“The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome. The ride is a lot more fun that way.” Phil Jackson
I was raised to embrace fitness and transitioned that love into a military career. Despite my love of the service, the job was too taxing on my body, debilitating my back. Life changed dramatically as a civilian focusing on family, college, work, while my physical needs fell by the waist side (pun intended). I was forced to give up my passion of running due to chronic back pain.
My co-worker, Josh, and I found inspiration while reading the Leaderboard from the Fall Challenge. Each story started like mine: with a mental or physical barrier for the member to overcome. This was the motivation I needed. I started reviewing my daily schedule consumed by work and obligations, leaving little room to focus on my needs. At first, I doubted myself, making mental excuses but knew that weigh-in day was the first step toward the change I desired.
I met my guiding light, Melanie, at weigh-in. We discussed my challenges: chronic stomach and back aches, bloating and weight gain despite a low calorie diet. She recommended the Life Time Lab Test for Food Allergies. We laid out a supplement plan as well as the GUT.FIX Kit, and D.TOX Kit. We discussed meal planning, which I had never done as I am a terrible cook. We also reviewed the amount and quality of food I was eating. Melanie helped lay out a realistic and safe workout plan, balancing cardio and weights, knowing my body’s limits, the need to strengthen my back and focus on recovery time. She reviewed my support system: my workout partner, boyfriend, and the Life Time team. I completed my lab work and we met again where I learned I was actually gluten intolerant. The majority of the items that came up on my sensitivity list were foods I ate daily, leading to the stomach issues I experienced.
Josh and I began the GUT.FIX Kit first, adhering to the supplements and recipes. We kept each other accountable by eating at the same time each day, and keeping a consistent sleep schedule. This was the hardest part, since I rarely slept more than five hours a night. I was also eating much more in a day than I ever had, keeping energy levels high. We read through emails from Coach Paul, revising our routines to match. Josh attended Try-It-Tuesdays and relayed the information to me since they were held during my work hours. I was making myself a priority for the first time in years.
My amazing boyfriend did my meal prep, and along the way taught me how to cook for myself. The recipes in the program included simple instructions and ingredients, and our favorite was the turkey sausage meatballs. If I forgot to prep enough food, I’d run by the LifeCafe and grab meals that fit my plan needs. I made it through the GUT.FIX and slowly reintroduced food back into my diet. My body immediately let me know which foods to keep as I transitioned into the D.TOX Kit. I also took advantage of the Black Friday Deals in the LifeCafe, adding VeganMax and Life Greens to my meals.
My workouts were varied, which kept each trip to the gym fun and exciting. I tried new classes: Warrior Sculpt, Barbell Strength, and F.I.T. I embraced the new EDG/PWR cycle classes, especially Rommel’s 5:30am EDG class to start the day off right. I went to Hot Vinyasa classes each week to keep my back muscles loose and mind focused. This was paramount, as any pain I was having usually weaned off after these classes. I began running again, 3 to 4 times a week, starting with intervals and eventually distance running. I even set a goal for myself to run a half marathon in January. I also met with a personal trainer for small group boot camp training, which fit perfectly.
I doubted myself around Thanksgiving, with all the temptations of unhealthy food. I attended the Thanksgiving cycle class to keep to my goal, and Melanie was there to renew my confidence. LifeCafe kept me in line for lunch. At Christmas, I followed Coach Anika’s email about planning ahead for the holidays, keeping the right foods around me. I motivated my family to walk after eating to promote better digestion.
The inspirational part of this journey has been the change in my co-workers. We work out each hour: 10 squats, 10 pushups, and 1 minute plank as an office team. The positive motivation is definitely contagious, and they have asked for recipes and tips regarding my challenge. My back feels great and I’m indebted to Life Time for creating the conditions for me to let go and trust the outcome. I ended this challenge attending Commitment Day feeling like I was home, celebrating with the front desk staff. Life Time truly has become my family, I spent my holidays here making amazing new friends all while taking back control of my mind, body, and time. Success has come in the Weight Loss Challenge, and I am looking forward to the Transformation Challenge!