When I decided to enter a 60day with Life Time, it was just not a personal challenge, but more of a 60day Family Challenge. Without my wife Shannon, and my two children Colin and Ella, bettering myself for my family would not have been possible. From the weekly food preparation to the early hours at the gym, my family encouraged me, helped in the kitchen and maintained my focus on my personal goals throughout the sixty days. There were a multitude of reasons why I decided to become healthy. First, my sixteen-year-old son and my twelve-year-old daughter were both working hard for their sports, high school football and club volleyball. I could not sit back and continually sit on the couch and snack while I was telling both of my children to work hard and put the time in the gym, on the field and on the court. Secondly, my very hard-working wife, not only worked fifty plus hours a week, took care of the house and went to all out children’s activities, she makes time to go to Lifetime 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day. And lastly, my wife and I went to Chicago for our 24th Wedding Anniversary. It became very apparent, very quickly that I was massively out of shape with all the walking that was done during our trip. While on the plane coming back to home, I decided that something needed to change. Upon arriving back into Columbus, on a Tuesday night, I contacted Adonnai Santos and told him about my decision to enter the 60day, I asked what was needed to get back into shape. We talked about dedication to working out, food plans, supplements available through Life Time and their benefits and he encouraged me to take on the 60day. Towards the end of the conversation I asked him” When do we start? Next Monday?” To which he replied “No! We start tomorrow, be at the gym at 5:00 AM”. I wasn’t expecting that and wasn’t sure I was ready. I talked to my wife and she agreed with Adonnai. Why wait? So, I started my journey towards being a healthy father and husband for my family.
Wednesday morning, 4:15AM, my alarm shrieks at me, shocking me out of a deep sleep, and I swore I set my alarm for the wrong time. Upon arrival at the gym, I was told to step on the scale and get my first set of measurements for the challenge. That was a rude awakening. I took a picture of the screen, 28.3% body fat and 210lbs, numbers don’t lie. I was tired of feeling out of shape, disliked how my clothes fit and how I looked; it was time to start sweating. Hitting the gym and lifting is only part of the battle.
Meal prepping, eating the correct amounts and the right food is three quarters of the equation. Thankfully Shannon, my wife, helped me food prep for the week following the meal plan that Adonnai laid out for me. My whole family helped in the kitchen, from my daughter counting almonds, to my son measuring out tuna fish on a digital scale. Sundays became known in out household as “Food Prep Sundays”, not only was I prepping for the week, but Shannon was also getting her food ready. As the days and weeks went on, food preparation became easier and quicker. Another benefit that I noticed was my son was not snacking nearly as much and he was making better food choices. People always say that your children watch you closer than you think, and that is so very true. Children are always watching and looking up to their parents and picking up their habits both good and bad.
The mornings at the gym started to get easier and easier as the numbers on the scale started to slide backward, one pound and partial percentages at a time. I had set three personal goals in my head and I was determined to meet them. My cardiovascular endurance at the beginning of the challenge was pitiful. As the challenge moved forward, cardio became easier and I was starting to “keep up” with the other members of the 5:00AM workout group. My clothes started to fit looser, and my family started to notice my weight loss, which motivated me even further.
As the program started coming to an end, I had met my three personal goals. My weight had dropped to 185 pounds, my body fat percentage was 15.7 percent and I had made the leader board at the gym. The next step in the challenge is not just a sixty-day time frame, it a life choice.
After working, sweating and being sore, the last thing a person wants to do is go back to old bad habits. The next hurdle is to balance a healthy lifestyle and have fun with your spouse, family and friends. After all, you don’t want to always be the one slinging a food bag with you everywhere you go and always drinking water at social events!! In my opinion a person NEEDS a cheat meal or day in order to feel sane and normal, it’s how you go back to making the right choices the rest of the week that makes the difference.