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We know the science behind weight loss.

Every Life Time Weight Loss program is built specifically for you. That’s because every program at Life Time begins with a myMetabolicProfileSM assessment. This profile identifies areas of concern that may get in the way of your weight loss. After this assessment you’ll choose a plan based on your specific needs and lifestyle. One size doesn’t fit all, particularly when it comes to weight loss plans. That’s why we get results that are more than just short-term; we put you on the path toward achieving and maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime.

We offer programs ranging from pre-packaged to completely custom. Or you can choose weekly Healthy Living Challenges. These informal gatherings allow small groups to meet with a Nutrition Coach and discuss various topics or concerns for the week in a casual setting. Talk to a trainer for help determining which program is right for you.

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Success Stories

Success Stories

Tuesday
Nov182014

Luke B. - Champlin, MN

My journey began in a cycling class. Yes, I was already at the club. I was wearing my favorite pair of workout shorts, and I changed positions on the bike and pop! The top snap popped open. My first thought was that the snap must be faulty, or worn out from excessive washing. The truth of the matter was obvious: it was my tummy’s fault. Not long after that the fitness instructor announced the 90-Day Challenge. My first thought was, “Yes, I’m doing it.” Then “they” showed up. Just like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon: a little devil and a little angel. The devil said, “Don’t be ridiculous! Do you realize what that’s going to entail? No booze, working out all the time, and say goodbye to French fries.” French fries? The little angel rebuked him, saying, “You can do it! You have been praying to get rid of that belly. You can do it. Do it for your family.” Yes, I will do it. I decided to sign up right after class. All I was hoping was to not have to buy another pair of pants the next size up, and to fit better into the clothes that I already had.

I had always been athletic in high school and college. I was proud of my physique, but after a hernia operation and the birth of my daughter (sympathetic baby weight), I had let myself go. I was content with wearing baggier clothes and honestly I love food! I had been going through the motions of going to the club a couple of times a month. I had quit and signed back up with Life Time 4 or 5 times over the past 10 years. The real kicker was that I am in my forties and my wife and I were discussing having more children. With the way I was looking and feeling, I wasn’t sure. I really want to be able to dance at their weddings and look good doing so. I was committed.

Sign up was February 8. I weighed in and looked at the Try-It Tuesday signup sheet. The first session was a lecture on nutrition. That sounded like a skip. I thought I knew everything I needed to know. Wow, was I wrong. I learned so much. I think we all have a grasp of what’s good for us and what’s not. It’s that gray area. You could call it the “cheat zone.” Where we know that something is bad for us, but not that bad. Not like when we tell ourselves eating French fries is getting our vegetables, but more like orange juice has tons of calories. My plan was coming together.

The next Try-It Tuesday was a tour of Whole Foods. It was amazing. There are so many options. Life is full of choices. What we eat is a choice. Why not learn tons of options so that it is easier to make sound choices. Thank you, Whole Foods, for your standards and training your employees so well. They are a great resource. Not only for low-calorie, nutritious produce options, but great cooking tips as well. Just the fact that a grocery store has a list of unacceptable ingredients for foods is amazing. Plus, their website is awesome.

The “challenge” really began on February 15, the morning after Valentine ’s Day. My wife and I spent the night at a wonderful bed and breakfast. We awoke to a smell. Not smoke. That would have been easy — just exit. It was homemade maple caramel almond French toast hot dish. How is that legal? Only in Minnesota would that be the norm. We walked downstairs and sat at a beautiful dining table with 10 strangers. They were all smiles and ready to get their grub on. The innkeeper carried out the individual plates like Stanley cup trophies. She set a steaming plate in front of me. I said, “I can’t eat that.” Honestly, that was the nicest way I could think to respond. I was consumed by the “hangries” (hungry and angry). I felt like a starving lion over a fresh kill, but not allowed to feed. My wife lovingly placed her hand on my knee and said, “Honey, I’m so proud of you.” I gave her a look. It may have been a growl. I brushed her hand away. It was on!

Support was fundamental in my success. My family was 100% behind me from the get-go. My wife is amazing. We work out together, which I recommend to any couple. She is incredibly inventive in the kitchen, with a wide variety of healthy preparations. I couldn’t have done it without her. The support of the staff at Life Time was awesome as well. Be it Group Fitness, Try-It Tuesday events, staff, Personal Training and, of course, the guys and gals that make those awesome shakes at the cafe, thank you.

Supplements were something I had never taken before. I would occasionally take a vitamin C, but never a regimen of pills and powders. I felt that probiotics were helpful. The staff at the LifeCafe were very knowledgeable. They advised me on fish oils, protein powders, Dynamic Greens, creatine, and LeanSource weight loss supplements. I also always added liquid egg whites and chia seeds and flax from Whole Foods to my shakes.

I’m not going to lie; my training routine was pretty hardcore. We have a small gym in our basement. I would get up at 5:30 a.m. and lift weights for about an hour. Then, I’d go to work. I would try to lift over lunchtime for about half an hour. More specifically, I would do a big muscle group like back, legs, chest, or shoulders in the morning. Then smaller muscle groups like triceps, biceps or abs over lunch. Then I would do some light cardio in the evening. It sounds like a lot, but it was fun to break it up. On the weekends I would do Group Fitness and an awesome small group boxing class. Another thing that I found useful was writing down my workouts and goals. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and accountability.

Equally as important as training was nutrition. We are trained to say “diet” as something short term. By definition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person. In other words, what we do and do not put into our bodies every day. Not for 10 days. But for your lifetime. I don’t believe in coincidence. Great choice when y’all named the club.

After the nutrition lecture and Whole Foods tour, I had to hit “clear.” Delete what I thought I knew and what I did in the past. I started incorporating what I had learned. Most importantly, I incorporated what I knew I should and shouldn’t put into my body. It’s like when we bring 10 items into a dressing room. We know what size is going to fit. The others are just wishful thinking. Maybe this time that cupcake will slide right by and not get stuck on my belly. We know what and how much to eat in order to lose fat and fuel muscle. Filling our tanks for the distance we need to drive. In the past I was filling my tank for a cross-country road trip when I was just going down the road a bit. I cut out all processed foods. I began eating single-ingredient foods like chicken or broccoli, as much as possible. When I picked up a food, I looked at the ingredients so I made sure I knew what they looked like. For instance, salad dressing. I know what olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper look like and they’re ingredients that I can spell and pronounce. The fewer the better. I consumed a high-protein low-carb regimen including meats, fish, and eggs. Usually, I ate liquid egg whites cooked or in shakes. Awesome and easy. Protein powder in shakes, both whey and vegan. And lots of veggies. Mostly they were steamed or raw. My carbohydrates were mostly eaten in the early part of the day. Baked sweet potatoes and eggs — yum. And thank God for hot sauce. I put that “stuff” on everything.

Throughout this whole transformation, my body changed because my mind changed. It was fun. We have to wake up and appreciate the gift of the amazing machine God made for us. Treat that machine like a prized hot rod and it will run great and look amazing. Win or lose, the before and after picture is the trophy. I never thought that I would ever feel this good again. I feel like I am in my twenties. I truly believe that anyone can do this, and everyone should do this. If not for yourself, for your family. We must realize that nearly all major killers of the Western world — heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, hypertension, and dozens of cancers — were unknown to our ancestors. Modern medicine didn’t exist, but they had legs and used them.

I want to thank Life Time for this opportunity of learning and training, and my wife for the support and encouragement. And I want to thank God for everything.

Tuesday
Nov182014

Dan B. - Orland Park, IL

A couple years back, I had enough of the way I looked and felt about myself. I decided to enter the Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge. It was a test of will and dedication that I knew I could handle and win. Top five in the nation is where I placed after completing the contest with what I thought was a solid showing. However, underneath all the praise and compliments I received there was a feeling of failure because I did not take 1st place. Sounds crazy, I know, but the competitive drive inside of me outweighed the accomplishment I had achieved. I was solely in it for the money. The term, “It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet,” was what I considered an overused cliché in the fitness world. I’d think, of course it’s a life change…the life being lived obviously isn’t getting it done, so change it if you want something different. Never understood why everybody dieting needs to hear that all the time. Well, as it turned out, the fitness world is right. My goal was only to win; I didn’t make a change in my lifestyle and gained every pound back and more. So, once I heard there was another 90-Day Challenge to enter, I felt that need to win which burns inside of me and tried again. This time I set two goals - not only to win but to work toward a change in lifestyle after it was over.

For me, competition is where it’s at. Without a challenge, a bet, or a vacation to prepare for, I have little drive. That fierce desire to win can be dangerous; but if controlled and kept in check, it can be a big advantage in a contest like this. I researched past winners a bit. I read the stories. Found ways to incorporate their plans into one that would be successful for me. Last fall, a guy named Bernard won the challenge by losing 125 pounds. In the spring, Frank Pace lost an amazing 42.48% of his starting weight. Such numbers are thought impossible, apparently not. This information set my intention; beat them both.

I suggest this before starting any diet/lifestyle change. Write down everything you enjoy. What makes you happy? Certain restaurants, friends, sports, television shows, your car, whatever….fill up your sheet of paper, list them all. Now go through and honestly ask yourself what purpose they all serve. Good, bad, indifferent…does not matter, write them down. Obviously the bad must be eliminated for now. Everybody knows why they’re overweight. Don’t lie to yourself, you know why. The rest of your list needs to be part of your plan in some way. Certain music you enjoy, of course that’s your playlist. TV shows, that’s what you watch on a treadmill when possible. Friends, see more of the positive ones less of the negative. Everything on that list can serve a roll in staying upbeat and focused. Adequate amounts of rest was a big one for me. The best way I found is to set a bed time. Watching TV and falling asleep on the couch is a bad habit. It contributes to late night snacking while nobody is around and limits quality sleep. Can’t wake up and workout when you slept like crap. Get the TV out of the bedroom also. Don’t need it in there. Go to bed. Waking up early and ready to get at it is a strong point of mine. Never has been a problem for me to wake up at 4:00 am and start my day. This is when my daily workout routine would begin. Early morning is a great time to be at the club. Always the same faces getting their work in. No crowd, place is yours for the most part. Very little social interaction; an occasional head nod and back to work. Everybody in there is focused on getting it done in a short period of time. Find what works best for you to burn the calories you wish to consume that day. This first workout, I do in a fasted state. With no carbs in your system since noon the previous day, your body only has one source of fuel…fat. Wait for an hour after to eat something and you have created a fat burning machine. In the evening, I’d often sneak in another workout.

The dietary plan I followed was roughly the same as last time; the one you often hear about, but failed before. Clean carbs only, and a limited amount of those. Oatmeal, whole grain bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes…you’ve heard it all before, but it’s critical to allow a couple weeks for your body to accept its new fuel source and help you avoid failure. The twist I put on that plan was to consume any carbs eaten, before noon. My protein intake was also changed a bit. Only fish or shrimp allowed no fat cuts of beef or pork. Some vegetables are proven to also supply protein, like broccoli for instance. That and spinach supplied the majority of my vegetables. I love both, so easy enough. No dairy. No sweets. No alcohol! I drank nearly two gallons of water a day and took the maximum suggested amount of B-12 and multi vitamins. What I believe makes my plan more successful than most is that I also counted my calories daily and committed myself to never consuming more than I burned. Simple concept, burn more than you take in….you’ll lose weight. If what you take in is clean….you can burn massive amounts of weight. Bingo. You have a recipe for drastic weight loss, without putting yourself in an unhealthy state.

For me, winning will always be the best part of any competition and what I enjoy the most. I know that and except it as who I am. This time though, I found more enjoyment in my results. Along the way I was more in touch with the improvements and progress I was making. The compliments had more meaning. The Life Time staff is stacked with great trainers and supportive people in general. Those friendships are an added reason to get in the gym. Moving forward, this time I plan on using that support as a reason to keep at changing myself. I have set a new goal. I have set a healthy weight and body fat percentage to reach and more importantly, maintain. Attendance at Life Time is the only way for me to keep at it. Even if not at such a torrid pace, I will get there. It doesn’t need to be my sole focus; a few times a week may prove to be enough. As far as my goal of surpassing the past winners, I was one for two. Took care of Bernard, but couldn’t quite reach the near 43% Frank posted. My goal of winning this year’s has yet to be determined. Win or lose this time however, I know that I gave my all and nobody entered can take my new found health away from me. Thank you again to Life Time for all of your help and support. Of course I will hate to not have won….but I’m a winner regardless; I found a lifestyle change to believe in.

Tuesday
Nov182014

Tanette S. - Parker, CO

The Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge was not only transforming to my body, but I discovered the strength within me to transform my mind and life as well! It was beyond an incredible experience for me, reminding me how great life can be and feel when you’re healthy and fit from the inside out. Through the ups and downs of this journey, I learned to refocus my life, my priorities and, most importantly, I learned that exercise is a magical element to my well-being and now-much-happier life.

Like most moms, my life was beyond busy and over scheduled. My primary focus was on my family, my full-time volunteer duties, and running my own custom design cake business. At the end of the day, there was little time left for me or the things that would have allowed me to take better care of myself. Then a family tragedy back in 2010 occurred, where my sister lost her child in an auto accident. No words can describe what this does to a family. If left me heartbroken, devastated and searching for more. Within the grief, fitness was the last thing on my mind and the grief triggered my instinct to feed my soul with food (mostly unhealthy carbs). Once I started down this road, it took on a life of its own.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2013 when I decided to join the Life Time Fitness in Parker for the AMAZING outdoor pool, but it ended up that we found SO much more! My boys, now 7 and 9, were in heaven with the many activities available to them. I even started working out and did some training sessions with Jennifer Hoban, who I had an instant connection with. I tried the T.E.A.M. Boot Camp classes with Jon Getz and met the Life Time Fitness Nutrition Coach Janelle De Buzna when I participated in the Detox program. But when the pool closed, so did my workouts and once again I put my fitness on the back burner.

Then in December, I learned about the 90-Day Challenge from my trainer, Jenn H., which as a very competitive person was music to my ears. It couldn't have come at a better time, with my increasing weight and out-of-control sweets eating. Really seeing myself in my “before” picture was the jump-start for my motivation. About to turn 43, the lack of exercise, the emotional eating I had become accustomed to, along with my changing hormones, all quickly caught up with me, and I found myself in the worst shape of my life. Feeling miserable in my "skin," I decided I’d had enough! I was fully ready for the challenge and to finally make some changes.

I got serious and created a detailed month-to-month plan, outlining very specific and aggressive goals for each month in regards to my eating and exercising. I wanted to lose 30 pounds and drop my body fat by 12%. I tried to anticipate every single challenge or excuse that I might be faced with during the 90 days, including my schedule, my preexisting hip, neck and knee pain, and how this might limit me, as well as special occasions that were frequent in my close family and always involved foods I’d need to avoid.

My goals beyond the numbers were to release all the negative thoughts in my mind that might keep me from doing this, to become lean and strong (I wanted to see some muscle), feel great about myself, increase my energy and joy in my daily life, get back to clean eating habits, and do this all in the most natural and healthy way. And of course, I wanted to win the Challenge!

I went from eating a diet filled with pasta, bread, tons of dairy and sugary treats (easy to do since I'm a baker) to going to a 100% clean diet with no processed food, caffeine, alcohol or meat. I started back up with the T.E.A.M. Boot Camp class with trainer Jon Getz 3 days a week, which gave me an incredible total-body workout. I LOVE this class and have already signed up for more! I also recruited a workout buddy and did cardio like Tabata and HIIT routines 2 days a week, or picked up a group fitness class. "Try-It Tuesdays" gave me a great chance to try different classes and meet different trainers at the gym, and kept things interesting and fun throughout the challenge! I also pushed myself to do these at 6am every Tuesday!

All these great changes were good, but they put my body in shock, and only 5 days into the challenge I came down with a horrible head and chest cold which ended up lasting close to 5 weeks. Every day I wanted to sleep, but I forced myself to the gym. Plus, my neck and hip issues became worse with each and every workout. I kept pushing through, thinking "no pain, no gain." I couldn't stop, after just starting. However, a month into the challenge, I was in constant pain and the inflammation in my body was so out of control. I hadn’t seen a change on the scale since week 2 and was close to quitting.

Then I received Flourish, the Life Time Fitness newsletter, and read an article about making it to the halfway mark. I was shocked and frustrated, and felt defeated facing the fact that I wasn’t on track to reach my goals by the midway point. After reading the article, I realized I HAD made many positive changes and I decide to stop focusing on where I wasn't and focus on where I was. I also realized I needed to adjust my plan. Reading this article helped me rediscover that change begins with the power of my thoughts!

With a more positive attitude and determined outlook, I started aggressively working with my holistic doctor/chiropractor, and reached out to Life Time Fitness’s most amazing nutrition and weight loss coach, Janelle De Buzna. Janelle quickly set a plan into motion with dietary recommendations and supplements that were in alignment with my doctor’s action plan for me. She gave me the tools needed to track each meal and suggestions that will forever change the way I balance my meals going forward. She also had me add in the dry sauna after every single workout. I worked up to 20 minutes and then increased to 25 to 30 minutes toward the final weeks.

Searching for answers to my unending pain, x-rays showed I had major issues (compressed vertebrae and a twisted spine and sacrum, to name a few). This forced me to stop all impact exercises and running. Jon worked with me to modify every Boot Camp workout along with corrective work at home; my pain began to drop drastically. I was amazed that I could still get positive results despite my physical limitations. By week 8 my body took a huge breath and said, “Thank you!” Another AMAZING thing that happened in week 8 was I got my menstrual cycle back after not having it for 14 months, a sign that my overall health was getting back on track and a great reminder of how beneficial exercise and diet are to overall health.

Now that I was listening to my body and doing everything Janelle asked of me, my body fat and weight were also finally starting to respond. I started noticing less fat in my belly and definition forming in my arms and legs. I had more pride, confidence and physical strength. I walked through the club and it felt like a second home to me. My husband said I was glowing! I even treated myself to a new pair of shoes. I also bought the Vivo Fit at Janelle's suggestion to track my calories, steps, and even my heart rate. It’s been an amazing tool to help keep me moving, motivated and on track.

Between weeks 8 and 10, my schedule was crazy and stress was on the rise, which may have been the cause of my body fat going down one week and then up the next. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. I was meeting with Janelle weekly, and she made some minor adjustments to my eating plan and encouraged me to keep going. I also added metabolic testing with my trainer Jenn H. to determine my heart zones and how effective my body was at burning fat. This has already been an invaluable tool for more effective workouts.

I was increasing my focus and pushing myself on days when I had nothing left to give, and then just as I was starting to feel amazing and on track, I was struck by the death of a dear family member and the following day, another loss of a lifelong friend. This threw me into deep sadness and brought me back to the feelings of helplessness when I lost my nephew. I felt myself yearning for my unhealthy comfort foods to feed that broken soul. Getting consumed by the pain of loss, I forced myself out on a snowy Sunday afternoon to try my first-ever Slow Burn Yoga class. To my surprise, I loved it, and it was exactly what my soul and body needed. It brought me inward and allowed me to escape momentarily from the grief going on around me. I left that class knowing I had a new method for dealing with my sadness instead of emotional eating, and it was called Yoga! That class also taught me that a small change can sometimes make a big difference.

Then, just when I made it through the two funerals, another family member passed away. I couldn't believe this was happening again. But I felt so grateful for the Life Time Challenge, because it reminded me that now I had healthy outlets for my grief and I was already forming new habits. Through these losses, I realized that life will always keep throwing me curveballs, and I just need to stay focused on not letting them knock me down.

I am so grateful to Life Time Fitness for creating an opportunity like the 90- Day Challenge. This Challenge allowed me to discover my inner strength, wisdom and power that had been hiding inside of me all along. Everywhere I came up against a new challenge or frustration, there was a positive solution through my new Life Time community. I was constantly encouraged by my “J” team, Jenn H., Jon G., Janelle and even Jeff May, one of Life Time’s general managers. I was able to prove to myself that I can get in shape no matter the obstacle. I proved I have the willpower I need to say "no" to bad food choices. I now schedule myself and my workouts into my life. I am proud of my accomplishments, and I know that the excuses and stories I would tell myself in the past were the walls that I needed to break down and rebuild into doorways. So now when I walk through the doorways of my life, it is with my inner strength and inspiration that I have been truly TRANSFORMED.

In the end I hit my goals and I lost 24 pounds (150.6 to 126.5) and I lowered my body fat percentage from 26.2% down to 14.1% — a 46% change in my overall body fat!! As it ends up, the numbers are just a tiny piece of a much bigger journey, a journey that changed me forever.

Tuesday
Nov182014

Sheridan L. - Mansfield, TX

“Mom, we need to talk.” Those are words that can freeze the hearts of mothers around the world. In a split second multiple scary scenarios were whizzing through my mind at the speed of lightning. I looked at my son and daughter sitting together on the couch staring at me with stone faces and serious eyes. For an instant I could hardly breathe — and then they began to speak to me in their slightly choked voices: “Mom, you are about to turn 60, we love you and we want you to be here for a very long time, so we insist that you get a handle on your weight problem.” Relief quickly spread through me; nothing was wrong with them, there was just something they needed me to do for me. I could deal with that — so I took a deep breath, opened my heart and mind, and listened to them. What they told me was nothing I hadn’t already thought to myself on numerous occasions, but when it comes from the people you love the most, your own children, it was thunderous.

My weight had crept up unhealthily for about 6 years. I was now over 200 pounds, and it was time to take control. My daughter Abrah has been a member of Mansfield’s Life Time Fitness since the day it opened, and she had won the 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge for the Mansfield club the year before. She knew there was another challenge about to start and she wanted to sign me up for it. She took me shopping for new running shoes and a Polar Loop so that both she and my son Zack could track my activity. Zack presented me with workout clothes, special socks, and a set of living healthy books by Kimberly Snyder called “The Beauty Detox Solution” and “The Beauty Detox Foods.” I joined Life Time and that same day signed up with Jen Crutcher for the 90-Day Challenge. My kids laid the groundwork; now all I needed to do was to get started.

I put on my black tights and sports bra (had never worn either before in my life) and stepped on the scales in front of 2 strangers — Jamal Turner and Mathew Kasel. My daughter stood beside me and wouldn’t allow me to be embarrassed. Jamal and Matt were so sweet and funny they made me forget that I was slightly mortified. I could barely look at the weight that registered on the scale. I just remember groaning when I saw it. Next they had me hold 2 handles that were attached to the scale so that they could do a % body fat test on me. I was at 51% — more than half my body was fat. The light bulb went on and right then, at that very moment, I made a 100% commitment to myself. I told Abrah, Matt and Jamal that if I was going to be in this competition I was going to win it. And so my journey began.

I didn’t live in Mansfield so I could only make it to the club on the weekends. The trainer that took my “before” picture, Eileen Verayo (who is the size of a small peanut and had more energy than the “Energizer” bunny), assured me that weighing in on the weekends would not be a problem and that all the trainers would take care of me. There is an old African saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” In my case, it took an entire gymful of trainers to get me to the end of this challenge. Abrah and Eileen helped me set up my first workout goal, which was to start walking. I purchased a used treadmill, set it up in front of the TV and started walking — slowly. I would walk for an hour before work, 2 hours directly after work, and then another hour right before bedtime. I had the treadmill set at 2 miles per hour so I was putting in 8 miles a day. I decided to drink only water, I cut out all salt, and I followed the “Sacred Heart Diet.” I went back to the gym 2 weeks later with high hopes. After all, I had followed a strict diet, no salt, gallons of water and I had walked 8 miles a day for 13 straight days; that’s a total of 104 miles. Surely, I thought, I’ve at least made a dent in my weight. Abrah took me to the gym;e I spotted Eileen at the weigh-in desk and I stepped on the scales. The 3 of us just stared at the numbers. I had lost 22 lbs. which was 9.8% of my weight. I was shocked and ecstatic. Walking was working! Those numbers put me at number 2 on the national leaderboard, and I never got out of the top 10 after that.

I’m an 8th grade school teacher, and I started walking during my “off” period which is at the end of the day. I told all my students and my faculty members about the competition and they were fascinated with it. Our school is situated around our football field and my students could look out the windows and see me walking around it. I walked every day — even in the rain. Our coaches began to send some of the athletes out to join me for a few laps. Occasionally a teacher would send a student who had finished their classroom work outside to walk a lap with me. Suddenly the whole 8th grade started supporting me. One of the girls’ coaches had her team line up and yell for me when I would pass by. As the weight continued to fall off, the students became even more encouraging and complimentary. I enjoyed getting in shape.

I started taking the Life Time Fitness vitamins, both the Women’s AM and PM, and my energy level was high. Over the next month I discontinued my structured diet and started eating a half-cup of blueberries for breakfast, raw vegetables for lunch, cooked vegetables for supper, and I would have either tilapia or chicken twice a week. I would drive to the Mansfield club on Friday night and put in 3 hours on the treadmill, come back Saturday and put in 5 hours on the treadmill, and then do another 4 hours before I left on Sunday. I was walking at 3 miles an hour and my incline was at 2%.

At 6 weeks into the competition I had lost another 17 pounds. Matt weighed me in this time and he encouraged me to start varying my workouts. He was afraid that just walking was going to become ineffective if I didn’t work on other muscle groups. I started carrying hand weights with me as I walked and I thought that would be enough. But it wasn’t. When I weighed in 10 days later I had lost less than 5 pounds. Matt was right. So I cut back on my calories, and I began walking 15 miles every day. I was sure that this would work, but when I got to the club the next week I had lost only 1.2 pounds, the least amount of weight ever. Troy Montgomery was the one who had weighed me in this time and he could see the disappointment all over my face. He sat me down and started going over my nutrition plan. He told me what my daughter had been telling me for weeks: I needed more protein and, like Matt had told me 2 weeks earlier, I needed to vary my workout. So I found the greatest little machine in the front right corner of the club that is used to work out your arms. You just sit in it and pedal with your arms like you would a bicycle. I also started swimming like my daughter had been suggesting. At first I had to stop after every lap but I got better. I would walk for 2 hours and then swim for an hour, sit in the hot tub for 10 minutes, work on my arm machine for 30 minutes, and then start the whole thing over again. I wish I had started with the varying exercise routine sooner. I started eating almonds 2 times a day for protein, and I switched up my meals. I ate high protein at breakfast, added a grilled chicken breast to my salad at lunch, and then ate my cup of berries for my nighttime meal. The higher protein worked even though it was higher in calories — I still have trouble understanding that concept. I would really like to stress to anyone reading this testimonial that you don’t have to actually live in the same town as a Life Time Fitness to get full benefits from it. I can’t imagine not going to the club on the weekends. There are so many things going on; the variety is amazing.

As the 90 days wore on, eating and exercising became more of a habit and less of a novelty. Although the last 2 weeks were hard on me mentally, I’m glad that the contest lasted for as long as it did. To help me stay focused, my son started calling me at 4:45 in the morning to make sure I was up walking before school, and my daughter would call me every night to be sure I had spent plenty of time working out that evening. They both sent me lots of texts. Abrah would send me pictures of people working out and say, “This is your competition; they are working hard, are you?” The last 2 weeks of the competition, Matt would text me to see how I was doing and to check on me and my progress during the week. The 90-Day Challenge has changed my life. I encourage each and everyone reading this to sign up. I encourage every son and daughter who has a parent they love who is struggling with weight to have the courage to confront them and let them know that their health matters to them. Three months ago I weighed 70 more pounds than I do today. Thank you, Abrah and Zack. Thank you, Matt, Eileen, Troy, Jen and the rest of the staff at the Mansfield Life Time Fitness for cheering me on these past 3 months, and for being there for me as I weighed in that last time. I appreciate you!

Saturday
Nov152014

Jeff K. – Lenexa, KS

My 45th birthday was quickly approaching. Looking at myself in the mirror that cold February morning, I knew that I had to change something. The weight yo-yo that I had become was taking its toll, both physically and psychologically. Sure, I’ve worked out on/off for years, but in the end I never really accomplished anything sustainable.

My family have been Life Time Fitness Lenexa members since it opened 4 years ago. During this time, it has become a huge part of our lives. From gym time, family pool time, swimming lessons, daddy/daughter dances, birthday parties, and parent’s night out, Life Time is a regular part of our weekly routines.

My wife Wanda worked with a former Life Time trainer/nutritionist and did something she never thought she would do - compete on stage in several fitness competitions. In fact, she won the Masters class in May 2012, earned her pro card, and went on to compete in the professional “worlds” competition in Toronto in August 2012. During her journey into this sport, I observed several things that led to her success: determination, discipline, self-restraint, guidance, mentoring, coaching, and most of all, proper nutrition.

Back to that day in February. I decided to hit Life Time and get some kind of workout in. As I walked up the stairs to the gym, I saw a sign advertising the Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge. During my so-called workout, I thought a lot about the sign I saw and decided then and there that I wanted to do it. After going home that evening, I told Wanda what I planned to do. She was entirely supportive of my decision, but I believe in the back of her mind she probably thought this would be another one of my 2-week workout binges that would end at our favorite pizza restaurant and my failing to return to Life Time at any regular interval.

However, something was different this time. I knew what I wanted to get accomplished but completely understood that there was no way I could have a fighting chance without help. This is where Life Time Lenexa Personal Trainer/Assistant Department Head Cassidy Anderson enters my story.

Cassidy and I had worked together a bit in the past, but I was somewhat hit and miss when it came to commitment. Cassidy knew that I traveled a lot for work and that planning time to work out was on the back burner.

When I told Cassidy that I wanted to compete in the 90-Day Challenge, he was very supportive of my decision but made sure I knew I needed to be more committed to myself and the goal to complete the competition. I told Cassidy that I had several goals I wished to accomplish at the end of the 90 day period:

  • Enhance my nutrition
  • Get stronger/add lean muscle mass
  • Increase flexibility
  • Lose at least 5% body fat and get in the area of 210 pounds body weight
  • Be able to run 10+ miles
  • Be able to complete a least 5 pull-ups (I've never been able to do more than 2-3.)

A few days after my conversation with Cassidy, I decided to go for a short run around my neighborhood.  As I always do, I stretched a bit, walked a bit to warm up, put on my iPod, and began running.

Immediately, the song “I’m Not Afraid” by Eminem began playing.  It was so fitting, and would become the theme of my journey. One of the lines in the intro seemed to strike a cord in my psyche, and from that moment on, I was “all in." It seemed to define where I was and where I wanted to go. I was in a place where I really didn’t want to be, knew where I wanted to go, and was committed to getting there by doing the right things.

I’ve always been one who needs a goal. If I don’t have a goal, I’ll flounder, wander, and get distracted to the point where I will fail the task at hand. With my goals in place, my trainer ready to go, I went after it, 100%!

I think that most would agree, there are two areas that one must focus on to see success in an endeavor such as what I took on: Nutrition and Activity

I’ve often said that when trying to get in shape, the “working out” part is easy. Sure, it’s an hour or two of physical challenge and pain at the gym, but then it’s over for the day.  The discipline in making progress is the other 23 hours/day, when you’re 100% accountable for how you fuel your body. This is the area that I struggle with the most as I love pizza and beer more than the next guy.

A word I hear so often that I’m trying to completely remove from my vocabulary is DIET and replace with NUTRITION. When I hear someone ask, “Are you on a diet?” I cringe. I simply answer that I’m working hard on changing my nutrition habits as this is one of the keys to my success. Eating high protein, high healthy fats, low refined carbohydrates and sugar has had the biggest impact in reaching my goals. 

The nutrition tips and knowledge I have gained have come from Cassidy as well as many additional sources. Another trainer at Life Time Lenexa, Crystal Naumann, utilizes social media routinely to share advice, tips, suggestions, and very informative articles on nutrition. The information she continues to share is invaluable for us who follow her. Not to mention, Crystal is energetic, personable, engaging and downright an awesome motivator, even though I don’t work directly with her.

Several years ago I registered and began to periodically use Life Time’s myPlan.  Recently, I began utilizing it more and more, and plan to implement it going forward to help me track my daily meals and nutrition, provide recipes, and keep me honest in my nutrition. 

Activity has been nonstop since I began. As I travel every week for work, sometimes it’s hard to get as much time with Cassidy as I wanted. However, he has been more than generous in making sure that he was available for our sessions. Even if he was supposed to be leaving or off that day, he would make time for me. Cassidy’s commitment to my challenge was unwavering, and I couldn’t have done it without his partnership. 

Cassidy’s workouts were never the same. Although we did have target areas where I wanted to make gains, rarely did we ever do the same exercises from session to session. He was able to work with my existing injuries, and, in fact, they haven’t felt better in years as he was able to provide exercises and workouts that did not aggravate them but actually made them stronger and more flexible.

Not withstanding, Cassidy is just fun to be around. His sense of humor and easiness makes those hard workouts a lot more enjoyable. I look forward to our training sessions as I know they’ll not only be great for me, but fun as well.

At Cassidy’s recommendation, I have scheduled a Metabolic Assessment, which I will complete and utilize in the future to get the most from my workouts.

About a month ago, I began to run with our Life Time Run Club. Denise Lewis is tireless in promoting the Club. Her dedication, enthusiasm, and passion for the success of the Club is what makes it so enjoyable.  Additionally, I signed up for the Life Time Finish Line training led by Leah Ham. Through her guidance and encouragement (and chatting us up during the long runs), I am easily running 10+ miles with the group on weekends now. 

Lastly, there would be no way on earth that I could have completed this journey without the support of close friends and family. My wife has been unwavering in providing me the time, meals, encouragement and support to chase this goal. My two girls continually ask me, “Daddy, let me see your muscles!” which gave me more motivation to continue to build them for them to ooh and aah over.

It’s easy to say that Life Time Fitness Lenexa has had a huge impact on my life. I’m now 45 but look and feel and least 10 years younger. I am continually receiving compliments from friends, family, and even people I don’t even know on my progress. I will not stop at this point as I know have the knowledge, motivation, and tools provided by Life Time to make this journey a roadmap to future success.

In the last 90 days, I have fulfilled every one of the goals I listed earlier. Early on, I would have never thought it possible and would have been afraid of failure.  I shall work hard going forward, because I’m Not Afraid.