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Entries in 90-Day Challenge (134)

Saturday
Dec192015

John P. – Summerlin, NV

I recently became a member of Life Time in June. Before that my exercise and eating habits were anything but good. Over the course of 6 years I gained over 100 pounds and as a result started experiencing substantial health problems, including lower back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and heart palpitations. I have a friend and co-worker who is a Life Time member and I told him about all the issues I was having with my weight. He told me about Life Time and all the amenities they have for your workouts and leisure, and that helped motivate me to take a tour.

After I joined Life Time, they set me up with a complimentary training session with Chris. I weighed 293.6 pounds with 42.9% body fat and I was at a 20 Visceral Fat Level. To say I was a little embarrassed for my initial weigh-in at the gym is an understatement. But Chris encouraged me by making me feel like my goals were attainable and by showing me some exercises that worked for me. And he started me on my A.M and P.M. Men’s Multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, and Whey Protein Shakes from the LifeCafe. For the next 2 weeks I continued my new workout routine and lost 11.4 pounds.

Life Time had also set me up with a complimentary myHealthScore. In the beginning of July I met with Andre for myHealthScore testing and my ending score was 68. My TC/HDL Ratio, Body Fat, Aerobic Capacity, Strength, and Flexibility scores were all bad.

Over the next few weeks I noticed all the signs and promotions for the 90-Day Challenge, but didn’t sign up right away. As the start of the Challenge came close I noticed posters with all the past winners and success stories. I finally decided to sign up to give me some extra motivation while trying to become a healthier me. I met with Terry on weigh-in day and set my goal of 90 pounds, which I thought was impossible. We set a plan for me to succeed in the Challenge. My starting weight was 279.2 pounds with 40.2% body fat and a 19 Visceral Fat Level.

On day one I was excited and determined. My first goal was to get to a point where I could actually wear my 90-Day wristband — it was too tight to wear around my wrist. I learned from my sessions with Chris and Terry to start my workouts slow, with an hour on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the stair climber and resistance training every other day. My first week I was down 12.8 pounds and this really sent my motivation into overdrive.

I spent the first 8 weeks of the Challenge trying to follow the guidance I had received when I first joined the gym, and followed my own diet plan that I thought was healthy. I had 2 points where I plateaued and my weight loss started to slow down. I was starting to get frustrated and felt like I wanted to give up when Sally emailed me congratulating on my success so far. She offered a consultation to talk about ways to pick my weight loss back up. She didn’t sugarcoat anything and showed me what I needed to change in my current diet and workout regimen.

After our consultation she had me sign up for nutrition coaching and TEAM Fitness classes. She put me on a 40-30-30 diet plan. Each of my meals now contained 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. She also had me start going to the gym twice a day instead of once for a total of4 hours of workout and 30 minutes of sauna. Just3 days after our initial meeting and starting my new plan I lost 5.8 pounds. I had my motivation and determination back!

In the following weeks I noticed a drastic change both mentally and physically. I was dropping weight faster than ever before and I felt more alert and energized throughout the day. I never thought I would be able to work out in the mornings, but Sandy was a great motivator every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in the TEAM Fitness class.

I met Stacy, the national leader on the women’s board, in the sauna with about3 weeks left in the Challenge and she became my inspiration. We started meeting for workouts and sauna and she was one of my strongest motivators and helped push me to achieve my goals in the end.

In the last days of the Challenge I had another health score done and I went from 68 to 92. I couldn’t believe there could be such a drastic change in such a short amount of time.

I want to thank Life Time, all the trainers who congratulated me every time they saw me, Sandy, and especially Stacy and Sally for pushing me so I could lose an incredible 40.8 pounds in the last4 weeks.  I lost a total of 85.7 pounds and 18.6% body fat in 90 days. My journey and long-term goal of reaching 10% body fat don’t end here, but the 90-Day Challenge gave me a healthy start in the right direction.

Enclosure

Saturday
Dec122015

Renee T. - Canton Township, MI

I was nervous to give up eating so many sweets, to eat healthier, to weigh in in front of someone, and to have pictures taken of me. I was fearful of people judging my before pictures while looking at my once obese body. I put off signing up for the 90-Day Challenge until the end of August because I wanted to eat as much ice cream and s’mores as I could. It was time for me to switch my mindset - in a healthy way!

Right before joining Life Time Fitness, I had an overwhelming need to face my addiction with food and needing to exercise. I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and I would eat on all occasions. I felt shameful about how I lived and embarrassed about the inability to do physical activities well. I needed to start caring about what God wanted for me and caring for myself more.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to do something like “The Biggest Loser,” but I couldn’t leave my kids for that long. Right after I re-joined Life Time Fitness, I was told about the 90-Day Challenge. At first I was just happy and relieved I could join Life Time again and my husband understood that it took a gym for me to be healthy. I kept saying I would work out, but with 2 kids and one on the way, I couldn’t even get myself to work out for an hour straight. Now with 3 kids and homeschooling, I am so thankful I can work out regularly.

It is such a blessing to me and my family in having a gym that provides a trusted child center. My kids get their social gym time and Mommy gets to enjoy her fun workouts - and even sometimes relaxing time in the steam room, jacuzzi, and pool.

I have checked out other gyms, but none have compared to Life Time! It offers many luxuries, including classes for my children and adult classes for me, staff who are informative and care about how I am doing, and many personal trainers to choose from.

I have learned a lot from my personal trainer, Greg Pedersen. It is very valuable to have someone show me how to stretch correctly. He stops and shows me the way to do certain exercises and muscle toning in order to not hurt myself while I strengthen my body, including how to eat healthy.

The adult classes are phenomenal! I have enjoyed all different kinds of group fitness classes. I favor the Core Blast Class taught by Kevin G. and Kickboxing Classes. Rico C., Joey P., and Suzy A. are outstanding Instructors who teach Kickboxing. And with a great ZUMBA workout, taught by Shyam T., I can have fun dancing while learning some moves.

In addition to all those benefits, it was blissful to hear of a weight loss challenge that I could do while staying at home and having my family involved. Winning $10,000 was the extra push I needed - an incentive to get healthy, lose weight, and exercise. I wanted to do it for way too long. I even insisted that my own children eat healthy, but I didn’t personally live that way. I’ve struggled with food since at least third grade. Baking and cooking run in the family, coming from a Mom whose baking is extraordinaire!

My Personal Trainer, Greg, told me about the Paleo Diet that he was going to do for 30 days. He challenged me to do it as well. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I learned how to bake yummy healthy food, and found out raw vegetables by themselves or cooked with olive oil tasted delish! Salads with lemon juice and fresh fruit - yum!

Then, for the last 2 weeks I did the D.TOX SM Life Time detoxification program. It includes fiber, protein, and the vitamins that I need. Using dairy-free milk, a cup of veggies and fruit together tasted even better.

I was working out for at least an hour a day 6 days a week. If I missed a day I felt crummy. My friends, new friends I had made, and strangers noticed my changes. They told me how I was an inspiration to them. The encouraging words and advice from them and my family helped me strive to be a healthy example all the more. I want to continue this healthy lifestyle for myself and God, and to be an example to everyone - to give people who struggle with food and exercise hope.

I had a personal goal of wanting to lose at least 40 lbs. during this Life Time 90-Day Challenge. I am overjoyed at accomplishing that goal, plus 3.7 additional lbs. and 12.6% body fat.

I don’t cry easily, although the day after I weighed in, I was at church and tears of joy came to me as I heard and sang “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave. Thanks for taking the time to care about my story.

Enclosure

Saturday
Nov212015

Jay H. – Palm Valley, AZ 

It's crazy what a difference losing weight can make in your life. I am a 45-year-old husband, father of 2 girls, and I really couldn't do much with my family before this challenge. But now...it's on!

Whatever my girls want to do, we can do it! Swimming, hiking, wrestling, playing at the park, I've got energy for it all!

I've struggled with my weight off and on for most of my life. I had done the 90-Day Challenge before, but I just saw it as a contest. Once it was over, I went back to old habits.

After the last challenge I thought I had learned and was ready to make that life change, but then my wife lost her job, and I had to put my Life Time membership on a freeze. We could not afford the full monthly fee. With me having to put in overtime at work to keep up with the bills, I had no time to work out. As the weight came back, my energy went away and my family could tell.

As this 90-Day Challenge came closer, Angie the Nutritionist asked me if I was going to enter the challenge. Up until that point, I was not sure if I would or not. However, hearing her say those words I felt as if she could see that I had gained all my weight back. I felt like a failure and had to enter now.

It wasn't until this time, this challenge, when I decided to fully commit to this with my wife (who also entered) and kids on board that it finally worked, and I think it will stick! We cut out the junk and are supporting each other towards success in every way! The sky's the limit, and we're so excited to be doing this thing together. (Sort of reignited the spark!)

We're going to keep going, working with Angie the Nutritionist and putting in work so we can just be healthy and live as long as we can for each other and our kids! We are a true success story, regardless of the outcome of the contest. Thanks Life Time Fitness! We'll see you in August for the next challenge....

 

Enclosure

Saturday
Nov142015

Ashley L. - Dublin, OH

I knew in my heart that something was wrong with me. I blamed my hot flashes and absent menstrual cycles on everything but the possibility of having some sort of disease. My doctor's look of concern upon entering the room was yet one more reason to discard college stress as a reason for my ailments. "Premature ovarian failure," he termed it. My ovaries were permanently dormant for an unknown reason. Perhaps my immune system suddenly decided they were foreign, like bacteria needing eradicated. I was menopausal. I had minuscule amounts of female hormones in my system. I could never have children.

In the 30 seconds it took my doctor to give me my diagnosis, I aged 30 years. But I was only 19. At an age when other women were concerned with relationships, sexuality and PMS, I was seeking hormone replacement therapy, not to mention some semblance of womanhood.

In the initial years after my diagnosis, I struggled to accept what the disease was doing to me and what the future held. Will I always feel this poorly? Will I age prematurely? There were many more questions than answers. I learned early in life that knowledge is power, as the saying goes. I refused to accept that this disease was going to dictate my life, and that simple hormone replacement therapy, although maybe good enough for a menopausal 50-year-old, was insufficient for me as a young woman.

After much research, I began bioidentical hormone restoration in 2013, under the direction of a local Integrative Medicine physician, in essence establishing hormone levels similar to women of my age with healthy ovaries. The next year or so proved at times challenging as the gradual replenishment of meaningful amounts of estrogen yielded an uncomfortable metamorphosis. However, I knew it was necessary. I was rebuilding my womanhood.

Especially during the tough times, fitness proved as essential to my treatment. I became an avid runner, planning each day accordingly, recording distances and times, and always looking ahead to the next race. However, it became more of an issue of proving my ability to run the miles rather than truly enjoying doing so.

In any story of self-improvement and advancement, there come friends and supporters along the way. I am grateful for them all, especially my husband, who has always been my greatest source of encouragement. Just over a year ago, I met a lifelong friend, who is furthermore an accomplished fitness enthusiast and instructor, competitor, tremendous inspiration, and "lifting budding." For several months we met in the mornings and lifted heavy, a traditional 4-day bodybuilding split. My progress continued at Life Time Fitness, and I am thankful for the expertise and guidance of Jessica and Erin.

The 90-Day Challenge came at a serendipitous time, as one of my goals became achieving a "contest ready" physique and perhaps someday stepping on stage. With Jessica's encouragement, I entered the 90-Day Challenge and met Erin, my personal trainer. We discussed my goals, and workouts were planned accordingly with emphasis on "leaning out," tightening my glutes, and maintaining my strength. These objectives were met by multiple deadlift variations, hip thrusts, and squats to name a few and by making sure I kept a mind and muscle connection during the reps.

Nutrition is the cornerstone of life. My personal nutritional strategy is a unique one, largely given a sensitive gastrointestinal system. It has been trial and error over many years figuring out what foods I can tolerate. In particular, I am most sensitive to certain carbohydrates that cause bloating and constipation. Although a hassle at times, I focus on what I do tolerate, modify to taste, and plan ahead.

The metabolic testing offered at Life Time allowed me to set daily protein, carbohydrate, and fat gram targets based on my goals. I meticulously hit the target numbers with consistency. I find it vital to my success to plan, track, assess and modify as needed. In the past 90-Day period, I also traveled for a week in February and for a week in April. I remained active with walking and hiking and was diligent on adjusting and adhering to my nutrition plan during these times to remain on track. The 90-Day Challenge has now come to an end. I am beyond pleased with the results I have achieved and, furthermore, proud of myself for being dedicated to the process and never satisfied with an average effort. This transformation is truly a lifestyle I am eager to continue living. My next goal is to improve on what I have built thus far, which far exceeds anything I could've imagined the day I walked out of the doctor's office 14 years ago.

 

Enclosure

Saturday
Oct312015

Alex T. - Lakeville, MN

I began this Challenge with one thing in mind: fatherhood. Being able to give my kids a father they deserve instead of one they'd have to deal with was a huge motivator. I got as high as 332.5 lbs, by far the highest I've ever been. My normal weight is 195-205 lbs so I was well over being physically comfortable.

Pain and pressure in my knees from that amount of added weight kept me from enjoying our third son due in April 2015 (Yes, during this Challenge) or our 4-year-old and 3-year-old sons at the park or in the yard, since I had to sit every few minutes. Running around with them or chasing them was out of the question.

In December 2014, my better half came to me one day and told me she could see the pain I was in and now was the time to do something for three reasons... Pain, Children, and the Chance to live longer to maybe see grandchildren.

The pain was something that was bad enough to the point of causing a limp in my walk, and when you're trying to raise little boys into young men you focus on everything you do around them to set that example. I always had back pain because of slouching and figured it would be something I had to just get used to. Thinking like this and trying to portray an example for the boys was a difficult balance that I was losing. Ridding my family and me of that is why I wanted to join the Challenge.

Two added benefits from losing the weight would be enjoying time with my children more and growing old to see grandchildren or GREAT-grandchildren!

Competition and help were two reasons that gave me better direction in how to lose the weight safely and smarter. With all the 90-Challenge perks I felt like I could achieve a goal of losing over 100 pounds while increasing strength. Deals on training, nutrition, and coaching are needed and provided to escort you along to your goal.

Ms. Sommer and the rest of the trainers were educated in any aspect/question I threw at them, "Always find a way," and "Train smarter, not harder," were the words I continued to hear throughout the 90 days. Whether it was about pain from a workout the day before or hitting a plateau, trainers were there to motivate and push you through it.

Even my member adviser, Chris, helped out. When I told him my interest in the Challenge, he suggested I get an active metabolic test, since I was trying to lose so much. That turned out to be one of best things that educated me on how unique my zones are. "Smarter not harder!"

All the Try-It Tuesdays were unbelievable - from the trainers/instructors to how packed they were. The energy was surging, and no matter the workout or pain, that energy and guide of the group kept me going - no question!

I went in motivated to lose 140 lbs, to feel better physically, and to win this Challenge. Having my family's support along with my friends and Life Time, I was sure that goal was attainable.

My big variable in the equation was our third son, who was due on April 2. Not having a baby around for three years, I underestimated time off from working out and sleep GREATLY. I figured I would take two weeks off max, but life laughed at that and threw in a week of false labor.

Reality checked back in THREE weeks after he was born on April 4, 2015. I was able to sneak some workouts in here and there. I couldn't leave for that long because a woman recovering from a natural childbirth plus two little boys plus a newborn equals all new kinds of tired.

I am definitely a family man because I'm the man who cooked a steak for her after birth meal, since we all know the hospital food is 5 star quality, ha! Understanding I wasn't going to reach my goal was acceptable to me because it was for a reason that was a result of an amazing gift life offered us. I ended up losing more than half of what I wanted to lose and most importantly gained a lifestyle change in health.

Understanding how your own body reacts to foods and drinks allowed me to change the weight and continue on setting an example for my boys! I get to enjoy my time with my kids more and they get more of what they deserve in a father. Biggest bonus is more TIME to do MORE! Thank you to the Life Time staff and members for your support and guidance! Without it, I couldn't do it all!