Local in the Limelight: Dan Foley

Published: 09/03/2022 By Jessica Chalmers

Welcome to our new 'Local in the Limelight' series, a blog that celebrates a friend of Whitman & Co living in our local area.

To kick us off, we have Dan Foley, who has recently founded 66 Days Fitness: a fitness coaching programme for dads who have had enough of feeling unhealthy.

How did 66 Days come about?

After a lot of soul searching! In 2019 I quit my career in journalism after 15 successful years working on some big brands in publishing (everything from Country Life to NME) because I was burned out. When I say burned out, I mean I had run my tank dry because, like everyone around me, I was working hard and had a young family - which is enough to exhaust anyone. But unlike everyone else, I also had a problem with drink and drugs that meant I was killing myself with lack of sleep, hangovers, and generally struggling with the will to go on.

I wanted to dedicate myself to getting well for my family and me, and I gave up my career to look after the kids and try and bring my life back into focus. During this time, I rediscovered my passion for exercise. I've always been active, played sports to a reasonable standard when I was young and first qualified as a gym instructor in 2013. I wanted to know more about fitness, the science, how our bodies work and how nutrition affects us. I built exercise into my life as a way of enjoying myself, having a healthy outlet for stress and feeling better about myself. And as I changed, it became obvious that I wasn't the only person that had gone through a process of realisation that as middle-age hit, it was a case of now or never to turn around my way of living. The blunt truth is that carrying on, in the same way, would inevitably lead to a shorter, unhealthier life.

I was sure that I could help dads in the same position as me. I say dads because that is where I feel I can help the most; I see many dads who are not happy with themselves but joke through it because it's considered somehow unmacho to admit you are concerned about your health or the way you look and feel. I knew I could help, so I trained for the qualifications to ensure I could give the best coaching possible around fitness, nutrition and recovery. And so, 66 Days was born. 

What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing the change in people. I love to see someone who has never exercised before embrace it, enjoy it and see the results of changing their way of life. For me, the most meaningful aspect of this is the change that it brings to their relationships with their families. One of my clients talks about how he used to tell his son he was too tired to play football due to his weight. Now he has the energy and enthusiasm to get up and do it, so he's building a closer bond with his son through exercise, and that's priceless.

Why would someone come to you?

They know they want to make a change, but they don't know how, especially if they don't have a gym membership or don't like the idea of learning around other people as I meet clients wherever they feel comfortable with everything we need. My programme is designed for anyone who is tired of being unhealthy and wants to build new habits. 66 Days is about exercise and how to build it into a busy life. It's about nutrition and how to make improvements to your diet. It's also about rest and recovery, its importance, and how to make sure that they get enough of it. The programme is designed so that at the end of the 66 days, you have gained knowledge and habits that will change your health for the rest of your life.

How can Dads contact you?

Any dads who want to find out more about the programme, what it includes and how much it costs can visit 66 Days and contact me directly through the form on the site. Anyone looking for a personal trainer in west London can also find me there.