Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Series Feature: My Journey Towards Fitness Part 2 By Renee Summers Telegram Reporter

I have officially been working out at Westfit Fitness and Nutrition Center for one month. I am following the eating plan set up for my by Westfit Owner Mike Toler. I am in the gym three days each week, using the exercise machines, and get out on my own at least once a week for a brisk 45-minute walk. What I am doing now is working. At my last weigh-in on October 25, I had lost 10 pounds, along with two and a half inches from my hips. My face and neck are visibly thinner.

When I first began going to the gym in Westland, I was hesitant. Any magazine article about exercise features an accompanying photo of a youthful, slender, twenty-something girl dressed in skin-tight leotards and a skimpy top. I was sure I would be put to shame by all the buff bodies I was about to encounter. I was in for a surprise. During my first week, I met an 81-year old man who uses the exercise equipment to keep himself fit and mobile. A small group of ladies older than me made use of the treadmills as they chatted amongst themselves about children, husbands, and hobbies. The morning news played on the television screen in front of the stationary bike I was using in the Cardio Room. I really didn't feel so out of place after all.

Westfit Fitness and Nutrition Center opened this past January 1. Owner Mike Toler is a transplant from California, where he was born and raised. He came to Michigan 10 years ago and fell in love with it and decided to stay. In his younger days, Toler was a powerlifting competitor, later competing in bodybuilding contests. He eventually became a personal trainer. "I went to school back when you didn't have to be to school to be a trainer," he says. "Thirty years ago, all you had to do was look the part, and you could be a trainer with no knowledge." Toler wanted knowledge, however, to enhance what he already had experienced in the world of fitness. His certifications include aerobics instructor, medical exertherapy, reflexology, physical therapy aide, advanced nutrition, and culinary arts.

My personal trainer, Tyler Canyock, is certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is currently working on his certification as a nutritionist. His upbeat personality makes it easy for me to show up at 8 a.m. and put myself through the rigors of strength training in the weight room and a cardio workout afterward. He enjoys what he does and says, "When people see changes and get excited about that, that's the best part."

Westfit Fitness and Nutrition Center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday hours are by appointment only and gym members have access 24-hours, 7 days a week. The gym is located at 1615 S. Wayne Road in Westland. Westfit does fitness evaluations, meal plans, custom workouts, and group sessions.

"I'm in a littler gym, but I've got great trainers here, I do nutrition, dieting, supplements, food prep, and we have an outside weight pit," Toler says. "Best way to explain it is I took a California gym and I stuck it right here in Westland, Michigan.


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