When I was younger, my body was strong and a source of pride and confidence. Then, when my first son was born, I began to struggle with my taking care of myself, and eventually started to gain weight. I experienced postpartum depression after his birth, and again when my second son was born three years later. In between, I suffered periods of chronic fatigue and muscle soreness, periods which grew worse with the passing years. I felt like an old woman, and the only thing that helped me through the day was a growing addiction to sugar.
In summer 2013, I became pregnant again. It was a very difficult pregnancy, in which I was sick and put on a lot of weight. In August, I lost the baby. My spirit was shaken, and my health continued to deteriorate. By November I received surprising news – I was pregnant with twin girls. I was beyond terrified that the girls wouldn’t make it to term.
The girls arrived two weeks early in July 2014. I was relieved that they came early, but the delivery was intense and physically demanding. On that fateful day, I delivered the second largest set of twins ever birthed at Rex Hospital in Raleigh. The girls were extremely healthy and thrived, but, unfortunately, I suffered complications from their delivery. The doctors told me plainly that the only way to repair my abdomen would be with a difficult, expensive, and painful surgery. This scared me very much.
I went home to a house of four beautiful, young children, whom I loved dearly. Almost immediately, though, caring for them became overwhelming. I turned to sugar each time my stress rose; each scream, each cry, each demand made me run faster to the candy stash atop my refrigerator. My weight climbed and my whole body grew into a source of pain. The confident young woman I had been was lost to the treats that I used to soothe my physical and emotional malaise.
As my girls’ second birthday approached, I began dreading the thought of appearing in their party pictures. My close friends tried to comfort me at first, but when I continued worrying about it they suggested I try Life Time Fitness. The thought of working out in such a large and beautiful fitness facility, surrounded by so many people, was intimidating to me. After a while, though, my growing desire to change convinced me that I should give it a try, if only to run around on the indoor track that I assumed they maintained.
My husband and I went to the sales office, where Brandon G. informed me that there was no track. I felt like I should leave, but Brandon set me up with an initial onboarding session with Kris R. My new trainer Kris impressed me with his comfortable approach, and the way he helped me set reasonable goals; Brandon impressed me by his excellent personality matching of Kris and me. I began taking a group fitness yoga class at Life Time and working with Kris regularly, and was shocked at how quickly my work and our sessions eased my pain. I started feeling stronger and looking better at the same time.
Kris encouraged me to grow by setting more challenging goals and giving me knowledge and skills I needed to succeed. I joined the 60-Day Transformation Challenge and started working with Brandon W., a Life Time Nutritionist. Brandon helped me make a nutritious diet plan and taught me about healthy nutrition habits. I supplemented his coaching with stops in the LifeCafe for delicious smoothies, and by purchasing protein powder to use at home. To expand my physical fitness further, I began personal Pilates sessions with John F. Between personal training and Pilates, changes in my diet, and the nutritional resources I received from Lifetime Fitness, my body began to rapidly change; I lost much of my body fat, gained lean muscle, and began to reclaim confidence in myself.
These days, I go to Life Time five days a week – and I couldn’t be happier. I look forward to seeing the staff and other members each time I visit. My old self-made excuses why I couldn’t find time enough to work out each day, but the new me knows it is an imperative to carve out time and take care of myself always. I am a better wife, mother, and business owner now that I look after my physical and emotional wellness. When I am stressed, I don’t turn to sugary treats, but instead focus my attention on exercise and activity. When I do want a sweet treat, I swing by the Lifetime Cafe for a tasty protein shake. I know now what foods do to my body, and choose foods that fuel my workout. I am empowered to make healthy food decisions.
As a result of my relationship with Lifetime Fitness, I feel I can do it all in my lifetime: I can have a young family and a thriving business while taking care of myself and maintaining a body that contributes to my overall wellness. I am grateful to the Lifetime Family for the incredible changes they have helped me achieve over the past sixty days, and for the outstanding path they will help me realize during the rest of my life.