Winners / Ashley H.

Ashley H.

Cary, NC

Instead of writing an essay as to how I grew up overweight and how it created numerous obstacles in my life, I have chosen this essay to express how much I underestimated the power of and how truly amazing the 60day really is.

After working at Life Time for the past four years, I decided to take the initiative and change my lifestyle. I feared going upstairs to the workout floor because I feared the opinion of others. But, like everyone else, I was sick and tired of feeling overweight and sluggish. I signed up for the 60day with the initial thought of just doing it for the LT BUCK$; however, this program opened doors in my life that I did not even know existed. Through the power of motivation, a strong community, and gallons of sweat and tears, I am proud to say that the 60day changed my life for the better.

The day I signed up, Joe the Trainer sat me down and listed out my goals. I stated that I wanted to lose weight like everyone else. I told Joe that I wanted to enjoy my life. I wanted to enjoy being in my young twenties, but with the vision of being the best version of my life. We agreed on no Bojangles on Sunday mornings (My favorite food of all time, might I add). We agreed on coming to his GTX classes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most importantly, we agreed on seeing this challenge through to the end.

I viewed this 60day as a weight loss opportunity. However, what I realized is, is that the 60day is more than just a weight loss competition. It’s about showing up every day to Joe’s 11 AM GTX class regardless of how tired I am. It’s about running a 10-minute mile on Day 1, and on the 60th day, being capable of running a 7:59 mile. It’s about feeling joy when I go up in weight for my dumbbell slams and kettle-bell swings. It’s about signing up for Life Time’s indoor triathlon, and not feeling nervous or scared-but feeling determined and empowered. It’s about gaining support from incredible people within a tight community. It’s about walking away proud and strong from a workout, and in the end, gaining confidence within myself.

In the end, I lost weight, but what I gained was so much more significant. I gained self-appreciation. I don’t look in the mirror and instantly have negative thoughts. I gained confidence. I don’t look back on my ‘before’ pictures and feel shame at my body. I gained a community. I don’t fear walking upstairs and feeling lost. Instead, I see Joe and my GTX members, and I instantly feel joy and happiness. I feel worthy and appreciated for the first time in my fitness journey.

The 60day is a challenge that kick-started my fitness journey. It allowed me to crush my fitness goals, lower my fat percentage, and increase my endurance. Most importantly, it gave me a whole new view on my lifestyle, my community, and myself. My only question is when’s the next one?