Several months ago while interviewing a dentist, I was lamenting about not being able to find “Mr. Right.” My subject looked me straight in the eye and told me, “You’re a very pretty girl, but you’re fat. Lose some weight, you’ll have no trouble.”

Not exactly the answer I was looking for. More of a harsh dose of reality — but sadly he was right. “Get yourself on a weight-loss program,” he advised. “Join a gym.”

There are gyms all over Los Angeles — in fact, one could argue that as the home of Hollywood’s elite, L.A. may indeed be the Mecca when it comes to getting in shape. As a Santa Monica resident I wanted to find one that was close, convenient and affordable. After a few weeks of searching I found Burn Fitness — a two-level facility located on the Third Street Promenade with ocean views, blonde wood floors, stainless steel interiors and a bright, open, airy atmosphere.

This gym is the brainchild of CEO and co-founder Tom Williams, a certified personal trainer and world-class swimmer. Today Williams shares his sage with those of us looking to learn how to get fit. I met with Williams for a tour of the gym and to discuss a personal fitness program, a frightening prospect for someone who hasn’t worked out in years.

Most appealing is his online weight loss system dubbed, which boasts the largest food database in the world. It’s a $15 monthly fee for people who join online, but is free to Burn Fitness members.

“We want to teach you how to eat reasonably, exercise right and lose the weight you want,” Williams explains.

The way it works is pretty simple. You key in your weight and a goal — it’s important to have a goal. I’m starting at 182 pounds and want to lose 40 pounds by August. That means I need to lose 1.5 lbs. per week. A pound equals 3,500 calories, so to lose weight I have to create a daily calorie deficit.

Before your head starts spinning with numbers and calculations just stop — the brilliance of this program is that you don’t have to figure out anything. All you do is type in your starting weight, your goal weight and your time frame for completion. Once you’re signed up you simply type in what and how much you’re eating (and what type of cardio you did for the day) and the program calculates and figures it out for you. It tells you how many calories you’re able to eat and still be on track with your goal. And if you like to eat out (as we all do) not to worry — this program has everything in it. I mean every item at Starbucks is listed. (You cannot believe how many calories are in a grande soy latte.) The nice thing is I can monitor my progress from my iPhone; see if I’m eating too much or whether I need to work out more.

Back on the tour, Williams shows me the aerobics room’s wood flooring, built over four-inch blocks of rubber. Williams tells me, “It’s a kinetic flooring system and it moves with you thereby reducing the impact to the joints.”

There are people in the room, jumping over step blocks. They are sweating. I have the sinking feeling I’ll be jumping on this very floor once I start my training program.

All the trainers in the gym are top-notch but Williams suggests I start with, Keith Sims, the Director of Training, whom he says, “is one of the best trainers I’ve ever known and an important piece of what makes Burn Fitness work.”

So there it is folks, I’m traveling back to health. I’ll be reporting my progress, sharing my trials, tribulations and hopefully my successes, along with tips on how to bring fitness back to those of you who may also be struggling with added pounds from sedentary lifestyles.

Let’s see what the journey brings.

Taylor can be reached at

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