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Entries in Canton Township, MI (2)


Matt F. - Canton Township, MI  

“I’ll have a hand-cut 32-oz. ribeye, a baked potato – loaded, and a salad with ranch. Oh! And a Cactus Blossom as an appetizer, and keep the cold Coronas coming.” Ninety days ago, that would have been my standard dinner order at my favorite steakhouse. I may have even gone for a large Blizzard at DQ for dessert on the way home. That was before I had the help and support of Life Time Fitness to turn my health around.

Most of my adult life I’ve been overweight, even obese, because of my addiction to food in very large portions. As my daughter once told her friend before we took them out to dinner, “Don’t be alarmed. My dad eats a lot!”

Now, here I am, 115 lb. smaller, a healthier and happier version of that person.

It started innocently enough, when a couple of my buddies and I started talking about joining a gym to work off our nightly scotch drinking. So, after about a month of talking about it, we decided to actually do something and take a tour around Life Time. That’s when I learned about the 90-Day Challenge, and was inspired. I had my eye on the prize… I was going to lose 100 lb. and win that challenge! My wife was worried about the cost, but reluctantly agreed that my health was worth it. I even talked her into joining the gym and doing the 90-Day Challenge with me; she also lost 10 lb. and 6% of her body fat composition.

Before the challenge, Adoreya, the lead trainer at the gym, called me to set up a health assessment. She provided me with nutritional advice and workout tips for getting healthy, including instructions to drink lots of water (key to weight loss). She listened and understood my health history and my back problems, and gave me tips for using the equipment to strengthen my core without straining my back. From the very first day I went at it – working out, cutting down my portions SIGNIFICANTLY, staying busy from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. I walked nearly 1,000 miles in those 90 days – most of those miles on the treadmills at Lifetime.

The trainers gave me a lot of advice and plenty of support along the way. I think Jeff was the first to call me “champ,” and it seems to have stuck. But I didn’t always feel like a champ. There were plenty of days I was ready to give up, but just in time there was a trainer to give me the words of encouragement to keep going – telling me to keep doing what I was doing because it was working! Boaz turned me on to cardio, which was the key to my weight loss for the last 90 days.

The LifeCafe was also very helpful, providing healthy meal options that taste great! The Portabella Meals to Go is one of my favorites. Chrissy set me up with AM/PM vitamins so I was sure to maintain nutritional balance even with my smaller portions and higher calorie burn.

My life is so much better than it was 90 days ago. For starters, I feel better about myself – I’m happier and have more confidence than before. My energy levels are also through the roof. Those naps I used to take every night after work? No more! Now I have energy to grab a rake and clean up the yard after working an 8-hour day. My wife is also happier because I help more around the house and have tackled a few of those “honey-dos.”

I can’t wait to meet with my doctor next week when I go in to see if I can get off of my cholesterol medication. She will be so shocked, and so proud. My blood pressure has also come down, which was likely the next medication by body was going to require. After the scare I had earlier this year when I thought I was having a heart attack, this weight loss is just what my doctor was begging me to do. What will she lecture me on now that I’ve given up all of my unhealthy ways: quit smoking, quit drinking, lost weight.

Now what? Well, first, I’ll need some new clothes. I’ve added 10 – yes, 10 – holes to my belt to cinch up my pants. I’ve lost 20 inches around my belly and 10 inches around my waist. My 3XLT T-shirts are just hanging on me like oversized dresses. Work won’t be too happy when I request new uniforms be ordered either!

One thing is for sure, I’m going to keep the weight off and continue to work out with Life Time. I’ve already scheduled sessions with Adam, a personal trainer at Life Time, to start weight lifting, tone up and strengthen my core and back. Twice in the last 10 years, I’ve been hit with a herniated disk that put me on my back for 8 weeks or more. Both times, my doctor and physical therapists wanted me to drop weight and strengthen my core. Now, I truly feel that I’m in a position to build that core and back strength.

The shock on people’s faces who haven’t seen me since before the challenge is gratifying. I’m inspiring many others to lose weight too, including family members, co-workers, and neighbors. Watch out, Life Time. You may need to build a bigger gym for my recruits!

Shout out to KirbDog from Columbia, MD, for some crazy competition! That definitely kept me motivated each week to not let up!



Danielle G. - Canton Township, MI

What motivated you to sign up for the challenge?

For the year leading up to the challenge I had been trying for a promotion.  It became my sole focus.  I found as I progressed forward in that conquest I lost sight of my priorities.  I lost control of my health and I realized that I needed to concentrate on myself, my health and my family. 

Was this your first time doing the event?


What was your initial goal?  Did you reach it?

My initial goal was 90 pounds, but after consulting with Pierre we decided to change that goal to 60 lbs.  I am so happy to say I achieved that goal!  I lost 61.4 lbs!

What challenges did you experience?

Temptation!  All my favorite foods, all my favorite drinks, St. Patrick's day, family gatherings, they definitely created a challenge in sticking to the path towards my goals.  However, it somehow strengthened my resolve every time I was able to say no to something that I knew wasn't good for me, and thankfully, it paid off!  Also, I became very  sick over the course of the 90 days.  I had a fever, I felt nauseous, it was terrible.  After speaking to my trainer, he put me on a very strict regimen of multivitamins, omega - 3s, the multi-probiotic, zinc and magnesium.  I felt better in under 24 hours and was able to continue the challenge!

What kept you motivated?

Both Paul and Pierre kept me very motivated the entire time.  All I had in my mind the whole time was to not only reach my goal, but win the competition!  Although I didn't win, I am still very grateful for the opportunity and am so incredibly excited about my results! 

What was the most rewarding part of this experience? 

The most rewarding part of this experience has to be seeing my friend Ken, who has some weight loss goals of his own, become inspired by what I have accomplished over the last 90 days.  It was such an amazing thing to see.  Also, seeing my mom get into shape.  Her and I have rebuilt our relationship and have become closer now than ever before.

What did you learn?

Although the journey was very difficult, I learned that I can do ANYTHING if I put forth 100% of my effort and will.  I also learned that salmon and chicken taste way better than burgers and junk food!   

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

After the initial consultation that I had with Pierre, we decided not to leave anything to chance.  My mother and I both decided to become involved in Life Time's personal training program, as well as one on one nutrition coaching along with monitoring all our cardio with a CardioPoint and a heart rate monitor.  Needless to say, it worked! 

What support system did you have to help you?

Besides my trainers, my mother, or as I like to call her, thing 2 (our trainer affectionately called us thing 1 and thing 2) was my support system.  We held each other accountable and I feel that it made me stronger every day.

What are you going to do now?

Return to the daily grind!  Actually, that never stopped.  I was working 12 to 20 hour shifts (ya, 20 hour shifts!) throughout the entire 90 day challenge.  Pierre and I have decided to piece together some new goals for myself.  I am doing the Color Run 5k, the Tough Mudder, and whatever else Pierre wants to throw my way!  I also definitely want to write a book about my journey.