They say that life is a long journey. There are many different paths, trails or directions in which our journeys will travel. The same can be said about our fitness or overall health. For me personally, I had more confidence and happiness when I was in better condition and in shape. In today’s world, we have so many choices and options in fitness and nutrition. So many options but so many times in life, when we have too many choices, we often do nothing or figure we can do it ourselves. Like many, I don’t have a degree in fitness or nutrition but I was set in my ways thinking, “I can do this on my own.”
Since 2004 I have gone through many “changes” in my life. I had just retired after serving in both the Marines and the US Army. This “doing it on my own,” led me to weigh close to 350 lbs in January of 2015. I made the commitment to do the 90-Day Challenge at that time. I had done the Challenge several times before, but it seems something in my life had stopped me from completing it; injuries, sickness and of course, commitment.
This Challenge would be different. I started with the Life Time D.TOX, attended TEAM Weight Loss 3 times a week and I was biking to work several days a week. I ended up winning the club portion of the 90-Day. Listening to the experts helps. Life seemed to be going great, but then life started to change. I was riding my bike home from work and I was struck in a crosswalk by a truck. Although I was not severally injured, I suffered pain in my hips and shoulders. Each time I tried to run, I had to compensate for the injuries, and I would pull or tweak other muscles. It took a while to get back into training but never to the point I was at the end of the previous 90-Day. This past June, the company I worked for decided to close and I was out of a job for the first time in over 30 years. I started a search for work but was not sure of my direction. I stopped going to the gym and when I did go, I had no real plan of what I was going to do.
In late October, I talked to Dan Clemmerson, a trainer at Life Time. Another challenge was about to start. My weight had crept into the 280 range. We sat down to discuss a plan to reenergize and enter the 60-Day Challenge. Life Time had come up with the 60 and 90 day challenges, but what really is the challenge and why do people do them? I believe that people who participate in them are looking for some type of change to their personal life, but I had to ask myself a few questions before the challenge. How is this going to be different than the last one? What am I missing to be successful in the club? Lastly, was I going listen to the experts?
I realized several key components were missing in both my fitness goals and personal life. Structure, discipline and true commitment to wanting to make change. In the club, you notice those individuals who appear to be the healthiest. They all have structured workouts. Each person seems to be committed and disciplined. I realized that I needed to figure out how to regain that structure and discipline. It started with 2 simple tasks. My first task was to detox my system and get back into TEAM Weight Loss with Shelly Richards to regain structure and discipline. Shelly always discussed nutrition in her classes, specifically, the use of proteins, sugars and fats to help tweak my metabolism. The second task was to start with testing, review past performance and discuss how to improve my overall fitness. In January, 2015, I did the Active Metabolic Assessment with Tony Vukovics. It showed my fitness level was very poor. My VO2 score was 27. Today my score is 48.5 which is optimal for my age. Today I weighed out at almost 225 lbs, which is what I weighed in 2003. I know I will continue on this path of fitness but realize that I need to do 4 things to be successful. First, use the assets that are available at Life Time. PS: they are educated and get paid to do this. Second, stay committed to my own personal goals. Third, always have a plan or goal that I can obtain and continue to evaluate and make adjustments. Lastly, don’t be stuck in my ways and remember change can be a good thing.