303 lbs. is where I started 12 months ago in the fall of 2012, for the 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge. I lost a lot of “weight,” but I needed to tone up and finish what was started. I needed to lose body fat – not “weight” and replace fat with lean muscle. The body transformation contest held by Life Time Weight Loss was the perfect opportunity. Throughout this story, I will share the steps taken to go from 25.8% body fat to 12.56% in 90 short days, as well as the major changes in my life and the seemingly endless opportunities that are to come.
I abused my body for over 25 years. I struggled with emotional eating and lying to myself about just how overweight I was. It is important to recognize that because this transformation was not a 90-Day goal. THIS is how my body is supposed to operate, THIS is how I should feel, and these are things I never felt before, nor thought possible. I now ENJOY being FIT as well as the discipline and activities to stay that way. It’s rewarding on so many levels, and there is no turning back.
Bob Holper, my trainer at the Eagan Life Time and Mike Bjornson at the Woodbury Life Time were instrumental in guiding me through the entire process - both the exercise plan and, more importantly, the nutrition. As well, there were countless other personal trainers, staff and other members who checked in with me and consistently shared their optimism and support. That carried me through the days that were difficult. It was anyone from a trainer fielding one of my many pesky questions to the front desk, LifeCafe and other support staff recognizing the changes in my body and energy that made all the difference to my 90-Day experience. Life Time Fitness is more than just a “gym” to me: it is a “CLUB.”
The diet was very disciplined, consisting primarily of fat and protein, as well as select “clean” carbs at various intervals. Typically, I would go with 2 days of non-starchy vegetables (along with the protein and fat), then 2 days of that with the addition of complex carbs such as brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, etc. After doing this for a while, I would switch to a 5-day, no carb cycle followed by an extremely high carb day to throw the system off. Cutting calories was never a part of the equation. For that reason and the fact my metabolism, fitness and energy are at levels I never thought possible, this is a diet and workout regime that is very sustainable on a regular basis and not simply for doing the contest.
The workouts pushed my limits, and that is what I expected of my trainers. We certainly did our fair share of weight training but worked in cardio on a regular basis, as I had a lot of fat to cut, perhaps more than the average contestant. The more we worked, the more fitness opportunities became available. Hiking, zip lining, cycling, running (my weight had always prevented this), swimming (and feeling more comfortable in a suit!), hot yoga, and even climbing to the top of a mountain in Colorado just to name a few. I see the Life Time Triathlon in the near future as well…perhaps taking my training to another new level once again! None of this would have happened without Life Time Weight Loss and the competitive spirit inspired by the 90-Day Challenge.
The changes that I made and what transpired over the past 90 days is a part of a big picture quest to live an INCREDIBLY healthy lifestyle. This is a “whole” body transformation, from abusing and taking my body for granted to treating it like a temple. What I did, what I ate and how I feel are absolutely sustainable for the rest of my life!