“The pressure to be thin at all costs.”
As a 49 year-old father of three daughters (21,19,16), I know all too well how real that kind of pressure is, especially for young women. Even though they know I love them unconditionally, inside- out, not from outside-in as today’s culture forces you to think. This unrelenting pressure in a world full of unhealthy eating and drinking choices is what can cause eating disorders or taking diet pills that could cause permanent damage to their hearts and bodies. Dad worries!
I knew immediately this Challenge was the perfect motivation I needed to not only be an example to my daughters, but also to finally instill a real and lasting healthy change in my life. I wanted to be an example of the right way to lose weight, trying not just to be thin, BUT BE FIT and HEART HEALTHY! By focusing on a healthy lifestyle, using only proper nutrition and exercise, my journey became exactly all of that and SO much more. More than I ever dreamed possible!
My wife Kristi and I joined Life Time Fitness last fall and immediately fell in love with the energy and all of the amenities. It truly made us more excited about our community that such an amazing facility was now in our town. The equipment, the classes, locker rooms, pool, tennis and spa are all amazing. Unfortunately, it took several months before I took advantage of best part of Life Time, the personal training. That was until a trainer noticed me walking bent over after a strength class and told me with a smile, “I can help you with that.” That was the day I met Ali Shifaqat, the most passionate, hardest-working and knowledgeable P.T. I have ever met! That exact day, the quality of my life began to increase and has been increasing ever since. Before meeting Ali, I was doing all the same exercises I had done for years to try and build muscle, but was doing absolutely nothing for building my core and flexibility. I had resigned to the fact that I would always have to live with knee and joint pain. I had major knee surgery from playing football before I was 20. Crawling out of bed first thing in the morning, it would sound like firecrackers going off from all of the popping and cracking my legs would make. Ali had a plan for me from day one of our training and taught me amazing core and balance exercises and proper technique that were a catalyst to better posture. After just a few weeks, all of my back and knee pain began to go away. Then I saw the sign for the 60-Day Challenge. I told Ali that I was “in it to win it”. Ali immediately motivated me saying I could do it, telling me “All I see is a winner!”
I immediately did the D.TOX from LifeCafe and saw amazing results my first weigh in and I knew something special was happening. I started taking the Life Time supplements that were handpicked by Ali, ones that I had never taken before; I immediately began to see my workout intensity and energy increase. Kathi in the LifeCafe, made sure my perfectly balanced prepared meals were ready every day the first few weeks. I learned portion control, what to eat and to eat more meals throughout the day. I then took the Active and Resting Metabolic Tests, and Ali specifically designed workouts through the amazing LT Connect App. Using the LT Connect App along with heart rate monitor I bought in the LifeCafe, I was able to work out more effectively, burning fat like never before. I was losing weight consistently every week AND my body fat percentage was dropping every week as well. I started at 24.9% body fat and now at final weigh-in, I am at exactly 12% body fat. With Ali’s encouragement, I went outside my comfort zone and started yoga classes three times a week. This ended up being a huge part of my success! Yoga has helped keep me injury-free and has dramatically increased my overall flexibility. In addition to this, I now have much more mental focus during my daily activities both at home and at work.
I feel so grateful to be able to be that example to my daughters and know how proud they are of me. I am grateful for the support of my beautiful and very fit wife Kristi, who loves to tell me that I am just a big kid who wants to go out and play. I am grateful that now, I can really enjoy the many activities we like to do, ones that I would struggle doing before. We love to stand-up paddle board, ride bikes and play tennis. I am so grateful that now, when I hop out of bed, my legs no longer make a sound. I am blessed to, almost daily, experience new breakthroughs in my fitness. Last night, I went for a three-mile jog, ONLY I wasn’t jogging, I was sprinting! I have never felt SO alive and empowered!
I want to thank you, Ali, for your amazing knowledge, for sharing and instilling in me your passion for fitness and your willingness to help me any time I needed it. I look forward to your continued teaching and you pushing me way beyond my current limits.
Hey Kristi… Let’s go play!!!