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Entries in 90-Day Challenge (134)


Kate B. - Tempe, AZ

Greetings! My name is Kate. I was a member at the Tempe club for a short while this summer and fall. I wanted to share this personal life change story with you. I walked into Life Time during the first weekend of August. My colleague had found an obstacle course race in Phoenix scheduled for mid-fall and thought a few of us should do it. I decided that I would, but I would actually make the time to train for it as well.

I met with a member of the team a few minutes after walking into the club. We talked about my goals and why I was joining. He gave me a tour, and we discussed the opportunity to participate in the 90-day Challenge. My assessment was scheduled for the next day with Seth Harris.

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Tracy N. - Alpharetta, GA

My Life Time Weight Loss Journey 

While I have mastered many professional accomplishments, the one area of my life I had not mastered was my weight. From the time I was a teenager, I always fought being a larger girl, a "big boned" woman and while I focused on my professional career, I always found a reason not to have time, energy or ability to be fit or lose the weight. At times in my life I had slimmed down, but mostly it was from dieting not a combination of fitness and nutrition.  For the past year I felt as if my energy had left me. Whenever I was at a doctor, I would ask why do I have no energy, and I would get it is age (48) and most likely due to changing women hormones.  At the same time, the scale had gotten to my highest weight ever at 219 pounds. 

Throughout my life I had realized when my balance got out of control and I was all about work. I would book a week off to get back on track and take a trip to "relax, recoup and jump start a new and healthy life. While these week trips to places like Canyon Ranch to jump start a healthy lifestyle, I found that when I got home, I could not easily transfer the learning's and keep these great practices going and got back into the work-home routine. This year I realized that a trip was not going to do what I so desperately wanted to do and needed to do something quickly as my energy was wailing and my weight was the highest ever.

I decided after hearing about the Alpharetta Life Time Fitness location to check it out.  I do not take well to sales pitches well and just want to get down to the facts. I met Cathy Willis via email and told her I travel a lot for work and  did not have time for the tour and pitch, just tell me what it costs, what programs are available, and then I will come sign up. I was impressed how she tailored to my needs and was very accommodating to my approach.  I signed up and got Step One completed.

Step Two I went in for my fitness evaluation which I was dreading. I was very embarrassed by my body and the idea of having someone analyze it was horrifying. The experience was actually very positive and the two fitness trainers including Althea were unbelievable. While the results were poor in most all categories and my body fat was almost 50%; there was something about how I was treated during this embarrassing time that gave me the power to accept where I was, and the willpower to "make a change.”  I signed up with a Personal Trainer, Charles Palmer, Jason Berry, weight loss Coach John Howard for muscle therapy and Pilates with Marianna Thomas.  I looked at this as my "day to day" fitness retreat versus going on that expensive trip I would do every two years.

My first goal was to get under 200 pounds. I even wore a white t-shirt everyday at the gym until I hit my goal of the first 19 pounds.  It took me just over 3 months to get that weigh off and the entire Alpharetta fitness team under Lauren was motivating me all the way. The day I came in with a different color shirt, there were cheers and lots of congrats from the team! During this stage, I learned how to eat by logging my food, learning to monitor carbs and sugar intake and started taking vitamins...many vitamins. I learned how my body doesn't lose weight when I’m very stressed and started listening to my body. In Pilates with Marianna, she not only teaches me to breath, stretch and strengthen my body, but we talk about the mind body connection. I also had chronic neck-shoulder pain, foot pain and headaches. John Howard has helped me learn how to stretch and strengthen key areas of my body and my chronic pain is no longer a daily issue. Jason has been awesome to work with as he is teaching me not only what to eat, but through the stress and reliance testing and vitality testing, we have improved my digestion, I have gained significant energy and I enjoy eating what is good for my body as I just feel better all around. I eat to fuel the body.

While working with Jason, John and Marianna, I was fortunate to find a trainer who would teach me a lot more than how to do just exercise and lift weights. Charles Palmer, an unbelievable fitness trainer has become more than just  a fitness coach in so many ways as he has taught me how to relax, enjoy fitness and gain balance in my life. I was a tough client in the beginning and he would tailor exercises to push me and make workouts a lot of fun. Charles never made me feel embarrassed and just kept pushing me. Charles has a great way to remind me that fitness is a journey not a goal. I am always asking questions, trying to solve and master the exercises as I do business issues and Charles reminds me to enjoy working out and leave the analayzing at the front door. I am learning how to balance life to include fitness and healthy eating.  

In August, my brother and I participated in a 5 Mile Walk/Run in Bryce Canyon. This was something my brother wanted to do for his 60th birthday.  I had no idea of the altitude change and honestly thought it was a 5K not a 5 Mile. We got up that morning and I thought this was crazy as I had not run 5 miles ever in my life. I ended up being first in the Women's walk/run category and first in my age group. I finished in 1:08 hours! This was another first ever in my life.  I  just reached my next goal which was 40 lbs.lost and I asked my LTF team that when I reach that goal, I have asked Charles, Jason and John to dance as a celebration in the Zumba class. We will be doing this on an upcoming Sunday Zumba class with instructor Raymond!

Charles, Larren and the entire Fitness team at Alphahretta have been very encouraging and have helped me in many ways through my journey to date. My body as changed and clothes fit better than I ever remember them fitting. I am down 40 pounds, and my body fat is down 15%. I am now now on my way my next goal thanks to the great programs, special instructors at Alpharetta.


Cliff S. - Parker-Aurora, CO

To: Janelle De Buzna, Life Time Fitness Nutrition Coach

Now that I am in the final few pounds of my weight loss I wanted to type you a note to say how instrumental your coaching was in the process.  Your approach of “it’s not a diet” is the big difference from other diets that I have completed in the past.  I have lost 100, 40, and 30 pounds at different times on other diet plans, but they always came back because I didn’t change my lifestyle and  I did not understand why the diets generated weight loss.  Your instruction has fundamentally changed the way I view nutrition. 

My work and home life were such a challenge from day one.  You never set unrealistic expectations, but rather just helped guide me through the challenges travelling and eating out often.  The changes that you made to my nutrition were so unexpected that I was truly unable to believe that they were working at times, but they did!  During the entire time I never felt like I was on a diet because I was actually eating more calories than ever, but they were such different calories.

After more than 65 pounds of weight loss I am back to cycling at a level that I haven’t attained since college when I was racing.  Unlike previous weight loss I am also in far better condition with a much healthier lean mass.  I am also able to sleep better without acid reflux episodes, backaches, headaches, etc.  No Tums, no Advil, no cold medicines, just supplements!  That is the most significant benefit of the entire change.  I was living on these meds because my weight and my diet were so poor.

Now I have sent you my wife and daughter to see what you can accomplish there.  I have all the confidence in the world that you can find a way to influence their health in the way that you have mine.  In addition, I have and will continue to recommend you to anyone who really wants to make a healthy diet a part of their life rather than just diet their way through life.

Thank You So Much,

Cliff S.


Dan B. - Orland Park, IL

Entering the Lifetime Fitness 90 Challenge and finishing top 5 in the nation has given me the opportunity to create this profile page in hopes of winning the “Fan Favorite” prize of a trip to California. In doing so, I was asked to tell you about my journey of losing 93 pounds in 90 days and to share with you my struggles and triumphs along the way. What was my motivation? Did I have a plan of attack? Truth be told, there is no secret formula for transforming your body into something that no longer brings you shame. It simply comes down to whether or not you can be honest with yourself enough to admit that it’s time, and then have enough belief that you can change your life. Therefore, what you will read here is not a recipe for a success story, but rather a dose of reality and some gratitude.

See, I am no different from you or any other contestant in this contest. I am no worse for allowing myself to fall so far out of shape or no better for seeing the 90 days through to the end. We all have issues that cause us to struggle. Life can beat you down. Stress can overwhelm you. Job loss, debt, marital trouble, and bouts with depression...take your pick. We all have problems and mine are likely no different from yours. And maybe like me, weight gain was the result. I have no shame in admitting where my weaknesses took me. We are all accountable for ourselves. And at some point, like it or not, we have to face the truth about our lives. And in that truth, lies the answer to the question of who you really are. I am not any better than you are. I am just fortunate enough to have finally found that answer and made a change while I still had time. You can do the same.

There is no master plan with which to coach you. I have no diet secrets or tricks on how to deal with the temptation to fail. There are many different ways to get it done, but without that honesty and belief, it won’t happen. Eat carbs, don’t eat carbs? Count calories or limit fat? They all work, but I promise you this - They will not stick until the day you look in the mirror and decide you have had enough! Then weight loss becomes easy. There was not one time that I struggled with temptation throughout the entire 3 months. My commitment was much easier than waking up every day knowing that the world is not getting the best of what I have to offer. The disgust of walking into a room and feeling ashamed of your appearance or the worry that your kids are embarrassed by how you look is a far worse suffering than any diet/exercise plan you choose to follow. I once heard someone say, “The pain of regret is much worse than the pain of discipline.” This could not be truer. That discipline is inside you. Find it.

Yes, I did the work it required to make a change. However, not without a great network of people who helped guide and support me would it have been as possible. I owe a great deal of gratitude to these people. Workouts and diet discussions with Life Time Fitness trainer, Tawnya Block, played a major role in making sure that my body was properly prepared for this drastic change. Her fitness background and dieting experience proved crucial in staying healthy while I stripped off the pounds. If you are in the market for some assistance, she is the one! Thanks again T for your encouragement that “big things” are in my future. My brother, Jimmy and his fiancée, Lauren, were also there every step of the way. Jimmy’s competitiveness pushed me to dig deeper. Lauren’s positive aura, which can fill a room, gave me a goal of general happiness and contentment with life. I love being around you two! My son, Logan, I wish I have given you better examples of how a man should take care of business and I’m sorry for ever falling short in your eyes. The world is yours to get son and you have the goods to get your share. Please, learn not only from this test of focus, but more importantly, from the mistakes I have made. My girls, you three are the reason the sun rises each day. There is not a person in this world that will ever have more love for you than I do. I hope you all know that I can always be counted on to be there for you. Shana, the only one I trusted from the start to tell my intentions. The support and encouragement you gave could never be matched. I needed your persistence in reminding me that “settling” for anything in life is not an option…remember that, buddy! You’re my best friend, and having you in my life makes me want to be a better person. Finally, I wish to thank my Mom and Dad. You both are with me daily even though you are miles away. I have not forgotten a thing you have taught me and my strong will is a result of the examples you set. I hope that you find comfort in knowing that your son is back!

The challenge now, is no longer about a 90 day race to lose weight; it becomes sticking with this newly found lifestyle and keeping the weight off. Will it be tough? Sure. However, just remember, it is within struggle that you will find strength. Trust that strength. Be honest with who you are. Believe in yourself. I am no different from you…


Joe K. - Troy, MI

What motivated you to sign up for the challenge?

I participated in this event last year.  I learned many lessons during that challenge, and finished strongly.  I wanted to apply those lessons for an entire 90 day challenge.

Was this your first time doing the event?

This was my second event.

What was your initial goal? Did you reach it?

To surpass the percentage loss total of the winner from last year.  Yes.  To drop below 10% body fat.  Yes.  To finish with the best percentage loss.  No.  My final weight - 161.4, 84.6#’s lost,  34.39%.

What challenges did you experience?

I did not have a support system, and trying to juggle work responsibilities, basic home tasks, and exercise time became quite difficult as the challenge continued.

What kept you motivated?

The potential to share a victory celebration with friends, family and co-workers, and to provide an example and motivation to others who are challenged by losing weight by showing that simply eating smarter and exercising more can produce winning results.  Thinking about the details of the celebration while exercising pushed me through a few more reps or minutes of exercise.

What was the most rewarding part of this experience?

I had some basic medical tests done during the challenge, and seeing improvements in all "the numbers" provided encouragement.

What did you learn?

Do not be satisfied because it is not enough.

What, if any, tools or accountability metrics did you use to stay on track?

Track multiple measurements on a weekly basis, like body fat percentage, waistline, or resting heart rate.  Even if weight loss plateaus, improvements in other areas show that progress is still being made.

What support system did you have to help you?


What are you going to do now?

I ate smarter, but the options I chose were still satisfying and enjoyable. Continuing to eat smart will help keep the weight loss in place.