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Entries in Lake Houston, TX (4)

Saturday
Feb272016

Racheal C. - Lake Houston, TX

I have always enjoyed a healthy competition. It helps me to deal with everyday stress. As a mother, children and their lives always seems to take priority, leaving little to no time for exercise or a healthy lifestyle—or at least that’s the excuse I so often use.

As a single mother with 5 children under my roof, busy doesn’t begin to describe my days. As a nurse, I am up at 4 o’clock in the morning and go non-stop before I lay back down at 11 at night. Always planning, coordinating and thinking how am I going to manage this? I was having constant headaches, gaining weight, never feeling rested, and looked a fright! Has cloning been perfected yet? I had to find some balance!

I know all the mothers out there can relate when I say that I am very unhappy with my body after my children. The stretched skin and changes that come with having them is very depressing and impacts a woman psychologically. Every time I look in the mirror I know that even if I lost the weight the sagging skin would look even worse. So, I put my clothes on and dismiss myself as unimportant, then focus on making everyone else happy. I dig really deep, muster up a smile, and walk out of my room a hypocrite every morning. I preach to my children about how important they are and how important it is to do what makes them happy. I teach them to not care what others think about them. All the while I am trying not to break into tears thinking of the college athlete that was fit and proud of her body and herself, now wasting away and not allowed to share how she really feels to protect her children. The anguish and shame is almost unbearable, but what we will do for our children, right?

When one of the trainers at Life Time told me about the 90-Day Challenge, I felt something that I hadn’t in quite a while—competition! Oh but wait, my children.... I told my boyfriend, and much to my surprise he volunteered to take over as mom. He told me to enter but only if I promised to win because he wasn’t going to put himself through “you know what” playing mom to 5 kids unless I was going to completely commit and win.

I cried as I threw myself into his arms. I weighed in at 158 lb. with 21.7% body fat. Now I just had to figure out how in the world I was going to work myself into the schedule. I started by talking with the kids and asking for their support. All seemed to be set and ready for me to compete. Between sports commitments, lack of sleep, 5 kids to feed, homework, chores for the household and work, I began to crumble. Letting go is no easy task. How could I be so selfish to allow my boyfriend and oldest girls shoulder my responsibilities? And then to make matters worse, 3 kids come down with strep throat! Oh God, please keep me healthy so that I can take care of them as well as myself. Instead of staying with my workout regimen, I gave in feeling guilty and ashamed for not upholding my responsibilities as a mom.

After a long night of talking with my boyfriend, I realized once again that my children were in good hands. I saw that I had fallen into a pit, and I knew deep down only one thing would get me out. Being of a sports background myself, finding the motivation and determination to dig down deep was the easy part! I just had to make up my mind that I could do this! So, I set a goal to follow a clean diet with lots of water, baked chicken and veggies, and not eating after 6 or 7 p.m. I also made sure that I was taking my multivitamins daily along with my omega 3’s.

Almost every day, I would squeeze in 30 minutes to an hour of cardio along with weight training, alternating from upper body to lower body workouts with an occasional rest day in between. My personal relationship began to grow as well. We have so enjoyed working out together and coming up with new couples’ workouts. It’s amazing how after just a week of commitment, I began to feel so much better and already started seeing results! One of my most proud moments through this was hearing the children say how awesome I was for doing all of this! Every chance they had, they were out in our garage-gym working out with me too! I have been able to reach a body fat percentage in single digits, which is absolutely amazing for a 40-year-old woman.

Enclosure

Saturday
Jan302016

Michael H. - Lake Houston, TX

I will forever remember the year 2015. It will echo through my thoughts for the rest of eternity. To say the last 90 days have been a “Challenge” would be the ultimate understatement. Sometimes we have to endure much before we are able to see the prize.

I am no stranger to challenges, but wow. I began just like anyone else, prepared to better my physical state. I worked with Brady and Susan when I started my journey. I began to see tremendous changes taking place when the bottom fell out.

The first life challenge came in the form of my ex-wife moving almost 2 hours away with my children. We had 50/50 custody, and I only found out when I did because my 7-year-old daughter asked me if I had seen their new house! My children have been my world since my divorce. I was overly involved in their lives, coaching, putting my job on the back burner just to put them first in my life, etc. Needless to say, I was completely crushed. The 90-Day Challenge became a distant memory. I fell into a deep depression and was unable to focus at my job and life in general.

The next blow came when I lost my job. I saw it coming, but I was paralyzed and unable to do anything about the situation. The best way I can describe how I felt was like the movies when they show a person who is fully aware of all the bad things that are happening to them but physically unable to respond or do anything about it. I would literally lay balled up on the floor in tears because I needed my children and feared I would only get to see them every other weekend.

Unfortunately, the next challenge came in the form of physical anguish. I was in a hurry to take my oldest daughter to the movies with a friend, but the rest of my children wanted to start a fire out back. I will spare you the details, but the next thing you know I am on fire right in front of my children. I suffered 2nd degree burns on the right side of my body all down my face and arm. I felt like I was melting for a couple of days, and I won’t tell you about the blisters and peeling and having to tell my children it was going to be okay without breaking into tears because of how life was falling to pieces around me.

Here I am, broken, jobless, and with 2nd degree burns down a good portion of my body when my 10-year-old son comes up and gives me a great big hug and tells me how much he loves me. He sits down next to me and just begins to talk like nothing had happened and everything was going great. He tells me how he knows I am hurting but that everything will be okay and that I need to keep my head up and press through. Through the shower of tears, I felt strength like none I had ever felt before. Then my son told me he wanted me to finish strong and win the 90-Day Challenge. He told me that he would work out by my side, and so we began. I pushed myself despite the pain from the burns to make my son as proud of me as I was of him.

I have lost around 60 pounds and my son has lost 20. The next thing you know, I weighed in, and I was in first place! My family implemented all that Susan had taught us. The first and most difficult thing we did was to reduce our portion sizes. Then we increased the size of our breakfast. In my case, I made a point to eat breakfast for a change! We made sure to round our meals with proteins and complex carbs, and my son had to throw in some of the ice cream food group every once in a while.

I would like to say thank you to Rachel, Hope, Chaney, Kamron, Hayden, and Grace. I couldn’t be more proud of each one of you and grateful for all you did to see me through this time, and of course I especially want to thank Hayden and say how proud I am of how much progress you have made and the weight you have lost. Lastly, I would like to thank the dear friends I have made at Life Time for all the encouragement each time we pass at the grocery store or elsewhere. I would especially like to thank Susan for putting up with me, and thank you, Brady, for providing me with motivation.

Sunday
Mar022014

Andy B. – Lake Houston, TX

If someone had asked me to describe myself before joining Life Time Fitness, I would have included words such as depressed, unattractive, and valueless. There was a time when I never would have used those words to describe myself; my self-esteem was at an all-time low. Throughout high school and most of undergraduate school I was a healthy, active individual. That all seemed to change when I entered graduate school.  I was so focused on finishing my degree, that I forgot there were other things in life that were just as, if not more, important. I began slowly putting on more and more weight over the years. I then did what many of us have done and yo-yo dieted. I ended up getting heavier and heavier every time I went through a diet cycle. By the time I finished graduate school, I was about 260 lbs. I felt awful. I ended up going to see my family physician and discovered that I had a cholesterol level approaching 300 and high blood pressure. As is all too common these days, my doctor provided me medication to control my cholesterol and high blood pressure. These provided me with an excuse to ignore the problem that was staring me in the mirror every day for a few more years. I finally realized I had a serious issue when my company transferred me to Houston.  For the first few months after my transfer, I was commuting 3 hrs a day. I had no time for any physical activity, and I had ramped up my eating due to stress. During those 4 months, I had reached 285 lbs and was well on my way to reaching 300 lbs given a few more months.

In July of 2011, my wife and I finally moved to Houston, and I began another cycle of yo-yo dieting. Two things occurred this time that had never occurred before. First, I decided that I was tired of losing pounds that I’d lost in the past. Second, I visited Life Time Fitness. My wife and I had always been members of gyms in the past, but there was something different about Life Time. It wasn’t the size of the facility, the amenities, or the number of pieces of equipment (although those were attractive features); it was the people, specifically those in the personal training department. Before joining Life Time, my wife and I decided that we needed to hire a personal trainer for the education and accountability. During our initial assessment, we met Hannah. Hannah set us up with our first trainer and made the suggestion that we might want to meet with the dietitian, Jenny.

Meeting with Jenny was one of the best decisions I ever made. I always lied to myself that my diet wasn’t that bad; I just had a portion control problem. Jenny quickly educated me on what my diet was actually doing to me. Over the next few months, I met with Jenny on a regular basis as we began the process of correcting my diet. Some of the changes ended up being very easy, while others were very difficult (What do mean I need to get rid of the canned pineapple?!?!?!  It’s fruit!!). In addition, we started to track the effects of the dietary changes we were making by monitoring my blood chemistry. The end result was that we were able to make some targeted changes to positively affect my health. As time has gone on, I’ve been able to meet with Jenny on an as needed basis to continue monitoring my progress.

After just a few months of working out, I hit my first hiccup. I showed up for one of my afternoon training sessions to discover that my trainer had quit without telling any of his clients or his colleagues. Fortunately for me, I got the opportunity to work out with Hannah, the woman who did my original assessment. Ultimately, Hannah took me on as a client. Hannah was an awesome motivator who taught me what I needed to do to successfully lose weight and rediscover the man I had lost so many years ago. With the support of both Hannah and Jenny, I lost 90 lbs in my first 9 months as a member at Life Time. After a few months of working out with Hannah, she was promoted within the company, and I got the opportunity to work with another awesome trainer, Richard. Richard has worked with me to expand my exercise knowledge beyond its use for weight maintenance and is helping me to push the boundaries of my perceived physical limitations.

If somebody asked me to describe myself after joining Life Time Fitness, I would include words such as energetic and full of life. Because of the support of people in the personal training department at Life Time, I’ve had a number of accomplishments over the last few years. I’ve lost 90 lbs. and reduced my BF to 11%. I’ve completed numerous 5 and 10k runs. I’ve completed 2 Tough Mudders, and I’m signed up for my 3rd this coming May. Finally, I’m looking forward to competing in the Alpha Showdown this spring.

Sunday
Oct142012

Marie P. - Lake Houston, TX

We all have challenges that we have gone through physically in life. I would like to share some of mine with you. They are what helped me to have that driving force within me to become fit for life.  Throughout my adult life I have tried many diets, but I would only lose 10 pounds and then gain the 10 back and more. I had no real success before.

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