Thank you for reading my story. Hopefully it can inspire you or someone you know.
I am a disabled Marine Corps Veteran. I’ve had 6 knee surgeries and have a T-7-8 tear in my back. For years I’ve had pain shots and taken all kinds of drugs. This caused me to gain weight. I was up to 276 lbs at one point. For 2016, I wanted to be healthy. I didn’t want to be ashamed to be a Vet. I wanted to be able to function at work and not be in pain.
We signed up for Life Time in March as a family. I only wanted heated yoga and cycling classes. At 240 lbs, that’s all I thought I would do. When the Fall Challenge started, my wife signed up for the weight loss and I joined the transformation challenge. I was 25.1% and 221 lbs.
My wife had amazing success with the trainers’ help. I was stubborn and wanted to do it all on my own and only finished in the top 50 for the Fall challenge.
For the Winter Challenge, I knew I needed help! I was 18.5% and 206 lbs. Steven signed me up and I wanted to be at 4-5%. I told him one of my favorite sayings “Running is for Horses!” He didn’t push me but I could tell he didn’t agree. I thought I was eating healthy. Our family ate D.TOX recipes, I limited my carbs, ate lots of protein and tons of fruit. I can still see the smile on his face when he asked me about vegetables. I hadn’t been eating them at all except for the occasional salad. He stressed the importance of switching my fruit intake to vegetable intake and to use UCan for the pre-workout, a multivitamin and probiotic. I went through 3 cans of UCan that I got from the LifeCafe.
I did my AMA Test to find out my HR zones. Andre helped me and we did it on the bike because of my knees. I was shocked to find out what my HR zones were because as soon as I left zone one I was hardly burning any fat at all. I’d been working out way too hard. Joe was my biggest fan and always checked in on me and told me I was the hardest worker in the gym. I may have been working the hardest the first Challenge, but after doing my AMA test, I realized I needed to be the smartest worker in the gym and keep my HR in Zone one most of the time.
Andre also helped me with my Nutrition and Macros so I could ensure that I was getting the proper amount of protein, carbs and fats. The biggest surprise was I wasn’t getting enough fats.
By mistake I found jogging got me to zone one quickly and I could stay there, so I was hooked. Steven caught me running on the treadmill during the Try-It Tuesday Fat Burn Class and he just had that huge smile on his face. “Call me a horse” I said. The next step was lifting weights properly. I did a few training sessions with Steven. I had all the wrong form. After corrections, he kept reminding me that we were building the foundation. I hadn’t lifted weights much because of the pain. Surprisingly when I used proper form it didn’t hurt. I was doing deep squats of 225 pounds by the end of the Challenge. Dead lifts, power cleans and even front squats were common on my leg days. He taught me new exercises I would have never thought of especially using the TRX and Kettle Bells. He would say when everyone pushes and pulls, we are activating the small muscles.
I continued to do Vinyasa Yoga, Warrior Sculpt, Kettle Bell, Barbell and Cycling Classes. We love using the climbing wall and pool. My daughter and I practice basketball a lot and she even made her school team. These are things I never thought I’d be able to do again.
By the end of the Challenge, the first thing I did when I got to the gym was jump on the treadmill and run, not jog. My longest runs were over 6 miles. I even did a mile warm up a couple times in less than 7:30. I had to pace myself so I could stay in Zone one though.
I joined Bootcamp for the last couple weeks of the Challenge and it really helped push me to the end. For one of the sprints on the treadmill, I was matching someone at a 4 minute mile pace. I can’t believe I was sprinting for 1/8 mile at that pace.
On the 30th, I wanted to be done with the Challenge. But I didn’t get the number I was hoping for. Chris wisely told me I needed to go home, eat and get sleep. I texted and called Steven panicking and he reinforced the advice from Chris along with Andre and Eric confirming it. I couldn’t believe after 9pm on a Friday night, all of them cared about me when they weren’t working to give me advice and encouragement.
I listened to them and to no one’s surprise but mine, my BFP dropped down to 4.4%. I couldn’t believe it. I have a body now I’ve only dreamed of. With the science, knowledge and belief in me from the Life Time staff, it has become a reality. I can’t wait to get back in the gym and now work on gains and continue to be an inspiration to other members. I’ve lost 70 pounds since I joined and I’m down over 100 pounds from my heaviest. Because of our transformations, we’ve had friends sign up at the gym and made so many new friends that were already there. No longer am I ashamed to tell people I served as a United States Marine. I now have a better and healthier body than ever before. My wife and I are now