Small Group Training Coach | Personal Trainer | Group Fitness Attendant | Cycle Instructor
General Health and Wellness
I really didn’t think it was possible. At least not at first. When I joined Life Time two years ago, I had pretty simple goals: lose weight and feel healthier. After years of competitive running, playing squash and sailing, my career shoved that aside. For the last twenty years, long dog walks were my claim to fitness fame. As is the case with many of us, there was motivation to join up. In my case it was the passing of my best friend Steve. That jolt of mortality and my doctor pointing out that my own health was headed in a bad direction was the push. The standard measures were distressing; blood pressure, blood chemistry, body fat percentage – all not good.
At Life Time I pretty quickly saw the value in the GTX program, and signed up. My trainer Destiny, after considering my goals and present shape, said that with a sensible diet and GTX workouts I shouldn’t have any problem losing 15-20 pounds (a good start – worry about the other stuff later). In 3 months it didn’t happen, because her idea of a sensible diet and mine were drastically different! I felt fitter and GTX was excellent, so I figured “patience”. Then the pandemic erupted and we all hunkered down. A year and some change later, I returned to Life Time in June with the same health concerns. Destiny got me restarted with GTX and then started dropping small suggestions; drink a lot more water, eat a lot more protein, work on flexibility, and finally, “let’s get you enrolled in the 60day Challenge”. I had a 300-mile bike ride planned for later in the year, so I decided OK – but wasn’t confident.
It worked! I kept up the GTX training – transitioning to Alpha – and set about deciphering the 60day meal plan. My career has been research in molecular biology so I’ve had the coursework in biochemistry and physiology, but I had to dive back into it to understand the value of a confusing array of unfamiliar ingredients. (coconut aminos?). I’d never paid much attention to my diet, but now learned, for example, how the body metabolizes refined sugar and processed flour – basically treating it like a toxin. I could simplify my effort to the following: feed your body protein, unsaturated fat, and complex carbohydrates; minimize simple carb’s and highly processed food, and your body will reward you. My favorites became meal plan taco soup (or anything with ground turkey!), Life Time Whey Protein, roasted veggies, and a very berry smoothie from the LifeCafe after a particularly nasty workout.
There are truths that emerged – for me – during this experience as I’ve progressed to a happier, healthier, lighter person. First, a skilled trainer is essential to understanding the interplay of exercise, diet, and mentality (especially motivation). Thanks Destiny!
Another is to have a finish line and track your progress – it’s motivating. Lastly, exercise without hydration, smart eating, and good sleep won’t get you to the finish line.
My 60day Challenge results have been significant. I’m ready for that 300-mile ride. Objective measures are surprising: blood pressure and blood chemistry have returned to normal. My weight has decreased from 191 to 169 pounds, and BF% went from 28% to 18%. Eight weeks ago, I was taking a common drug – a diuretic – to control blood pressure: its side effect was having to get up in the middle of the night to urinate. As my blood pressure normalized, I was taken off the drug 2 weeks ago and now get uninterrupted sleep, a win-win! Another Challenge benefit: my resting heart rate has decreased from about 62 to 54. My workouts aren’t crazy – GTX/Alpha with some “sweat-til-you-drop” AMP-flex sessions mixed in. Shooting for 10,000 steps a day at first seemed silly, but now I get it; increasing daily movement just feels good. If my morning heart rate is up, I cut back the exercise.
The next Challenge? Improve my cooking skills and eat even better. Also, focus on stretching and flexibility, because I (a) have “tech neck” and (b) don’t have a clue!
So – yeah – it is possible. Thanks Life Time!