From accounting to fitness coaching

By Steve Seepersaud

Adam Gilbert '05A little more than two years after graduating from Binghamton University, Adam Gilbert ’05 had what many people — he was not among them — considered a dream job. He started his career with a Big Four accounting firm in New York, and was working his way up.

“At Binghamton, I majored in accounting while my true passion was really health and fitness, but I thought that was too risky to pursue as a career,” Gilbert said.

Instead of settling for being happy enough, Gilbert had what he calls his “now or never” moment in 2007, leaving the firm to start MyBodyTutor. The program simplifies weight loss into practical, sustainable behaviors that help people get into shape and maintain their new body weight.

For more than 13 years, MyBodyTutor has been one of the world’s most successful daily accountability programs. Gilbert has a team of more than 50 fitness coaches, whom he refers to as “tutors,” and is able to match a tutor with a client based on his or her weight loss goals and health conditions. Coaching happens online through a proprietary app.

“MyBodyTutor solves the lack of consistency many chronic dieters face,” he said. “I’ve made a career working with clients who have tried everything but just haven’t managed to keep the weight off.”

Gilbert models the lifestyle he’s helping others to achieve. He has been actively exercising since he was in fifth grade. That’s not to say it totally came from a love of working out. As much as he enjoys staying fit, there is a path he’s trying to avoid.

“Seeing my father go through a heart attack and then triple bypass surgery really scared me,” Gilbert said. “Shortly afterward, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Watching him deteriorate mentally and physically throughout the years until he passed away was really tough. I saw firsthand how health — or a lack of it — can contribute to unhappiness.”

Even though it aligned with something Gilbert feels strongly about, making a drastic career move wasn’t easy, he said. This may not have been possible without the solid business foundation Gilbert obtained from the School of Management. He said Angelo Mastrangelo’s entrepreneurship class and the financial accounting course taught by John Barden were particularly helpful.

“My professors gave me the confidence to go after my dream of being an entrepreneur,” Gilbert said. “[Barden] always told me how unusually focused I was for a student and encouraged me to keep going with my entrepreneurial pursuits. In his class, I started questioning why I was majoring in accounting. However, he’d always remind me how valuable it is to have a background in accounting, which was terrific advice.”

Gilbert advises would-be entrepreneurs to focus on what they love, and avoid thinking their venture has to be an immediate and huge success.

“Social media can be very deceiving,” Gilbert said. “You don’t need 100,000 followers to build a substantial business. In fact, you don’t need any. I know many health professionals who are influencers with tens of thousands of followers but are struggling to pay their rent. Just focus on yourself. I cannot think of anything more rewarding and fulfilling than knowing and doing what you are meant to do.”