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Entries in Columbia, MD (2)


Kirby D. – Columbia, MD

Five months ago my doctor invited me to accompany him on a Saturday to visit a rehabilitation center. At this center men my age (51) were recovering from heart attacks and strokes. He said I was well on my way to being a patient there. I was suffering from the same metabolic problems that they had. I had high blood pressure, morbid obesity (302#), diabetes, pancreatitis, an enlarged heart and extremely high cholesterol levels.I was scared and didn’t know what to do. I didn’t go to the rehab center but what I did might have saved my life.

I remembered a fitness club where I use to take my young children swimming in Columbia, Md.  They also had an awesome workout area upstairs so I thought what the heck I might as well go take a look at it.  As soon as I entered the door 2 friendly front desk employees said hello and how can we help you.  I told them I might want to join and they said great and introduced me to Justin.  Justin never once pressured me into joining and gave me a thorough tour of the facility. Afterwards I knew I had to join. He said try it for 30 days and if it didn’t help me, then I could simply quit with no strings attached.

I told him all my health problems including my frozen right shoulder and he set me up with Thomas Crooks, who is a personal trainer that specializes in clients with medical issues.

Four months ago (July 2015) I headed to my free training session and analysis with Thomas.  He weighed me in at 286# and put me on the arc trainer to warm up.  After f5 minutes my legs gave out and I couldn’t breathe.  He went on to test my shoulder and found out I had no flexibility and no strength. I told him I used to be a very good athlete, and he looked me square in the eyes and said with confidence that I would be again.

Three months ago (August 2015), my weight was down to 270# and I was now able to lift weights.  My physical therapist released me, and said what Thomas and I had accomplished with my shoulder rehab in one month normally would have taken a whole year.  I had lost 16# and for additional incentive I signed up for the Life Time Fitness 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge.

My workout routine consisted of a 15-minute cardio warm-up, one hour of supervised weight training, and then 30 minutes of fat-burning cardio on the Life Fitness Elliptical 3 times a week.  Fat-burning is maximized by maintaining my heart rate at 60% of my maximum.  For me that was 120 beats per minute. I also did elliptical cardio3 other days a week and made sure I took one whole day off each week.  Utilizing the Life Time pool for swimming and relaxing was also very important.

As the saying goes, true weight loss is accomplished through nutrition more than anything else. Thomas set up a diet consisting of 1200 calories per day with 100g of lean protein and the rest being complex carbs and good fats.  I did not consume any alcohol or eat any simple carbs or bad fats.  I also ate most of my calories early in the day and never ate after 7pm.

Two months ago (Sept. 2015), I was consistently losing 5 to 10 lb. per week until I stepped between 2 stones and suffered an avulsion fracture in my right ankle.  As I limped into the upstairs weight room, I thought the Weight Loss Challenge was over for me.  I told Thomas what happened and he said, well let’s get to work.  He never gave me a chance to quit.  My warm-up consisted of stretching and back rolling, and my weight training was all upper body. Afterward, instead of the elliptical he told me to hit the lap pool for 30 minutes. The weight kept coming off. I was truly amazed.

One month ago (October 2015),  my ankle had healed enough for leg training and cardio and my shoulder was getting stronger than ever.  My weight loss started to increase, but more importantly my fat was burning off quicker than ever before.

Now (Nov. 2015), to make a long story short, I would like to thank Life Time Fitness and their 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge for changing my life forever.  They have given me a whole new healthier lifestyle and the best personal trainer anyone could ever ask for.



Elizabeth H. - Columbia, MD 

My goal: Lose weight by eating healthy and exercising (i.e. developing a healthy lifestyle that I will continue throughout the rest of my life) 

My success (thus far): I have lost 91 lbs., and I am approximately 20 lbs. away from my goal weight. 

My Story: Most people talk about the freshman 15 that occurs your freshman year of college due to alcohol and fast food. I gained a lot more than the freshman 15 throughout college and my first two years in the business world. When I graduated from college with a degree in accounting, I worked for one of the big four accounting firms, which included late hours, long days, eating out, frequent traveling, extended hotel stays, etc. This was not a healthy lifestyle for me, and it added to the college weight I had put on. After two years of living this unhealthy lifestyle, I accepted a job with a better work/life balance and was able to finally take a look in the mirror. When I did this, I did not like what I saw. I didn’t know how I let myself get to be so unhealthy. I decided to make a change.  

The first thing I did was join Weight Watchers in order to begin eating healthier. I have been a Weight Watchers member since December 5th, 2012, and I attend weekly meetings in order to weigh in and learn more about nutrition. Through Weight Watchers, I have learned the importance of what you put into your body as well as the importance of portion control and a daily log, which tracks food consumption and exercise. It helps for planning ahead and making smarter, more conscious food decisions. 

Another important change I made to live a healthier life was beginning to use my Life Time gym membership on a regular basis. Prior to December 2012, I used Life Time at best once per week. I played sports in high school (basketball and lacrosse) and was a very active individual, but I didn’t make time for exercise in college and during my first two years in the working world. In December of 2012 at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I began going to the gym on a regular basis. I am now at the gym 4-6 times a week. At the gym I try to change up my routine to work different muscles. In doing so, I have tried a number of different classes along with many weight and cardio machines. I typically spend 1.5 hours, 4-6 days a week at the gym doing cardio (elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike, or Stairmaster) and weights (machines and free weights). In order to get the most out of my workouts, I use a Polar watch to track my heart rate and calories burned during my workouts. I also participate in classes such as Hot Yoga, Hot Vinyasa Yoga, and Cycle. Finally, I spend time with a Life Time personal trainer, who has taught me some great new exercises in order to continue to vary my workout routine. 

One of the things I have learned throughout my time at the gym is that I truly enjoy taking time out of my day to spend on bettering myself. This has made me become a more active person in my everyday life, and I continue to try new activities, such as kayaking, hiking, running outside, yoga, etc. I have even found that I love hot yoga so much that I have joined a yoga studio (Charm City Yoga) in order to strengthen my practice. I also have a “bucket list” of active things that I would like to try sometime in the near future. 

Overall, losing weight and exercising regularly has made me a stronger and more confident individual. I am truly proud of how far I have come, and I look forward to what my future has to offer now that I have taken control of my health and my life.