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Renee T. - Canton Township, MI

I was nervous to give up eating so many sweets, to eat healthier, to weigh in in front of someone, and to have pictures taken of me. I was fearful of people judging my before pictures while looking at my once obese body. I put off signing up for the 90-Day Challenge until the end of August because I wanted to eat as much ice cream and s’mores as I could. It was time for me to switch my mindset - in a healthy way!

Right before joining Life Time Fitness, I had an overwhelming need to face my addiction with food and needing to exercise. I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and I would eat on all occasions. I felt shameful about how I lived and embarrassed about the inability to do physical activities well. I needed to start caring about what God wanted for me and caring for myself more.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to do something like “The Biggest Loser,” but I couldn’t leave my kids for that long. Right after I re-joined Life Time Fitness, I was told about the 90-Day Challenge. At first I was just happy and relieved I could join Life Time again and my husband understood that it took a gym for me to be healthy. I kept saying I would work out, but with 2 kids and one on the way, I couldn’t even get myself to work out for an hour straight. Now with 3 kids and homeschooling, I am so thankful I can work out regularly.

It is such a blessing to me and my family in having a gym that provides a trusted child center. My kids get their social gym time and Mommy gets to enjoy her fun workouts - and even sometimes relaxing time in the steam room, jacuzzi, and pool.

I have checked out other gyms, but none have compared to Life Time! It offers many luxuries, including classes for my children and adult classes for me, staff who are informative and care about how I am doing, and many personal trainers to choose from.

I have learned a lot from my personal trainer, Greg Pedersen. It is very valuable to have someone show me how to stretch correctly. He stops and shows me the way to do certain exercises and muscle toning in order to not hurt myself while I strengthen my body, including how to eat healthy.

The adult classes are phenomenal! I have enjoyed all different kinds of group fitness classes. I favor the Core Blast Class taught by Kevin G. and Kickboxing Classes. Rico C., Joey P., and Suzy A. are outstanding Instructors who teach Kickboxing. And with a great ZUMBA workout, taught by Shyam T., I can have fun dancing while learning some moves.

In addition to all those benefits, it was blissful to hear of a weight loss challenge that I could do while staying at home and having my family involved. Winning $10,000 was the extra push I needed - an incentive to get healthy, lose weight, and exercise. I wanted to do it for way too long. I even insisted that my own children eat healthy, but I didn’t personally live that way. I’ve struggled with food since at least third grade. Baking and cooking run in the family, coming from a Mom whose baking is extraordinaire!

My Personal Trainer, Greg, told me about the Paleo Diet that he was going to do for 30 days. He challenged me to do it as well. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I learned how to bake yummy healthy food, and found out raw vegetables by themselves or cooked with olive oil tasted delish! Salads with lemon juice and fresh fruit - yum!

Then, for the last 2 weeks I did the D.TOX SM Life Time detoxification program. It includes fiber, protein, and the vitamins that I need. Using dairy-free milk, a cup of veggies and fruit together tasted even better.

I was working out for at least an hour a day 6 days a week. If I missed a day I felt crummy. My friends, new friends I had made, and strangers noticed my changes. They told me how I was an inspiration to them. The encouraging words and advice from them and my family helped me strive to be a healthy example all the more. I want to continue this healthy lifestyle for myself and God, and to be an example to everyone - to give people who struggle with food and exercise hope.

I had a personal goal of wanting to lose at least 40 lbs. during this Life Time 90-Day Challenge. I am overjoyed at accomplishing that goal, plus 3.7 additional lbs. and 12.6% body fat.

I don’t cry easily, although the day after I weighed in, I was at church and tears of joy came to me as I heard and sang “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave. Thanks for taking the time to care about my story.