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Entries in 90-Day Transformation (16)

Saturday
Feb062016

Sloan P. – Laguna Niguel, CA

What if I fail at eating healthily and fall back into my old habits? If I don’t try, nothing will change, and that is what I am afraid of. This was a humbling and insightful moment for me.

I’m your average Midwestern, 46-yr.-old mother of 3, who met the man of my dreams and ended up moving to California. I never thought I’d find myself journaling a “diary” about a fitness challenge. This Challenge, however, found me hungry for something more in life.

Kind of like my new puppy, Kona, finding the pantry door open... Here’s a glimpse into the life of a “REAL” Orange County housewife!

Dear Diary,

For my birthday, my husband purchased a week of personal training at Life Time Fitness.

I was paired with Ayo, who identified himself as a personal trainer, former basketball player and model.

Day 1

The Nigerian Athletic god was waiting—6’9” and very intimidating. It was almost as if I had Kobe Bryant on steroids training me.

He was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, even though my gut was already hurting from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FABULOUS week!

Day 2

I drank 4 cups of coffee. I was amped for my next fitness adventure. He put me on the treadmill. I thought I was going to have a heart attack after all that caffeine.

Day 3

I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. (no implants here!)

Reality has set in!!!!

He put me on the stair monster with a 50-lb. weight vest! He told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life.

Day 4

I was 30 minutes late–I could barely put on my shoes. He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent someone to find me.

Then, as punishment, he had me do a 5-minute plank.

Day 5

Time for biceps. I don’t have any biceps!

Day 6

Satan left a-wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash my phone.

Day 7

I’m having the church van pick me up. Thank GOD this week is over. I will pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun, like a root canal or a hysterectomy.

Day 23

And then it happened! I was hooked.

I realized there was a missing piece to my life. I’ve been so busy taking care of everyone else that I had neglected “me.” I felt guilty leaving the house, feeling like I hadn’t done anything productive.

My kids and husband appreciated me more. Wow, this is working out great. Who knew! After a few weeks, I had more energy! In a strange way, it’s a whole new life for me!

Then I started seeing results! This has become “my thing.”

This experience has taught me to appreciate every moment, (even the 5-minute plank). This is the only thing in my life that I have “full control” over. (P.S. Don’t tell Ayo that…he thinks he’s the boss of me.)

Day 45

Ayo decided we need to “kick it up a notch”! He thought it would be a good idea for me to train in his rubber vest!

He wanted me eating a small meal every 2 hours, taking naps and sleeping a minimum of 8 hours a night. Are you kidding me? We are in a competition to lose body fat. How the hell am I going to do that if all I do is eat and sleep? Have I been doing this all wrong my entire life? The answer is YES! The more muscle I built, the more body fat I lost.

Day 85

This is a cruel joke… It’s Halloween, and I’m sitting alone in my house with a cauldron FULL of candy, handing out candy to hundreds of trick-or-treaters! It’s taking every ounce of me to not just rip into a bar of chocolate!

Day 90

I feel amazing! I had a life-changing event when I enrolled in this Challenge. It has made such a big impact on not only what I look like (huge bonus!) but more importantly who I am. I am no longer afraid to push my inner limits.

I have “my fitness routine.” I am no longer just going through the motions of daily life. I appreciate every moment I have with my friends and family. I have the energy to throw the football with my boys and stay up late to watch movies with my high school-age daughter. I have clarity of mind to help them with their homework. I’m a better person, better friend, better wife and better mother.

I am humbled by the love and encouragement I have received throughout this journey. I could not have done this without the support of my husband, children, friends, personal trainer, and members and employees at Life Time, who have encouraged me throughout my journey. Thank you! This started as a 90-Day Challenge and ended as my lifestyle. I OWN IT!

Enclosure

Saturday
Sep192015

Austin D. - Fairfax, VA

January 27th marked my 29th birthday. Typically by this time, my New Year’s resolution is a faint memory, and I’m back to my guilt-free bad habits. This time was different. I was 30+ days strong quitting smoking cold turkey, and I was feeling great! I wanted to become “the best me in 2015,” and I felt like momentum was on my side. My wife had mentioned the 90-Day Challenge 4 or 5 times over the course of a week, but most of it went in one ear and out the other. Nevertheless I gave her the nod and figured as long as I weighed out I get my money back. What can I lose? 

My family (parents, wife and son, age 2) joined the Life Time Athletic Center in Fairfax, Virginia, in April 2014. Initially, I was the only one that did not use the facility regularly. My wife participates in the 6:00 a.m. Boot Camp fitness program three days a week and enjoys the group fitness classes. My parents consistently participated in the Team Weight Loss program three days a week, and my son enjoyed the swimming pool and the child daycare. I really did not have any excuse not to get more actively engaged in improving my physical fitness. It was just something I never scheduled. 

Tragically, it wasn’t until the passing of my wife’s younger brother that I made the conscious decision I was going to give this my all. I dedicate the last 90 days and this Challenge to the lasting loving memory of my wife’s beloved younger brother, who passed unexpectedly February 7th, 2015. He was 23.

The Challenge was something my wife had previously spoken to him about. During weigh-in weekend seeing the advertisements for “I can do all in my lifetime” really struck a chord close to my heart. I would do this for Jean-Luke. You never know when your time will expire. There is no better time than right now to take control of your life.

I understood that if I were going to take this seriously, it meant giving up a lot of the comfort foods that had helped me with my smoking urges… and it also meant no alcohol. I seriously doubted if that was even possible for me. 

Not knowing where to begin, I reached out to the excellent training staff at Life Time for advice. One of the first recommendations was to take a metabolic assessment, which I did. The Life Time trainer explained the importance of target heart rate training. They also did my overall physical fitness assessment, which provided the baseline from where I was starting. She answered all my questions and also went as far as to email me a copy of the Life Time “Live Well, Eat Well” manual so I could get a better understanding about nutritional tips that I should consider to reach my fitness goals. The “Live Well, Eat Well” manual was an invaluable tool in assisting me in my health journey. I completely changed my diet and started eating regularly scheduled meals 5 times a day. I realized the benefits instantly! 

I can honestly say this 90-day Challenge has made a significant difference in my daily life. I am now in a regular routine. My wife goes to the 6:00 a.m. boot camp, and I typically go at the end of the day after our two-year-old son has gone to bed. The fact that my club is open 24 hours a day makes it super convenient. I work out at the gym 5 days a week and try to get a light cardio or yoga class on the 6th. I must admit that I enjoy the classes. 

Dedicating myself to this Challenge was one of the hardest things I’ve done, and the first two weeks were brutal. I didn’t know which was harder - pushing myself past the point of exhaustion in the gym or watching people eat things I couldn’t. It got easier. I found healthy replacements to my much needed munchies, and I didn’t miss them anymore. and the results started to pour in.

During the Challenge I went from 14.9% body fat to 3%. If someone would have told me that was even possible six months ago, I am not sure that I would have believed them. I’m confident that the initial metabolic assessment and support from the Life Time training staff made a significant difference for me. I always work out with my heart rate monitor and my LT connect app to track my workouts. 

The 90-Day Challenge has made a significant difference in how I live my daily life. From maintaining a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and incorporating a good physical workout into my schedule I am very glad that I participated and had the opportunity to “meet and beat” the 90-Day Challenge. 

Enclosure

Saturday
Aug152015

Pamella A.—Woodbury, MN

Someday is now.

I began this 90-Day Challenge for different reasons. At 54, I began to think about how I want to spend the rest of my life. I'd like to be healthy, fit, in better condition and more nutritionally balanced. So I said to myself, let's do it.

I was an athlete in my youth. My 20s, 30s and 40s were spent active but with no fitness program in place. My 40s were the most challenging. A cancer diagnosis at 40, followed by extensive abdominal radiation and gall bladder removal - all leaving me with long term digestive side effects. A herniated disk left me with nerve damage to my left leg. Finally, a divorce.

I signed up for this challenge with a purpose. Getting my life back together meant regaining control of my physical and emotional well-being.

First, I set a goal, had a vision, and set a plan in place.

Goal: To get lean, in much better cardio condition. I decided that I was in it to win it. Lofty, I know, but true. In order to be a contender, I knew my numbers needed to be high, so I set a 60% change in body fat as a main goal. 

The vision: I could envision how I'd look at the end, and I could feel the excitement.

The Plan: Set with my personal trainer Gary Larson:
Strength training 3 times a week. 
7-9 hours cardio on the exercise bike, 
4800 meters in the pool weekly.

I enlisted nutrition coaching and metabolic coaching and invested in a Suunto heart rate monitor and watch through Life Time that is pool savvy also.

I charted my workouts on my computer, logged my eating daily, and photo documented my progress every time that I weighed in. This all helped keep me focused and on target. I consistently was dropping body fat, and I tweaked things when need be.

Weigh-in weekend I purchased all of my supplements for the journey, saving an extra 10% at the Life Café: whey protein, Dynamic Greens, Womens AM/PM, fish oil, calcium, probiotics, glutamine, HCL enzyme. I ordered MIO body care because I know that my skin had been neglected as well and was going to take a hit through this process.

Nutrition: This was critical. The logging helped immensely. 
Sunday and Wednesday were meal prep days. I ate clean, every 2-3 hours, organic, as well as grass-fed, free-range and wild-caught fish for my proteins. No dairy, no alcohol, no cheating. I was super disciplined.
125-150 gm carbs/day
80-90 gm protein/day
45 gm fat/day

I thought it was important to incorporate this Challenge into my regular life. I attended celebrations and made treats for special occasions without sampling anything. I traveled to a show in Kansas City for 5 days and stayed in a hotel with a kitchen and workout room with my meals prepped in advance - all with my focus forward on my goal. I did my strength training at the beautiful Overland Park Life Time. Thank you for your hospitality. That week I continued to drop body fat. 

I ended up with upper respiratory flu for 3 1/2 weeks, which left my workouts altered and out of the pool, but I kept a positive attitude and stayed focused.

I had major personal stresses just like everyone else, but the changes I was making became a great release for me and helped provide a much needed balance.

It was incredible to watch my ranking on the leaderboard continue to go up and to see the excitement on my trainer's face. Gary reminded me of a Vince Lombardi quote: "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence." 

I am super lean and feel amazing. I love going to the gym. Our Life Time is one of the oldest in the company, without some of the amenities but it is beautifully maintained and staffed. There is always a friendly hello and help if you need it. I am very humbled by the kind words and support of the members and staff. I even found the courage to tell people that my goal was to win this challenge. I love my Life Time and would love to bring a title to Woodbury. 

All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. That went through my head daily. 

It is important for me to thank my family, especially my mom who inspires me daily, my friends, clients, my PT Gary, and even my dog for cheering me on with their faith and belief in me. 

Hopefully, my story will inspire you to put a someday on your calendar.

 

Enclosure

Wednesday
Jun172015

Eduardo A. - Novi, MI

Thanks to Life Time, I’ve recently started hearing, “WOW! You look way younger now. What is your secret?” But there are no secrets about losing weight with a healthy diet and adequate fitness routine. No magic pill, fat-burning lotion or risky surgery and, definitely, no harmful steroids.

I am a 34-year-old single father to a hyperactive three-year-old son. I work as an OBGYN doctor delivering babies and, many times, from complicated high-risk pregnancies. My complex career, busy work schedule and fast-paced life contributed negatively to my unhealthy lifestyle. I was obese. I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As a result of my obesity and sedentary lifestyle, I completely ruptured my Achilles tendon three years ago, leaving me unable to walk for months. Eating was a way for me to deal with stress.

I have recommended diet and exercise to a lot of my patients for years. In February 2015, I suddenly realized that it was time to take my own advice. I walked into Life Time Novi hoping to lose some weight and feel healthy again. My new trainer, Michael Ward, was very professional. He advised me to eat more fat in my diet; however, I was quite skeptical. Even knowing how important fat is for our bodies, I still wanted to lose fat and gain muscle — and fast. Mike convinced me to eat more fat even faster with good scientific, serious research. Mike was instrumental in changing my eating habits completely with a diet high in proteins. I have been intermittently in other gyms, but nobody talked to me about healthy diet before or provided me real support to achieve my goals. Thanks, Mike.

Since that moment, I have followed the information and advice provided by Life Time through its website articles (www.lifetime-weightloss.com and www.core3training.com), and from the multiple trainers at Try-It Tuesday events, Workout Workshops and TEAM Fitness. I really had fun in all these activities.

I love the Child Center, amenities, hours of operation and positive environment at Life Time. Trainers, staff and other members constantly encouraged me.

I am convinced that diet is more than 90 percent of the way to succeed in the weight loss battle. Counting and logging calories daily worked very well for me. Life Time guided me to find my right diet, exercise intelligently and make mental fitness a priority as well.

My reward after these 90 days of discipline is a new lifestyle that is adding back years, maybe decades, to my life. I do feel younger. I lost 44.8 pounds (22.75% of my initial weight). My blood pressure and cholesterol values are normal without medications. My joints are stronger. I feel energetic, like when I was in my early 20s, and I am in the same clothing sizes as when I was a teenager. Also, I don’t snore anymore at night.

The 90-Day Challenge was the best $25 I’ve ever invested in my life. In the beginning, I felt that it was a nearly impossible goal to compete with some bodybuilders from around the nation in this Challenge. But once I started checking the leaderboard, it gave me the motivation to focus and fight to find the best me in those three months. Otherwise, I would have stopped when I lost the first 20 pounds because I was happy even with that.

My recognition is to all the people who work at Life Time. You are not just helping people to lose weight; you are also making a better world. In my case, I am a better person, father, and even a better doctor after this 90-Day Challenge. I am more positive and happier with life. The nutrition habits of my son are improving as well. I have more energy to play with him, to the point that I recently ran a 10K race pushing my son in a stroller for an hour. He was a great running partner telling me “faster, faster” at the finish line. Great memories! Also, I am more knowledgeable about food and nutrition in general. This will help me to counsel my patients with better guidance on how to have a healthy lifestyle, especially for my diabetic patients who need to control their sugar levels so closely. In addition, I have more stamina for my long hours at work delivering babies safely.

To conclude, I am in the best shape of my entire life and I won’t go back. This notorious transformation is staying with me. I just ran my first trail half-marathon a few days ago, and I finished in position 319 out of the 622 runners who finished the race. Also, I plan to start training for a triathlon in the future.

Thanks to Life Time, I feel as if I can accomplish anything now!

Enclosure

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