Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Barry.
Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started to get into health and fitness in middle school and high school. I was overweight and once I became aware of how being overweight impacted how others viewed/interpreted me (being the fat kid), the anxiety hit! In retrospect, not a bad thing, as the anxiety ended up being the primary catalyst driving me to start working out and learning about nutrition. I dropped the weight and the more I learned, the more I improved all around. The power I felt improving my health drove me to continue this pursuit in college where I got a BS in health and nutrition science, then a MS in Nutrition from Georgia State, and became a registered dietitian (RD). I was hired right out of college by Lifetime Fitness in Alpharetta and have been here as the nutrition program lead since (eight years).
My job consists primarily of nutrition counseling, meal planning, medical nutrition therapy, personal training, lab interpretation/action plans, and leading & educating a team of 30 trainers to best help their clients reach their goals. You know that whole “finding purpose” thing? And “follow your passion” idea you always hear? Or if you do something you love for work, you’ll never truly work a day in your life? I feel this was my calling. I feel so lucky and love what I do as sharing knowledge & experience to empower others to change their lives is a crazy awesome feeling! Don’t get me wrong, it is still a job with normal stress, but when things click with a client and they start moving down in weight, improving medical issues, getting the results they want, etc., etc., it can be beyond rewarding! Also, my wife Hannah and I just had our first child, Ryker, August 10th!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There are too many people to acknowledge and all of my clients and co-workers through the years have helped in one way or another, but I would say Larren Epps, the PT manager who took a chance at the time and hired me. She helped me learn the business and how to sustain a business long term. I never thought I would take this route as a dietitian coming out of college as a typical dietitian works at a hospital or another traditional healthcare facility, but she showed me how I could think outside of the box and develop my own business direction.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Lifetime Fitness story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in functional and integrative nutrition and personal training. Functional and integrative healthcare approaches health from the whole picture perspective vs. isolation. There is a famous practitioner, Chris Kresser, who has a quote that sums up some of the concepts well. He says, “If you have a rock in your shoe and it’s causing pain in your foot, do you take aspirin or tylenol to dull the pain? No, you take the rock out”. The approach aims to fix the cause of someones issues, not mask their symptoms with meds, deal with those side effects, and wait for something worse to happen later. Preventive approaches work better, are less costly, and fix issues before they happen vs. diagnostic or reactive health care approaches.
Diabetes comes to mind when I think about this. Diabetes is the biggest issue the population has to deal with in the next few decades and most doctors tell patients to just take their metformin and inject their insulin to control their blood sugar. And that’s it. Nothing more until the next check up 6-12 months later when things are worse typically. Wouldn’t it be better to fight what is causing diabetes in the first place (diet and lifestyle)? And diabetes IS reversible in most people assuming the individual is willing to change. It is the same with cholesterol and statins. If your cholesterol is high, doctors tell patients to take statins to lower cholesterol, but (again) wouldn’t it be better to fix the cause of the elevated cholesterol (diet and lifestyle)? Definitely. However, the system is so entrenched and slow moving that patients generally have to take their health into their own hands (unfortunately). But that’s another issue entirely…
So it is the whole picture approach that sets me and other integrative/functional practitioners apart. Look at the whole, fix the weak links in the chain, and the whole machine works 10x better!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Probably way more than I would like to think haha! I’d like to think that it was mostly hard work and dedication, but circumstance plays way more of a role in our destiny I think. So I’m incredibly lucky all around. I’m lucky to be born in the US, privileged that I was able to pursue my education in the university system we have here, lucky that I fell into this position without knowing what I was signing up for, and lucky that it has all worked out and made me become a better person because of it.
- Prices vary depending on services (training, nutrition counseling, etc) $101-$150/hour
- Address: 855 northpoint parkway, Alpharetta GA, 30005
- Website: https://bios.lifetimefitness.com/detail/jasonb
- Phone: 912 220 5469
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-barry-22434a36