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Betsy - Novi, MI

Thanks to Life Time Trainer, Mike Ward, Group Fitness Manager, Lori Boshoven, and the rest of the Life Time staff that have encouraged me these past few months, I have transformed not only my body, but also my mind. I no longer look to food for comfort during times of stress but instead, find pleasure in healthy cooking and fun workouts. 

With my focus solely on my young children, I barely had any time to eat and constantly found myself binging on treats after a long rigorous day. Little did I know – I was actually harming my future body by not following a healthy diet plan. Well the unhealthy dieting caught up with me. My body started getting tired of binge eating and binge working out. My children grew up. Unexpected changes in my life caused the weight to just pile back on. I started working full-time again. I was exhausted mentally and physically. My health had plateaued.

I continued to tell myself that I was comfortable overweight. I was comfortable with the fat that caused my body chronic pain every morning when I got out of bed, often chalking it up to age. I was comfortable with wearing over-sized, slouchy clothing every day. I was comfortable in my own skin. I was comfortable eating whatever I wanted because it made me feel “happy.” I was telling myself I felt comfortable but in reality I felt trapped. I was secretly depressed, anxious, and irritated in my own skin. I wanted to try a healthier lifestyle; I was just too attached to my food addiction to make that change. I rejoined and started with cardio classes and the treadmill. When Lorie suggested I try the 90 day challenge I hesitated at first but with her encouragement I signed up.

I am a competitive person by nature so at first I was really gung ho. I even joined the Team Weight Loss class run by Trainer Mike that met at 6am 3 times a week. But as time went on the snooze alarm was hit more and more often. But again I was determined to have perfect attendance in class and this I did. I even showed up on Labor Day! Again the dark skies in the morning were hard but eventually I found them calming and serene. 

One of the benefits of Team Weight Loss is having an AMA (Active Metabolic Assessment) Test. This determines where your zones and anaerobic threshold are. It was a crazy awakening for me because it made me realize my heart could handle a lot but my body wasn’t ready for it. In the beginning, I would run on the treadmill at a level 3.5-4.0 and couldn’t stand it. My legs were weak and I couldn’t get my heart rate to where it should be in order to get into the proper zones. As time went on I became stronger and eventually I could sprint at level 8 for at least 30 seconds. That was a huge accomplishment for me.
Like drugs and alcohol, food can be an addiction too. Trainer Mike not only advised me to eat healthy through smaller portions, lots of protein at the right times, and not being afraid of good fats, but also pushed me to gain muscle I never thought existed any more. I was using a nutrition app and it helped me make sure I was eating the right amounts of protein, carbs and fats. In fact, Mike helped me realize I wasn’t eating enough calories. I was putting myself in starvation mode. Through the help of the nutrition classes and Trainer Mike, I relearned how to eat to live and not live to eat. We also reintroduced resistance training and that was the ticket. I forgot how great muscle is. I still feel as if I’m burning calories even when I’m resting. 

This holiday season, I ran down to the basement (yes, I said ran because I did!) lifted multiple heavy boxes full of decorations all by myself, ran back up the stairs, and wasn’t even out of breath! Thanks to my lifestyle change I can now leap, run, gallop… and wake up every day feeling like a champ. Food no longer defines me. I am still moving, still breathing, still exercising, still cooking healthy food, and still living my life.