My name is Carrie Meyer, and I have been morbidly obese for most of my life. It seems that I have tried about every weight loss method, but I am never quite able to reach my goal. Finally, I decided to go all in and get real. As I took my first pictures for the Life Time 60-Day Challenge, I felt extremely vulnerable. The pictures taken by my spouse were not flattering. “Honey, can you get a better angle?” I pleaded. That was my “GET REAL” moment. I had to see where I was to know where I needed to go.
I am 36 years old and a mother of three young children. Last April, in the second trimester of my third pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and later with gestational hypertension. When I went to our local hospital for diabetes education, I asked the staff what was available at the hospital to help me post-pregnancy. I was handed a brochure for bariatric surgery and said, “You might want to consider this.” I was devastated. I was not looking for an easy way out, not that surgery is easy. I was looking for encouragement, education and a plan. I knew that what was ahead was going to take hard work, dedication, discipline and grit. I was going to try one last time to lose weight the right way. So I joined Life Time.
Once I started my journey, one word spoke to me, “Surrender.” I am not an expert in fitness or nutrition, but the staff at Life Time is. I needed to surrender and let the staff set my course. I wanted my outside to finally match my inside. I wanted to become healthy and whole.
I did the metabolic assessments. My results showed a VO2 score of “VERY POOR.” Seeing that score was another “GET REAL” moment. What loomed ahead was a lifetime of health problems. I had a choice. I chose to invest immediately, no more excuses. I was given a schedule of zone training for each day. I now had a map with specific steps to help me reach my goals. All I had to do was execute the plan and stay focused.
I changed my lifestyle completely. I went from not working out at all to exercising at least two hours a day, six days a week. I signed up to train with Ashley Vanderheiden. I did one-on-one sessions with her, two days per week, and TEAM training with her three days per week. Ashley has been my biggest fan. She makes herself available to me at all times. She answers my questions, gets me water when needed, and provides amazing hospitality and service. She understands me and has invested in me as a person. She pushes me in ways I don’t push myself. She reminds me, “What’s your goal?” Her voice is in my head. On days I need help or encouragement, she says, “I got you.” She was a game changer, a life saver, and an artist who has helped transform me.
Another key aspect to my wellness journey has come from the Life Time nutrition team and Kelsey Ermels. When Kelsey and I sat down to talk about food, she listened to my story. She understood my lifelong emotional struggles with weight and proper nutrition. She heard my desire to cook real food and provide healthy meals for my family. She created a custom plan of weekly meals and healthy snacks. She suggested Life Time supplements to help boost my metabolism. I followed her instructions. Just like with exercise, I was all in. She laid out a plan that worked for my body type and metabolism. To get through Thanksgiving, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on healthy options. It’s the first time I have lost weight over a holiday. I cut out all pop and alcohol at the recommendation of the staff. I minimized my coffee intake and started to drink only water. I had to change my mindset, getting healthy and taking good care of myself now made up my JOB.
I started to see results with weight loss in December. As part of the Des Moines 60-day challenge, my first goal was to be No. 1 in weight loss by my birthday. I completed D.TOX, losing 14.4 lbs. in two weeks. On Dec. 12, I took the lead at the Des Moines Life Time. Instead of cake to celebrate, my husband put fruit in a crystal dish with candles on top. I stuck to my plan. My next goal was to be under 300 lbs. by Christmas. On Dec. 24, I was under 300 lbs. I am proud to say that by the end of the challenge, I lost 49. 3 lbs!
This is only the beginning.
What I have received from Life Time cannot be overstated. I have a team, tools, a solid educational foundation and a plan. I never believed I would feel comfortable and supported in a fitness center, but I do. I am going to continue with the Life Time team as I pursue over 100 more pounds of weight loss. It is now not a matter of IF I get there, but WHEN I get there. I am full of gratitude and thanks to the staff for believing in me, encouraging me and watching my children as I invest in my health. This is my journey now, one that I will continue to write, and one that I own. I am all in. I am GETTING REAL, thanks to Life Time.