STACY ALWAY, an ISSA Certified personal trainer at Powerhouse Gym in Placerville, helped a man lose 20 pounds so he could donate a kidney to his wife. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Healthy Trends 2014

Powerhouse Gym trainer helps a husband save his wife’s life

By From page HT9 | January 24, 2014

There is no question that exercise coupled with good nutrition can lead to a happy, healthy life. For Doug and Pam Leeville, it also has the potential to life in general.

Pam Leeville has been on dialysis for two and a half years and in desperate need of a new kidney. As a loving husband, Doug Leeville gladly offered to donate his own kidney to her. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to allow him to do so because of his weight. His own weight, however, was something Doug was more than willing to part with.

His journey began six months ago when he met Stacy Alway, an ISSA Certified personal trainer at Powerhouse Gym in Placerville. The goal: lose 20 pounds — the necessary criteria for donating his kidney to his wife.

Alway said the first thing they tackled was his diet and nutrition, followed by weight training and then cardiovascular training (cardio). He trained with Alway twice a week and showed up at the gym to exercise on his own the other three days of the week.

“He could barely handle five minutes on the treadmill at the beginning and now he can stay on there for up to an hour,” Alway said. “He kicks butt!”

Doug far surpassed the 20-pound weight drop goal and continued his fight toward fitness. In a six-month period, he lost a total of 59 pounds. He was measured at 25 percent body fat when he began training with Alway and she said the last time she measured his body fat percentage he was down to only 12 percent. Alway said that Doug, 73, is now as fit and healthy as a 35-year-old man and perfectly able to donate his kidney to his wife Pam.

The couple was set to undergo surgery on Thursday, Jan. 16 and, as such, was unable to comment. Alway said, however, that every time Doug has been asked by his doctors how he was able to lose so much weight in such a short amount of time, he always credited her.

“He would say ‘it’s because of my trainer — sweet cheeks.’ He always calls me his sweet cheeks,” Alway said.

Doug’s journey and transformation is something Alway said she is very excited for.

“Doug has been a big success for me and to see him change has been an awesome experience. I have become very close to him and his wife and I am excited to see this whole thing go down … my prayers are with them.”

After his four-week recovery, Alway said Doug plans on coming back to his training sessions with her, slowly easing back into his previous routine.

Alway’s passion for fitness began at a young age, working out to fitness videos at home. Her passion was fueled when she joined a gym, incorporating running and weight lifting into her routine. Eventually, she became involved in the competitive field of fitness — first in figure, then as a body builder.

“I’ve always been in shape, then someone at the gym asked if I’d ever thought about becoming a trainer,” Alway said. “Before I knew it I got my trainer’s license. It just sort of … happened.”

Alway believes there are many benefits to having a personal trainer versus trying to get healthy and fit on your own.

“A lot of people simply aren’t motivated on their own and do not have a regimen,” she said. “You have to have a combination of both cardio and weights. Many people also do not know how to properly use weight machines or free weights so a trainer can show them these things.”

She also mentioned the importance of nutrition and how, again, most people simply do not know the proper way to approach it and need the help of a professional.
To connect with Alway and get started on your own path to health, contact Powerhouse Gym at 530-626-3488 or drop in to speak with someone in person at 4615 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville.

Rachael A. McCoy

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