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Jay H. – Palm Valley, AZ 

Scamper was the word I used to motivate myself through my Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge. I chose scamper because when I think of the word scamper, I picture a playful, joyous, agile child bouncing nearly effortlessly along. This summed up all in one word what I wanted to feel again. When you think of the word scamper you cannot help but smile or even laugh a little.

To describe my fitness journey I must first provide a glimpse of my past. As a teenager, I destroyed my right knee. I had seven surgeries on the knee, removing the cartilage and reconstructing it before I was out of high school. As I "matured," arthritis began to creep in, and for more than twenty years I endured ever increasing pain and limited motion. My body compensated and contorted, putting more pressure on my left side. Clearly, scamper was not the word one would use to describe my gait.

Two years ago, at age 53, I gave in and had total knee replacement on my right knee. I joined Life Time Fitness after that surgery and had hoped to get myself back into shape. Unfortunately, the years of overuse and misalignment had taken their toll on my left knee as well. Soon I was back to needing a cane simply to walk the length of a football field. I was not exactly scampering!!!

On Dec 4th 2014, I again had total knee replacement surgery but this time on my left knee. I now had two bionic knees. Fortunately, the Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge literally started in early February 2015, the day I was cleared by my physical therapist to return to normal activities. It was at this point that I decided I needed a vision to motivate me. Scamper was the word that gave me that vision.

I also knew I would need support and guidance. I hired a personal trainer for 2 days per week through this journey and enlisted the support of my wife. With this, my journey began. I found Cathy D., my personal trainer, was great at understanding my unique needs. There were many physical activities I simply was not able to perform given my starting point. Cathy has understood when I could be pushed and when we needed to go more slowly to strengthen key muscles before going more aggressively.

The very first week I learned the most critical lesson of this journey. It's 80% what I eat and 20% exercise. With that, I set out to also change how I was eating in addition to the commitment to strength training and cardio. My regimen has me waking up at 5:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, going to Life Time and getting in an hour of exercise or more each day. I make use of the LifeCafé to have an almond delight smoothie and a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I typically have a mid morning snack of almonds or a protein bar, and the salad bar at work for lunch. My wife would prepare a dinner made from primarily organic basic foods. Already prepared and packaged foods have been eliminated from our diet.

I learned to record everything I ate in "my fitness pal" app food diary. This has helped me stick to the plan. Midway through the 90 days, my commitment was tested. I had a period of 2 weeks when I only ate at home for 2 days. Every other day I was traveling. I had to conquer being able to stick to the plan while on the road. I still exercised in the hotel and weighed in for Cathy, texting her a picture of the scale from the hotel gym. I was amazed because when I weighed in after this time, I had actually lost 5 pounds!!! It was at that point I knew I was going to succeed. Traveling had always been my downfall before.

Every week I have felt myself get stronger and quicker. The most noticeable change has been how much the quality of my sleep has improved. I have found myself standing more upright and improving my sense of balance. In fact, I could even start to feel a skip in my step. The pounds just kept coming off. The plan was working!!!

Over the course of 90 days I have lost 32 pounds. I now weigh 210. My body fat went from 42.9% to 28%. I have not been this weight in some time. I still have some to lose, but the path forward is clear. I believe that this journey has taught me how to live in a healthier way. I can also say that this Memorial Day weekend we are going sailing, and I will indeed scamper across the deck of my boat. Scamper, the simple pleasure of having the agility and freedom to be able to move with ease and pain free. This is now my word!!!




Ashley L. - Dublin, OH

I knew in my heart that something was wrong with me. I blamed my hot flashes and absent menstrual cycles on everything but the possibility of having some sort of disease. My doctor's look of concern upon entering the room was yet one more reason to discard college stress as a reason for my ailments. "Premature ovarian failure," he termed it. My ovaries were permanently dormant for an unknown reason. Perhaps my immune system suddenly decided they were foreign, like bacteria needing eradicated. I was menopausal. I had minuscule amounts of female hormones in my system. I could never have children.

In the 30 seconds it took my doctor to give me my diagnosis, I aged 30 years. But I was only 19. At an age when other women were concerned with relationships, sexuality and PMS, I was seeking hormone replacement therapy, not to mention some semblance of womanhood.

In the initial years after my diagnosis, I struggled to accept what the disease was doing to me and what the future held. Will I always feel this poorly? Will I age prematurely? There were many more questions than answers. I learned early in life that knowledge is power, as the saying goes. I refused to accept that this disease was going to dictate my life, and that simple hormone replacement therapy, although maybe good enough for a menopausal 50-year-old, was insufficient for me as a young woman.

After much research, I began bioidentical hormone restoration in 2013, under the direction of a local Integrative Medicine physician, in essence establishing hormone levels similar to women of my age with healthy ovaries. The next year or so proved at times challenging as the gradual replenishment of meaningful amounts of estrogen yielded an uncomfortable metamorphosis. However, I knew it was necessary. I was rebuilding my womanhood.

Especially during the tough times, fitness proved as essential to my treatment. I became an avid runner, planning each day accordingly, recording distances and times, and always looking ahead to the next race. However, it became more of an issue of proving my ability to run the miles rather than truly enjoying doing so.

In any story of self-improvement and advancement, there come friends and supporters along the way. I am grateful for them all, especially my husband, who has always been my greatest source of encouragement. Just over a year ago, I met a lifelong friend, who is furthermore an accomplished fitness enthusiast and instructor, competitor, tremendous inspiration, and "lifting budding." For several months we met in the mornings and lifted heavy, a traditional 4-day bodybuilding split. My progress continued at Life Time Fitness, and I am thankful for the expertise and guidance of Jessica and Erin.

The 90-Day Challenge came at a serendipitous time, as one of my goals became achieving a "contest ready" physique and perhaps someday stepping on stage. With Jessica's encouragement, I entered the 90-Day Challenge and met Erin, my personal trainer. We discussed my goals, and workouts were planned accordingly with emphasis on "leaning out," tightening my glutes, and maintaining my strength. These objectives were met by multiple deadlift variations, hip thrusts, and squats to name a few and by making sure I kept a mind and muscle connection during the reps.

Nutrition is the cornerstone of life. My personal nutritional strategy is a unique one, largely given a sensitive gastrointestinal system. It has been trial and error over many years figuring out what foods I can tolerate. In particular, I am most sensitive to certain carbohydrates that cause bloating and constipation. Although a hassle at times, I focus on what I do tolerate, modify to taste, and plan ahead.

The metabolic testing offered at Life Time allowed me to set daily protein, carbohydrate, and fat gram targets based on my goals. I meticulously hit the target numbers with consistency. I find it vital to my success to plan, track, assess and modify as needed. In the past 90-Day period, I also traveled for a week in February and for a week in April. I remained active with walking and hiking and was diligent on adjusting and adhering to my nutrition plan during these times to remain on track. The 90-Day Challenge has now come to an end. I am beyond pleased with the results I have achieved and, furthermore, proud of myself for being dedicated to the process and never satisfied with an average effort. This transformation is truly a lifestyle I am eager to continue living. My next goal is to improve on what I have built thus far, which far exceeds anything I could've imagined the day I walked out of the doctor's office 14 years ago.




Kurt B. – Westminster, CO

I’m 53-years-old and have worked out regularly since my college days. My workouts were strenuous -  hour long strength workouts followed by hour long cardio sessions. I thought my diet was a pretty good diet - no fast foods and minimal processed foods. 

Despite all of this, I couldn’t rid myself of the extra pounds I carried. I learned about the Life Time food sensitivity program from my personal trainer, and his results convinced me to give it a try. 

I met with Megan Salazar, Nutrition Program Coordinator at my club to discuss my results. Megan has been an excellent resource. We talked goals. She then kept encouraging me to change things in order to meet those goals. She provides endless healthy options based on my personal sensitivities. She is willing to work with me on moderation approaches where I lack discipline to eliminate certain foods. 

Quite honestly, I’m shocked and very satisfied with my results. My weight is down more than 15%, my blood lab work has shown dramatic improvement across the board, and my mindset has been extremely positive. It hasn’t been easy, and I know maintaining will be even more difficult. I believe with Megan and the Life Time team’s continued support, I will be successful at maintaining my new lifestyle choices.





Alex T. - Lakeville, MN

I began this Challenge with one thing in mind: fatherhood. Being able to give my kids a father they deserve instead of one they'd have to deal with was a huge motivator. I got as high as 332.5 lbs, by far the highest I've ever been. My normal weight is 195-205 lbs so I was well over being physically comfortable.

Pain and pressure in my knees from that amount of added weight kept me from enjoying our third son due in April 2015 (Yes, during this Challenge) or our 4-year-old and 3-year-old sons at the park or in the yard, since I had to sit every few minutes. Running around with them or chasing them was out of the question.

In December 2014, my better half came to me one day and told me she could see the pain I was in and now was the time to do something for three reasons... Pain, Children, and the Chance to live longer to maybe see grandchildren.

The pain was something that was bad enough to the point of causing a limp in my walk, and when you're trying to raise little boys into young men you focus on everything you do around them to set that example. I always had back pain because of slouching and figured it would be something I had to just get used to. Thinking like this and trying to portray an example for the boys was a difficult balance that I was losing. Ridding my family and me of that is why I wanted to join the Challenge.

Two added benefits from losing the weight would be enjoying time with my children more and growing old to see grandchildren or GREAT-grandchildren!

Competition and help were two reasons that gave me better direction in how to lose the weight safely and smarter. With all the 90-Challenge perks I felt like I could achieve a goal of losing over 100 pounds while increasing strength. Deals on training, nutrition, and coaching are needed and provided to escort you along to your goal.

Ms. Sommer and the rest of the trainers were educated in any aspect/question I threw at them, "Always find a way," and "Train smarter, not harder," were the words I continued to hear throughout the 90 days. Whether it was about pain from a workout the day before or hitting a plateau, trainers were there to motivate and push you through it.

Even my member adviser, Chris, helped out. When I told him my interest in the Challenge, he suggested I get an active metabolic test, since I was trying to lose so much. That turned out to be one of best things that educated me on how unique my zones are. "Smarter not harder!"

All the Try-It Tuesdays were unbelievable - from the trainers/instructors to how packed they were. The energy was surging, and no matter the workout or pain, that energy and guide of the group kept me going - no question!

I went in motivated to lose 140 lbs, to feel better physically, and to win this Challenge. Having my family's support along with my friends and Life Time, I was sure that goal was attainable.

My big variable in the equation was our third son, who was due on April 2. Not having a baby around for three years, I underestimated time off from working out and sleep GREATLY. I figured I would take two weeks off max, but life laughed at that and threw in a week of false labor.

Reality checked back in THREE weeks after he was born on April 4, 2015. I was able to sneak some workouts in here and there. I couldn't leave for that long because a woman recovering from a natural childbirth plus two little boys plus a newborn equals all new kinds of tired.

I am definitely a family man because I'm the man who cooked a steak for her after birth meal, since we all know the hospital food is 5 star quality, ha! Understanding I wasn't going to reach my goal was acceptable to me because it was for a reason that was a result of an amazing gift life offered us. I ended up losing more than half of what I wanted to lose and most importantly gained a lifestyle change in health.

Understanding how your own body reacts to foods and drinks allowed me to change the weight and continue on setting an example for my boys! I get to enjoy my time with my kids more and they get more of what they deserve in a father. Biggest bonus is more TIME to do MORE! Thank you to the Life Time staff and members for your support and guidance! Without it, I couldn't do it all!



Chris D. – Scottsdale, AZ

Life is about making the most of what you’ve been given and the amazing things that can happen to you when you decide to change.

I was always a skinny child - not interested in sports or exercise. When all the other boys began to bulk up and lift weights and become men, I remained a thin and unaffected “boy.” Physical fitness and exercise was not part of a daily regimen. At the time, I failed to see the future health benefits, much less the immediate stress relief. I watched as my friends gained strength and mass while I remained in a boy-like frame. That experience, during the critical years of puberty, took its toll on my self-esteem as I aged.

As a child I was not a “picky eater." However, that lent nothing to gaining weight. I was able to eat everything and anything without thinking about or receiving consequence. My body simply had a very rapid metabolism. I could not build bulk in either fat or muscle.

In graduate school, I was diagnosed with lyme disease, which provided additional unwarranted stress and fatigue. With a diagnosis of lyme disease compounding the challenges of my self-esteem, poor body image took its toll both physically and mentally. The entire experience of lyme disease, thin body frame, and being non-athletic created some lasting insecurities.

After seeking treatment and some time recovering, I felt better but not perfect. I realized I needed something else, and this was the first unsuccessful attempt at change in diet and exercise. I went in blindly and could not effectively manage a truly proper diet and a disciplined exercise routine. There were tons of resources available on websites, and I had no idea which to follow.

At this point in my life I moved to Arizona to begin my career. In my professional life, I began to continue being stressed both mentally and physically. I realized I needed to make some big changes. This didn’t mean go out and buy a new car or take luxurious vacations. It was something closer to home. It was something basic.

Around that time, a friend introduced me to his personal trainer, and we hit it off right away. My relationship with Life Time Fitness began. At first, it was a struggle to maintain discipline and learn how to effectively achieve the results I desired. By this time in my life, I had had it with giving up and falling back into old habits. I decided to keep going. That’s when I learned about something called a 90-Day Challenge. It appealed to me because my true competitor has always been myself. It seemed like a great match with a realistic time frame and goal to rocket me to a healthier lifestyle.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I chose to focus on daily and weekly goals. I worked with my personal trainer and invested in bloodwork and dietitian consults to maximize the benefits of membership and my results. I was going to make this count as a life changing venture. This helped me noticeably bulk in muscle.

I had heard about the benefits of yoga and decided to try out Life Time’s hot vinyasa yoga. This helped relax my mind and increased my flexibility to continue with my weight lifting goals.

I found such solace in staying fit. It has helped me feel mentally rejuvenated and physically fit. The only way this was possible was through commitment, a willing to change, and especially the opportunity presented to me through Life Time.