At Life Time, I’m known as “Mr. Sunday”. I’ve worked this day since I started 7 years ago. I have always enjoyed being in the gym, weight training on an off since high school. Being a single parent, it is difficult working multiple jobs and being involved in my son’s sports to make time. When not in the gym, bad habits formed. I have been on this rollercoaster ride for years. My workout routine slips, and I wouldn’t care what my son or I ate. We would get whatever was more convenient and I would gain weight from these poor choices.
At my son’s recent check-up, I was shocked to see that he put on weight. I realized that these bad habits were ones that I introduced to him. I knew I had to make a change. I had to lead by setting a better example.
During my Mr. Sunday shift a 60-Day Challenge was advertised. The last week was just a week shy of my big 4-0 birthday. It was going to get harder if I didn’t do something now and follow Life Time’s motto of living a healthier way of life. It was time for a “Newme@40”.
I was friendly with the PT staff, but never took advantage of their advice. I knew if I was going to do this I needed their proven results. I sat down with Kris Rifenburg who gave me great advice and became my coach. From a tear I had in my abdominal rectus years ago and constant weight gain and loss, my core has been a weak area. Kris introduced me to different ways to train. I was finally not afraid to work on this area I had avoided.
We set goals and put together a diet plan, which was always hard for me to follow. This Italian always goes for his carbs before his veggies. I learned that the same workouts and eating the same meals might be convenient but won’t yield results. I have had challenges with the “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” approach. I needed to have a plan and set goals. Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This was my shot, and I wasn’t planning on missing.
Using my new diet plan, I tracked my macros. What you do outside of the gym is just as important as what you do inside. I paid attention to my portions and ate balanced meals. I printed out a calendar with a countdown, from Day 60 to Day 1, knowing each day I was closer to my goal. I put my current weight and BF% and what my finishing goal was. I weighed in every Saturday and had my son take pictures in hopes to keep him involved so he would see the changes and be inspired to make better choices.
I met with John Finlay to have a metabolic test, something I wished I had taken advantage of long ago. It truly supports the work smarter, not harder, mentality. John was able to create a program for me that included different days of interval training for the treadmill each week. Every day, I had an e-mail sent to me with a new routine focused on targeting different heart rate zones for fat loss. My plan was already there when I woke up, no guesswork involved. This was really cool and made the cardio part of my training exciting.
I also met with Todd Smith and got introduced to his Alpha Training class. Not only did I learn new workouts (I can even do a snatch-grip and front squat now), I always felt great after. It was fun because of the group and trainer I had support from. We constantly pushed each other, had different workouts each class, and I started seeing great results week after week. Boot Camp classes led by Jared Boyette followed, who was a big help with his advice and guidance along the way, as was Nicholas Vitarella. I quickly realized I was surrounded by all of the tools and support I needed. This made me feel confident and pushed me even harder along my journey for this transformation.
At the beginning of this challenge, I had the plan I never had before, but it required change. I knew if I gave it my all, each day was a new day to tackle and get closer to my goals and that slow and steady does win the race. I had to make time to do my training, and the later it got, the harder the workout might be as well as the challenge of showing up. I had to take it one day at a time, focusing on my results from this hard work. I didn’t want to make excuses. Week by week, I noticed the results in pictures, the way I felt, how my clothes fit, and on the scale. I felt better with my workouts and my runs got easier.
I have established some great relationships with members over the years and have been a cheerleader for them during my shifts. I was now getting compliments from them, which made me even more driven. My son took an interest in starting to eat healthier and being more active. I picked up an activity tracker that has a rewards system for kids and came up with a program for him to follow. I reward him for hitting 10k steps each day and for eating veggies. He was so excited that he would go on the treadmill at night to try and to hit his steps for the day before bedtime if he was short. I knew when this happened, I hit my ultimate goal. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” – Fred Devito