I am an infectious disease epidemiologist who worked long hours sitting in front of a computer during the pandemic and survived on vending machine food. I put on weight and put off exercise. This sedentary, high-stress lifestyle exacerbated my pain and mobility issues related to a total of four broken bones and three surgeries between my two ankles.
My life changed in September when Nicole, a personal trainer asked me to join her team for the 60day Challenge. I said yes, even though I wasn’t sure what the 60day Challenge was. I was exhausted, and depressed, hated my painful limp, and spent every day beating myself up for how far I had let myself go.
I met with Nicole to discuss my goals. I wanted to have more developed muscles and more flexibility. She suggested that we add a goal about being able to use weight equipment so that I would feel confident visiting any fitness center in the world and designing a workout. She helped me modify my existing workout schedule to include strength training, a variety of aerobic exercises, and an active recovery day. At the Life Café, Nicole told me about the importance of quality supplemental nutrition products available at Life Time. She explained the importance of protein in recovering after a workout and showed me options available in the Café. I purchased the products, not yet understanding how much they would help my journey.
At first, the challenge was a bit overwhelming. I was changing how I shopped, cooked, exercised, and prepared for sleep. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this. Then I took a deep breath and a leap of faith. I promised myself to follow the plan for 8 weeks and used the week one shopping list to order my groceries online. That was easy enough. Then I noticed the meal prep schedule and realized that while I would be eating well every day, I would not actually be cooking every day. The recipes were simple but tasty. I could do this.
When Nicole met with me to teach me my first work assignment, I was intimidated and thought I could never use the weight machines. It turned out that I loved learning how to lift weights but struggled to add the extra aerobic activity. The activities had me moving in ways that felt strange and aggravated my painful limp. Then one morning around week 3 of the challenge, I realized that I could walk without pain. Gradually, my flexibility and strength returned, and I started looking forward to dance classes and the elliptical machine. I’m not sure if this lack of pain is a result of Life Time Am/PM Multivitamins, Fish Oil, healthier eating, my new fitness routine, or a combination of all, but I like the results!
The challenge gave me many tools that made the journey easier. I used the Life Time Training Application to record my meals, activities, and progress updates. It was the first time that I had ever tracked my macros and it makes a huge difference in meeting my nutrition goals. I love comparing my in-app progress photos to see incremental progress. Each weekly goal helped more things fall into place. Increasing my protein decreased my hunger and cravings. Adding more water helped me feel and look better. Putting devices away before bed improved my sleep. The self-care tips introduced me the sauna and it is now one of my favorite places to visit post-workout.
My mantra for the challenge, “Consistency beats intensity”, came from a Life Time podcast early in the 60day Challenge. It got me to the club on days when I would have preferred curling up on the sofa to heading out for a sweat session.
Getting to know Life Time staff was a great advantage to the 60day Challenge. Our membership concierge was my supportive cheerleader. The front desk encouraged me and took my weekly progress pictures. The Life Café staff met me with a cup of ice after each workout. I took advantage of the spa discounts for challenge participants and met a lovely group of supportive women. I had a massage, a mani-pedi, and my very first facial. Best of all, their hair stylist gave me a sleek new look that made me feel younger and more confident.
The challenge ends on Sunday, but my new lifestyle is here to stay. I am signing a contract with my personal trainer on Monday and already know that I will be doing my squat rack workout on that day. I found a new workout buddy to hold me accountable. My calendar now includes a time to plan meals and order groceries. It will be easier for the next 6-8 weeks because I made double of all challenge recipes that I could freeze. I can now reach into my freezer and have a delicious homemade meal reheated in a matter of minutes.
Looking at pictures does not adequately measure my success on this challenge. The real benefit is how I feel now compared to how I felt when I started. I am more relaxed, well-rested, and confident than I have ever been. I have more flexibility and can move without pain. The lagniappe is that I also lost I also lost 20 pounds and decreased my percent body fat. Joining this challenge was the best decision I could