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Entries in Dublin, OH (3)


Rich B. – Dublin, OH

From my youth to my mid-twenties, I was always fit. I rode and raced bicycles, played basketball on a regular basis, and I was in the gym at least 4 times a week. All of this changed when I turned 26 and started my own business.

Eating out during business meetings and for convenience became my normal routine. Drinking beer became my top choice for relaxation. As a result, it took about 6 months to undo a life of fitness. One day I woke up and thought, “What happened? I’m fat!” I went from 200 lbs. to 270 lbs. in a blink of an eye. Not a day has passed in the last 15 years that I haven’t made plans to lose weight and start a healthier lifestyle. I’ll start “next week” became my mantra.

The 90-Day Challenge was my catalyst to something truly amazing. I was going to the Dublin Life Time 2 or 3 times a week when I noticed the sign for the 90-Day Challenge. Without giving it much thought, I signed up. The initial consultation with Gabriel Rodriguez was truly eye opening. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about dieting and nutrition. Eat some protein, keep my calories down and I’ll be just fine. I had no idea about good and bad carbs or the importance of eating the right fats. I also did not know the right amount of protein I needed in my diet. It is amazing how far off my perception of good nutrition was!

I downloaded an app for my phone to track my nutrition macros. I then put together a plan using information from Gabriel and by doing some research on my own. The Try-it Tuesday Nutrition Workshop put on by Ashley Ohearn helped me to strategically plan so I could achieve my goals. The workshop also explained the timing of the nutrients we eat, not just the quality and quantity.

The change in my diet had astonishing results. Initially, I was perplexed by how much food I had to eat. I was on a “diet,” but I was never hungry. I even had to force myself to eat at times. However, that first week was tough! Removing the copious amounts of sugar, beer and other bad carbs from my diet caused me to go through a period of “detox.” My body missed those easy sources of energy as it transitioned to burning the complex carbs I was now eating. I felt sick and depleted, but I expected this based on my consultations with Gabriel and Ashley. After that first week, things turned around. My strength was increasing, and my stamina improved. I am feeling better during and after my workouts than ever before. It worked!

I will say that using the app gave me the structure I needed to achieve my nutrition goals. If it wasn’t part of the plan, I didn’t eat it. I can honestly say I didn’t have one “slip” during these 90 days. My wife played a huge part in helping me maintain my nutrition goals. Although she had much less to lose, she too signed up for the Challenge as an act of solidarity. Our household was cleared of temptations that were not a part of our plan. She also did an amazing job of researching new foods and meals that would support our goals. I could not have done this without her!

I worked out 5 to 6 times a week, and for me, mornings were the chosen time. What better way to start your day than hitting the gym hard and achieving goals! One of the factors that helped me stick to my morning workout schedule is the energy at the Dublin Life Time that early in the morning. When I arrive at the gym between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. the place is electric! No one is yawning and looking sleepy. Everyone is working out with the same intensity as I want to have. Many of the trainers knew I was part of this Challenge and were always providing encouragement and advice. Gabriel and Brian Sickles were 2 of the trainers I could rely on for wisdom and support. I can’t give them and the other members of the “morning crew” at Dublin Life Time enough credit for giving me inspiration and motivation.

Early in the 90-Day Challenge, I had visions of diving into a pile of chicken wings washed down with a pitcher of beer on day 91. Not a chance! I have worked too hard and feel too good to go back to old habits. In these 90 days I ran in the Emerald City quarter marathon and the Columbus half marathon, and in both races met or exceeded my finish time goals. Worth noting, these are the only 2 times I ran outside this year. I trained entirely on a treadmill at the gym. I started ridiing my bike and racing after a 25-year retirement, and in my first race finished 2nd! I feel as though I have traveled in a time machine to my younger, healthier self. I’ve become addicted to people telling me how good I look. You can never hear that too many times!

At age 41, I’m looking forward to my healthy future now more than ever. This is one 90-day experiment that I will continue for a lifetime!

Thank you, Life Time. This was an amazing gift!



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.




Melissa C. - Dublin, OH

The Incredible Shrinking Woman!

This 90-Day Challenge is just what I've been looking for! I've done the yo-yo diet thing for years. I've always enjoyed a good workout but haven't pushed myself to this limit ever. I have learned so much about myself during this transformation!

First, I'm a runner! Who knew!?!? I never thought this was an option for me. I always thought I just wasn't cut out for it. Running seems so easy for others. I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. A running friend told me to go outside and run for 17 minutes. Turn around and come back. If you can do that, you can do a 5k. So, out I went with only one goal - don't walk. What do you know - an hour later I hadn't stopped! I was beside myself! All those group fitness classes really paid off!

Now I'm doing a bunch of small races. Maybe even a half marathon is in my future. I am no longer putting a mental block on the possibilities of what my body can do.

I am continuing to push myself and learn new limits each workout. I have this challenge to thank for that. All the education and support from Life Time staff have been unmeasurable. What a great experience!