A married father of three, I have participated in sports for most of my life. Until five years ago, I was active in the triathlon community, competing in at least 10 triathlons a year. In 2012, our family moved across the country when I took a new job in Washington, D.C. We were long-time members of Life Time Fitness in our previous location in Texas. The closest Life Time to our new home was 45 minutes away, which I made my excuse for not joining. I was staying at the office later and later as the demands of the new job required more of my time. I made excuses for why I couldn’t work out or fit in a run after work. I started eating badly and the pounds began piling on. I started having heart palpitations. It became hard just to get out of the car. I would get winded just walking sometimes. My health was declining.
One night I saw my son eating a bag of chips. I asked him what he had for dinner. He said the bag of chips was his dinner. I told him he couldn’t just eat a bag of chips for dinner, that it was very unhealthy, and he needed to eat a proper dinner. He said he saw me eat chips for dinner several times a week. It broke my heart. I had set such a good example of a healthy lifestyle for my kids for a long time, and now I wasn’t anymore. I knew I had to make a change. I knew I needed to sign up for a gym membership to get things going. I decided to sign our family back up with Life Time. After I set up the membership, I felt like I was back home again. I knew I had made the right decision. You have to enjoy where you are working out every day. Shortly after joining back up, I noticed a sign for the 60-Day Challenge. I knew that I needed this. I needed something to challenge and motivate me. I signed up and completed my initial weigh-in. I was shocked at how much I weighed. I sat down with the trainer, and he asked me how much weight I wanted to lose. I went big and told him 50 pounds. He said I would have to work hard in order to lose that much in the 60 days. I told him I was ready to work as hard as I could.
The first week was going great. I was going to the gym every day and getting in a cardio workout burning at least 500 calories. It was hard the first couple of days, but by day four, things started to get better. At the first week’s weigh in, I had lost almost 21 pounds. I was shocked. I talked to the trainer about how this was possible, and he said when you change your diet you usually cut something out that was causing you to retain a lot of water and become bloated. He said this will usually lead to a lot of pounds lost. He said that the rest of the weeks may not be this much and told me not to get discouraged if they weren’t. He said to just stick to the diet and keep working hard. He was very encouraging, and that felt good. I felt like it wasn’t just me in this fight to get healthy, that I had a whole team of trainers on my side rooting for me.
In the weeks that followed, I continued to lose weight, but nothing near as much as that first week. The pounds were coming off and I was feeling good. Then came the 5th weigh-in. When I stepped on the scale I was shocked. I had barely lost any weight. I was really discouraged and down. I sat down with Pablo, one of the Life Time trainers, and explained what had happened. He said the little bit of weight that I lost was awesome. He was encouraging, and it made me feel good. Then, he changed up my workouts a little, adding a lot more resistance training to the cardio I was already doing. He also had me start training in a different heart rate zone a couple of days a week. At the next week’s weigh-in, the results were huge. I had hit my 50-pound goal, and I still had two more weigh-ins left. I was pumped.
I continued to follow the same plan that Pablo had laid out for me and the pounds kept coming off. I ended up losing 68 pounds total at the end. When I took my after pictures and looked at them compared to my beginning pictures I cried. I couldn’t believe that I had let myself go that much. I worked hard for 60 days, and it all paid off. I have no more heart palpitations, I can easily get in and out of the car, and I don’t get out of breath anymore just walking. My overall fitness has improved incredibly. I feel good, and I have my life back again. The most important thing is that I am modeling for my kids what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. I will never go back to the lifestyle I had before. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that no matter how busy you are, there is always time in the day for a workout. You just have to make it a priority.
Thank you to Life Time Fitness and all the trainers that helped me tremendously with my training and diet. I could not have done this without you. Your constant encouragement helped me realize that I wasn’t alone on this journey. I have already set up an appointment for another Active Metabolic Assessment so I can get my new heart rate zones correct and make sure I am training properly.