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Bartlett ex-baker's a changed man -- for the better
By Kent McDill | Daily Herald Correspondent

Frank Valenti, flanked by his family, was motivated to lose weight by his daughter's wedding.


Bills Zars | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/3/2010 11:11 AM

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Frank Valenti wanted to lose weight for his daughter's wedding.

For Daniela Valenti, what is important is what Frank looks like after the wedding.

Valenti, a 54-year-old former baker from Bartlett, lost 56 pounds in three months as part of the Push Fitness Fittest Loser competition.

"I am like a different person," Valenti said. "The weight I have lost is beyond my expectations.

"I was thinking I would lose maybe 25 or 30 pounds. This has been a great success."

Valenti entered the contest with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

When he visited his personal physician at the end of the competition "she stopped my cholesterol pills, cut my high blood pressure pills, cut my diabetes pills," Valenti said.

The key question for all the contestants is how they are going to do now that they are no longer under the watchful eye of Daily Herald readers and friends who knew they were involved in the competition.

"I believe I am going to maintain," Valenti said. "I want to keep going (to Push Fitness) for another three or six months. I need to lose another 20 to 30 pounds."

Daniela, 26, is pleased with the result.

"Just looking at the pictures from January, I have seen such an improvement," Daniela said.

"We are really proud of him. He is more alive."

Daniela said visits home have changed because Frank does not greet her at the door any longer.

"He's always on the treadmill," she said.

Frank Valenti gave credit to his trainer, Mark Trapp, a co-owner of Push Fitness.

"He is very easy to get along with," Valenti said.

"He always made me feel at home. He was increasing my workout harder and harder, but he was great to work with. He is the perfect guy."

While Trapp was supposed to affect Valenti's life, Trapp said the opposite also occurred.

"He's been a blessing, not just to work with but to get to know," Trapp said. "It has been a positive influence on my life. Every time I see Frank, he puts me in a positive state of mind.

"He put everything he had into the competition and getting healthy," he said.

"I could never see Frank going back to the way he was. He has come such a long way.

"He feels like he did 30 years ago. I highly doubt that he would ever get back to where he was when he first started."