True transformation with more than 70 pounds lost through a small community approach where mind meets body.

That’s the story of Dr. Maryann Latus, who has reached her fitness goals and owes it to Physix, a fitness center in Ahwatukee Foothills. She now works with Physix as a practicing psychologist.

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Latus had tried other weight loss programs and had seen some success, yet none of it lasted.

“I had been overweight since I was 25 years old,” Latus said.

She decided to try Physix after reading the book “…Then Just Stay Fat,” by Physix founder, Shannon Sorrels.

“I looked at the website and was ready for a change,” Latus said.

So she started working out at Physix a year ago this past Labor Day. At the end of a free three-week trial and a brief vacation, Latus decided to join.

When asked what made her want to join she replied, “I felt it was time for me and this seemed like a place that cared whether or not I showed up.

“Shannon will call you out if you haven’t been there in a week,” Latus said.

She went on to describe Sorrels as, “a drill sergeant with a heart.”

Physix’s hands-on approach and their interpersonal relationship with clients is a cornerstone to their weight loss programs.

“The trainers are always making sure you are doing the best you can, but in a safe way,” Latus said.

The biggest challenge in Latus’ weight loss journey was being patient. Progress came slow, but steady. She never thought she would achieve the goals she set, but with patience she did.

Now that she has lost the weight Latus has seen a great change in her well being.

“I have been feeling much better. My blood pressure is lower, I have less headaches/migraines, and I absolutely feel more energetic,” Latus said.

She works for the Phoenix VA Health Care System full time after looking to make a change in her career. During one workout Sorrels hovered over Latus and asked, “So when are you going to work for me?”

Latus had a Eureka moment and realized what she wanted to do — to practice psychology at Physix and help those who were once in her same position.

“She felt asking me to come on board was the best thing for her clients,” Latus said. “Once she got to know me (Sorrels) felt comfortable bringing me on,” Latus said. “It took her awhile to make sure I was an OK person.”

Latus hopes to make her work with Physix full time, but still holds her job with the VA.

At Physix she says, “It has been really exciting for me to see mind and body coming together.”

Latus is passionate about her work and continuing to help people. She says the most rewarding part of her job is, “Seeing people move forward with their lives and in a self assured way.”

Physix is located at 14647 S. 50th St., Suite 170. For more information, visit

• Matt Covert is a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.

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