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Michele M., Part 2 - Allen, TX

I met with my Lifetime Fitness personal trainer, Bruce Cooper, last week to review progress over the past 22 months to see where we’ve been as we near the end of my journey to much better health and weight loss.  This is an important thing to do when you are on a transformation journey of epic proportions.  In 22 months, I’ve lost ~170 lbs, of which 144lbs was fat.  Let me say that again… 144lbs of that was FAT.  Actually, it could be more actual fat – his calipers didn’t fit across my thighs, so it was a bit of a guesstimate.  Here are the facts for the journey: 

  • Starting weight – 323, current 156
  • Starting BP – 180/108, current 106/60
  • Starting resting HR – 99, current 48
  • Starting waist – 48 inches, current 27
  • Starting hips – 60 inches, current 37
  • Starting chest – 44 inches, current 32
  • Starting body fat% - 55%+, current 21%
  • Starting dress size 22, current size 4

Blood work showed elevated insulin, cholesterol, triglyerides, CRP, -- basically a ‘health event waiting to happen”, Current- all either optimal or close to optimal. 

When I started working with Life Time Fitness on my transformation, I couldn’t get down on the floor (or back up) without help.  I struggled to lift 3 lbs weights above my head while stepping onto a step with no risers.  I had no idea what a ‘core’ was.   Today I am bench pressing, body weight lifting, running with the Run Club, HIIT training, and so full of energy and well being, … who would have thought this girl was inside that woman 22 months ago?

So how did I get here?  Well, a similar story to many of you… I got bad news from my doctor who told me I was going to need lots of medications to fix all the issues I had created for myself due to basic neglect of my body.  I was a fast paced, highly successful management consultant running a very successful practice,  living on the road travelling 200K+ miles per year, 4-5 nights in hotel, 12-15 meals out per week, 90+ hour weeks, blackberry (phone not food) in hand, always on, always ready for whatever my clients / company needed. 

My doctor suggested medications to fix my issues.  I knew there was another way … so I went to LTF to  work out and tried to limit my calorie intake.  And that worked for awhile –about 30 lbs in 3 months.  Then the weight loss stopped.  One day, Bruce Cooper, an LTF trainer, was casually asking me about my goals/schedule and we clicked instantly.  I decided that I, indeed, did need help.  I brought in my anatomy books and he patiently showed me what we were working for each set of exercises/movements.  We did the CardioPoint and CaloriePoint metabolic assessments to set my training zones and calories…And the weight loss started to pick back up again.  He asked me to see a LTF nutritionist with the vague idea that I was still likely not eating optimally, nor enough.  He was right.  I started taking basic supplements, eating more (!) and the right foods, … and the weight really started shedding off.

After a couple months, we did the Women’s Longevity & Vitality blood work and the Stress and Resilience Test and that showed a significant issue with cortisol, thyroid, C-reactive protein, adrenal fatigue.  Bruce engaged Cindi Lockhart, LTF nutritionist, to interpret the meaning behind the numbers and help figure out our next steps.  We added several supplements, pulled my cardio waaaay back to just a couple times a week for 30 mins each, added yoga, meditation, mandatory time in the sauna for detoxification, and eliminated gluten from my diet while adding even more veggies to my daily routine.  Get ready for the shocker… I was eating more, working out less, relaxing more, sleeping better – AND losing weight even faster than before.  Six months later, I was another 50 lbs lighter, my Women’s Vitality retest showed major improvements, and I had even more energy than before.

My diet consists of only whole foods.  It is approximately 40% fat, 30% carbs, 30% protein.  Most of the carbs come from vegetables and fruits (mostly vegetables).  All meats are grass-fed or organic – no processed meats.  Protein comes from meat, cheese (goat), eggs, beans  -- lots of beans.  Fats come from olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, bacon (mmmm, bacon!), almond milk/coconut milk, and red meat.  There is very little of anything processed in my diet.  No gluten, and no dairy.  Even on the road, I am able to keep to this whole food nutrition plan due to knowing what to ask for in restaurants and navigating airports.  I also carry my own food for snacks and times when I know late working hours will be required. 

One worry I had in this journey was that my skin would contract as my fat shrank.  While skin elasticity is partially a dimension of genetics and good nutrition, I started early on with LifeSpa to help me with products and services to help condition my skin along the way.  Heidi Cooper (esthetician) and Mandy Bishop (massage) were instrumental in getting me started on Phytomer products and assorted services to ensure my skin contracted along with the rest of my body. 

So now ~170 lbs lighter, blood work showing close to optimal on all accounts, I am here to tell you it can be done.  Over the 22 months, I stayed in my job – in fact was promoted twice – I travelled 250K miles around the world.  I did it while eating in restaurants and living my life.  Yes, I made fundamental changes in how I see food, make choices, find time for workouts, and focus on my Self in addition to the needs of my job/life.   I lost the weight and gained a new perspective on a healthier way of life…..on the road and at home. 

From my perspective, the Life Time Fitness programs and services, and specifically Bruce Cooper and Cindi Lockhart, have changed my life forever.  I also believe they have saved my life.  Truly.

Be sure to read Part 1 to Michele's success story!

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  • Response
    Football is genuinely 1 of the largest sports in America. It has a main following.

Reader Comments (3)

So wonderful to see you as you progressed! You are my friend and inspiration!

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTasha Hukee

I'm so thankful that I met you in the early part of my own journey. It is wonderful to hear your success story because you make the impossible seem possible. You motivate and inspire me to take care of me.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4Me

Your starting weight and your end weight are my current/goal weight. I struggle with the eating part of it. I am wondering how tall you are and your age ... if you are willing to share : )

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrydslo

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