How Emily’s Life Journey Lead to Durbrow Performance Training

Emily’s Story….

Who is this normal looking person training me and why does she yell so much?

I grew up in Cabot a small town in Vermont. Yes, where the cheese comes from. My family is extremely loving and devoted to each other. I am the youngest of four girls, bless my fathers heart. I was blessed with a wonderful family. I had three fabulous sisters and wonderful parents. In spite of this, my childhood was not always a happy one.

Since I can remember part of the definition of who I am is my family, another overpowering part of who I am is obesity. My weight has effected every portion of my life and at times I let it define me. At the age of nine I tipped the scales at 181 pounds, yep 180. My parents dressed me in leggings and longs tee-shirts because it was the only thing to fit my frame. I was teased at school, eat secretly and felt deep shame. My weight prevented me from doing so many things any child should experience.

I was completely addicted to food, still am.

I would eat boxes of macaroni and cheese, followed up by some Ramen Noodles and this was before my family would sit down for dinner. When I was happy I ate, sad I ate, I was and still am completely emotionally tied to food. I was too young to understand what I was doing to my body andI still carry some the physical scars from being so heavy at a young age.

This was all a learned behavior, my mother like her father before her was obese. As I grew up I watched her struggle daily with being over 300 pounds. She was kind, wonderful and warm. The most compassionate person you could ever meet but she had a problem. She was, as her father was, addicted to food. I remember when I will still too young to understand what was happening, a group of kids at the mall asked her if she was part of the circus as the fat lady. I watched her hide in corners, stand because she was afraid she could not fit in a chair, try every diet and fail each time.

After years of battling with her obesity she finally gave up and accepted that this was who she was, defined by weight. Her doctors told her the dangers, she was on medication and missing out on so much of her life. I was twenty-one when she died. She did not get to know all of her grandchildren see all of her children’s graduations and weddings.

Her death devastated my family and sent me further down the road of obesity.

My wakeup call came (well more like a slap in the face) after her death in my junior year of college. Although I lost some weight in high school being active in sports, college, my mothers death and a knee injury had me right back into my old habits and pants. While working at an internship at the Chief Medical Examiners Office I was tasked with filing away death certificates after they had been certified. One morning I found myself face to face with my mothers. Her life was summed up in the words on this piece of paper. “Cause of death Cancer, diagnose prolonged due to morbid obesity”

This hit me fully in the face. It was that dramatic for me.

I sat there at twenty-one knowing this could be my future if I didn’t seriously look at who I wanted to be and more importantly I could have had more time with my mother if she only knew how help herself.   After that day I knew two things for certain; one I need to start to take control of my life and two it was not going to be easy. Saying I want to be healthier, feel better and have a better relationship with food was not going to be enough. Luckily I had access to a gym and I started running that very week.

At first I could only make it for two minutes, then five, then twenty every couple of weeks I put on a little more time. I would put up excuses; too tired or I need to study but none of them seemed as important as contributing daily to living a long and healthy life. So I would go to the gym and put in my time.

Then I met a trainer who was willing to show me how to use the weights. I knew the basics from sports in school but she was able to push beyond that knowledge. I made small changes to my diet each week. I started to lose weight and more importantly every aspect of my life was starting to improve. I had more energy, confidence and felt for the first time that I deserved good things on life. I broke up with my verbally abusive boyfriend, starting doing better in school and I spent more time out with my friends.

The following spring I met my wonderful husband and he supported me even more to get to the next level of fitness.

By that summer I was running everyday and I weighed the same amount as I did in second grade. I went back to college the next fall with new determination.

My major was criminal justice.I knew I wanted to help people and I thought I could do that in the forensic psychology field. But after graduating and obtaining a job in correction headed towards my goal I found myself unfulfilled. I left correction for an office job, I worked behind desk. And for those of you who already know me my energy level and that desk did not mix.

I was at the job for almost five years and the highlight of the five years was giving my co-workers fitness and nutrition advice. During that time I was encouraging those around me to go after their dreams and know that they were worth it but I hadn’t yet done my diligence to manifestation my dream.

I encouraged my husband to pursue a dream that I knew would take us out of state and away from the job I was comfortably numb and miserable in. We found ourselves in Boston, he in his dream job and me back in an officer job. I was working over 50 hours a week and back to being miserable. I still found joy in the gym.

I loved everything to do with exercise the way it changed people’s lives the way it had changed mine, I read every article, watched every weight loss special trying to learn the everything I could. Then came the moment for me to get real and once again think about the person I wanted to be. One life to live. I knew I had more to contribute then sitting behind a desk. I also had looked at being a personal trainer over and over. Always thinking, I know this, I know what it is like, how hard it is and I know I want to help people. So when the opportunity came I was ready and willing.

I had known Callie for years; her knowledge, her determination and most importantly her level of care for her clients. She has a way to train clients in forty-five minutes that takes other trainers hours to do. I had worked at another fitness facility and knew that there were trainers who go through the motions and fill their appointment book and there are trainers like Callie who connect and care.

I took a deep breath and sent her an e-mail. And here I am today.

Doing what I love. I care about each client, I push hard and yell loud because I know, I have been there and I care. I have been in their shoes and watched those I care about struggle. I see each of our clients potential to be the best version of themselves and help them get there. I have the best job in world and am blessed to have the opportunity harass our clients and share in their victories.

During the hour they spend with us they will struggle and some days even want to quit it is our job to help them overcome that and see the best the results possible.I get to help people change their life.   So if you are ready and serious about making a change come join us. The battle to get healthy and lose weight can be a lonely one, but it does have to be, you have me, Callie and the best group of peers to help you reach your goals.

11 thoughts on “How Emily’s Life Journey Lead to Durbrow Performance Training”

  1. Wow – what a powerful story! Very inspiring. I feel that every family has their issues and whether it’s food or something else they turn to cope with, it never gets any easier.

    Glad your story ends and continues on with success. God Bless 🙂


  2. Touching, powerful story, Emily. You are an inspiration. I am sorry to read about your struggles, but am happy to see such a positive outcome.

    You hit the nail on the head about Callie, and yourself, you two are trainers “who connect and care” and that is greatly appreciated. You guys got me hooked quickly by being so compassionate and I couldn’t be happier. It is a great feeling to come to class and feel like you are working out with a group of friends, we push and motivate each other and see amazing results. And as much as I complain, I am very grateful that you push me to do my best in every class.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and for making working out such an enjoyable experience.


  3. Emily, you’re amazing, and so much that you shared your story! I can relate to it on a lot of levels, breaking 200 lbs in high school and getting constantly teased. My mother who is obese has taught me my whole life that its no big de, eat what you want. These habits are do hard to deter from. It’s nice to know someone so caring compassionate and devoted is there for all of us each week.

  4. I am so proud to call this amazing woman my sister and great friend. Em you help inspire me daily. Thanks!

  5. Emily, I had no idea. Thank you so much for being so candid with us and sharing your story. I was sitting here almost in tears at work reading it. I think I told you that I had just lost my uncle (one of the closest people to me in my whole life) to diabetes. Thankfully, when this happened I had already met you and Callie and everyone at the gym so I felt safe and as if I was already on a better path and I thank you and Callie for that. Since I joined the gym so much has changed for me already, it is my happy place and I have never been able to reach that point in any gym or training I have tried. You and Callie are to thank for that. I appreciate both of you pushing me to places I have never been. Reading your story has inspired me even more so Emily. Thank you so much!

  6. Wow! Who would have ever guessed Emily had a weight problem??? Emily rocks as a trainer. I know I give her the business; however, it is my way of just having fun working out with her and others in the group. This was a very inspirational strory!

  7. Em, you are an inspiration. As a trainer and as a person. Your story really resonates with people like myself who are struggling to build the foundations one class at a time. I’m so grateful to have found this place where I feel such a connection to the people around me. Thank you for sharing this story!

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  10. Awesome story!!! thank you for sharing. I think many of us learn to just accept the bad habits we get passed down from our parents. Kudos to you for breaking the pattern.