One of the main points with my training program has been the fact that the entire staff has provided a wealth of knowledge and advice with my training, nutrition and health needs. Each staff member took the time to listen to my health and emotional concerns and was able to develop a plan that was both realistic and sustainable resulting in significant drop in weight, reduction of body fat percentage and overall increase in self-esteem, motivation and drive over a 90 day period. When I approached the staff I completely open up and disclosed my condition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from several combat tours in the Middle East over the past ten years and how it had severely and significantly affected my life to the point that I ceased to perform and live a normal, fruitful and productive life. My physical as well as my emotional condition completely deteriorated over the past four years as a result of prolonged exposure to psych medication as I gained a significant and unacceptable amount of weight. The depression that followed was too much to handle, and at one point I explored negative thoughts and reached a point in which I contemplated suicidal ideations. It was at that moment that I decided to take a holistic and fitness approach to my recovery and not rely so much on medications. With the help of my loving Service Dog, Diva, my Membership Coordinator Megan Garcia and my trainer, I was able to find a better and productive way to heal and recover from the invisible wounds of war. Megan Garcia recommended several products and services that provided a baseline to pinpoint where I stood with my overall health and introduced me to the staff. My Nutrition Specialist, Anthony Pierre, worked closely with me during the entire challenge period focusing on the right foods to consume and targeted caloric amounts required to achieve my weight loss goals. My trainer, Isaac Irejino, was on point with the designed Cardio workout, focusing on my ideal “Zone” training.
My initial goal was to reduce body fat percentage and lose weight while improving heart rate and cardio endurance and continuing to increase my levels of motivation. However, my trainer as well as my Health Score Specialist, Denise Molina, realized that I was improving at a much faster rate and pace than expected and recommended that I focus my goals on transformation. In a matter of weeks I was able to show signs of significant weight reduction and a gradual decrease in body fat. Within two months I was able to go from a size 37 waist to a size 32 waist. My start weight was 189 lbs with 28+% body fat, and at the completion of the challenge I dropped down to 160 lbs and 11.2 % body fat. The monthly Metabolic Heart Rate Test I completed during the challenge provided a valuable impact indicator that was used to track improvement. With regards to my emotional and mental state of being…well, I can tell you that never did I feel depressed, down or unmotivated during the challenge period. Having my Service Dog by my side was a tremendous motivator, but it was the staff and guests/members that made a difference.
The program developed by my trainer provided me a variety of options to achieve my goals while maintaining a diverse routine during the 90-Day Challenge period. I don’t think there was ever a day that I was bored or not challenged to perform and reach a new level. When it came to nutrition and supplementation, my Nutrition Specialist provided valuable advice and recommendations that were critical to my progress yet affordable. After this initial 90-Day Challenge, yes I will be doing a follow up 90-Day Challenge. I have to say that I have been able to cope and manage my symptoms of PTSD in a healthy way through fitness, nutrition and encouragement without depending on medication. I no longer refer to PTSD as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but rather as “Physical Training Surpassing Disabilities.”