True transformation occurs with the renewal of the mind–Paul (Romans 12:2).
I began this 60-Day Challenge on my 43rd birthday and transformation was my initial mindset. In 2010, my mom died, and this had a bigger impact than I realized on my health. It took 7 years to realize the implications. As a former active duty member of the Air Force, I was instructed that the pillars of health include Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual health (MEPS). If any of these pillars are off or uneven, there is a risk to overall health. The death of my mom started the process of decay in my spiritual and physical health. This had an impact on my passion for life and the health of my relationships. As a result, I was not operating optimally in the mental and emotional pillars either. I needed to take a hard look at each of these MEPS pillars to make changes if I was going to lead a balanced and rewarding life. Knowledge of these pillars goes back to the days when I was a cadet at the Air Force Academy, but knowledge does not equal performance. As a result, I let my friends and family know that I had a goal of resetting those areas with challenges tailored to strengthen and bolster my physical and spiritual health. My life depended on it. I did not want to wait until depression set in to start making changes. This would be devastating to me personally and could have even deeper impacts since my profession involves the security of our nation. The 60-Day Transformation Challenge was an answered prayer for the physical pillar at just the right time. Moreover, it sparked a change in my emotional, spiritual and mental well-being and lit a fire inside of me that had darkened. The first step was nutritional health.
Melissa Caiyem (Head of Nutrition, Life Time Colorado Springs) recognized issues in a prescreen that led her to prescribe GUT.FIX. This regimen of probiotics, digestive enzymes and amino acids along with a 30-day change in diet wiped out gastro-intestinal issues that had crept into my life. I immediately felt better and this kick-started my physical transformation. In the first week I felt great and had much more energy to do life better. I became aware of what I was consuming and how that made me feel. I realized that I needed more information to understand how my body consumed calories and used energy. Melissa suggested a metabolic baseline at the end of the first 30 days. This gave me my resting metabolic rate and some insight into how I burn calories. As a result, I was much more aware of how my body used the fuel it received through meals. I added structure back to my workouts and caloric knowledge was critical to make gains that I had not seen in years. As a former Strength & Conditioning coach at a Division 1 school, I knew the concepts but had not been applying them to my personal fitness routine. Life Time gave me an opportunity and the venue to flourish.
Yoga classes at Life Time and meditation and prayer on my own allowed me to find peace necessary for Spiritual renewal. This coupled with the physical changes has shown me what fulfillment can be and how true transformation can take place. I addressed the mental and emotional challenges through counseling sessions that highlighted areas where deficits had occurred. I became more aware of my thoughts and more understanding of how positive thoughts had a direct impact on my health. I am a better person for going through these challenges and have become more focused on others instead of myself. A majority of any monetary winnings as a result of this competition will be going towards blessing others. I’m extremely grateful for the role that the Life Time 60-Day Challenge has played in this transformative and life-changing activity.
Through this transformative journey, I’ve learned that life balance and the support of family and friends is crucial. Disappointments and loss are a part of life. However, the way we react to losses is critically important. The shift of focus to positive changes to health is essential in order to live a fulfilled life. Just as the MEPS pillar alignment is key to a healthy life, balance and paying attention to all aspects of life is important to overall health. I’ve learned that the initial investment into these health pillars has a tremendous return on investment. Time is a precious resource. The time necessary for investment into MEPS health is something that may not seem worthwhile initially, but like many investments, early deposits of time into each of these areas yield life changing benefits. Any financial advisor will also say that yesterday was the best time to invest, but if that is not possible, the best time is now. Regardless of your personal circumstances, now is the perfect time to invest in Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual health. I have learned that you cannot afford not to!