Monday November 26, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- Lots of people struggle with their weight. A 15-year veteran of the wellness industry recently opened a business to give those battling with that task a helping hand.

Heidi Brandt, who has served as a personal trainer, massage therapist and wellness life coach, recently opened Berk shire Weight Management at 325 Stockbridge Road.

Brandt and her five employees provide weight management skills, life coaching, personal training and nutritional education for clients. Staff members include a registered dietitian, a personal trainer/fitness instructor, and a yoga instructor.

"We help people learn to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle," Brandt said. "To teach people who have struggled with weight that they can achieve weight loss and hold them accountable in their journey."

More than one third of all American adults are currently obese, along with 23 percent of those who live in Mass achusetts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Obesity is not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue," Brandt said. "There are so many things that go into weight."

Brandt funded her business independently, but has a partner, Antoine Alston, the owner of Berkshire Functional Fitness, who is a certified master trainer with more than 20 years of experience. The two businesses are located in the same complex.

"It’s a totally separate business," she said, referring to Berkshire Functional Fitness. "But people who go through weight management have the option of taking his classes."

Berkshire Weight Man age ment’s clientele includes men and women of all ages.

"Our target audience is those men and women who struggle with weight loss," she said. "We will have specific groups for teenagers."

Brandt, 38, is certified as a wellness life coach through the Life Coaching University of Hilton Johnson.

Originally from Neb raska, she has held positions locally at both Canyon Ranch in Lenox, and the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge. This is her first business venture in the Berkshires. She also owned a massage and personal training business while living in Nebraska. Info: (413) 528-0143, or www.berk
shireweightmanagement.com.