I was 10 years old when I started my first diet. While my friends were spending the summer indulging in cake, ice cream, burgers and pizza, I spent every minute trying to get into ketosis, fighting off flu-like symptoms to get there and beating myself up on a bi-weekly basis for binging when I got frustrated with a lack of results. The truth is that I’ve always had an unhealthy relationship with food. From a young age, I learned to use food as both a system of reward and emotional support. Had a bad day? Eat the pain away. Had a great day? Celebrate with food! Epically fail in the pursuit of a goal? Food can fix that. Know what goes great with accomplishing a goal? More food!
This cycle of yo-yo dieting continued for the next 19 years. I would dabble in “quick fix” diets, dangerous weight loss pills, and at-home exercise programs here and there, but nothing ever stuck. I would give up every time and end up gaining back more weight than I lost. On June 24, 2019, I stepped on the scale and the number flashed back at me in blinding white letters – I officially weighed 300 pounds, a number I swore I would never let myself get to. I was devastated, ashamed, and terrified that if I didn’t figure out how to get this under control, I might not be given another chance to. My husband had just started a new job and they offered a very generous discount at Life Time through a corporate partnership, and he suggested we check it out. I went in with the intent of joining a gym with the sole purpose of doing excessive amounts of cardio to lose weight as I had always been told was the most effective weight loss method. When I talked to Lindsay H, she suggested I take advantage of the complimentary nutrition and personal training session afforded to new members, and she paired me with my trainer and nutrition partner, Eric W. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this day would change my entire life.
When I first met with Eric, I was skeptical about the benefits of personal training, but I ended up learning so much in that first session; everything I thought I knew about diet and exercise was completely wrong, so I decided I’d continue to give the personal training a shot. He also signed me up for my first 60day. From July 2019 – October 2019, I lost 37 pounds, but I didn’t push myself as hard as I could have, so when Eric asked me if I wanted to join this last 60day starting in November, I was eager to sign up.
During our consultation, I thought long and hard about what my intentions were, my short and long-term goals, and my “why.” My goal had always been to lose weight so I would look and feel better, but in the past 60days, my goals had evolved into proving to myself that I’m capable of achieving more than I think I can, to seeing something through for 60 days knowing I had given it my all, and most importantly, to seeing where I would be if I stopped make excuses and started prioritizing my health above everything else I had let distract me from my goals in the previous 60day.
After the initial consultation, I completed the Ultimate All-in-One lab panel where I learned more about my body chemistry than I ever thought imaginable. I had a one hour consultation with Eric and Life Time nutritionist Amy C. With their help, I was able to make some critical changes to my macros, eliminate foods I had sensitivities to, and add micronutrients to my diet to ensure optimal nutritional balance. I continued to train with Eric one-on-one and followed the customized workouts he planned for me and sent me daily. What had once had been a chore turned into a passion – every day I got to push my body to physical limits I never thought were possible. The lessons I’ve learned in the gym have been abundant and have been transferable to so many other areas in my life, but I think the most important things I’ve learned are:
- Respect yourself and the Process – love yourself and where you are during every step of your journey. The body you pick apart in the mirror today is the same body you need to carry you through to your goals. Be kind to it and patient with it. The results will come!
- Forgiveness Over Failure – no journey is perfect or without setbacks. Instead of giving up in the face of a bad day, week, or month of poor dieting and a lack of exercise, forgive yourself for the minor setback, and pick back up where you left off.
- Consistency Is Key – motivation wanes over time, and you’ll need to rely on consistency to get you through those rough patches. Treat every day at the gym like an appointment with yourself that you cannot miss.
In the last 6 months, I have lost 67 pounds and 55 inches, but I have gained so much more through the help of Life Time and the wisdom and support of Eric W. I still have a long way to go, but I cannot wait to see what the next 60 days has in store for me. And the 60 days after that and the 60 days after that. Thank you for helping me get my life back, Life Time.