I’ve always battled with weight; it’s easy to write off as genetics. Type-2 Diabetes and obesity are common in my family. My go-to excuse was: “I didn’t choose the chub-life, the chub-life chose me.”
About 18 months ago my weight almost killed me. After a day of intense pain I went to the emergency room. My next memory was a helicopter, and then waking up with a machine breathing for me, IVs and 6 chest drains. I learned later that I beat steep odds by even surviving. I had a huge septic infection in my torso. They cut an 8-inch hole in my back, removed a section of rib, and deflated a lung to gain access to clean it out. The 3-hour surgery took 8 due to my weight. I spent 5 weeks undergoing surgeries and procedures in the hospital; 6 more in home health care with a feeding tube, oxygen, IV antibiotics, and a wound vac. The 11 weeks on my back caused muscle waste and wrecked my lung capacity. I had to get strong enough to walk on my own again, to sit up in bed, to shower.
The road to recovery was long. I did physical therapy as long as I could afford it. I had blood clots which needed meds that made me sick. I put loved ones through a lot of stress. For my (now ex-) girlfriend, it became too much to bear. Living alone made it even easier to make bad health choices.
On November 11th, I had a biometric screening. The numbers were all bad. I weighed 318 lbs; my triglycerides were over 500; I was prediabetic and dying all over again.
I’d finally had enough. I researched how to improve my bloodwork and I began a strict diet and exercise regimen. Within 3 months I was down 40 lbs. That would be good but I had lost 25 the 1st month, 10 the 2nd, and 5 the 3rd. I worked out more, ate less, and the progress still slowed to a stop.
I got help right before the 60-Day Challenge started. Jordan at Life Time helped me turn a corner. Not only did he introduce me to HIIT training but also to the Active Metabolic Assessment. Chuck did the AMA and helped me design a workout plan that would maximize fat loss while still being low impact to avoid aggravating my bad knees, back, and shoulder. I moved my intense workouts to the mornings to avoid cortisol at night which had prevented fat burning. I alternated elliptical with high heart rate lifting in the mornings. I added exercises from the 60-Day webpage to keep my body guessing. I walked at night to burn extra calories and hiked on the weekends.
I took many diet tips from the 60-Day Challenge website. I basically ate animal protein and veggies. Coach Anika and Paul’s Bacon Roasted Chicken & Brussels Sprouts or the Chunky Meat & Veggie Chili were a perfect fit. I ate organic vegetables. My proteins were grass-fed or wild caught. I knew my exercise plan would be taxing so I consumed raw garlic and turmeric for the anti-inflammatory benefits and supplemented with Life Time Whey Protein, MultiVitamins, Glucosamine, and Life Greens. I did Life Time Yoga to help with flexibility and range of motion, and avoid injury. I know it was critical to my success. It’s amazing how much the skill of deep breathing through a tough pose translates to perseverance and focus for life in general.
About half way through the Challenge I was having pain in the spot in my back where they took a rib. I discovered Jordan was trained in Fascial Abrasion Technique to break up scar tissue! I also took advantage of the 60-Day discounts on massage at LifeSpa.
This Challenge is a great motivator. Seeing the success of other members made dramatic results attainable. I knew I couldn’t make any excuses if I wanted to win. Instead of “if I can, I should” it was “if I can, I MUST!” I was relentless in finding ways to be active. I parked in the furthest corner of parking lots. I walked laps around my office throughout the day. I had a band to do curls at my desk. One day I left my car to get the tires rotated, walked to the pet store to buy a 30-lb. bag of dog food and carried it a mile home doing shoulder presses and curls along the way. I then walked my bike 2 miles to a bike shop to fix the tires and walked 3 miles back to the tire shop to pick up my car. Next I took my car to get an oil change and there was an hour wait, GREAT! I walked laps around the shopping center until I realized I would burn more calories pushing shopping carts back to their stores. There was no shame in my calorie burning game. If I lose this Challenge, I’m still winning life! I have my health back. I’m limber. I’ve surely saved thousands in future medical bills I won’t incur. I’m sleeping great. I feel better, and now wear smaller pants than I did in high school. I used to think genetics was holding me back. Life Time taught me countless more factors and I am in control to stay in shape when the Challenge is over. I feel like I’ve become a fat loss expert and I know my body. I’d like to get to 15% body fat, then I’ll take advantage of all the resources I have at Life Time to learn to put on muscle efficiently and maybe take a crack at the Transformation Challenge!