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Entries in 90-Day Challenge Winner (27)

Wednesday
Jun172015

McKenna B. - Warrenville, IL

Life Time's 2015 90-Day Challenge has changed my life forever!

Overly dramatic, you say... This is my story.

It was January 2000, my senior year of high school. Two young men were drag racing on the highway and, as fate would have it, I was on that highway too... As a result, I was involved in a near deadly car accident. At the hospital, my mom was informed that I would NOT make it through the night and she should prepare for the worst. Amazingly, though, I beat the odds by surviving the first night, but spending the next three days in a coma. Then it became scary. For the next two months, I didn’t know my name or anyone in my life. In the end, I had a severe concussion, two cracked ribs, nerve damage throughout my legs, and I couldn’t turn my neck or even walk. The pain was so intense that I couldn't keep food down. During recovery, my doctors told me that I was lucky to be alive. However, they also told me that I would have memory loss and physical pain, and I would need Vicodin for the rest of my life.

In the 15 years since my accident, my weight has gone up and my self-confidence has gone down. I have daily pain and poor coordination, and to say I’m not good at sports would be a compliment.

Before the Challenge started, Ashley with Member Services encouraged me to participate. I thought, “It’s not expensive, so why not?” She persuaded me to get involved with “Try-It Tuesdays” and covered the group fitness classes. I knew she was right and decided to try a variety, from Spin to a special meditation class. She also connected me with Julia, a personal trainer, and signed me up for swimming lessons. I now had some direction.

When the Challenge started, I was shocked when I weighed in. My weight was 123.5 lb. and my body fat was 23.4%! I'm 5'0" and people say I'm petite, so how can a quarter of me be fat? Now I was really motivated, so I went online and researched workout programs, diets and philosophies of those who have succeeded before me. Reading past winners’ stories and looking at their photos really motivated me. I felt if they could do it, I could do it too!

I started a strength-training regimen. I have to admit that, even having worked out with Julia, the weights and machines can be very intimidating. But I wasn't going to let them beat me.

At two weeks in, it was actually starting to be fun; I was getting comfortable with the exercises and making gains. However, in week 3 I added new exercises and a new routine. I was out of my comfort zone, and I really felt like quitting. Add to this my crazy work schedule, some days working 16 hours, plus a two-hour work commute. Exercising eased some of my stress, but I was also asking myself, “Was it worth it?” One day, after a long day of work and a harder workout, I checked the Leaderboard. I was in the top 15% for the transformation category! That was exactly the boost I needed; I was re-energized.

I continued to push by getting four to five hours of sleep some nights and working out at all hours of the day. Thankfully, Life Time is open 24 hours! It was week 5; I was feeling good, but I worried that I was pushing my luck. With all the injuries associated with my car accident, I felt like something bad was about to happen. I was lifting heavier and heavier, especially in squats. Then I strained my lower back. But I didn't want to stop. I was afraid if I took time off, I wouldn't start again. Until one day, I was flat on my back with tears running down my face, thinking about the day two kids drag racing completely changed the quality of my life.

Fortunately, my trainer and a few others encouraged me to take it easy and explained the importance of stretching. I still had to take two weeks off and ease back a bit on my exercises. But I was still in the hunt!

As the Challenge comes to a close, I am happy to say that I am in the greatest shape of my life. And after taking classes like swimming, cardio dance, yoga, meditation, and nutrition, I feel that I am the most athletic I have ever been in my life!

Other than basic soreness from working out, I am extremely excited to announce that I have been pain-free and Vicodin-free for over a month!

I have to say though, while looking back, I loved the journey. It was tough, but now I'm not intimidated. I'm confident, and I love working out!

Enclosure

Wednesday
Jun172015

Todd H. - Plano, TX

“How did I get here? I cannot believe how bad my health issues have become!” (Loss of gallbladder, irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, multiple kidney stones, difficulty breathing, sleep apnea, chronic back pain, gastrointestinal issues, pancreatitis, and a mass in my chest which was, fortunately, benign.) My mom and uncle died very young of pancreatic cancer. “Is this going to be my fate as well? How much longer do I have to live? What about my wife and kids?” These were questions I kept asking myself. Tough questions and hard answers to deal with. I did not know if I was ever going to live to see my kids graduate high school! The thought of getting healthy seemed impossible.

I prayed for healing on what I could not control and for help on what I could control. There was one consistent and resounding message from my doctors: change my unhealthy ways to lead a healthier life.

While searching for solutions, I happened to drive by a Life Time Fitness center. “Wow, lifetime fitness.” That was a concept that I wanted desperately in my life. Yes, I want to live a full active life. “Could this be the place that helps me achieve that goal?” I regained hope and joined right away. I met expert physical trainers who tailored a program for me. TEAM Weight Loss would be the first step in achieving my goal.

A month later, I learned that Life Time was sponsoring a 90-Day Challenge for weight loss. Here was a great opportunity for me. With the help of my trainer, we set ambitious goals to achieve. I thought they were impossible, but I was up for the challenge. My plan started with one motto to get healthy: “Exercise daily and eat clean (no processed foods).” Within the first few weeks, I lost over 20 lb. It was not easy, though. Unhealthy temptations were always around. I wore a 90-Day bracelet every day. Anytime I thought about being unhealthy, I looked down on my wrist and remembered the commitment I made to change. Support was always there from my fellow TEAM members and trainers. Every week I tried a new personal training class, Cardio Burn, TRX, Kettlebells, Boot Camp and Alpha, to name a few.

Finding food that was truly non-processed was very difficult. Labels stated “all-natural,” but then had artificial ingredients added in. I decided to meet with one of the nutritionists, and I learned so much about the right kinds of foods. They offered a personal Grocery Store Tour as well. Armed with knowledge and a nutrition plan, I was back on track. For years, I was so hard on my body; it was full of waste and toxins. I tried Life Time’s D.TOX program combined with their Dynamic Greens, AM/PM vitamins and Meals to Go. (Bruschetta Chicken with Quinoa was my favorite.) After just two weeks, I felt energized again.

Then came Weeks 7 and 8. I hit a big plateau, barely losing a pound. Frustrated and confused, I sought my trainer’s advice. I was getting in better shape, so I was actually overtraining using my initial metabolic assessment. I took the test again, and my results were drastically different. After modifying my routine, and adding in Pilates and more weight training, my weight started dropping again.

At the end of the 90-Day challenge, I achieved even more than I had thought was possible.

• Weight Loss: 286.4 down to 197.8 – 88.6 lb. (30.94%)
• Body Fat: 41.2 down to 22.5 – 18.7 (45.39%)

The 90-Day Challenge has given my life back to me. I have many things to be thankful for. My blood pressure is back to a normal range, my resting heart rate is in the high 50s, and my back is getting stronger each week. I love seeing the smiles on my family’s faces again because now I have energy to participate in activities with them. My outlook on life is renewed. I look forward to achieving many more milestones on my journey to lifetime fitness.

I share my story with the hope that I can help inspire others who may be struggling. The biggest lesson I learned is that you cannot be successful all by yourself. Ask for help, and you will find there are many who will jump to support you. I could not have been successful without support from my wonderful wife and kids, work and the people at Life Time. It is different from any other fitness center I have experienced. You are greeted by name and treated like family there. There are too many to name them all, but special thanks go out to all of the trainers who provided never-ending support and encouragement (Erin, Hulen, Jocelyn, Q), nutritionists (Christine, Linda) and LifeCafe (Dalton, Jacob). They made the impossible possible.

Enclosure

Tuesday
Jun162015

Nancy H. - Summerlin, NV

How I did it all in my Life Time.

In November, I broke my ankle while running with my 3-year old. During the healing process I realized that I needed to lose weight permanently if I were to keep up with my daughter. I knew that the 90-Day Challenge at Life Time Athletic was going to start in a couple of months. I decided that I wanted to "do it all in my Life Time" in order to ensure a successful weight loss journey. I created a budget by transferring my fast food, junk food and cable box budgets to my new weight loss budget. I went to the gym and spoke with Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer Sally Sawyer. My goal was to lose 90 pounds. Sally signed me up for her TEAM Weight Loss, nutritional coaching, a health score test and a metabolic test.

I purchased a Vivofit to track steps/calorie burn. I also bought a heart-rate strap and downloaded the LTConnect app to track my heart rate and zones. I signed up for Try-It Tuesdays and set aside 4 to 6 hours a day for exercise.

My nutrition plan included Life Time D.TOX, Life Time vegetable protein, Life Time creatine, Life Time liquid vitamin D, and Life Time vitamins and meals from the LifeCafe.

My exercise plan included 6 hours of daily cardio the first 4 weeks, dropping to 4 hours of daily cardio afterward.

The strategy was for me to detox and lose as much weight as possible in the first 4 weeks.

On weigh-in day, I weighed 274.3 pounds.

During the first 2 weeks, I started the Life Time D.TOX program I had received as a gift. I ate very little food and drank 2 gallons of water to cleanse, and flush out salt and toxins.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I took the TEAM Weight Loss class followed by a group class and another hour of cardio on the treadmill. I walked another 3 hours to complete 6 hours of cardio.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, I walked for 3 hours, rode the stationary bike for 2 hours and took a group class. I felt tired, sore and hungry at times, but I was motivated by the rapid weight loss. I lost 30 pounds in 2 weeks. The inflammation and distended stomach were gone.

During weeks 3 and 4 I continued the same workout routine. I enrolled my daughter in the Life Time Kids Academy so I could keep my workout schedule going. However, my body went into flu-like withdrawal symptoms for a few days, wanting the junk food, chemical additives and preservatives, and the comfort of my couch.

Being in the TEAM atmosphere became very beneficial to me during that time. The class members were so encouraging and pushed me along during the workouts. I lost another 10.1 pounds at the end of those 2 weeks.

By the beginning of week 5, I began struggling miserably with workouts. My energy was replaced with dizziness and the inability to do effective cardio. My blood sugar was tested as part of my health score. I had very low blood sugar, so Sally quickly added Generation Ucan slow-burning carb supplement to my diet. It worked immediately, and the dizziness and low energy disappeared. I lost 5.7 pounds.

By week 6, several obstacles began popping up. My muscles just wouldn't recover so my caloric intake was increased. I injured my ankle and therefore slowed to only 2 hours of rowing. I plateaued and weight loss stopped. In my personal life, my husband lost his job. My stress level was high. I only lost .9 of a pound that week.

Sally and several other Life Time team members came to my rescue. Trainer Steven Bronston's "woooooo" sirens and the constant high fives and advice from all the trainers on the floor helped me push through mentally and physically. The LifeSpa helped me recover with massage. The Pilates team helped balance and stretch my muscles. The LifeCafe also tailor-made my protein drinks and salads. Sally had me start yoga for proper stretching. My muscles recovered and my ankle healed. I retook the metabolic tests and discovered my workout zones were now very different which, I learned, is why I plateaued.

In weeks 7 through 13, I did 4 hours of more intense cardio and stuck to my nutrition plan. I added daily chair massage, sauna and whirlpool sessions. I lost 40-plus pounds those weeks for a total of 92 pounds lost in the 90-Day Challenge. Afterwards, LifeSpa did my makeover.

Thank you, Sally, for all your knowledge and help. Thank you, Life Time Athletic, for all the resources you provide at the gym for healthy living. Thank you for the 90-Day Challenge. I'm very, very grateful to have gotten my health back.

Enclosure

Saturday
Dec062014

Jack B. - 90-Day Transformation Challenge Winner - Fall 2014

Life Time literally changed my life. I’m going to be 40-years-old three days after the Challenge ends. And I’m not only in the best shape of my entire life, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen my abs—ever! I was a “husky” kid, became a fat teenager, gained the “freshman fifteen” in college, and never looked back. I’ve always been too embarrassed to go swimming. My doctor told me earlier this year that being overweight helped cause my umbilical hernia. And my seven-year-old daughter recently noticed my stretch marks and asked, “Dad, what are those things on your stomach?” I knew something had to change. I joined Life Time earlier this year when the first club opened in California, and when I saw the signs for the 90-Day Challenge, I knew it was the kick in the pants I needed. I also knew I needed three ingredients to succeed: motivation, a workout plan, and a diet overhaul. 

In all sincerity, Life Time itself gave me all the motivation I needed to succeed. Let me explain. I’ve belonged to a couple of gyms over the years but couldn’t go more than two (maybe three) times a week. I work a lot and have to watch my daughter because my wife works in the evenings. Life Time’s Kids Academy and its great hours allowed me to do something I’ve never been able to do before: work out six days a week. In fact, my daughter loves the Kids Academy so much that she actually asks to go on a daily basis, which helped motivate me to get off my rear every day and go too. The trainers are also more friendly and helpful than anywhere else I’ve ever worked out. At least four different trainers talked to me every time they saw me, gave me fist bumps, told me I looked great, and gave me advice. This positive feedback really helped keep me going. Even the locker room attendants motivated me by saying “Wow, you’re really leaning out” and “Man, you’re getting more ripped every day.” I’ve never experienced this at any other gym. The staff and trainers at Life Time actually paid attention to me. They recognized me. They celebrated my success genuinely. This was exactly what I needed to keep moving forward for 12 weeks. 

The second ingredient of my transformation was my workout plan. I should mention that my plan was probably very different than many others. This is because I had hernia surgery four days before I began the challenge (notice the bandage in my “before” picture). This was frustrating because I had to complete the challenge in different stages. Luckily, it worked. During Week 1, I couldn’t exercise at all. So I spent this week focusing on two things: my diet and my exercise plan. First, I dropped my calories, got an app that tracked my food, and threw away all the junk food and processed garbage in my apartment. Second, I spent the week reading and researching ways to lose weight without losing muscle. 

The last ingredient of my transformation was a radical change in my diet. Before the Challenge, and for my whole life, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, usually donuts, burgers, frozen burritos, pizzas, cheesecakes, chips, and cookies. If it was processed, had sugar, and/or had fat, I ate it and asked for another. I knew I needed to clean up my diet. But one of the trainers recommended I also try “carb timing,” so I did, and, boy, did it work! On workout days, I didn’t eat carbs, except for green vegetables, all day until right before and after my workout. 

From the start, I knew the 90-Day Challenge was just the beginning. The “after” is even more important, not just for me, but because I also want to be a positive role model for my daughter. I know I can embrace the changes I’ve made for the long-term because they are simple: eat right and work out regularly with intensity. In fact, I’ve already made an “exit plan” by mapping out my post-challenge workouts and diet so I can keep this commitment going into the “after.” I need to thank my wife for her support. But, really, I owe Life Time a thank you as well. This is the best birthday present I’ve ever received, and although I gave it to myself, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you!

Saturday
Dec062014

Sara H. - 90-Day Transformation Challenge Winner - Fall 2014

I am a 31-year-old mother to 4 wonderful children and a wife to the most amazing man. Four months ago I looked in the mirror and realized I needed to change some things about myself, but didn't think I had the time or energy. I thought I had it all together, running a tight household ship until I had my baby last March. With my kids having a demanding school schedule, along with after school sports, I was always taxi-ing someone around. Between feeding the baby, cleaning up a mess, watching my kids’ practices and spending time with my toddler, I didn’t have any free time for myself. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my life for the world, but I was exhausted and felt like every day I got out of bed for everyone but me. I found myself getting lost in the shuffle and not knowing who I was anymore. After talking with my husband, we decided that joining a gym would be some much needed time for myself. 

This amazing journey began after becoming a member at Life Time. I was ready to jump in with both feet and get started; to lose my baby weight, get fit and healthy and find myself. I started by taking a few group classes and was really enjoying them, but knew I could use a little extra help. I knew I needed a trainer but didn't even know where to start. I met with Kayla and she referred Tyler Stephens as being a good fit for me. Tyler and I met a couple times and he told me about the 90-Day Challenge and thought that it would be something that I would do well with. So I signed up! 

That next week I set the most difficult goal for myself and decided I would strive toward winning the challenge. I wasn’t sure if it was possible, but I was going to give it all I had. I started telling people about the contest and that I wanted to win. “Do you have time for that?” “Do you really think with so many people that you could possibly win?” “Don't you feel selfish for taking that time away from your family?” were the responses I received. Growing up in the shadows of my family it had become difficult to feel successful at anything. Coming from an upbringing of always being “second best”, I wanted to prove to those people, and mostly to myself, that I was capable of achieving greatness - that I possessed the determination and discipline to compete in such a rigorous contest. 

I talked to Tyler about it and he helped me set some realistic goals that I could start working towards. He was so amazing and helped me every step of the way. He always pushed me and challenged me beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. Along with training with him three times a week, I also started cycle classes several times a week. Through this process I also "learned" to swim. I swam a lot, which is amazing considering I had never swam a lap in my life. It was a rough start but once I got the hang of it I really enjoyed those quiet workouts in the pool. I became educated in Life Time supplements to maximize my performance, as well as nutrition which I followed religiously. 

As the weeks went on it became difficult to stay motivated. 90 days seemed like forever and I was tired. I could hear those voices telling me I would fail. It was hard to go workout after long hours of work or early Saturday mornings. Sometimes the only time I could find was late at night, but with the support of my husband, I only missed ONE workout. I had a few rough weeks where I platued and struggled. I had just stopped nursing my baby and I was having a hard time adjusting. Tyler and I sat down and reevaluated things and continued on. He also introduced me to hot yoga. I didn't even know Life Time offered such an amazing workout and way to de-stress. It was just what I needed to get back on track. 

I have learned so much from this journey. I am a mother, a wife, a taxi driver, a house keeper, a cook AND an athlete! Thank you Life Time for this life changing experience! I set a goal and achieved it through blood, sweat, tears and copious amounts of squats. Now I can proudly hold my head up with a newfound confidence to those both who supported me and said I could never do it. Regardless of the outcome, I will always feel like a winner and my gratitude and new outlook on life and fitness are beyond words!