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Entries in 90-Day Challenge (134)

Saturday
Apr092016

Lynn R. - Gilbert, AZ

 

I am 63 years old.

In the '70s, I was young, strong and healthy! As a high school athlete, I participated in seven major sports. After college graduation, I entered the Air Force and became a C-130 pilot. I flew the blue skies all over the world. But, after several years, I became weary of being away from my wife and 4 children. So, I decided to leave the active Air Force and my flying career.

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Saturday
Mar262016

Tara L. - Lakeville, MN

The Life Time 90-Day Challenge came at the perfect time for me. It provided me with focus, inspiration and direction that I needed to change my life and my attitude.

It gave me permission to take care of me.

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Saturday
Feb272016

Racheal C. - Lake Houston, TX

I have always enjoyed a healthy competition. It helps me to deal with everyday stress. As a mother, children and their lives always seems to take priority, leaving little to no time for exercise or a healthy lifestyle—or at least that’s the excuse I so often use.

As a single mother with 5 children under my roof, busy doesn’t begin to describe my days. As a nurse, I am up at 4 o’clock in the morning and go non-stop before I lay back down at 11 at night. Always planning, coordinating and thinking how am I going to manage this? I was having constant headaches, gaining weight, never feeling rested, and looked a fright! Has cloning been perfected yet? I had to find some balance!

I know all the mothers out there can relate when I say that I am very unhappy with my body after my children. The stretched skin and changes that come with having them is very depressing and impacts a woman psychologically. Every time I look in the mirror I know that even if I lost the weight the sagging skin would look even worse. So, I put my clothes on and dismiss myself as unimportant, then focus on making everyone else happy. I dig really deep, muster up a smile, and walk out of my room a hypocrite every morning. I preach to my children about how important they are and how important it is to do what makes them happy. I teach them to not care what others think about them. All the while I am trying not to break into tears thinking of the college athlete that was fit and proud of her body and herself, now wasting away and not allowed to share how she really feels to protect her children. The anguish and shame is almost unbearable, but what we will do for our children, right?

When one of the trainers at Life Time told me about the 90-Day Challenge, I felt something that I hadn’t in quite a while—competition! Oh but wait, my children.... I told my boyfriend, and much to my surprise he volunteered to take over as mom. He told me to enter but only if I promised to win because he wasn’t going to put himself through “you know what” playing mom to 5 kids unless I was going to completely commit and win.

I cried as I threw myself into his arms. I weighed in at 158 lb. with 21.7% body fat. Now I just had to figure out how in the world I was going to work myself into the schedule. I started by talking with the kids and asking for their support. All seemed to be set and ready for me to compete. Between sports commitments, lack of sleep, 5 kids to feed, homework, chores for the household and work, I began to crumble. Letting go is no easy task. How could I be so selfish to allow my boyfriend and oldest girls shoulder my responsibilities? And then to make matters worse, 3 kids come down with strep throat! Oh God, please keep me healthy so that I can take care of them as well as myself. Instead of staying with my workout regimen, I gave in feeling guilty and ashamed for not upholding my responsibilities as a mom.

After a long night of talking with my boyfriend, I realized once again that my children were in good hands. I saw that I had fallen into a pit, and I knew deep down only one thing would get me out. Being of a sports background myself, finding the motivation and determination to dig down deep was the easy part! I just had to make up my mind that I could do this! So, I set a goal to follow a clean diet with lots of water, baked chicken and veggies, and not eating after 6 or 7 p.m. I also made sure that I was taking my multivitamins daily along with my omega 3’s.

Almost every day, I would squeeze in 30 minutes to an hour of cardio along with weight training, alternating from upper body to lower body workouts with an occasional rest day in between. My personal relationship began to grow as well. We have so enjoyed working out together and coming up with new couples’ workouts. It’s amazing how after just a week of commitment, I began to feel so much better and already started seeing results! One of my most proud moments through this was hearing the children say how awesome I was for doing all of this! Every chance they had, they were out in our garage-gym working out with me too! I have been able to reach a body fat percentage in single digits, which is absolutely amazing for a 40-year-old woman.

Enclosure

Saturday
Feb202016

Rich B. – Dublin, OH

From my youth to my mid-twenties, I was always fit. I rode and raced bicycles, played basketball on a regular basis, and I was in the gym at least 4 times a week. All of this changed when I turned 26 and started my own business.

Eating out during business meetings and for convenience became my normal routine. Drinking beer became my top choice for relaxation. As a result, it took about 6 months to undo a life of fitness. One day I woke up and thought, “What happened? I’m fat!” I went from 200 lbs. to 270 lbs. in a blink of an eye. Not a day has passed in the last 15 years that I haven’t made plans to lose weight and start a healthier lifestyle. I’ll start “next week” became my mantra.

The 90-Day Challenge was my catalyst to something truly amazing. I was going to the Dublin Life Time 2 or 3 times a week when I noticed the sign for the 90-Day Challenge. Without giving it much thought, I signed up. The initial consultation with Gabriel Rodriguez was truly eye opening. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about dieting and nutrition. Eat some protein, keep my calories down and I’ll be just fine. I had no idea about good and bad carbs or the importance of eating the right fats. I also did not know the right amount of protein I needed in my diet. It is amazing how far off my perception of good nutrition was!

I downloaded an app for my phone to track my nutrition macros. I then put together a plan using information from Gabriel and by doing some research on my own. The Try-it Tuesday Nutrition Workshop put on by Ashley Ohearn helped me to strategically plan so I could achieve my goals. The workshop also explained the timing of the nutrients we eat, not just the quality and quantity.

The change in my diet had astonishing results. Initially, I was perplexed by how much food I had to eat. I was on a “diet,” but I was never hungry. I even had to force myself to eat at times. However, that first week was tough! Removing the copious amounts of sugar, beer and other bad carbs from my diet caused me to go through a period of “detox.” My body missed those easy sources of energy as it transitioned to burning the complex carbs I was now eating. I felt sick and depleted, but I expected this based on my consultations with Gabriel and Ashley. After that first week, things turned around. My strength was increasing, and my stamina improved. I am feeling better during and after my workouts than ever before. It worked!

I will say that using the app gave me the structure I needed to achieve my nutrition goals. If it wasn’t part of the plan, I didn’t eat it. I can honestly say I didn’t have one “slip” during these 90 days. My wife played a huge part in helping me maintain my nutrition goals. Although she had much less to lose, she too signed up for the Challenge as an act of solidarity. Our household was cleared of temptations that were not a part of our plan. She also did an amazing job of researching new foods and meals that would support our goals. I could not have done this without her!

I worked out 5 to 6 times a week, and for me, mornings were the chosen time. What better way to start your day than hitting the gym hard and achieving goals! One of the factors that helped me stick to my morning workout schedule is the energy at the Dublin Life Time that early in the morning. When I arrive at the gym between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. the place is electric! No one is yawning and looking sleepy. Everyone is working out with the same intensity as I want to have. Many of the trainers knew I was part of this Challenge and were always providing encouragement and advice. Gabriel and Brian Sickles were 2 of the trainers I could rely on for wisdom and support. I can’t give them and the other members of the “morning crew” at Dublin Life Time enough credit for giving me inspiration and motivation.

Early in the 90-Day Challenge, I had visions of diving into a pile of chicken wings washed down with a pitcher of beer on day 91. Not a chance! I have worked too hard and feel too good to go back to old habits. In these 90 days I ran in the Emerald City quarter marathon and the Columbus half marathon, and in both races met or exceeded my finish time goals. Worth noting, these are the only 2 times I ran outside this year. I trained entirely on a treadmill at the gym. I started ridiing my bike and racing after a 25-year retirement, and in my first race finished 2nd! I feel as though I have traveled in a time machine to my younger, healthier self. I’ve become addicted to people telling me how good I look. You can never hear that too many times!

At age 41, I’m looking forward to my healthy future now more than ever. This is one 90-day experiment that I will continue for a lifetime!

Thank you, Life Time. This was an amazing gift!

Enclosure

Saturday
Feb132016

Ryan S. - Burr Ridge, IL

The Motivation or “Too Fat for a Bouncy House”

“Dad, you gotta come in the Bouncy House with us!” pleaded my oldest (7-year-old) son. It was my youngest son’s first birthday, and we had rented a Bouncy House for the party. I was approaching 250 pounds for the first time in my life, and the inflatable castle bore a 210-lb. weight restriction.

Kevin, the rental guy, assured me I’d be fine, but there was no way I could take that gamble. I could go on to lead a distinguished career curing cancer and discovering intelligent life on Mars, BUT if I collapsed a Bouncy House from the sheer enormity of my size, I would FOREVER be known for that and that alone….

“I’m sorry, Ryder, it’s really just for kids.” It was pretty hard not to sense his disappointment, and with my recent weight gain it had become a pretty common scene. Anything with a moderate amount of physical exertion had become a Herculean task. Trip to the zoo? How about a movie instead… Walk to the park? How about we play on the Xbox?… I had become an excuse aficionado, but for some reason I had finally had enough. I was about to turn 35, and I had 3 boys under the age of 8. I needed to get healthy for them, so they could have the dad they deserve.

The Beginning or “Jumping into the Deep End of the Pool”

I decided to ”rip off the Band-Aid” and began by eliminating as much garbage from my diet as possible. No more soda and alcohol. Now the only beverage I would drink is water and plenty of it. Trips to the drive-thru were gone,, too. For the first month I decided I would eat until I was full but only if I was eating healthy, useful foods. I focused on lean protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbohydrates. I did moderate cardio to get myself back into the swing of things before I introduced weight training to my process. I started with 45 to 60 minutes of cardio every evening, alternating between the treadmill, the stationary bike, and the elliptical.

The Middle or “There’s No Turning Back Now”

By the second month, I had begun to notice some changes and to gain a little bit of my self-confidence back. I was doing an hour of cardio daily without issue and began to incorporate a weight training routine as well. My daily 60 minutes of cardio was followed by 60 minutes of weight training. I did a 3-day rotation, cycling Back & Biceps, Chest & Triceps, and Shoulders & Legs. My daily hour committed to the “New Me” had now become 2 hours per day, and I didn’t mind it at all! I was really starting to feel committed to the Challenge and the lifestyle change that was evolving. I had further refined my diet, limiting proteins to egg whites, chicken breasts and fish. My carbs only came from green vegetables like sautéed spinach and steamed broccoli.

The Burnout or “How Did I Ever Think This Was a Good Idea??”

By Week 8, I was feeling great. My weight was down, my energy was up, and I felt like a reenergized version of myself. And then by Week 9, I was miserable. I had completely burned out. Almost overnight, I felt emotionally spent. I didn’t think I was making any more gains and just felt as if this was all for nothing. A week earlier I was looking forward to the next day’s workout, and now I was thinking about throwing in the towel for the first time. Then I talked to Steve and John, 2 of the trainers at my Life Time. They listened to what my process had been and the struggles I was having. They suggested I change my routine, specifically incorporating 2 things I had never considered before: Intermittent Fasting and Training in a Fasted State. Thankfully, I listened.

The End or “Ryan 2.0”

The change in routine was exactly what I needed. In order to train in a fasted state, I had to switch from daily late-night workouts to daily morning workouts. I had never been a morning person and was dreading the switch. But it was amazing – I not only enjoyed working out in the morning, but I looked forward to it. There was an amazing sense of accomplishment I had never expected having run 5 miles before most people were even awake for the day. Without question, I showed the greatest gains of the entire Challenge during the final 30 days.

I awoke each morning at 4:30 a.m. and was at Life Time by 5 a.m. for my workout. I began a 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Schedule, consuming all my daily calories between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Forever a night-owl, I saw my bedtime change from 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. to 9 p.m., going to bed just after my wife and I tucked the kids into bed.

The physical improvement in my health and appearance have been nice, but they are just footnotes to the real transformation that has taken place: my identity. I have far more energy to expend on my children than I ever dreamt I would have. No longer a night-owl, I’m up each morning with a brand new attitude, ready to attack each day and the opportunities it offers instead of dreading the challenges it may present.

Enclosure