Finalists / Harrison L

Harrison L.

20.19% weight loss*

*Results not typical

Big, huge, large, fat, fluffy, squishy, and obese. These are the words used by others to describe me from the time I was born and throughout my teen years. I was born a bit larger than the average baby, 9 lbs. 7 oz. It was at 3 months and weighing 27 lbs. that I was taken to see an endocrinologist to be tested for diabetes, thyroid problems, and/or gigantism. After a year of tests, blood work, and nutritional counseling, the doctors finally agreed that nothing was wrong. I was eating properly and I’d met all the milestones that a “normal” child had. I was just going to be a big kid, and boy was I. At my first birthday I weighed 45 lbs., and was over 3 ft. tall.

Growing up “big” and tall had its advantages and disadvantages. I could rebound the basketball from the rim and chuck it down the court in the third grade. I was walked all the time in baseball, as the pitcher was afraid to throw to me. In football I could block 3 kids on the line at a time. But at school, I needed a bigger desk and chair. When the teacher turned around to tell the class to be quiet, can you guess who she saw first? When we’d go on flights we’d have to purchase two seats so that I’d fit comfortably. Also, clothes were very hard to find. Adults treated me differently, as they expected more out of me. Kids I had learned could be cruel, but so could adults. Throughout my school years the feelings of worthlessness constantly plagued me. I was called the fat kid, and I began to believe it. Being in that state of mind for so long, I didn’t feel that anything or anyone could help.

I eventually reached out to my mom, my #1 supporter, and told her I was ready to make a “big” change in my life. I wanted to be healthy. We contacted our neighbor Vickie, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, who told us about the great benefits and help Life Time Fitness had to offer. It sounded too good to be true, but we decided to take a tour of the Centennial, Colorado facility. There I was astounded by all that the facility had to offer me, from the classes, the equipment, the LifeCafe, and the knowledge of the staff.

Before deciding on what I wanted to do at Life Time, Vickie and I discussed how to attain my weight loss goal. We discussed nutrition and a workout plan which would best impact weight loss, and lead to a healthy lifestyle change. Vickie has been extremely supportive, understanding, knowledgeable, and truly wishes to see me succeed in what I want to do. It was through her that I heard about TEAM Training. Together we devised a plan for me to try out different TEAM classes, to see where I felt the most comfortable and able to succeed. I eventually decided on TEAM Burn with Coach Nate. In TEAM Burn, I’ve met a group dedicated to making each other better by supporting each other as we all go through this lifestyle change together. Coach Nate encourages me every day with texts asking how nutrition is coming, and how I’m feeling after workouts. He’s taught me the proper way to efficiently work for my goal. My team has become my family. Nate and Vickie encouraged me to participate in the 60-Day Challenge, as we agreed it could make a huge impact on the goals that we set for me.

On my weigh-in for 60-Day, I weighed 420 pounds. Since then I’ve felt myself getting stronger and more agile, and have been astounded by my weight loss. I can see my clothes starting to fit less and less. My T-shirts now look more like dresses. One night, I even panicked as I thought I had dislocated something in my shoulder. I discovered I could see my collarbone for the first time in my life. Now I find myself smiling more, I walk with my head a little higher, (partially because Coach Nate says to always fix my posture 😊). My confidence is at an all-time high, because I see myself reaching the goals that I’ve set for myself, and even reaching beyond my expectations. My goal was to lose 35 pounds, and I ended up losing 85 pounds. With Life Time Fitness’s support, I’m now currently 335 pounds.

With my 60-Day Challenge goal completed, I still have a long journey ahead of me. Life Time has had my back since I’ve started, and I know that with their support, “I can go the distance.” A special thank you to Vickie, Nate, TEAM Burn, and all the Centennial, Colorado Life Time Fitness family. You rock!