My goal heading into the You for You 60day challenge was to gain healthy habits through physical activity and nutrition. With a family history of heart problems due to obesity, I am determined not to follow in my father’s footsteps and have my first angioplasty at 50. With my 50th birthday coming up, I have made a commitment to myself and my family to turn my life around.
I have struggled with my weight my entire life. As a child and throughout high school I was kept busy with many sports: baseball, soccer, football, swimming… I joined the Army at 18 and that kept me disciplined and fit through the next four years. However, I was left to my own devices thereafter, I started and continued to make poor choices for the next 25+ years, steadily gaining 5lbs on average a year, until I topped the scale at over 336lbs at one point.
Throughout the years, I have made mostly futile attempts at dieting and maintaining an exercise regimen. I was very glad when I discovered and joined Life Time 2 years ago, the facilities are immaculate, classes offered varied, fun and professional. For the first time in my life, I tried new things, Yoga, Zumba, even LifeBarre (my wife might’ve encouraged me to venture out of my comfort zone 😊. I was going strong, achieved some personal victories, got into good habits. Or so I thought.
2020 struck us all with the pandemic and forced unprecedented changes upon us. With shutdowns in place, not leaving the house, and unable to go to Life Time, I quickly fell back on old habits. And in June, my wife and I had enough! I had gone back to over 313lbs, joints were hurting, moving was more difficult, I was eating too much processed, “easy” foods. I realized that I still have the tools at my disposal and that all I needed to do was use them.
Life Time was very transparent in communicating all the efforts they put into keeping with and exceeding recommended safety and cleaning protocols, putting me at ease about my health and clearly demonstrating that they were committed to working through this insane time together with their members. To make it easier on the joints, I initially went back to the Life Time pool. I was happy to go back and enjoy not only the facilities that were available but also elevate my overall wellbeing by using Eat Well Live Well nutritional manual and recipes shared on The Source. In a little under five months, I had lost 40lbs! Encouraged by the progress I had already made; I was determined to keep going – the latest 60day You for You challenge provided exactly what I needed.
As somebody who has thrived on competition my whole life, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to ensure I maintained good habits while providing me with tools to hold myself accountable. I was excited and signed up immediately. I am 100% glad that I did. As part of the You for You 60day challenge, I downloaded the LT Training App ensuring that I will not have an excuse not to work out, even if I could not visit the gym. I was going to work out daily, at home or at Life Time. Being reminded of and checking off daily activities has contributed immensely to my feelings of accomplishment. Not having to set a specific routine was a blessing at the time when everything feels out of control.
In addition to so many videos that I can browse through on my LT Training App, the daily activities really helped me establish and fulfill my daily fitness goals on my own time. The LT Training App allowed me the freedom to choose a multitude of activities that I could perform at home, working around all the other daily challenges of living in a midst of a global pandemic. I did have many failures in my past fitness and diet journeys, but I felt motivated each day along the way of the You for You 60day challenge.
I’ve lost over 25 additional lbs. during the 60day challenge, bringing my total over the past seven months to almost 70lbs! And have seen that I can do this in a healthy way, enjoying myself all the while, I have been motivated to continue toward my ultimate goal – reaching a healthy weight and developing eating habits that I can maintain as part of my lifestyle and not a quick-fix, fad diets.
As I look back at the last 60 days, it was a hard road, but I feel like a new person. Not only have I taken serious strides towards improving my health and wellbeing, I now require a new wardrobe 😉 I can no longer fit in any of my clothes and will gladly reward myself for all my hard work that has paid off. You for You 60day journey has motivated me beyond anything I thought possible and I look forward to another 60day challenge, one where I will be able to find a coach to guide me through my next set of goals, as I continue to prioritize myself. Looking back at the before and after photos, I have a profound sense of accomplishment and a very concrete reminder that I do not want to return to my former self. These pictures and tools that I now have, will be my motivation, as I continue my journey forward towards an improved and healthier me.