Small Group Training Coach
General Health and Wellness
I had never been lower when I heard about the Life Time Fall Flex 60 Day Challenge. My wife and I had been trying to start a family for almost two years and were deep in another IVF cycle. After endless tests and scans, our doctor found nothing wrong – we were healthy, and we weren’t that old. Yet here we were, disappointed yet again by another negative pregnancy test. My wife’s parents didn’t understand. “Don’t stress,” my mother-in-law said. “Eat healthy.” But my wife is a hospital physician. She works grueling hours, survives on hospital food and takeout, and is constantly under stress. As for me, I bottled up my own stress. I felt completely helpless but confided in no one. It felt shameful – even taboo – to speak about, and so no one besides our doctor and my wife’s parents knew about our struggle. At the same time, we saw friends and family getting pregnant seemingly every day. We turned off our social media and tried our best to stay strong.
We signed up for Fall Flex on a whim. My wife, knowing that she realistically wouldn’t be able to do much of it given her work schedule, and me, hoping to distract myself. The program exceeded our expectations in so many ways (and for only $20!). We received invitations to join an app, with our own personal trainer, Amy S., providing us a live consultation and leading a group of us through the challenge. The app had daily reminders, a chatroom, and a variety of workouts, all self-contained. Most importantly, we had a complete meal plan, including recipes, weekly grocery lists, and nutrition guides. It was comprehensive in exactly the way I needed.
I dove in headfirst.
As a former D1 athlete, I appreciated the well-designed workout curriculum. It included a variety of resistance and cardiovascular training, video demonstrations of exercises, and tracking functionality for measuring progress. The app also notified me every time one of my teammates completed a workout, which really got my competitive juices going. I developed a morning routine, and soon appreciated the mental benefits alongside the physical training. The morning workouts served as an oasis for me amid all the stress of work and our infertility. But the real game-changer? The meal plan.
I have never been handy in the kitchen, and since my wife – who is actually quite a talented cook – worked such terrible hours, we too often resorted to takeout and frozen dinners. This had been going on for years since she graduated medical school. Everything changed when we started Fall Flex. First, the program lays everything out clearly and simply. I knew every week what I had to buy and what meals I would be having and when – even what day to prep them! While my wife was treating patients in the hospital, I could run to the store and get our week of groceries. Second, we would arrange our whole week around meal-prepping, which became a treasured way to spend time together. We laughed when I broke an egg or spilled the olive oil; but despite my fair share of burnt salmon, I eventually got good enough to handle all the cooking on my own. I would drop her off at the hospital with a homemade lunch, and after dinner, we would go on a walk to hit our 10,000 steps, another new and cherished way for us to be together. Third, the meals themselves were packed with nutrition, and that affected us in other parts of our lives. As the weeks went by, we felt better across the board: more energy, improved sleep, and against all odds… happier.
At the end of Fall Flex, I am thankful. I am thankful to Amy S. and my Fall Flex teammates for providing the spark. I am thankful for whoever designed the meal plan and recipe book. It brought my wife and I together when we needed it most. I am also thankful for my health – I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, including my glory days in college – while so many are suffering during a global pandemic.
But most importantly I am thankful because… my wife is pregnant!!! I can hardly believe that I am writing this. We are early, and there is still so much more to go, but I feel ready to face down another setback if it comes. We are genuinely excited to continue our health journey and have productive ways to manage our stress. And while I wouldn’t go advertising the Fall Flex program as a cure for infertility, who knows? Maybe my mother-in-law’s “don’t stress” and “eat healthy” advice was right all along. And while she’s definitely going to take the credit, a huge thank you to Life Time for giving us the tools to make it happen.