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Entries in 90-Day Challenge (134)

Sunday
Jun242012

Andrea F. - Westminster, CO

What motivated you to sign up for the challenge?

I had a baby four months prior and was struggling to get the weight off. I felt the challenge would be the perfect motivation to hold me accountable to my diet and exercise.

Was this your first time doing the event?

Yes

What was your initial goal? Did you reach it?

My initial goal was to reach 118 pounds. I surpassed my goal.

What challenges did you experience?

I have three children and have a crazy life trying to fit everything in. However, my biggest challenge was learning that my dad had pancreatic cancer. I had to deal with the emotional stresses of that. In addition, I had to travel to Rochester to help care and support him and my mom during his surgery. I spent 8 nights in a hotel without a gym, kitchen or a trainer and had to find a way to stay focused. I could have used that as an excuse to give up training that week. However, I used the emotional stress as extra motivation to get my workout in every day and eat the best I could.

What kept you motivated?

I constantly checked the leader board and knew I was close. That drove me to stay focused and not waiver from my goals. Whenever I was struggling to finish a workout I reminded myself I was close to the top and bet the other leaders weren't going to give up. The competition really kept me motivated and on track.

What was the most rewarding part of this experience?

The most rewarding part was the way I looked in the mirror as well as all of the compliments I received from friends and family. You tell yourself you are doing well, but hearing it from your friends and family really validates all the hard work.

What did you learn?

I learned that your diet is key. It's not how much food you put in your body but what kind of food you put in your body. Certain foods fuel your body better than others and I had to make sure I was putting only the best in me. I also, made sure to take plenty of supplements as I didn't want my body craving anything. Through this whole process, believe it or not, I ate a lot of food, but it was always really good for me. I think it goes to show that you don't have to starve yourself to lose a bunch of weight, just make sure you eat the right stuff.

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

I had a heart rate monitor which I used to track my heart rate zones and the number of calories burned. I wanted to be sure that when I exercised I was burning calories at the most efficient rate. I also required myself to burn a minimum of 1000 calories per day.

What support system did you have to help you?

The biggest fan and support was my husband. He helped me to stay focused and he stepped up at home to allow me to get extra time in the gym if I needed it. My trainer, Parker Wildeman, was a huge asset to reaching my goals as he coached me not only in the gym but also on my diet including my supplements. Finally, my family and friends, they were curious as to how I was doing. Each and every time they asked me, it helped me to stay focused so as to not disappoint myself or them.

What are you going to do now?

I am going to continue training in the gym and eating a healthy diet. If you can't kill it or grow it then you shouldn't eat it. The difference is now, I can cheat if I want to do something fun and not feel guilty about it.

 

Sunday
Jun102012

Amy D. - Chanhassen, MN

Other than a few years during my teens, I've been fat my whole life—Not just fat, REALLY fat. I've tried every diet under the sun, and almost had weight-loss surgery. I use food, like many of you, as a coping mechanism. Whenever life was too much too handle I turned to food, mostly carbohydrates and sugar, to bury negative feelings. The worse the situation, the worse I ate. February 4th of this year (2012) I decided enough was enough. I returned to Lifetime Fitness Chanhassen, where I had been a member of in the past. In my heart, I always knew if I turned myself over to them and did what the staff told me to do, I would win the battle against fat. When I stepped on the scale with my trainer, Matt Welt, the number horrified me...374.2! Over 60% body fat! And slowly the realization hit me...I need to lose over 200 pounds.... Yes, I admit it. I weighed 374.2 pounds!!! As embarrassing as this is, I cannot help or inspire others unless I tell the whole truth...the BIG FAT ugly truth. I was truly miserable. Since February 4th I've lost 92.9 pounds and gained a lifetime of knowledge about healthy living!!!! Yes...I have lost over 90 pounds in 90 days! I want to share how the people, products, and services offered at Lifetime have not only changed my life, but SAVED it, with you!

In the first conversation Matt had with me, he encouraged me to take Lifetime's Longevity and Vitality lab testing and Stress & Resilience. He educated me about what I could learn from the test, and how we would use the information from the test to create a plan tailored for me! I took the test and it became a crucial piece to the success of my first 90 days. It is true that applied knowledge is power! Among many other things, the results indicated that I had a very high level of inflammation, digestive inflammation, and thyroid antibodies in my body. Because of this Matt encouraged me to take Lifetime's Food and Allergy test. This test gave me more insight into what foods would work with me and which foods (even healthy ones) would work against me. Eggs....ugggg! I found out I have a severe sensitivity to eggs. When I started the 90 day challenge, I started eating eggs every day. If I would not have done the food allergy test, I would still be eating tons of eggs thinking I'm eating what is healthy for me, but in actuality I was unknowingly causing more harm than good! Armed with all this knowledge from these tests, I met with our clubs' nutritionist, Cliff Edberg. I met with him on a one-on-one basis to set up a meal-plan that worked for me and went to his E.A.T. Class, which is nutrition education in a group setting. I learned not only what to eat and what supplements to take, but most importantly, why. It was a brand new approach to food and nutrition that I had never tried. I also joined Team Weight-Loss. The combination of one-on-one training with Matt, and the camaraderie of Team Weight-Loss has certainly been a significant key to my success thus far.

A hero is defined as someone who saves the life of someone else....90 days ago I walked into Lifetime Fitness Chanhassen and met a collection of people who during the next 90 days became my heroes. I know this story is supposed to be about me, but my story would not be the same without each and everyone of these incredible people I met during this part of my journey...And as the saying goes...”It takes a village...”

-Mark Grap...(Director of Member Services) Thank you for your unwavering belief in me. Thank you for being a shoulder to cry on and a smile to count on. You make Lifetime Fitness in Chanhassen a warm and welcoming place to be.

-Pat Buesgens...(Member Activities)..My beautiful friend...Thank you for making me feel so important and for listening to me talk and talk and talk...My journey would not be complete without you!

-Mike Anderson (Massage Therapist)...Thank you for keeping my body feeling good and for making me feel so comfortable...Can't go wrong with Lifetime's CMT of the year!!!!

-Cliff Edberg (Nutritionist)...You have been an invaluable resource for me! Thank you Cliff, for being available, approachable, and so right about what I should be eating!!!

-Jason T.,John K., Deb, all the trainers...Thank you for cheering me on every step of the way!

-Members of Lifetime Fitness Chanhassen...You have been so supportive of me...Thank you so much.

-Matt Welt (Personal Trainer)...My trainer, my friend, my hero...When I think about the impact you have had on me, my eyes well up with tears. To say I am grateful to you is a drastic understatement...Your passion for healthy living is infectious...Your depth of knowledge about fitness and nutrition is unbelievable....but what matters most to me, and you may not even know this, is the fact that you absolutely 100% believe in me.

The 90-Day Weight-loss Challenge was such a fun, exciting way to jump start my weight-loss journey. I still have a ways to go, but I'm so happy and proud to be where I am right now. If you are reading this for inspiration for your own journey...I believe in you...you can do it!

Sunday
Jan152012

Teresa A. - Centreville, VA

Growing up, I was never an athlete or even very coordinated. My parents were good about feeding the family healthy meals, but I was always a little overweight. My weight really ballooned after college. I was on a medication that was a catalyst for adding on about 80 pounds to my body. My highest weight was on the day of my wedding six and a half years ago at 293 pounds. After the wedding, I did start a few diet programs that worked for a while. I always had an excuse as to why I could allow myself to slip back into old habits- taking care of family members, house renovations, the expense, or stress. Looking at my family’s medical history, I knew that I was headed for some pretty unpleasant things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis. All four of my grandparents had suffered heart attacks.

In February of 2011, I woke up and was finally tired enough of feeling sick and tired all of the time. I decided that I was motivated enough to make a change. When I became a member of Life Time, I also signed up for TEAM Weight Loss. I knew that I would not be successful without being accountable to actually show up. I decided that this was my best chance to turn my health and quality of life around. The only person outside of the gym that new I had signed up was my husband in case I didn’t follow through.

At my first class of TEAM Weight Loss, I weighed in at 270 pounds and barely made it through the workout. The one thought that ran through my mind was just don’t stop walking and it will be ok. I knew that if I skipped once, that it would be an excuse to stop, so unless I had a work or family commitment, I showed up. I have made my job to manage my health.

Charles has been my trainer starting from my first class. He became a trainer at Life Time after losing 130 pounds. He is always enthusiastic and cares about each of his clients. Anytime I have a question or concern, he has great suggestions. When I did my first evaluation, he said don’t worry about all of the numbers, just know that if you stick with this, they will get better.

I knew if I was going to be successful, I also needed help with food. My nutritionist, Jaime has helped me transform my eating habits. She tested me for food allergies and recommended that I remove dairy and gluten from my diet and presented me with a list of foods that I could eat instead of the ones I would have to give up. She also found a combination of supplements which has been a great compliment to my meal plan. Jaime has been a great support and cheerleader in my journey.

When the 90-Day Challenge started Charles asked everyone is class if they were interested. At first I thought there was no way that I would even be able to compete since I had not lost much weight at that point. But, I decided to take a chance and ended up losing 22.8 pounds. It was also very motivating to continue to strive towards my goal.

Every month I take a picture of myself with my cell phone to see how much I have changed. I have a collection pictures that show my progress so far. When I am having a bad day or am frustrated I look and see that all of the work that I have put in has made a huge difference.

Since I have started at Life Time, I have lost over 60 pounds and dropped four sizes, my energy level is much higher, I can breathe, my stress level is much lower, my cholesterol and blood pressure are normal,  I can run, I feel a sense of accomplishment, and am much happier and hopeful about the future. I have not met my goal weight yet, but I have a great start on a healthier life. Thank you to Charles, Jaime, Kara, family and friends for their help and encouragement. My quality of life is changed forever.

Sunday
Dec112011

Kathleen G. - Lakeville, MN

I love camping, hiking, bike riding, canoeing, kayaking, and anything outdoors. But as I came up to my 60th birthday, I realized that I was passing on many of these activities that I love. I was overweight and have arthritis. I was at a crossroads. I could continue to sit out and watch these activities or I could do something.

I joined the Lakeville Life Time in February 2011 and met Lynne Zieske, a personal trainer. I did not plan to start working with a trainer, but as I shared my story, Lynne listened and affirmed my goals. She saw in me what I could not yet see and had confidence that I could fulfill my goals. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to do a 5K. I wanted to be healthy. She gave me hope of all that I wanted in life.

I started working out with Lynne twice a week. I had never done anything like this. I had no balance; no strength. Lynne started right where I was and I learned and got stronger. Before I knew it, I was having the time of my life working out.

I was concerned about the cost of working with a trainer; but realized that this was the time for investing in me and my future. I learned how to workout, exercise, and eat right. It is a lifelong investment that continues to pay off in good health and a fuller life.

I have been on every diet plan there is. I’ve lost 25 pounds many times, only to gain it back after the diet. At Life Time, I never felt like I was on a diet. As Lynne and I met for workouts, we talked about good food choices. I learned that what I eat affects my level of performance. When I started to use My Plan on the Lifetime web site, I began to notice my triggers for when and why I eat. As I increased my protein and cut down on refined sugars and carbs, I felt so much better. Healthy choices help me feel in control instead of hopeless.

Lynne anchored my dreams, teaching me what I need to do to be stronger, so I could accomplish each goal. In April, she encouraged me to sign up for my first 5K at Life Time and I finished it. This gave me the confidence to do a 5K in Minneapolis. What a victory it was. The first time my little grandson said, “let’s run Gramma" and the two of us jogged around the block was a celebration. I recognize each achievement and celebrate them as I keep going.

I signed up for the 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge, lost 30 pounds, and won for the women’s group at Lakeville. The challenge motivated me to stay focused on my goal. In July I felt ready to join the Life Time Fitness Class. The class was a challenge at first. Lynn encouraged me to start where I was on my fitness journey and continue to improve and grow. The structure of the class kept me focused on my goals.

I have lost 60 pounds so far. I feel healthier and more fit than I have in years. I look forward to trying new things and enjoying all the things I love to do. I will keep doing what I am doing. It is now a way of life and what a life it is!

Sunday
Nov062011

Stephanie R. - Easton, OH

“I do not want to go outside or even be seen.   I am fat and ugly.” – August, 2010, 285 lbs.

This was a frequent thought I had a mere 10 months ago.  I had just given birth to my second child.  I felt paralyzed during one of the happiest times in my life.  I felt I had reached the lowest I could feel.   This feeling did not emerge overnight – in fact it had been a long time developing.  I have battled with my weight and eating habits for a very long time.  To really tell my story I have to go back several years. 

“I am so embarrassed of myself.”  - 1994, 115 lbs

When I was 16 years old, my battles with myself image and weight began.  I was a size 3 based upon the fact that is what I thought I should be.  This was not a good thing for my 5’7”, womanly frame.  To reach this unrealistic size, I had begun binging and purging food.  I never thought of myself as a bulimic until my family started questioning my weight and discussing therapy with me.  Despite this realization, I continued on.  I was a bulimic for years, thinking I could hide it and convinced that what I was doing was healthy.   People used to say I looked sickly, but in my eyes they were wrong.  I keep binging and purging, binging and purging, undeterred.  I was out of control.

“I feel so low I am not sure if I will get through today.”  -  2006, 215 lbs

I became pregnant with my first child at age 28.  At this point I made a life decision to change, realizing the immense responsibility that I was undertaking.  For the first time since I was 16 years of age, I ate and kept it down – no cheating, no hiding.  While controlling my bulimia was a positive step for my overall health, I was eating without thought of the consequences.  When I gave birth to my daughter I had gained 100 lbs.  Little did I understand of my need to eat healthy, to exercise and the fact that with every year I aged, my metabolism was slowing down.  Despite my joy of having a child, I felt very down – a combination of post-partum depression and my dissatisfaction with my heavier self.   I did join a few gyms during that time.  I went through the cycle of signing up, working out a few weeks, and then quitting.  Despite my unhappiness with my weight, I still found it hard to be motivated to do anything about it but be depressed.  Thoughts of purging were always popping into my mind and I had to actively fight to suppress them.

“Why am I so ugly and fat?   I can’t even look in the mirror.”  - Early 2010, 200 lbs

 Somehow I managed to lose 15 lbs by the time I was 31.  I then found out I was pregnant with my second child.  Fast forward nine months – a new baby boy was born, and I was now 285 lbs, the heaviest I have ever been.  I was at an all-time low with my self esteem.  Post partum depression and a poor self image are a dangerous combination.  All I could think of was how I could get rid of this weight quickly (almost always in an unhealthy manner).  Then, something happened in my life – after my 6 week post partum check up, I decided enough was enough!  I was going get to a healthy weight and I was going to do it in the right way!  I wanted to feel good about myself, and to set a good example for my children to one day follow!  I looked around for a gym.  After visiting several I found Life Time Fitness at Easton.  I joined – this small act ended up fanning the spark in my mind into a self-sustaining flame that continues to this day.

“I love the way I feel – I have confidence again.” -  July, 2011, 170 lbs.

One of my first experiences at Life Time was meeting Colleen Kenny, a personal trainer.  I felt extremely comfortable with her and we immediately laid out a game plan with tangible, yet high reaching, goals.  I started working out with her in groups and one-on-one, as well as on my own.  I became dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.  By November, I had dropped my weight to 214 lbs!  Colleen not only helped me from an exercise perspective, she helped me understand healthy eating.  I began to have a better relationship with food, my weight, and my self-image.  I realized a size 3 for me was ridiculous, but there was no reason I had to be a size 18 either!  Intense cardio, weight training, and a healthy diet – these were the three keys to my success.

“I am me again, only better!” – Today, working towards 155 lbs.

Perhaps the biggest jump for me came when I joined the Life Time Weight Loss 90-Day Challenge.  During the 90 days, I managed to drop 12.4% of my body weight!  I feel healthy and happy.  My days as a bulimic are long behind me, as are the days of being overweight.  I presently have a goal to lose 15 more pounds to reach my ideal, healthy weight.  I am very excited to continue this journey.  Thanks to my family, Life Time, Colleen, and a good dose of my own hard work and dedication, I have made great strides and will reach my goal in a healthy manner.