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Entries in 90-Day Transformation (16)

Sunday
Jan122014

Kelly S. - Westminster, CO

After making it though a painful divorce and landing in a pool of raw emotions and financial difficulties, as a single mom of three little ones I knew I had some major choices to make regarding how I was going to approach fitness and nutrition – as much for my kids’ sake as for my own. I decided I would work through the emotionally arduous time by signing up for the Lifetime Fitness 90-Day Transformation Challenge. I knew it would keep me accountable and help me channel any negative emotions/energy toward something positive. I also liked that it would help me foster discipline. With so many crazy circumstances spiraling out of control around me, setting health and fitness goals became one thing that I COULD control, while gaining a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem through the process. I’ve learned that a physically healthy and active mom often means an emotionally healthy and active mom, which translates quite nicely for three precious little ones who are leaning on dear mom for all sorts of support and encouragement. 

Though my 90-Day Challenge journey started three months ago, my quest for fitness and health began at a very young age and has evolved significantly over the course of my lifetime.  Growing up in the countryside of West Virginia, it was easy to stay active as a kid. Hunting, fishing, riding my bike, I was very much a “tomboy,” though I never particularly cared for that term. Having a toothpick for an older sister, I noticed early on that my body’s build was much different than hers. She was long and lean, and I was much more compact, always self-conscious of my thick legs. My perception of that difference translated as “fat” in my brain. Even though we ate home grown vegetables from our garden and wild game hunted from the mountains behind our house, the pantries were not void of chips, toaster pastries, canned goods and other processed foods - all filled with dyes, preservatives and artificial ingredients. 

In high school I began to run the country roads by my house always in an effort to lose weight. I played basketball and ran track, but never really excelled as an athlete in either sport. When all of the sugar-free and fat-free diet fads hit the market, I was quick to jump on the bandwagon in hopes of thinning out my build.  The promise of weight loss through these diet foods stuck with me into my college years and beyond but eventually came back to haunt me later in life. After developing eye auroras followed by severe migraines several years ago, I quickly learned that I needed to weed out artificial sweeteners, which I learned were readily available in so many foods that I was consuming from light yogurts to certain “nutrition” bars. So when I discovered not long ago that the Life Café offered a natural sweetener derived from coconut, I realized that I could enjoy a little sweetness in my coffee without it negatively affecting my health or poisoning my system in the process.

In fact, I was so delighted to see all of the healthy and natural food options easily accessible in the Life Café, that it only further solidified the commitment I was forming toward better nutrition. I had already begun to incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies in my diet and had discovered Juice Plus+, a whole-food based fruit and vegetable product, the year before. So, I loved being able to grab an Asian kale salad from the café as part of my post workout meal. This was also a great benefit to my kids, who after a fun two hours in the child center, loved stopping for an occasional smoothie chock full of fresh fruits and other natural ingredients. 

Though not financially able to afford a personal trainer, I was so thankful that each and every trainer I approached for advice was so open and willing to help. About a third of the way through the challenge, I decided to register for an NPC Women’s Figure Competition to further guide me in my goal of losing fat, building lean muscle mass, and transforming my body. Life Time personal trainer Erin Baer has previously competed in a Figure Competition and gave me some great diet and fitness tips, including the use of a vegetable based hormone-balancing supplement, Indole-3-Carbinol, available in the cafe. I noticed quite a difference in my hip and thigh region after the first month of taking the product. As I was somewhat intimidated by some of the machines that I had never before used, it was also encouraging that I could always approach Erin or another LT trainer to help explain proper form and use of the equipment.

Life Time’s Try-it-Tuesday program also allowed me to explore new avenues of fitness. I learned that I really love the STRIKE kickboxing class! Not to mention, I built some amazing friendships with other LT members, who I met during the classes. Having a workout partner or friend to meet for a class really does make all the difference! I realized as I started to train for the Figure Competition that I lack symmetry in my muscle definition. Trying out Pilates for the first time during the Try-it-Tuesday inspired me to incorporate such a system into my weekly routine and also made me more aware of my posture and the need to protect my lower back and stabilize my spine by maintaining a strong core.  I loved learning to use an exercise ball for core strength and balance as well! 

After years of struggling with my self-image and after three pregnancies/babies, I felt that I had something to prove to myself about my body’s ability to transform, even as a mom nearing 40. Life Time Fitness helped me get there and then some! Even more impacting than the physical change of body fat versus lean muscle was the emotional and spiritual transformation I underwent through the process. Thank you Life Time for providing me with a catalyst for developing a healthier way of life! I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in three months, and I look forward to what lies ahead, all in my Life Time. I hope my story can inspire others toward similar positive changes and transformations.

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