My 52 out of 60 Day Challenge
2017 was riddled with challenges. Physical and mental. In January of 2017, I was an expecting father, life was good, health was good. By the fall of 2017, we had now had two miscarriages, gym life was GONE, & depression ran rampant. Self-esteem was at an all-time low & within the year, I had gained a tremendous amount of weight & hated my appearance. I truly sank to an all-time low and hated to see myself in the mirror. Something had to change!
My Starting Point: I WAS a 47 year old male weighing 249.7 lbs. I WAS clinically obese, yeah that’s hard for me to say about myself. But that is where I WAS. I also TOOK 80 mg of Telmisartan for high blood pressure. I also have sleep apnea due to the weight & would stop breathing 20+ times a night. I had all but stopped going to the gym and working out, and was on a SEE food diet. I did not make healthy choices at all, and eating had become a coping mechanism.
I have lost 45.1 lbs, and the doctor has cut blood pressure meds to 40mg with hopes to be completely off of it within a few months. My recent sleep study, I only stop breathing 5-8 times per night. My visceral fat level has dropped from 17….to 11! This Challenge has started my journey to a heart healthy life!
Motivation: My wife-The absolute BIGGEST cheerleader in the world. Her love and support through this Challenge was a driving motivation. My 21-year-old daughter, I want to see her start her career, walk her down the aisle, & see her start a family. And for my future child, to teach them how to ride a bike, their first day of school, graduate high school, & grow into an adult. My health is key to being the best husband & dad possible.
Inspiration: My fellow challengers. I met so many people who inspired & challenged me. Single moms working, juggling kids & working out. A challenger who travelled more than 50% of the 60 days & had to find hotel gyms to workout in & eat healthy. Most inspiring was a 66-year-old stroke survivor who was in the Challenge to recover from a stroke, & was KILLING it every workout. What an incredible example of drive and determination! My fellow Challengers pushed me to work harder each & every workout.
The Life Time Staff. Each instructor/trainer was so supportive, helpful & wanted each of us to exceed our goals. I cannot thank them enough. James Bynum, my trainer was crucial to my success. His personal training, Active Metabolic Assessment, & Cardio Coach truly revolutionized my workouts & results. The AMA ensured that 50-60% of calories burned were FAT calories. His guidance on diet, what foods to eat/not eat & when to eat changed my SEE food diet to a NEED food diet. James kept me accountable and pushed me to give it my all each and every workout. His dedication to me reaching my goals pushed me to push myself each and every workout. With Cardio Coach, I received an email from James with my daily workout that was tailored to my metabolism. Using my heart rate as a guide, I was able to burn maximum fat calories each and every workout. This was a huge part of my success during this 60-Day Challenge.
As we all know diet is as crucial as exercise when it comes to overall health and fitness. With James’ guidance, I began meal prep for my week ahead, and began to create recipes that not only were healthy but also tasted great. I changed my entire thought process about food and eating. When eating out, I ordered more healthy choices, and would ask for a to-go container and take home what I knew I did not need to eat at one sitting.
This Challenge has truly turned fitness in to a lifestyle for me & my family!
Lewis, why did you say 52 days and not 60?
While doing a home repair, I fell over 8 feet off of a ladder and received a minor concussion, 4 cracked and severely bruised ribs & some minor cuts. So I had several days that I could not work out, and was only able to return to the gym the last two days of the Challenge after missing a week of workouts. I mention this not for sympathy, but to show the determination & commitment to challenge myself, and to push myself towards the ultimate goal of heart healthy fitness. I was back in the gym as soon as the doctor allowed. Sore for sure, and not back at 100%, but I was driven to finish as strong as I had started.
I have regained so much self-esteem during and after this Challenge. I feel proud of the accomplishments that I achieved. The self-doubt is gone and replace with a can do attitude. Healthy eating has become a habit that I cannot shake. And who can forget my new best friend….water! Drinking water has become enjoyable and refreshing. I have already began to set new goals for weight loss and muscle building. Diet control is the number one focus in the kitchen. I cannot ever imagine seeing myself falling from this new found healthy eating and living life that this 60-Day Challenge has created. Who knows, you just might see me on a body transformation challenge in the very near future!