CoreFit gym in Montgomery County wants all to feel comfortable

ROYERSFORD, Pa. - October 16, 2013

That's a real obstacle for someone struggling to lose weight. But a Montgomery County gym has a new program to make everyone feel welcome.

Inside CoreFit in Royersford, 29-year-old Jeff Chiarelli is working towards his goal to lose 150 pounds before his 30th birthday.

"So far I am down 50 and this is my 10th week so I am on my way," Chiarelli said.

He typically doesn't feel comfortable squatting and sweating with others. But with his team on the 'Lose to Win' program, he feels right at home.

Everyone in the program is 50 or more pounds overweight or hasn't worked out in years.

So the exercises are tailored to help them safely get started.

"We modify in a way that protects their knees or protects their hips, their joints, the things that suffer when they're overweight," trainer Joymarie DeFruscio said.

And it's not just about exercise, the program also teaches about healthy nutrition and changing the way you think.

"So we are trying to get positive thoughts to replace the negative thoughts," owner Liz Gilinger said.

Instructor Carl Plant knows just how important that is when it comes to losing weight.

After all, he has lost 130 pounds and has kept it off.

He knows what Jeff and others are facing.

"I can kind of see where they are hurting and what they need help with," Plant said.

For Janet Esbensen, she had knee surgery. It lead to weight gain which lead to breathing problems. All of it affected her spirit.

"I didn't think I would ever be able to walk well again," Esbensen said.

But with modified exercises and diet changes, she's lost 15 pounds and is already feeling better.

"I didn't think I would be able to dance at my daughter's wedding and I danced the whole night and the next day I had no pain," Esbensen said.

And the group also communicates on a secure group Facebook page.

Many say it's the camaraderie and accountability that make this program work. Studies do show working out with a partner or in a group can help someone stick with a program.

The price is $350 for the 8 week program. After that, members can stay in the program or go to regular classes at the studio.

The website is They offer one free workout for those interested in checking out the studio and the 'Lose to Win' program.

The next information session is November 5th at 7:30 p.m.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.