Leah S.

Des Moines, IA

leah s. fall 2021

Leah’s Trainer


Joseph G.

Personal Trainer

General Health and Wellness
Muscle Building
Strength Training

Leah’s Story

I joined Life Time in the Spring of 2021 while in the middle of a lot of other major life changes.  I spent my 20’s making unhealthy choices that resulted in an unhappy life.  I didn’t exercise, I ate unhealthy food, I drank too much alcohol and I surrounded myself with people that supported the poor choices.  Over the winter I left those things behind along with my home, my marriage and almost everything I was familiar with, in order to start down a better path alone.

I was terrified to join a gym for the first time but a friend brought me to Life Time and changed my life.  Every single person I talked to at Life Time was friendly and supportive.  All of a sudden I didn’t feel so alone.  I couldn’t have been more excited to see the format of the new 60day challenge, I knew it was a challenge made for my goals.  I wanted to gain strength, fitness, muscle definition and maybe a little confidence.  I wanted to try the different classes I saw going on around me every day I was at the gym, I was just a little scared to do them alone.  This challenge gave me the motivation to get into those classes and do the thing a that scared me.  My new mantra became “Do the hard stuff” (the language in my head may be a little more pg-13) and I made the “hard stuff” my goals:

* Try every type of class Life Time offers

* Gain muscle weight

* Run a half marathon

* Learn to walk into the gym with confidence

Now, at the end of this 60day challenge I can say I have accomplished every one of those goals and I couldn’t have done it without the support of the people at Life Time.  My trainer knew exactly how to ease me into strength training, even though I knew nothing about it to start.  When I didn’t know what to expect out of the GTX and Alpha classes, he helped me prepare.  When I walked into each of the five core classes the trainers recognized that I was new and every single one of them did a great job of making me feel welcome and like I absolutely could do the class.  The trainers helped me figure out the right weights to use and any modifications I needed to make to the exercises.  My absolute favorite part of this challenge was discovering Ultrafit, aka the greatest class ever!

I tried my very first Pilates, cycling and group strength classes as part of this challenge and learned new ways to work up a sweat.  Surrender yoga pushed me to take a moment and focus on the inner strength I was developing as well as the outer strength, to reflect on the life changing journey I was and still am taking.  I learned how hard I could push myself.  When I thought there was no way I could do another set I looked at the people sweating around me and knew I had to at least try.  I felt pretty silly sometimes trying new things but not one person laughed at me, they only told me what I was doing well and how to do things better.

The availability of classes in the early morning was perfect to combine with my cardio training.  I went from being someone that slept in, hated waking up and had nothing but coffee for breakfast to someone that actually looked forward to being in the gym by 5am.  Talking with a nutritionist helped me figure out how to balance the nutritional needs of combining strength training with endurance running.  I had to learn that it isn’t bad to eat, you just have to be smart about what you eat.  Following a healthy diet, abstaining from alcohol and working out at least an hour a day weren’t too difficult, and having the 60day recipe book made it even easier!  When I was hungry I just pulled the recipes up on my phone and could choose from a shake or snack that curbed my cravings in a healthy way.  The batch recipes were perfect for Sunday cooking so I had a healthy meal to pack for lunch every day of the week.  Drinking a gallon of water a day and not having any cheat meals was tough, but both had a significant impact on my endurance and overall definition.

In the final two weeks of the challenge I ran a half marathon and even beat my goal time by four minutes!  The massage from the LifeSpa was the most relaxing and refreshing reward I could have given myself for finishing everything!

Today marks the end of the 60day challenge but it is also the beginning of an even bigger challenge: maintaining the healthy habits I’ve developed and finishing a full marathon.  I know that every day I will have my banana, pack a healthy lunch and head to the gym where I am guaranteed to see Life Time staff and members that know my name and are there to support similar lifestyle goals.  If I stumble along the way to my goals, the people I’ve met as a part of this challenge will be there to help guide me back on track and I hope I can do the same for others.  I am so grateful to everyone at Life Time for helping me start a new and better life.