My story dates back to my first deployment with the U.S. Army into Iraq in 2003. During the first week I tore the cartilage in my right knee. But, because I was not an emergency casualty, I was unable to get this repaired until six months later. I was unable to exercise effectively during that time, and often walked with a locked knee. Then, during my third deployment into Iraq I had another accident that severely injured my right knee during the last few days of this deployment in 2011, just prior to retiring from the U.S. Army. After a year of pain and limited mobility, I finally had the knee replaced.
I subsequently ballooned up to 352 pounds, my blood pressure was extremely high, had little flexibility, and lost my breath walking just short distances. I finally decided in January 2017 that I needed to change my life, which began this 22-month journey.
At first, I began working out on my own, mainly spending most of my time on the cycles at Life Time – an exercise I found most comfortable to do. I lost 15 pounds quickly, but then leveled off for a month even though I was doing high intensity training for about an hour a couple times a week, along with some slower training on the other days. I realized I needed assistance to help me train smarter and more effectively to lose weight and improve my health.
I joined the 60Day program in the Spring of 2017 and started using a Life Time personal trainer. Alex was able to work with me using exercises that worked around my numerous knee and shoulder injuries. I worked with him weekly for most of the year to improve my flexibility and gain strength. During our training, I would see the various TEAM training going on and thought that, someday, I might be able to join one of those classes, if only I did not hurt so badly all the time. However, my weight did not improve much. Even though I was doing more focused exercises, and my strength and flexibility had improved significantly, I was still not seeing results in weight loss.
In February 2018 I decided to get out of my training comfort zone and take the next steps to try to make progress. I signed up for the 60Day, joined TEAM Bootcamp, did a metabolic assessment, and underwent nutrition training. These classes with Dillon have been the watershed event in my progress. Although I initially struggled to accomplish all the exercises during TEAM Bootcamp, I did not give up, often continuing past the hour to complete the tasks. The TEAM Bootcamp members were all very supportive, cheering me on. Additionally, I started eating healthier, controlling my intake, and improving my core and strength. The weekly sessions with Dillon to review my nutrition was essential to my progression. The metabolic training also key—improving my speed, reducing my heart rate, and resetting my metabolism. However, minor injuries during the Spring and Summer 60Day challenges sidelined me for 2 weeks in each event, so my results were good, but not great.
This 60Day has been a success. I achieved three goals during this timeframe. First, I achieved the long-term goal of losing 100 pounds since I reengaged at Life Time, and down about 80 pounds since I started the metabolic training. Next, I met and exceeded my short-term goal weight of 240 pounds. I progressed from 278.6 pounds with 32.6% body fat in August, to 235.7 pounds and 23.9% body fat in October. Third, I am now under my weight that had ballooned up to after my first knee injury in Iraq in 2003. My blood pressure is down, allowing me to reduce my medications. In the last couple of months, I have gone down two sizes in shirts, and reduced my waist from 48 to 44. I have had to buy a whole new set of clothing, belts, and workout attire.
The coaches at Life Time have all been supportive and encouraging. Even though I did not work personally with many of them, they have all expressed an interest in my training, giving encouragement, and commending me on the changes and progress they have noticed this year. This positive attitude propelled me to work even harder during each of my workouts. I have had a wonderful transformation, and I look forward to continuing my journey with additional weight loss and working on toning up the muscles, strengthening my core, and improving my health. Thank you all for changing my life.