Finalists / Naima L

Naima L. 

21.44% change in weight*

*Results not typical

This 60-Day Challenge was truly a challenge for me from beginning to end. I have battled sicknesses, processed carb withdrawals, depression and my epic fail over Thanksgiving, which was capped off by a car accident.  Starting this Challenge in the first place was a difficult decision to make. After all, I have done quite a few of them, so I know how intense they can be. The problem was the support system that I have been so used to having was not going to be there this time around. Superman, my personal trainer of 2 years, had moved away. He not only taught me everything I know about strength training, weight loss and nutrition, he was also with me every step of the way, pushing me, encouraging me and believing in me.  It was his strong belief in me that caused me to believe in myself. I spiraled downward after he left; half-heartedly going through the motions of working out, while falling back into bad eating habits, carbs ahoy! Weight began to pile back on and clothes began to fit tighter and tighter, until all I could fit were my spandex yoga pants and t-shirts.

I was not about to let all the hard work I had accomplished under his guidance disappear, so I signed up for the Holiday 60-Day Challenge. I just wasn’t sure if I could motivate myself enough all alone. Could I muster up the energy, self-encouragement, discipline, and time to lift heavy weights and do endless cardio when I had a million other things to do, 3 kids in 2 different schools, after school activities, PTA, work, etc…? I had a plan, but I had no accountability, no one to hold me to my plan and kick my butt 2-4 hours per week. So, for a while I floundered about with no real purpose, just a vague desire to lose weight.

Then something finally clicked. I think it was right after the epic Thanksgiving fail & my car accident that left my car totaled. I got angry. Ok, so I let myself be sabotaged by toffee chocolate chip cookies and made from scratch zucchini muffins… I was not going to let that little hiccup, the absence of Superman, or my car troubles derail my fitness goals. I was going to prove that I could do this! Interestingly enough, with my renewed sense of determination came a steady flow of people out of the woodwork, offering me help, words of advice, and encouragement. My hectic schedule finally cleared up enough to enable me to participate in some Try-It Tuesdays. I even made it through TEAM Cut without passing out!

My Zumba instructor, the Awesome Harriet, encouraged me so much I went out and got licensed to teach Zumba. She also pushed me beyond my own limits, challenging me in class, (i.e. 56 burpees in a 5 minute song!) and challenging me to run with her on the treadmill after hour-long classes. I tried other new classes as well like AMP and Boxing which I absolutely loved.

This Challenge taught me how to forgive myself when I fall, but more importantly how to pick myself up and keep going forward. I also learned that I am never truly alone. I am surrounded by my family. Not only my blood family, but my Life Time family who are also in the midst of trying to reach their own fitness goals as well. In that realization is a comforting sense of comradery. There are also countless Life Time trainers and other Life Time staff members who are always willing to answer questions or explain how a machine works. My biggest supporter, however, was my husband who suffered silently through my crankiness, (due to processed carb withdrawals), depression, hectic workout schedules, and having to frequently cook dinner for himself and our 3 kids, so that I could finish mass batch meal prepping.

Through it all I accomplished a lot during this challenge thanks to my family and Life Time, (shout out to Plantation Point and David at Six Forks!) My clothes all fit me loose now. I am back in the single digits, full of energy, optimism and thankfulness. This is definitely not the end for me. There are still goals to be met, races to be won and fitness certifications to be earned, but now I stand equipped with the knowledge that I AM strong enough to meet them! Dear 2018, I’m coming to slay!