I would first like to say "Thank you" to my biggest fan, Tara. She has been my cheerleader and kept me focused through all the rigorous dieting and training and has helped me remain steadfast. A big thanks to the people at Life Time Fitness for all their support and knowledge they have shared with me- knowledge which enabled me to achieve a goal that I wasn't sure if I could accomplish.
I participated in the spring 2014 Transformation Challenge, and at the nine week point I received the news that I had been laid off from my job. I was completely devastated. I almost dropped out of the Challenge. I didn't, but mentally I was no longer in the game. Unfortunately, I’m still out of work. I have been dealing with bouts of depression and failure.
During the summer, I started putting on the weight that I trained so hard to lose. I was eating out of emotion because of my unemployment status. Tara and her son Jacob suggested that I enter the Fall Transformation contest. Jacob is fifteen-years-old and dealing with weight issues himself and asked if he could "sort of" do the Challenge with me behind the scenes. He wanted me to help him with the diet portion and offer some suggestions for exercise. Although I was apprehensive, I agreed. If nothing else, it would help Jacob's self-esteem and hopefully keep me in a positive state of mind. My beginning stats were 51-years-old, 236 pounds and 24% body fat. Jacob's were 15-years-old, 200 pounds and 34% body fat. We both had our work cut out for us at the beginning of the journey.
I decided to go with Life Time's Master Trainer and Nutritionist Bob Holper. Bob is in his mid-fifties and a professional bodybuilder along with his career at Life Time Fitness. If anyone knows the pitfalls of training and nutrition at this age, it would be Bob. The individual and combined knowledge that’s at Life Time Fitness is second to none.
When I first met with Bob, looking at the plan made me woozy. The weight training is definitely in my wheel house. The cardio, dieting, carb cycling, supplements, and state of ketosis all made my head spin. However, the way Bob explained it challenged and motivated me. My dilemma at this point, since I was still laid off, was not having the funds to invest in the proper supplements and sessions with Bob. That could be a huge factor to my success. Also, I'm 51-years-young and realize I would have much younger competition. In addition, arthritis runs in my family, and I’m currently suffering with it. My left shoulder and my right knee are in a condition of “bone on bone". I want to be in the best possible shape I can be, remain active, and have the best quality of life. I'm trying to be a leader by example for my daughter, Lindsey, and Tara's kids, Jacob and Keira. Lesson learned while serving in the Marine Corps: I was told no matter what I was a winner.
I ended up selling some personal things to afford some of the supplements and sessions. This allowed me to get Life Time's fish oil, creatine, protein, D3 and L-glutamine to name a few. My energy levels with the D3 really improved especially during no-carb week. My joints haven’t felt this good in years, and I’m sure it is due to the fish oil.
Every Tuesday Jacob and I would get up and take our weight and body fat measurements and record them on our chalkboard. It was only a few weeks when Jacobs’s friends started asking him what he was doing and how he was losing the weight. He would chuckle and explain to them his plan and the 90-Day Transformation Challenge. He also explained that the entire family was also trying to eat healthy. His friends were very supportive. That helped him to feel more at ease with what he was doing, and I was beginning to see his self-esteem increase. Jacob is now going to be starting hockey. However, when he is done ,he wants to be added to our membership.
The strict diet has really challenged my self-discipline. On my no-carb days, Bob would just look at me and say "If you feel lousy it's working!" Many times I asked myself if it was actually worth it at this point in my life. I would think of my daughter, who is currently attending college in Texas and working tirelessly (which is lasting much longer than ninety days). I am so proud of her, and I want her to be just as proud of me. While doing what seemed to be endless hours of cardio, I would imagine winning the nationals, winning the ten thousand dollars, and buying a plane ticket to Austin. I would then snap out of it, quit feeling sorry for myself and just suck it up!
The end of the Challenge is here. Jacob’s new stats are 166 pounds and 21% body fat. His transformation has been amazing. Along with his confidence and his self-esteem, his grades in school have drastically improved. My final stats are 198 pounds and 7% body fat. I reflect on the past 90 days and think of the all the things I’ve accomplished. In addition, I no longer need all the anti-inflammatories since I don’t have all the fat weight. I have endless amounts of energy, and I don’t feel lethargic after a meal - just to mention a few. Life Time Fitness has changed my outlook on life. I now have a strong mind, body and spirit. I have complete confidence that I will be finding a job very soon. I’ve learned there isn’t an age limit to fitness, and I will continue this newfound lifestyle that Life Time has given me. Thank you!