I signed up for this Challenge to get back in to the habit of exercising and eating right. After participating in last Fall’s 90-Day Challenge, I ranked in the top 5 nationally, losing 85.7 pounds. When it was over, I continued to lead a healthier lifestyle, maintaining my weight while watching what I ate and exercising three to four days a week.
This all changed after I had a non-gym-related back injury and could no longer work out. As a result, my commitment to health fell by the wayside. I started diverting back to old destructive habits and I quickly found myself becoming withdrawn and depressed. My acid reflux, fatigue, and that old feeling of disappointment when I looked in the mirror returned, and I had gained back over 45 pounds.
I started my first Challenge to commit myself permanently to a healthier lifestyle. With cancer, heart disease and diabetes running in my family, I wanted to be certain I was doing everything I could to shield myself from these preventable diseases.
When signing up for this Challenge, I knew the hard work and discipline that would be required of me, but I was confident Life Time could get me back on track. On weigh-in day, I knew that I wanted to start things off right so after registering, I scheduled my Active Metabolic Assessment and myHealthScore evaluation that first week so I would know what my work loads and heart rate zones were so I could get the most out of work outs while exercising smarter and not harder.
I also set up an appointment for nutrition coaching, where we discussed my specific work out plan and how to get the most out of both diet and workouts. I made a promise to myself that day that I would commit myself, not only for the 60 days, but also after that to make these lifestyle changes and to continue eating right and maintaining a normal workout routine.
I continued taking my A.M and P.M. Men’s Multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Whey Protein Shakes and I also started taking the Amino Complex from the LifeCafe. Additionally, It was recommended that I incorporate the 40-30-30 nutrition plan. I track my daily meals to know that I’m getting my required daily calories and the right proportions of macronutrients which contain “40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat.”
Since I hadn’t been to the gym or overly active in a while, I started workouts slowly for the first week, gradually increasing the intensity throughout the entire Challenge. I scheduled a follow-up Active Metabolic Assessment midway through the Challenge to assure I was still working out in the most time-efficient manner. I also joined TEAM Weight Loss because it prompted me to get out of bed each morning, and because I had such a great experience in the previous Challenge. Sally is a great motivator every class and pushes us to do what she knows we are capable of.
The hardest part of losing weight for me has been, and I believe always will be, nutrition. There was constant temptation to fall off course with clients bringing donuts and lunches in to the office, a buffet-style employee dining room at my second job, family dinners, parties, etc., but I had excellent support from family and friends who encouraged and reminded me why I was wearing that 60-Day Challenge band on my wrist.
There were days that I just wanted to give up and quit. I was tempted to have a piece of pizza that everyone else was enjoying instead of the salad that I knew was the healthier choice. At those times, reading past winners’ essays provided great motivation. It helped being reminded that everyone goes through the same struggle which aided me to push harder and to remain focused on the worthwhile end result. I can only hope that my story might provide similar inspiration to future Challenge competitors.
A huge part of my success in both Challenges was finding a support system within Life Time. Not only were the trainers always checking on me every time they saw me, they were also there if and whenever I needed support or advice.
TEAM Weight Loss members Janet, Leslie, Mark, Ann, Stacy were always rooting for me and Mindy – a fellow weight loss competitor who was ranked number one nationally – has been so amazing. We would meet at the gym for workouts, especially on days that seemed really hard to get through. We helped encourage each other to get to that finish line giving it all we had!
I am so thrilled that since I started my journey with the first Challenge I have lost over 120 pounds. Stepping on the scale and weighing under 200 pounds is something I thought I’d never see again, and I feel like a new person who is capable of even more.
I want to thank Life Time Fitness, the trainers and class instructors, my new Life Time buddies, as well as my friends and family for their encouragement and support. They helped push me to realize what I once thought was impossible was in fact possible! I am forever grateful and now looking forward to the Transformation Challenge!