Algonquin, IL

Elena G.

Elena’s Story

This October I turned 60 and I decided that I needed to radically change my lifestyle and take control of my life. Although I have tried to lose weight before, by leading a healthy lifestyle and trying different diets, the bill was never in my favor. While I would start off motivated, I was never able to create the necessary habits—either in the kitchen or in the gym—that were necessary to see results. I needed my commitment to a weight loss journey to be sustainable, but I did not know where to start. My family has been members of Life Time since 2003 and for the first time, I received a very special gift for my 60th birthday—a session with a personal trainer. That’s how it all started.

This session opened my eyes: I couldn’t breathe, there was no strength in my hands and I won’t even mention the low flexibility in the joints. My coach Kylie S, seeing me struggle, asked me: “Why don’t you sign up for the 60day program?” I thought about it for a long time; there were plenty excuses: the upcoming holiday season, grandchildren coming to visit, etc. Then I told myself ‘60 years and 60 days’: this is a sign, if not now than when? I am so glad I decided to sign up because this one decision has opened the door for me to the lifestyle and routines that I have trying to create all my life.

I read a lot of motivational books and they all give advice like not to buy junk food, to have a hobby, visualize the negative consequences of poor habits, and to (obviously) exercise. But it was not enough just to have a membership in a gym, the most important and trickiest part of weight loss is accountability. While I have been going to the gym for 16 years, this was the first time I had a personal trainer who knew my goals, my weaknesses and my strengths. Above all else though, she keeps me accountable.

Since making the decision to take charge of my body and life I am at the gym almost every day (but keeping up with the grandchildren during the holidays was harder than any class). With newfound strength and energy, I have really enjoyed trying new classes like Barbell Strength, Cardio Kickboxing, GTX Burn, Kettlebell Combine, Flow, Surrender, and LifeBarre. I like pushing myself in new ways and measuring my progress by the sweat on clothes. I am especially in love with yoga classes—they have increased my flexibility tremendously.

The most important thing for me about creating a healthy way of life is developing healthy habits and routines. I start everyday with yoga at 10:15 AM followed by either another class or an independent exercise routine on my own. After lunch, it’s time to walk the dog (he is perhaps the most excited by my new lifestyle). I have become very mindful of how and what I eat. I prepare all of my snacks and meals in advance so that I never have the excuse that eating right is inconvenient.

My goals for the 60day were simple: lose 20 lbs. and to start getting control of my health (to address high blood pressure, early indicators of diabetes, and the pain in my knees). The first change I noticed was that the heartburn I had been having for years was gone in the first two weeks. Overtime, I saw my blood pressure improve and the pain in my joints lessen and go away entirely. I had more energy during the day and didn’t crave sugar or caffeine to keep me going.

As for the weight loss goal, I have lost 28.5 lbs. and reduced my body fat by 6.6%. I am enjoying things that I couldn’t do before. I feel reborn, like my life is just starting at 60. Every morning I look forward to going to the gym, meeting my friends and exercising. For the first time in a long time I enjoy my body because it is strong, with a strong heart and a strong mind (I had self-control during the holidays!).

Life Time was instrumental in my success. To start, I would never have gotten this far without the support of my personal trainer Kylie who is incredibly dedicated, creative and caring. As well as the entire training staff, who I could always approach with any question and who challenged us to give it our all. The class offerings also made it possible for me to find a routine that worked best for me and my schedule—going to the gym to make it to a particular class was never inconvenient and I always felt in control to do what worked best for me.

Going forward, I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in the next 60 days. The healthy habits I have created and the routine I have made for myself is a part of my lifestyle now. There is so much more that I still have to accomplish—I really want to perform a headstand in yoga and get better in spin classes. Outside of the gym, I can’t wait to take more active vacations, go on hikes more and start going on bike rides with my husband. Besides the effects that I’ve felt in my body, my family and friends, after seen my results, have been inspired to make changes in their own lives as well. I am stunned at how great I feel, and I can’t wait to see (and feel!) all of the progress that still lies ahead.