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Entries in Woodbury, MN (3)

Saturday
Aug152015

Pamella A.—Woodbury, MN

Someday is now.

I began this 90-Day Challenge for different reasons. At 54, I began to think about how I want to spend the rest of my life. I'd like to be healthy, fit, in better condition and more nutritionally balanced. So I said to myself, let's do it.

I was an athlete in my youth. My 20s, 30s and 40s were spent active but with no fitness program in place. My 40s were the most challenging. A cancer diagnosis at 40, followed by extensive abdominal radiation and gall bladder removal - all leaving me with long term digestive side effects. A herniated disk left me with nerve damage to my left leg. Finally, a divorce.

I signed up for this challenge with a purpose. Getting my life back together meant regaining control of my physical and emotional well-being.

First, I set a goal, had a vision, and set a plan in place.

Goal: To get lean, in much better cardio condition. I decided that I was in it to win it. Lofty, I know, but true. In order to be a contender, I knew my numbers needed to be high, so I set a 60% change in body fat as a main goal. 

The vision: I could envision how I'd look at the end, and I could feel the excitement.

The Plan: Set with my personal trainer Gary Larson:
Strength training 3 times a week. 
7-9 hours cardio on the exercise bike, 
4800 meters in the pool weekly.

I enlisted nutrition coaching and metabolic coaching and invested in a Suunto heart rate monitor and watch through Life Time that is pool savvy also.

I charted my workouts on my computer, logged my eating daily, and photo documented my progress every time that I weighed in. This all helped keep me focused and on target. I consistently was dropping body fat, and I tweaked things when need be.

Weigh-in weekend I purchased all of my supplements for the journey, saving an extra 10% at the Life Café: whey protein, Dynamic Greens, Womens AM/PM, fish oil, calcium, probiotics, glutamine, HCL enzyme. I ordered MIO body care because I know that my skin had been neglected as well and was going to take a hit through this process.

Nutrition: This was critical. The logging helped immensely. 
Sunday and Wednesday were meal prep days. I ate clean, every 2-3 hours, organic, as well as grass-fed, free-range and wild-caught fish for my proteins. No dairy, no alcohol, no cheating. I was super disciplined.
125-150 gm carbs/day
80-90 gm protein/day
45 gm fat/day

I thought it was important to incorporate this Challenge into my regular life. I attended celebrations and made treats for special occasions without sampling anything. I traveled to a show in Kansas City for 5 days and stayed in a hotel with a kitchen and workout room with my meals prepped in advance - all with my focus forward on my goal. I did my strength training at the beautiful Overland Park Life Time. Thank you for your hospitality. That week I continued to drop body fat. 

I ended up with upper respiratory flu for 3 1/2 weeks, which left my workouts altered and out of the pool, but I kept a positive attitude and stayed focused.

I had major personal stresses just like everyone else, but the changes I was making became a great release for me and helped provide a much needed balance.

It was incredible to watch my ranking on the leaderboard continue to go up and to see the excitement on my trainer's face. Gary reminded me of a Vince Lombardi quote: "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence." 

I am super lean and feel amazing. I love going to the gym. Our Life Time is one of the oldest in the company, without some of the amenities but it is beautifully maintained and staffed. There is always a friendly hello and help if you need it. I am very humbled by the kind words and support of the members and staff. I even found the courage to tell people that my goal was to win this challenge. I love my Life Time and would love to bring a title to Woodbury. 

All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. That went through my head daily. 

It is important for me to thank my family, especially my mom who inspires me daily, my friends, clients, my PT Gary, and even my dog for cheering me on with their faith and belief in me. 

Hopefully, my story will inspire you to put a someday on your calendar.

 

Enclosure

Sunday
Apr202014

Eric M. - Woodbury, MN

303 lbs. is where I started 12 months ago in the fall of 2012, for the 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge. I lost a lot of “weight,” but I needed to tone up and finish what was started. I needed to lose body fat – not “weight” and replace fat with lean muscle. The body transformation contest held by Life Time Weight Loss was the perfect opportunity. Throughout this story, I will share the steps taken to go from 25.8% body fat to 12.56% in 90 short days, as well as the major changes in my life and the seemingly endless opportunities that are to come.

I abused my body for over 25 years. I struggled with emotional eating and lying to myself about just how overweight I was. It is important to recognize that because this transformation was not a 90-Day goal. THIS is how my body is supposed to operate, THIS is how I should feel, and these are things I never felt before, nor thought possible. I now ENJOY being FIT as well as the discipline and activities to stay that way. It’s rewarding on so many levels, and there is no turning back. 

Bob Holper, my trainer at the Eagan Life Time and Mike Bjornson at the Woodbury Life Time were instrumental in guiding me through the entire process - both the exercise plan and, more importantly, the nutrition. As well, there were countless other personal trainers, staff and other members who checked in with me and consistently shared their optimism and support. That carried me through the days that were difficult. It was anyone from a trainer fielding one of my many pesky questions to the front desk, LifeCafe and other support staff recognizing the changes in my body and energy that made all the difference to my 90-Day experience. Life Time Fitness is more than just a “gym” to me: it is a “CLUB.”

The diet was very disciplined, consisting primarily of fat and protein, as well as select “clean” carbs at various intervals. Typically, I would go with 2 days of non-starchy vegetables (along with the protein and fat), then 2 days of that with the addition of complex carbs such as brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, etc. After doing this for a while, I would switch to a 5-day, no carb cycle followed by an extremely high carb day to throw the system off. Cutting calories was never a part of the equation. For that reason and the fact my metabolism, fitness and energy are at levels I never thought possible, this is a diet and workout regime that is very sustainable on a regular basis and not simply for doing the contest.

The workouts pushed my limits, and that is what I expected of my trainers. We certainly did our fair share of weight training but worked in cardio on a regular basis, as I had a lot of fat to cut, perhaps more than the average contestant. The more we worked, the more fitness opportunities became available. Hiking, zip lining, cycling, running (my weight had always prevented this), swimming (and feeling more comfortable in a suit!), hot yoga, and even climbing to the top of a mountain in Colorado just to name a few. I see the Life Time Triathlon in the near future as well…perhaps taking my training to another new level once again! None of this would have happened without Life Time Weight Loss and the competitive spirit inspired by the 90-Day Challenge. 

The changes that I made and what transpired over the past 90 days is a part of a big picture quest to live an INCREDIBLY healthy lifestyle. This is a “whole” body transformation, from abusing and taking my body for granted to treating it like a temple. What I did, what I ate and how I feel are absolutely sustainable for the rest of my life!  

 

Sunday
Jan132013

Jerome F. - Woodbury, MN

I found myself tipping the scales at, well…. I am not sure because my scale didn’t go up that high. In 2010, finding myself single again, I decided a huge change needed to happen.  I knew I didn’t want to go the surgery route. Having struggled my whole life with weight issues, once again I began the typical journey of dieting, which was incredibly difficult because I am the pickiest eater I know. I also began to walk, and walk, and walk again, sometimes walking as much as 10 miles a day. I lost weight, I was reaching goals, having slip ups, regaining, the roller coaster many face. Ironically, besides losing weight, my goals were to fit in a booth at a restaurant, and to be able go on any ride at an amusement park. I wanted to have my own success story.  I wanted to be a winner, and say “I’m going to Disney World”.

After much work, I reached a point within my scales weight range, from that point I lost 118 pounds.  I was ecstatic, and felt way better.  My goal was to continue to lose weight, however I hit a plateau, even with walking every day, and doing my best to eat right; I couldn't lose any more weight.  In fact, I started to gain weight. I gained 33 pounds, and was very afraid I was going to gain all the weight I lost back.

I had always been a gym membership payer, not a player.  I have been a Life Time Fitness member since 1994 and realized I needed to take advantage of my membership in order to reach my goal. On August 27, 2012, I came into Life Time Fitness, and saw the 90 day Challenge had begun August 3rd, and I realized this was my chance to push myself harder than I ever had before. I knew I would be at a huge disadvantage by starting so late, but I was so encouraged by the progress I had made that I knew had the determination to make every effort I could to continue to be successful in my effort to break the plateau and continue to lose.

Starting the very next day, I began going to the gym every day. This certainly had its struggles.  I have a full time job, two part-time jobs, and am also taking college courses. When I would work 12 hour shifts, I would spend at least 2 hours at the gym, when I worked 8 hours shifts, I would spend, at least, 4 hours at the gym, and on days off I would spend 6-8 hours at the gym. It was truly exhausting. I never thought that I would be able to run a mile, much less accomplish it in less than 8 minutes. I ended up injuring my leg, (lesson don't forget to stretch). Figuring out the correct diet was a process of trial and error. Green beans became my best friend.

In the end, it was all worth it! From August 28th through Nov 3rd, I lost 65 pounds, since April 2010, I’ve lost over 150 pounds. I'm super excited, and can't believe it sometimes when I look in the mirror! For the first time since I can remember, my weight begins with a "1", my new goal is to never have another "2" or "3" in my weight again, unless it is the last number.

I want to send a special thanks to Steve Maddux, Life Time Fitness trainers: Brad and Krista for their advice, and all my friends, and family for putting up with me, I sometimes got a little cranky.   Thanks for reading my story, and please take a moment to vote for me.