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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.

With your unique metabolic profile, our experts will create your own personal plan to lose weight. See How It Works


Success Stories

Success Stories

Saturday
Sep272014

Claudia C. – Rochester Hill, MI

I’m 38-years-old, but now people assume I’m 10 years younger! I’ve been involved in the sport of swimming for over 30 years. First, as an age group swimmer, subsequently as a swim parent, and currently, as an active certified USA Swimming official and recreational master swimmer. My daughters, Paulina (17), Fernanda (12) and Isabella (7) are all competitive swimmers and dabble in other sports like soccer, lacrosse and gymnastics. They keep me busy! I also consider myself a yoga practitioner, a gym rat enthusiast, and lately, a little bit of a runner.

Growing up, I really didn’t have any weight issues until I became a mom. With every pregnancy, I gained more weight, and it kept getting harder to lose it after the babies were born. 

In 2008, my husband, Alfredo, got a job transfe,r and we moved to the USA. I’ve since taken a hiatus to stay home and manage our active family. Moving to a different country - I’m originally from Mexico - has its advantages and disadvantages.

The drastic change in eating habits became a problem for me. The convenience of fast-food restaurants and processed foods became the norm within my busy schedule. Between taking care of the household, running errands, carpooling to different schools, swim, soccer, dance, gymnastics or lacrosse practices, meets or games, I neglected the way I used to eat before. Therefore, my kids ended up eating CRAP on the go too (C- carbonated drinks, R- refined sugars, A- artificial preservatives, colorants, flavors, P- processed food)instead of home cooked healthy meals.

As the years passed, I kept ignoring that my clothes were getting bigger, my migraines and mood swings were becoming worse, and my health was going down the drain! I had no energy, and I became a couch potato. I also had to be put under different medications to control my migraines and to be able to sleep.

In March of 2013, I hit rock bottom. I’m 5’5", and I was 183 pounds, a size 14 (tight), depressed, suffering from chronic migraines, insomnia, GI problems, and nasty mood swings. I was officiating the 2013 Michigan Swimming 12 & Under State Championship. For the first time in years, I was in front of a camera - not hiding behind my CANON 70-200mm lens like I used to. It had been years since I allowed anybody to take a full body photo of me. This time, I had no say in it. Lots of people were pressing their shutters all around the pool - one of them was my husband. After the long three-day meet when we got home, Alfredo downloaded the pictures, and when I saw them that’s when it HIT me! WHO IS THAT?! IS THAT ME?! How did I allow this to happen to me? I looked and felt awful! I’ve been denying for so long what I already knew. I had to do something about it, and I had to do it immediately!

I had been a member of the Rochester Hills, MI Lifetime Fitness, since 2011, but I hadn’t set foot in the facilities for over two years. In November of 2011, I had torn the meniscus on my left knee. I had to undergo surgery in order to repair it. I spent 6 months on physical therapy. After more than a year and a half beyond the surgery, I still felt that my knee was way too weak.

My friend, Elaine McCorry, has been a LTF member for years. She was the one that helped me get out of my rut. She told me that even if she had to drag me by the hair – and she would’ve - I had to go to the gym with her. She challenged me to stick with it for 12 days. She would call me on the phone and kept tabs on me. Then, she told me that after surviving the 12 days, I had to survive 12 full weeks. Only after that she would leave me on my own. She was right! So, on my birthday, March 28th  2013, I began my transformation journey.

The first place at Life Time where I found myself was the pool. Swimming was my first choice not only because it was the gentlest way to start working on my messed up body, but because I felt most at home, comfortable and safe surrounded by the lane lines, black lines and blue walls, and most of all the water. I had to wear a neoprene elastic knee brace for months until I was able to kick with ease and without pain. Swimming was the only activity where I didn’t feel out of place or clueless whatsoever. At the beginning, I was so self-conscious about the way my body looked that I would only wear my daughter’s old, worn out knee skins - swim lingo for long racing suits. After a couple of months of swimming by myself, I joined the masters' group, coached by Caitlyn Best, and started practicing with a group of ladies once a week. Also, I started wearing regular swimsuits. After almost half a year, the practices became twice a week, and I gained another coach, Patrick, at first and, currently, Jordan.

The second place that helped me improve my all around fitness was the Yoga Studio. When I first started practicing yoga, I wasn’t able to kneel without wearing volleyball knee pads. I couldn’t reach my toes with ease, do a pigeon pose or even consider a tripod headstand! Porsche, Thaira, Rajini and the other yoga instructors were always super supportive. They showed me modifications for the poses I wasn’t able to do and were always encouraging me in a very uplifting way to try to push my body to its limits. I adopted Porsche’s saying “How you do anything, is how you do everything!” Breath by breath, day by day, I kept getting stronger, more flexible, and my character started changing too! I became more relaxed, patient, less reactive. I was happier! I try to practice yoga at least three times a week. If I can squeeze in more days, the better!

After the initial 12 weeks of my transformation journey, I purchased a heart rate monitor and got an Active and Resting Metabolic Assessment. Once I had my numbers, I knew where I needed to push my heart rate in order to maximize fat loss and improve my VO2 Max. I started reading lots of books about fitness and nutrition. One of them detailed a list of symptoms that were significantly similar to what I had been dealing with for years. I decided to give up dairy cold turkey and be as gluten-free as possible. After a couple months of been dairy and semi-GF, I hadn’t had a migraine, my depressed mood improved substantially, my bad temper went MIA, and I lost about 20 pounds! As I got in better shape, I moved upstairs from the pool and Yoga Studio, and expanded my workouts to the Cycling Studio, the group classes and, eventually, the gym area. I had created new healthy habits that kept transforming me inside and out.

But fast forward to February 2014. After about 9 months of attending LTF diligently almost every day, incorporating the Fast Fuel and Veggie Max supplements to my diet, and being dairy free and semi-GF free, I had lost around 50 pounds and 6 dress sizes. I hit a plateau after the winter holidays, and on the last day of registration for the 2014 Spring 90-Day Challenge, I gingerly approached the PT desk to ask for more information. I met Ryan Graydon, Shehzad Sheik (Shaz), Brian McKinney and Joe Dabrowski. I ended up signing up for the Transformation Challenge, making a big financial commitment - I used all the money that I had saved from officiating swim meets the previous season - in order to afford TEAM Boot Camp, Pilates sessions, an Active and Metabolic Assessment, three sessions of Metabolic Coaching, a Food Allergy profile, a My Health Score test, a Detox Bundle, and lots of supplements.

On registration day, I weighed 129 pounds with 22.7% body fat. Ryan and Shaz asked me what my goal was. My answer was that I wanted to learn and try different things, become stronger and work on my core and legs. Whatever improvements in my body composition and weight would be welcomed. Plus the 10,000 dollars, and other prizes, were a huge incentive! I think I was ready, physically and mentally prepared, to try the 90-Day Challenge for the first time. I wanted to push my body and test my limits. I wanted to feel empowered and strong. I wanted to be fearless.

In order to start the 90-Day Challenge, I worked a schedule around my swim practices. The morning masters' group meets Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m. Because of the Try-It Tuesdays events, I had to modify my swim practice time. After I was done with the scheduled Try-It Tuesday events, I would go to the pool. My swim teammates would be in the middle of practice, and I would take a photo with my phone of the written workout on the white board. I would talk to Patrick or Jordan about the sets and intervals. I would go change into my swimsuit and after everybody was done, I would jump in the pool and do the workout by myself. It wasn’t the same, but I made a promise to myself not to slack on the pool work. 

Mondays and Wednesdays I had Team Boot camp at 9:00 a.m. with Brian McKinney. Since day one, I was hooked! We never had the same workout. He always pushed me to do my best and always with a smile on his face. Brian encouraged me to conquer my fear of running. I was so hesitant to try it, but I started to get the hang of it. There was no session when I didn’t laugh, sweat like a pig, and finish exhausted. Plus, I met a group of amazing, competitive and inspiring people! On some Fridays I would attend the 6:00 a.m. Team Boot camp session with Joe Dabrowski so I wouldn’t miss my swim practice with Caitlyn at 9:30 a.m. Some of those Fridays it was tough to wake up at 5:00 a.m. If by any chance my husband was out of town, and I had to take my girls to school, I would have to miss either swim or boot camp. It happened more than a couple times.

On Thursdays, I had Pilates with Matt King. I’m still working on getting the hang of the sequences and transitions, but Matt was able to move me to a higher level class almost right away. Pilates helped me be aware of my posture and core at all times.

Once I figured the core of my 90 Day-Challenge workout schedule, I complemented it by continuing to attend some of the group classes like Total Fitness, Ripped to the Core, Insanity, BarreFusion, Cycling, and of course, YOGA - Hot Vinyasa, Slow Burn, Yin Restorative or Ashtanga Vinyasa - whatever class I could fit. I also did the metabolic workouts on the treadmill that Shaz designed for me.

On weeks 1 and 2, I learned about healthy and clean eating and the Detox program with the help of Kelly Wilson. I incorporated the following supplements into my diet: Multivitamin AM/PM, Omega-3 fish oil, Cal/Mag 1001, Vitamin D, Multi-Probiotic 4000, Dynamic Greens and U-Can. I continued the Veggie Max protein powder and switched to the Dairy Free Fast Fuel. I read the Eat Well, Live Well guide and attended the grocery store tour twice.

On week three, I got some very amusing news. My Health Score test result was a 100, and my metabolic age was 19-years-old - even though my chronological age was 37!

At the end of week five, I participated in my first Indoor TRI. The event taught me some valuable lessons. It didn’t go as I had planned - just like life itself. I had to deal with a leg cramp that started almost at the beginning of the swim portion of the race - seriously, why did it had to be on the swim part?! The cramp never went away throughout the cycling portion and, to top it off, I had to deal with an untied shoe lace in the middle of the running portion that made me hop and limp. It was almost impossible for me to move because of the leg cramp. I got through it, thanks to my yoga instructor Porsche, my swim buddy Jessica, my boot camp buddies, Julie, Alicia and Kathy, who participated in the TRI too, and to Brian McKinney. I appreciated all of their encouragement. It helped me finish with my best effort.

As soon as the Indoor TRI was done, I started to prepare for the Detox on week eight. I was introduced to the dry sauna. I’m a fan now! Kelly gave me a bunch of easy, nutritious and tasty recipes to incorporate to my diet. I also started eating the Detox to-go meals a couple times a week at the Life Time Café. It was super convenient, they were delicious, and I didn’t have to worry about portions or nutrient combinations. During the Detox, I switched my TEAM Boot Camp workouts for TEAM Fitness. Anna still kept me challenged, but the intensity was diminished.

Once the Detox was done, I went back to my regular workout schedule with a newfound energy and vitality. As the weeks passed, I was getting more excited about the Challenge. My endurance, speed, flexibility and strength were getting better!

Everything was going great until week eleven. My family was never quite on board with me participating in the 90-Day challenge. They kept saying that it was a long shot for me to be able to win and that I wasted money on my investment. They kept complaining about the food choices that I was making for the household and the time that I invested at the gym. It was very difficult to find the time to go to the gym on the weekends and to refrain myself from eating all the junk and processed food that they bought occasionally. My husband would also bake cakes, cookies and bring treats for my daughters. All of those treats were very tempting, and I almost felt like they were a cruel joke, but I know in my heart that it wasn’t their intention to torment me. I caved in once or twice, but I found the support system I needed at Life Time.

The personal trainers, coaches, instructors, my boot camp buddies, swim teammates, and people in general who had witnessed my transformation gave me the encouragement to keep reaching deep for willpower. They allowed me to believe that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. Week twelve was testament to that. I stepped on the InBody Machine, and the numbers on the screen shocked me. I was down to 16.1% body fat and 122.6 pounds! I was only 0.02 away from my goal of reaching 15.9% of body fat.

I knew that by the weigh-out weekend, I was going to be on my period. In previous weeks, I noticed that during that time of the month my numbers went up - both body fat and weight. So, I was preparing for the worst.

We finished the Try-It Tuesdays with an outdoor 5k on week thirteen. Let me remind you that I had never in my life ran outside on a trail. I was just getting used to hopping on a treadmill, and now I had to figure out how to pace myself without looking at the speed on the treadmill screen. I thought about following Julie and Denise, my boot camp friends. Yet, for some strange reason once I started running, I found my sweet spot. I kept going, and soon enough, I was leading the pack. I had no idea where we were going. I followed the signs but messed up the route twice. Julie and Denise had to yell at me in order to go back on track. I passed everybody on my way back, I thought all of them were right behind me, but I was surprised to find out when I crossed the finish line first that nobody was close to me. I will never forget THAT moment! I was kind of in denial. My time was 28 minutes and 50 seconds. I know that I could’ve done better if I had known what I was doing and where was I going, but being clueless didn’t help me at all. That day I found out I was a runner in progress!

Today, as Brian McKinney asked me to step on the InBody Machine for the final weigh-in, I was literally shaking. I didn’t want to look down at the screen! When the numbers finally appeared, I felt tears filling my eyes. I was up to 18.0% of body fat and 124.3 pounds! I immediately felt like a failure! What did I do wrong in a little over a week to mess up my progress?! Brian was so kind to me. He gave me a hug and reminded me that unfortunately for females, getting that time of the month at the worst time possible, can mess up the body composition numbers. He reminded me to focus on what I had accomplished so far and look back at my progress photos. Once again, he was right on point. Thanks for the encouragement!

Whatever the outcome of this 2014 spring 90-Day Transformation Challenge, I’m already a winner. I’m proud of myself! I won a newfound confidence and improved my overall health and body. I met some new, amazing friends who share the same goals and ideals that I have and learned that my journey is not over! I will continue this healthy path for the rest of my life. I will try different things, push my body to new limits and keep on learning!

Saturday
Sep202014

Stephen N. – Old Orchard, IL

I saw that Life Time was going to run another 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge. I figured it would be a good thing to enter the Challenge and use my competitive nature to lose the weight that I had been slowly gaining over the years.  I am 47, and losing weight is not as easy as when I was much younger. My weight kept rising and rising. I was losing the battle. I actually felt it was all lost. I needed help from someone who is educated in fitness and weight loss - someone with experience.

I decided to join Life Time Fitness. I was impressed with all the different programs the center had to offer. They have classes in weight loss, educational classes in nutrition, and a whole lot of online tools as well - besides all the equipment the facility had. Life Time Fitness also has a great staff of personal trainers. I was so impressed with the personal training that I purchased sessions right away. I ended up with Mitch Holmbeck as my personal trainer.

Mitch and I sat down and developed a few goals that I needed to be successful. The most important was changing my diet. I cut all sugar of any kind, including fruit. I ate four small meals throughout the day, which included a lean protein, green fibrous vegetables, and a small portion of good carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes. I also added an extra portion of protein in the form of a shake or hard boiled eggs right after workouts.

Mitch and I also came up with a fitness schedule. I was to do one to two hours of vigorous cardio training like swimming or jogging on the treadmill. I had to keep my heart rate up to 125 to 135 beats per minute. I bought a heart rate monitor to help me keep track of this goal. The heart rate monitor helped so much. It kept track of all my workouts that I could upload to my pc and track progress. It even calculated my calories burned.

The last thing Mitch and I wanted to accomplish during the 90-Day Challenge was to gain all around strength. Mitch was going to work with me on this goal. We met once a week and worked all muscle groups.  He was very knowledgeable and very motivating.

As the Challenge progressed, I was slowly taking the weight off. I noticed the more weight I was able to take off…the better I felt. The better I felt…the more I could do to take more weight off.  It was the perfect fitness circle that worked great for me. I was going to the gym twice per day. I was able to swim for 90 minutes without taking a break and swam for four to five thousand meters.  I was able to row on the row machine for almost one solid hour rowing about twelve thousand meters. I impressed everybody including myself.

I lost 79 pounds during the Challenge. I am now a different person than I was when I signed up 90 days ago. I live a different life too. I watch everything I eat. I read every label on the food I buy - now that I know what to look for. I still plan on going to the gym every day, maybe not twice per day, but go every day. I am now the person other people go to for fitness advice and not the “big guy” that people did not want to make eye contact with. Thanks to Life Time Fitness and Mitch for everything.

 

 

 

Saturday
Sep132014

Tony B. - Maple Grove, MN

My journey really started about five years ago after graduating college. Being a collegiate athlete, I was always in pretty good shape, and never thought much of it. After graduating college, I started working a full-time job, and everything was great. I could eat doughnuts for breakfast, grab fast food for lunch, meet friends for happy hour, and go out to eat a few times a week. Since I was a kid, I loved everything about eating - more specifically the foods that will expand my waistline like beer, soda, cookies, chips, candy, fast-food, and pizza. These were the things I would turn to when things were good and I was celebrating, or when things were not so good and I was eating to cope. Emotional eating was a slippery slope for me, and I really hit bottom after I was laid off in 2010. I didn’t realize what I was doing to my body on a daily basis until all of a sudden I weighed over 250 pounds with 26.6% body fat! I knew that I needed to take action but was too embarrassed to go to the gym. For the next couple of years I had started multiple “diets” and tried a number of different home workouts to no avail. I would always start but could never maintain any consistency, which was discouraging and pushed me toward what I considered my comfort foods.

For the last couple years I have used every possible excuse to avoid the gym. Finally, after listening to me complain for years, my friend Joey Olson, who is a Life Time trainer at the Maple Grove club, had had enough and challenged me to compete in the 90-Day Challenge. Joey explained to me how many people participate and that we are all trying to accomplish the same thing, which really helped me put my insecurities aside. I was all in but wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to affect my work or my family life.

The first week was tough. I was so sore, but the hardest part was keeping my urge to eat junk food under control. Ashley O’Hearn, who is a nutrition coach at the Maple Grove Life Time, helped me put the “diets” behind and implemented a realistic and maintainable nutrition plan. I had started seeing results at the end of the first week, and it motivated me to keep pushing through one day at a time. As the days passed, the pounds kept coming off, and my energy levels were through the roof. Life Time Fitness has so many options to keep my workouts fun and challenging. Some days I would train with, Joe who was able to motivate and push me to my limits. Working with trainers and the small class instructors not only introduced me to new workouts but were great resources for nutrition as well.

Joe and Ashley opened me up to the different protein and supplement options that would help me push toward the results I wanted. I take the daily supplements they recommended and will continue to do so. I use the Life Time’s AM and PM multivitamins, omega-3 fish oil, Cal/Mag, and glutamine to help with soreness and give me energy. They also turned me on to Life Time’s Vegan Max Protein that I use daily following my heavy strength workouts but also use to help curb cravings throughout the day. I never knew there were any options beyond whey protein. The protein and supplements have become a part of my everyday routine, and (as a treat) I like to mix in a Mocha Madness from the Life Café...it is awesome!

Through the first month, I concentrated on eating clean with lots of veggies and lean proteins. By the middle of March, I had already dropped 20 pounds! At this point, I started to plateau and, with the help of the Life Time trainers again, we tweaked my nutrition plan to limit carbohydrates and increase lean proteins. It was difficult at first, but I loved the fact that I wasn’t counting calories. The weight started coming off again, and my motivation was rejuvenated.

Now with the 90-Day Challenge coming to an end, I couldn’t be happier with the results I have been able to achieve, and I am not done. I do not like to brag about the results I have seen, but I hope sharing my experience will inspire others to go after their health and fitness goals. If I can do it, anyone can. I am down almost 50 pounds and have cut my body fat over 65 percent! I owe it all to Life Time Fitness and their staff for building a foundation of health and fitness that I will take with me. This isn’t a 90-Day Challenge for me but the beginning to the rest of my life. Through this experience, I have come such a long way from the couch potato I was at the beginning of the year. My quality of life has improved so much, and I feel like I can do anything. There is no challenge too big, which is perfect timing because my wife and I are expecting our first baby this fall!

 

Saturday
Sep062014

Shelsy F. – South Jordan, UT

I'm so excited to share my experience today after my second 90-Day Challenge - especially because this has been much more than a physical transformation. This has been the transformation of my life. The body I now have is just the physical result of my transformation as a whole.

To give a little background, I would say my health was pretty average in that I would constantly gain and lose a few pounds. However, after having my second child, I found myself over 200 lbs and could not get my weight back down. A lot of the time I could feel positive and accepting of how I looked, but this was just not enough. I wanted to treat my body positively and care for myself so I would be capable of doing all the things I wanted to - having the freedom to not just take cute pictures, but to snowboard, run miles pushing a stroller, lift heavy weights, hike with baby carrier. Just going up and down stairs had me feeling bad. I wanted to no longer feel joint pain, knee pain, back pain, fatigue, and exhaustion. I tried imitating the ways I had lost weight before, and it just didn't work and I couldn't figure out why. Different activites, workouts, diets, starting weights, ending weights. Nothing matched except that I knew I always felt my best when I was pursuing a healthy lifestyle as a priority. So, that's when I decided I would have to start living healthier.

I joined Life Time 4 months after having my second baby. Taking my children to a place where I feel they are known and loved makes it so much easier to do things for myself. Just going, however, wasn't enough. I went on losing and gaining the same 10-15 lbs. I had a problem: eating well and going to the gym all week long and then blowing off the whole thing from Friday to Monday.

I just could not get my lifestyle under control. When you can't even control your own body, you feel like you're not in control of anything. My largest obstacle began in my mind. I began to focus all my positive thoughts and energies into breaking through to the best me. This lead me to Kaycee's Monday afternoon Restorative Yoga class. If you really want to be inspired, go to yoga. This class was special, actually AMAZING! If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend it! It was pure meditation practice lasting the whole hour - just the mental workout I needed. She taught me how to implant a mantra in my head: "I am Healthy." I would repeat that in my mind throughout the class. Simple like that...kind of.

I would still have to fight for the vision of who I wanted to be. I had to learn to really love my body through a process of focusing on being fit and healthy. Soon after this class, I received the email for the fall 2013 90-Day Challenge and knew 90 days would be a good amount of time to stay committed to being healthy. This meant no junk food, not even on weekends or cheat days or at parties or restaurants. Also, I needed to be at the gym every day. I started taking a variety of classes that I fell in love with - from Flow yoga (Kaycee) and Hot Vinyasa Yoga (Robbie) to Zumba (Ani) and Dance Jam (Shukria). When I began, like most people, I had a hard time at everything, and there were times I wanted to leave before the half hour was over. Being in a class helped me stay, knowing I would not walk out before that hour in front of everyone.

I made many friendships in the gym, and through the 90-Day Try-It Tuesdays had the opportunity to meet with nutritionist Mary. For most of those 90 days, I had cut out carbs. Fortunately, I met with her at just the right time. I was at a plateau.

I was scared but trusted her knowledge when she told me to add in healthy carbs like quinoa, wild rice, and berries. This put me back on the right track, and I was able to finish this first 90 days feeling like I really was Healthy. Also I looked healthier and reached my regular "thin" weight and had lost almost half my body fat. Some people will think "sure, I'd make those changes too for a prize." It has to be more than that. Because a few weeks in, I already had 1001 excuses to give up or slow down, almost accepting the progress made as enough. And not only did I have to change my mindset to get through the 90 days but have reasons to continue long after the 90 days were over.
 
Luckily, I was still meeting with Mary to try and get my body back to normal after the no-carb craziness. Because two months after the Holidays were over, I had gained back a good amount of weight and body fat.
She told me something so true that I'm not sure why most people have not yet figured it out. Progress is not a steady linear incline. Progress is messy and sometimes you have a step backwards or downward. This really made me realize that the important thing was to just keep going. Get myself from point A to B, then to C. Realizing I would make mistakes at some point was OK.

That I am not a total failure as long as I was resolute. This helped to finally break my cycle of lose, then gain, change, go back to the same lifestyle problems. Recognizing the problem and stopping before they got worse. Not taking care of myslef for how others would see me at a wedding or party or vacation. Instead doing it to reach my full potential and capabilities and do something life changing.This was my problem and I decided after another 90 days I would never go back. In the begining I would telll myself its just 90 days and if I could just stick with it the results would be worth it. Knowing the more time would go by, the more of a lifestyle it would become a little at a time.

My sister-in-law and friend Ana would enter the Spring 2014 90-Day Challenge with me, and we would be Partners all the way through. Cheering and Motivating and positively influencing each other. I had been doing Group Barbell Classes with Kaycee and Mary, but they both suggested I get some personal training. So, I met Jana, Ana's personal trainer, who came very well recommended by anyone at the gym. Working with Jana and Mary was Great because they were able to cater to my goals while also pushing and motivating me to work because I was accountable to them. I could give a day by day account of exactly my exercise routine and  diet, but it may not work for someone else. What I can guarantee will work is developing a program and the proper mindset to stick with it. Appreciating progress and hard work as rewards in themselves before seeing a final result.

For my 90-Day plan, they both took into account where I was and what I wanted to achieve. How much muscle and fat I had and how strong/weak I was for each body part and how I wanted to develop. How many of each kind of calories I should eat while taking into account my changes and changing the plan throughout. Jana would give the technique for efficency and fast results. I would not waste my time at the gym doing two hours of cardio as before. Though this meant giving up some of my favorite classes for a while, following her program would be worth it. We met with her the first week of every month to teach us how to lift weights and proper form for doing so. I never knew I could love weightlifting, too. Every week we would try harder to lift heavier and impress Jana before the month ended. Mary taught me to fuel my body with the right nutrition, increasing my energy and good mood. By the last month, she had me eating about half my calories in good carbs, and I was Loving eating Healthy, colorful, textured foods. I found out the whole time she wasn't giving me a weight loss diet or a gain-muscle diet or a lose-fat diet, but she was teaching me how to eat.
 
I wanted to do Everything they asked of me and prove to myself I was in control of the outcome and would not cheat myself. Did I do everything perfectly? No, but when I didn't give my workout 100% or follow my diet to the T, I didn't give up and let it all go down the drain. I recognized my error and reassessed what I needed to do. Sleep earlier so I could wake up for my workout. Not buy crappy foods so they wouldn't be tempting me around the house. Even for my kids, especially for my kids. Why do we reward them with treats to eat anyways? I would plan my day better, prioratize better, be more organized. More importantly, after making a plan and vow to do better, I actually Did. Remembering the big picture. Not just the numerical changes each week but increasing my efforts and being consistently better.
 
After the first month, the changes were already so huge. Then my body fat stopped going down. I almost let myself get completely off course. That's when I had to decide the scale would not dictate my progress. I focused less on the scale and more on other accomplisments. My goals are bigger, and I wanted the best results. So, settling for just being better than I had been before would not be enough! With Ana's and my husband's support, I shook myself out of it to believe that it had been worth it and would continue to be worth it. That I wasn't making sacrifices, I was making choices, and that was empowering. If I didn't meet my body fat goal by the end of 90 days that eventually I would. That these Changes I had made don't expire at 90 days. I wanted to continue to reach my goal and many more difficult ones to come. Renewed enthusiasim would come from returning to my yoga practice. I would take time for myself out of necessity because only when I was at my best could I give my best to those around me. I focused on my other small accomplishments as stepping stones in creating and maintaing healthy habits: working out regularly, planning and cooking meals, waking and sleeping early; prioritizing and organizing time, money and resources; being more loving and accepting of my body.

Having been able to accheve so much in my health and fitness goals has given me a desire to become as accomplished in all other areas of my life - becoming a better mother, spouse, friend, student, teacher, neighbor.
 
Today I have reached my own personal Best. I have beat myself, my only competition. In the end, I am Only Greatful! I have had the opportunity to have taken on this challenge and made a declaration of personal responsibility for my Health. I Love myself enough to not just accept the way I was, but to make these changes and do something Extraordinary. I'm so appreciative to have interacted and learned with these amazing women who inspire and motivate me with every meeting. They have all taught me that Nothing is unattainable, when before I would look at them and think I could never be like them. I'm glad to have their friendship. Working with them has been a success because now I don't "Need" them anymore. I can do it on my own, and that was their goal for me all along. I hope now I can inspire others to first begin, then continue and not give up on their bodies' health and athletic abilities - not to just change physical appearance, but inside, to have a self appreciation and positive outlook on life.

As a result of working toward physical health and fitness, I have the body I thought I could only dream of. One that isn't just going to look good on the beach but that has core strength, leg strengh and endurance so I can surf, scuba dive, wakeboard, and water ski too. I never expected I could lose about half my body fat without doing some crazy diet or working out to exhaustion. But weighing 10-15 lbs more than my usual "thin" weight, I now have more muscle and definition than I've ever seen on my body while still feeling feminine and delicate wearing smaller sizes than that weight. I have so much energy and vigor for life! And more: my transformation is Real and Sustainable from the inside out. I'm not going back to my old way of thinking and acting. My lifestyle change has been greater than I could ever show on my body or even in all I've written. The Journey I am on for total health has been the experience of a lifetime. Every minute, drop of sweat and dollar spent has been more than worth all I've gained. For this, I have every desire and intention to continue my journey to mind, body, and soul Loving Wellness. Sure, there are still things about my body that could make me feel self-conscious, but I'm not perfect. That was never the point. The idea is to continue to improve on everything I can change while loving and accepting myself now.

There is so much reward in realizing My Journey is my Success - without any certain End Point. These Changes have to last forever. There is only continuity and progress, No Finish Line after a quick-fix-diet or pill. This is everlasting Evolution.

Thank You Life Time for offering this inspiring and motivating opportunity. Thanks to all your wonderful trainers, teachers and child care workers and employees. Thanks to my partner, Ana, for sticking with me every day. Thanks to my wonderful husband and children, who knew this is who I was all along.

  

Sunday
Aug312014

Kelli J. - Chanhassen, MN

All my life I have been extremely fit and active, involved in many sports from basketball and cross country to rock climbing and wakeboarding. I was a youth Boot Camp instructor all the way through my first pregnancy nearly 6 years ago. Two more babies followed closely with each pregnancy being more challenging than the one before. They were filled with many complications before, during and after, leaving my body at near breaking point.  Multiple surgeries, bed rest, infections and carrying 3 nearly 10 pound babies had done a number on my body and left me in uncharted territory. I was lost. I had never had to work at being fit before. It was just a lifestyle for me, and nothing I was doing seemed to be working.

Now, my days were no longer my own. Instead, I was in constant "mommy mode." I love being a mom more than anything, but I was also struggling with postpartum depression. I needed to find a healthy way to combat it. 

I decided to turn to nutrition and exercise. I had been working out at a low intensity prior to the 90-Day Challenge, but the results were not there. When the 90-Challenge presented itself, I figured it would be the best way to be accountable to actual physical change. I needed SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals.  

I sat down with a trainer and made a plan. I had some blood work done and started training once a week with him. On my own time, I would go to the gym and work out 6 times a week. I was feeling great, but not seeing the kind of results I was looking for. I was nearly 6 weeks into my transformation journey, and nothing had changed in the way of measurable goals. I was crushed. All my hard work did not seem to be paying off. I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. 

I met with the amazing staff in the personal training department to problem solve. We all decided that it would be best to start working with someone with nutrition training as well as a trainer who is an expert at cutting lower body fat percentages. Merrick Morlan, the MMA trainer, seemed to fit the bill perfectly. My husband, who is also in the 90-Day Challenge, had been training with Merrick since the beginning and was seeing amazing results. Luckily, Merrick was willing to take me on as a client with less than 6 weeks remaining in the Challenge.

When I met him, he said he was going to train me like a fighter (not intimidating at all) and that it was going to be different than anything else I had done before (no joke) and pretty difficult, especially considering our timeline. I agreed to do whatever he told me to do.

Now, MMA fighting isn't even on my wild and crazy bucket list. I am not by nature an aggressive person, so the idea of coming into a fight shape class with no experience and being introverted...let's just say I was in slight panic mode. At this point though, with no current results to speak of, I didn't have much else to lose.

Every single person in all of my classes was so nice and welcoming, and Merrick was a quick teacher to catch me up. I quickly fell in love with the idea of coming to the gym and not having to spend hours lifting or doing traditional cardio. It was FUN! Merrick also drastically changed my eating habits.They weren't bad habits, but they were just not conducive to what my body needed. I was now training and eating like a fighter which was no longer as intimidating as I once thought. 

At my first weigh-in, one week after changing my routine, I had dropped 4% body fat! I did more in my first week of fight training than I had done my first 6 weeks of traditional lifting. I had finally found my personal equation to fitness success, which I have learned is VERY different for each person. Moving forward it was physically a challenge, but it turned into more of an emotional and mental challenge as the 90 days ticked further down. 

It wasn't always easy to stick to the meal plan. I found myself being hangry (angry because I was hungry for treats). It also wasn't my favorite thing to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get an early lift session in before the kids got out of bed for homeschooling and my husband had to leave for work, but I quickly learned it was worth it. Every. Single. Time. I was beginning to see all of the small victories I was making. 

Joining group classes when my introverted personality wanted to hide in the corner of the gym, WIN. Trying new things that I wasn't very good at (basically everything in MMA/fight class), WIN. Learning to tone down my perfectionism, WIN. Staying on track while out of town for 10 days over Easter, BIG WIN! Putting my kids' goldfish crackers away without snacking on them myself, WIN! But mentally, pushing through the weeks of initial failure to find my eventual success was my biggest win!

It's the little things that not everyone is willing to do that makes your life exceptional. I decided many years ago that I am not okay with a mediocre life. We only get one chance at this, and I want to do it with extraordinary determination! I have learned from this 90-Day Transformation journey that the best parts of life start outside your comfort zones.

I am grateful more than I can express, to the wonderful team of people who have helped me along this journey. Having strong support has made the seemingly impossible moments survivable. All of the sweat, tears and bruises have been worth it! I am excited to see what the future holds next because this is only the beginning for this homeschooling mom and wife.

A special shout-out and thank you to Merrick for his constant patience and tolerance of my numerous emails and questions. And especially for showing me just how much more I am capable of!