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Lyndhurst Gym Owner Gains By Losing Big

Tony Gomez, owner of VIP Fitness in Lyndhurst, has lost 90 pounds in five years. Photo Credit: Tony Gomez
Natalie Joan Molina and her son, Stefan, after she finished running her first half-marathon in New York City. He now trains regularly and competes in local 5K races. Photo Credit: Natalie Joan Molina

LYNDHURST, N.J. — Tony Gomez’s path to owning VIP Fitness in Lyndhurst began when he got stuck on a ride at Great Adventure.

He was pushing 300 pounds when he took his son for a ride on the Six Flags roller-coaster in Jackson five years ago.

“They tried to bring down the bars and I got pinned in there because I was so fat,” said Gomez, a Union City police detective. "They had to get everyone off the ride because I was stuck. They called in the mechanic.

"It was the most embarrassing thing in my life.”

Gomez later had trouble lifting his foot to take off his shoes when he got home.

“I ended up stretching out and pulling ligaments in my hip," he said.

Gomez was bed-ridden for eight weeks. He even had his friends from an ambulance service carry him up and down in a stair chair.

That was it for Gomez: He began exercising, changed his diet and lost 90 pounds in nine months.

He then got certified as a personal trainer and began teaching classes and began working at VIP Fitness.

This past July, Gomez took full ownership of the gym.

One of his clients, Natalie Joan Molina of Hasbrouck Heights, became a trainer there.

“I never played any sports, I was like the girl who didn’t want to break a sweat at gym,” Molina said. “I was never physically active when I was younger.”

Molina began taking Gomez’s bootcamp classes to help train for her first half-marathon in New York City.

“I loved it so much that I stayed there,” she said.

Molina completed the Spartan Beast in Vermont (12 plus miles of obstacle racing) on Sept. 19. She credits Gomez.

“You saw potential in what my body could do long before I did," she told him. "[Y]ou're my biggest fan."

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