 2210 Cheney Highway, Titusville. Go online to to learn more about all the group fitness classes, and to download a complimentary one-week pass, which includes access to all pools, equipment and classes. Follow the fitness center on Facebook for new classes and information.