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Saturday
Dec262015

Mark W. – Deerfield, OH

Scamper was the word I used to motivate myself through my Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge. I chose scamper because when I think of the word scamper, I picture a playful, joyous, agile child bouncing nearly effortlessly along. This summed up all in one word what I wanted to feel again. When you think of the word scamper you cannot help but smile or even laugh a little.

To describe my fitness journey I must first provide a glimpse of my past. As a teenager, I destroyed my right knee. I had seven surgeries on the knee, removing the cartilage and reconstructing it before I was out of high school. As I "matured," arthritis began to creep in, and for more than twenty years I endured ever increasing pain and limited motion. My body compensated and contorted, putting more pressure on my left side. Clearly, scamper was not the word one would use to describe my gait.

Two years ago, at age 53, I gave in and had total knee replacement on my right knee. I joined Life Time Fitness after that surgery and had hoped to get myself back into shape. Unfortunately, the years of overuse and misalignment had taken their toll on my left knee as well. Soon I was back to needing a cane simply to walk the length of a football field. I was not exactly scampering!!!

On Dec 4th 2014, I again had total knee replacement surgery but this time on my left knee. I now had two bionic knees. Fortunately, the Life Time Fitness 90-Day Challenge literally started in early February 2015, the day I was cleared by my physical therapist to return to normal activities. It was at this point that I decided I needed a vision to motivate me. Scamper was the word that gave me that vision.

I also knew I would need support and guidance. I hired a personal trainer for 2 days per week through this journey and enlisted the support of my wife. With this, my journey began. I found Cathy D., my personal trainer, was great at understanding my unique needs. There were many physical activities I simply was not able to perform given my starting point. Cathy has understood when I could be pushed and when we needed to go more slowly to strengthen key muscles before going more aggressively.

The very first week I learned the most critical lesson of this journey. It's 80% what I eat and 20% exercise. With that, I set out to also change how I was eating in addition to the commitment to strength training and cardio. My regimen has me waking up at 5:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, going to Life Time and getting in an hour of exercise or more each day. I make use of the LifeCafé to have an almond delight smoothie and a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I typically have a mid morning snack of almonds or a protein bar, and the salad bar at work for lunch. My wife would prepare a dinner made from primarily organic basic foods. Already prepared and packaged foods have been eliminated from our diet.

I learned to record everything I ate in "my fitness pal" app food diary. This has helped me stick to the plan. Midway through the 90 days, my commitment was tested. I had a period of 2 weeks when I only ate at home for 2 days. Every other day I was traveling. I had to conquer being able to stick to the plan while on the road. I still exercised in the hotel and weighed in for Cathy, texting her a picture of the scale from the hotel gym. I was amazed because when I weighed in after this time, I had actually lost 5 pounds!!! It was at that point I knew I was going to succeed. Traveling had always been my downfall before.

Every week I have felt myself get stronger and quicker. The most noticeable change has been how much the quality of my sleep has improved. I have found myself standing more upright and improving my sense of balance. In fact, I could even start to feel a skip in my step. The pounds just kept coming off. The plan was working!!!

Over the course of 90 days I have lost 32 pounds. I now weigh 210. My body fat went from 42.9% to 28%. I have not been this weight in some time. I still have some to lose, but the path forward is clear. I believe that this journey has taught me how to live in a healthier way. I can also say that this Memorial Day weekend we are going sailing, and I will indeed scamper across the deck of my boat. Scamper, the simple pleasure of having the agility and freedom to be able to move with ease and pain free. This is now my word!!!

 

Enclosure

Saturday
Dec192015

John P. – Summerlin, NV

I recently became a member of Life Time in June. Before that my exercise and eating habits were anything but good. Over the course of 6 years I gained over 100 pounds and as a result started experiencing substantial health problems, including lower back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and heart palpitations. I have a friend and co-worker who is a Life Time member and I told him about all the issues I was having with my weight. He told me about Life Time and all the amenities they have for your workouts and leisure, and that helped motivate me to take a tour.

After I joined Life Time, they set me up with a complimentary training session with Chris. I weighed 293.6 pounds with 42.9% body fat and I was at a 20 Visceral Fat Level. To say I was a little embarrassed for my initial weigh-in at the gym is an understatement. But Chris encouraged me by making me feel like my goals were attainable and by showing me some exercises that worked for me. And he started me on my A.M and P.M. Men’s Multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, and Whey Protein Shakes from the LifeCafe. For the next 2 weeks I continued my new workout routine and lost 11.4 pounds.

Life Time had also set me up with a complimentary myHealthScore. In the beginning of July I met with Andre for myHealthScore testing and my ending score was 68. My TC/HDL Ratio, Body Fat, Aerobic Capacity, Strength, and Flexibility scores were all bad.

Over the next few weeks I noticed all the signs and promotions for the 90-Day Challenge, but didn’t sign up right away. As the start of the Challenge came close I noticed posters with all the past winners and success stories. I finally decided to sign up to give me some extra motivation while trying to become a healthier me. I met with Terry on weigh-in day and set my goal of 90 pounds, which I thought was impossible. We set a plan for me to succeed in the Challenge. My starting weight was 279.2 pounds with 40.2% body fat and a 19 Visceral Fat Level.

On day one I was excited and determined. My first goal was to get to a point where I could actually wear my 90-Day wristband — it was too tight to wear around my wrist. I learned from my sessions with Chris and Terry to start my workouts slow, with an hour on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the stair climber and resistance training every other day. My first week I was down 12.8 pounds and this really sent my motivation into overdrive.

I spent the first 8 weeks of the Challenge trying to follow the guidance I had received when I first joined the gym, and followed my own diet plan that I thought was healthy. I had 2 points where I plateaued and my weight loss started to slow down. I was starting to get frustrated and felt like I wanted to give up when Sally emailed me congratulating on my success so far. She offered a consultation to talk about ways to pick my weight loss back up. She didn’t sugarcoat anything and showed me what I needed to change in my current diet and workout regimen.

After our consultation she had me sign up for nutrition coaching and TEAM Fitness classes. She put me on a 40-30-30 diet plan. Each of my meals now contained 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. She also had me start going to the gym twice a day instead of once for a total of4 hours of workout and 30 minutes of sauna. Just3 days after our initial meeting and starting my new plan I lost 5.8 pounds. I had my motivation and determination back!

In the following weeks I noticed a drastic change both mentally and physically. I was dropping weight faster than ever before and I felt more alert and energized throughout the day. I never thought I would be able to work out in the mornings, but Sandy was a great motivator every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in the TEAM Fitness class.

I met Stacy, the national leader on the women’s board, in the sauna with about3 weeks left in the Challenge and she became my inspiration. We started meeting for workouts and sauna and she was one of my strongest motivators and helped push me to achieve my goals in the end.

In the last days of the Challenge I had another health score done and I went from 68 to 92. I couldn’t believe there could be such a drastic change in such a short amount of time.

I want to thank Life Time, all the trainers who congratulated me every time they saw me, Sandy, and especially Stacy and Sally for pushing me so I could lose an incredible 40.8 pounds in the last4 weeks.  I lost a total of 85.7 pounds and 18.6% body fat in 90 days. My journey and long-term goal of reaching 10% body fat don’t end here, but the 90-Day Challenge gave me a healthy start in the right direction.

Enclosure

Saturday
Nov212015

Jay H. – Palm Valley, AZ 

It's crazy what a difference losing weight can make in your life. I am a 45-year-old husband, father of 2 girls, and I really couldn't do much with my family before this challenge. But now...it's on!

Whatever my girls want to do, we can do it! Swimming, hiking, wrestling, playing at the park, I've got energy for it all!

I've struggled with my weight off and on for most of my life. I had done the 90-Day Challenge before, but I just saw it as a contest. Once it was over, I went back to old habits.

After the last challenge I thought I had learned and was ready to make that life change, but then my wife lost her job, and I had to put my Life Time membership on a freeze. We could not afford the full monthly fee. With me having to put in overtime at work to keep up with the bills, I had no time to work out. As the weight came back, my energy went away and my family could tell.

As this 90-Day Challenge came closer, Angie the Nutritionist asked me if I was going to enter the challenge. Up until that point, I was not sure if I would or not. However, hearing her say those words I felt as if she could see that I had gained all my weight back. I felt like a failure and had to enter now.

It wasn't until this time, this challenge, when I decided to fully commit to this with my wife (who also entered) and kids on board that it finally worked, and I think it will stick! We cut out the junk and are supporting each other towards success in every way! The sky's the limit, and we're so excited to be doing this thing together. (Sort of reignited the spark!)

We're going to keep going, working with Angie the Nutritionist and putting in work so we can just be healthy and live as long as we can for each other and our kids! We are a true success story, regardless of the outcome of the contest. Thanks Life Time Fitness! We'll see you in August for the next challenge....

 

Enclosure

Saturday
Nov072015

Kurt B. – Westminster, CO

I’m 53-years-old and have worked out regularly since my college days. My workouts were strenuous -  hour long strength workouts followed by hour long cardio sessions. I thought my diet was a pretty good diet - no fast foods and minimal processed foods. 

Despite all of this, I couldn’t rid myself of the extra pounds I carried. I learned about the Life Time food sensitivity program from my personal trainer, and his results convinced me to give it a try. 

I met with Megan Salazar, Nutrition Program Coordinator at my club to discuss my results. Megan has been an excellent resource. We talked goals. She then kept encouraging me to change things in order to meet those goals. She provides endless healthy options based on my personal sensitivities. She is willing to work with me on moderation approaches where I lack discipline to eliminate certain foods. 

Quite honestly, I’m shocked and very satisfied with my results. My weight is down more than 15%, my blood lab work has shown dramatic improvement across the board, and my mindset has been extremely positive. It hasn’t been easy, and I know maintaining will be even more difficult. I believe with Megan and the Life Time team’s continued support, I will be successful at maintaining my new lifestyle choices.

 

 

Enclosure

Saturday
Oct312015

Alex T. - Lakeville, MN

I began this Challenge with one thing in mind: fatherhood. Being able to give my kids a father they deserve instead of one they'd have to deal with was a huge motivator. I got as high as 332.5 lbs, by far the highest I've ever been. My normal weight is 195-205 lbs so I was well over being physically comfortable.

Pain and pressure in my knees from that amount of added weight kept me from enjoying our third son due in April 2015 (Yes, during this Challenge) or our 4-year-old and 3-year-old sons at the park or in the yard, since I had to sit every few minutes. Running around with them or chasing them was out of the question.

In December 2014, my better half came to me one day and told me she could see the pain I was in and now was the time to do something for three reasons... Pain, Children, and the Chance to live longer to maybe see grandchildren.

The pain was something that was bad enough to the point of causing a limp in my walk, and when you're trying to raise little boys into young men you focus on everything you do around them to set that example. I always had back pain because of slouching and figured it would be something I had to just get used to. Thinking like this and trying to portray an example for the boys was a difficult balance that I was losing. Ridding my family and me of that is why I wanted to join the Challenge.

Two added benefits from losing the weight would be enjoying time with my children more and growing old to see grandchildren or GREAT-grandchildren!

Competition and help were two reasons that gave me better direction in how to lose the weight safely and smarter. With all the 90-Challenge perks I felt like I could achieve a goal of losing over 100 pounds while increasing strength. Deals on training, nutrition, and coaching are needed and provided to escort you along to your goal.

Ms. Sommer and the rest of the trainers were educated in any aspect/question I threw at them, "Always find a way," and "Train smarter, not harder," were the words I continued to hear throughout the 90 days. Whether it was about pain from a workout the day before or hitting a plateau, trainers were there to motivate and push you through it.

Even my member adviser, Chris, helped out. When I told him my interest in the Challenge, he suggested I get an active metabolic test, since I was trying to lose so much. That turned out to be one of best things that educated me on how unique my zones are. "Smarter not harder!"

All the Try-It Tuesdays were unbelievable - from the trainers/instructors to how packed they were. The energy was surging, and no matter the workout or pain, that energy and guide of the group kept me going - no question!

I went in motivated to lose 140 lbs, to feel better physically, and to win this Challenge. Having my family's support along with my friends and Life Time, I was sure that goal was attainable.

My big variable in the equation was our third son, who was due on April 2. Not having a baby around for three years, I underestimated time off from working out and sleep GREATLY. I figured I would take two weeks off max, but life laughed at that and threw in a week of false labor.

Reality checked back in THREE weeks after he was born on April 4, 2015. I was able to sneak some workouts in here and there. I couldn't leave for that long because a woman recovering from a natural childbirth plus two little boys plus a newborn equals all new kinds of tired.

I am definitely a family man because I'm the man who cooked a steak for her after birth meal, since we all know the hospital food is 5 star quality, ha! Understanding I wasn't going to reach my goal was acceptable to me because it was for a reason that was a result of an amazing gift life offered us. I ended up losing more than half of what I wanted to lose and most importantly gained a lifestyle change in health.

Understanding how your own body reacts to foods and drinks allowed me to change the weight and continue on setting an example for my boys! I get to enjoy my time with my kids more and they get more of what they deserve in a father. Biggest bonus is more TIME to do MORE! Thank you to the Life Time staff and members for your support and guidance! Without it, I couldn't do it all!