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Austin D. - Fairfax, VA

January 27th marked my 29th birthday. Typically by this time, my New Year’s resolution is a faint memory, and I’m back to my guilt-free bad habits. This time was different. I was 30+ days strong quitting smoking cold turkey, and I was feeling great! I wanted to become “the best me in 2015,” and I felt like momentum was on my side. My wife had mentioned the 90-Day Challenge 4 or 5 times over the course of a week, but most of it went in one ear and out the other. Nevertheless I gave her the nod and figured as long as I weighed out I get my money back. What can I lose? 

My family (parents, wife and son, age 2) joined the Life Time Athletic Center in Fairfax, Virginia, in April 2014. Initially, I was the only one that did not use the facility regularly. My wife participates in the 6:00 a.m. Boot Camp fitness program three days a week and enjoys the group fitness classes. My parents consistently participated in the Team Weight Loss program three days a week, and my son enjoyed the swimming pool and the child daycare. I really did not have any excuse not to get more actively engaged in improving my physical fitness. It was just something I never scheduled. 

Tragically, it wasn’t until the passing of my wife’s younger brother that I made the conscious decision I was going to give this my all. I dedicate the last 90 days and this Challenge to the lasting loving memory of my wife’s beloved younger brother, who passed unexpectedly February 7th, 2015. He was 23.

The Challenge was something my wife had previously spoken to him about. During weigh-in weekend seeing the advertisements for “I can do all in my lifetime” really struck a chord close to my heart. I would do this for Jean-Luke. You never know when your time will expire. There is no better time than right now to take control of your life.

I understood that if I were going to take this seriously, it meant giving up a lot of the comfort foods that had helped me with my smoking urges… and it also meant no alcohol. I seriously doubted if that was even possible for me. 

Not knowing where to begin, I reached out to the excellent training staff at Life Time for advice. One of the first recommendations was to take a metabolic assessment, which I did. The Life Time trainer explained the importance of target heart rate training. They also did my overall physical fitness assessment, which provided the baseline from where I was starting. She answered all my questions and also went as far as to email me a copy of the Life Time “Live Well, Eat Well” manual so I could get a better understanding about nutritional tips that I should consider to reach my fitness goals. The “Live Well, Eat Well” manual was an invaluable tool in assisting me in my health journey. I completely changed my diet and started eating regularly scheduled meals 5 times a day. I realized the benefits instantly! 

I can honestly say this 90-day Challenge has made a significant difference in my daily life. I am now in a regular routine. My wife goes to the 6:00 a.m. boot camp, and I typically go at the end of the day after our two-year-old son has gone to bed. The fact that my club is open 24 hours a day makes it super convenient. I work out at the gym 5 days a week and try to get a light cardio or yoga class on the 6th. I must admit that I enjoy the classes. 

Dedicating myself to this Challenge was one of the hardest things I’ve done, and the first two weeks were brutal. I didn’t know which was harder - pushing myself past the point of exhaustion in the gym or watching people eat things I couldn’t. It got easier. I found healthy replacements to my much needed munchies, and I didn’t miss them anymore. and the results started to pour in.

During the Challenge I went from 14.9% body fat to 3%. If someone would have told me that was even possible six months ago, I am not sure that I would have believed them. I’m confident that the initial metabolic assessment and support from the Life Time training staff made a significant difference for me. I always work out with my heart rate monitor and my LT connect app to track my workouts. 

The 90-Day Challenge has made a significant difference in how I live my daily life. From maintaining a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and incorporating a good physical workout into my schedule I am very glad that I participated and had the opportunity to “meet and beat” the 90-Day Challenge.