Dave Waldman, of Ballantyne, knows how to get and stay in shape.
As a competitive body builder and fitness consultant, Waldman has helped many people reach their health goals.
He also knows what it is like to backslide and ask for help.
"At the end of the day, you can't do it on your own," said Waldman, 42. "You need a wingman, a trusted partner, to help you achieve your goals."
This theory is the foundation of Waldman's fitness and nutritional program, Your Fitness Wingman. Along with his twin brother, Rob, Waldman developed a concept of approaching fitness with a wingman or coach.
Waldman created the concept after his brother, who had been an Air Force combat fighter pilot, helped him through a difficult time. "I was 38 years old and getting a divorce," said Waldman. "I was depressed and really let myself go. Rob was there for me and held me accountable."
Waldman said he has always been serious about fitness and body building and when he found himself middle-aged and out of shape, he felt lost. He and Rob decided that he needed to find motivation in life.
"My son was an infant when I got divorced, and I wanted to be around to see him grow up," said Waldman. "I needed someone to help me face my fear; find the root cause of why I wanted to get fit and create a goal. Rob helped me find the thing in my life that made me want to get back in shape, my son."
It was after he got back in shape that Waldman felt motivated to help others. Waldman said he understands how difficult it can be to ask for help, especially when it comes to making a major life change.
"'I need help' are probably the three hardest words to say other than 'I love you,'" said Waldman. "That's the first step to making a plan, ask for help from someone you trust."
He also said consistency and dedication are key components to becoming healthy.
"It's not about having a magic formula or going every day hard core but about having consistent discipline," said Waldman. Waldman has been a fitness partner for many friends and family. He said people have approached him at the gym, at work and through word of mouth but he doesn't consider himself a personal trainer.
While Waldman offers complimentary services for his friends and family, he is thinking of turning it into a full-time business. Currently, Waldman owns the marketing and business consulting firm, Waldman Group.
"I am more of a life coach," said Waldman. "I help call out the missiles they may not see and hold them accountable for the decisions they make." Waldman said he doesn't put his clients on a special diet but helps them become more aware of the food they eat.
"Most people don't even know what real food is," he said. "People are not very educated about what food really is or what it does for the body." Waldman said when he is working with someone, he asks them to log everything they eat and drink in one week to help teach them about food.
"My brother helped me lay out a plan and held me accountable," he said. "In the end I had more energy, lost 15 pounds and my cholesterol went down."