Hi, my name is Hector. I’m a disabled veteran and single dad to three awesome kids. Just a few months ago, I was obese and at rock bottom.
After serving 4 years in the Army including Desert Shield/Desert Storm 1990-1991, I returned in 1992, having developed a deadly autoimmune disease in which my immune system began attacking my own tissue. I went through intensive chemotherapy and steroid treatments for three years, had both hips replaced with prostheses, and at one point received the Sacrament of Last Rites. God willing, I pulled through. I got my life back on track and started exercising and feeling healthy again.
Life was good for a while, but then last year my marriage fell apart. I went through a painful divorce. I let myself go and just focused on keeping my head above water and taking care of the kids. Going to the gym and eating healthy was substituted with eating convenience foods and movie nights with the kids.
It wasn’t until I was scrolling through pictures on Facebook one night that I realized how much weight I’d put on. I looked in the mirror and thought, “Who is that guy?” I had once been a strong, proud soldier, and now I was just fat. It scared me that here I was a single dad, my health was at risk again, and my kids were completely dependent on me. I had to do something drastic.
I re-joined Lifetime Warrenville in October 2016, having lost 30 lbs. working with a Life Time trainer in the past. My goal was to lose my big belly, shred fat and be a healthy role model for my kids. After losing 11 lbs. on my own, I decided to join the 60-Day Challenge for extra accountability and motivation. Within a month and a half, I was down another 22lbs. and feeling encouraged! However, right after Weigh-Out Weekend, I got a respiratory infection and could not submit my photos and essay.
A couple months later, I had recovered from my illness and resolved to start fresh with the Spring 60-Day Challenge. I got advice from several caring trainers (Julia, Chase, Josh, John & Taylor) and worked with Meredith, R.D., on repairing my gut through better nutrition and supplementation (Life Time Multivitamins, probiotics, BCAAs, whey protein & fish oil). I furthered my education by attending the 60-Day Challenge Try-It Tuesday workshops, did my Active Metabolic Assessment to learn how to do efficient cardio, and followed the compound exercise program I’d learned from my trainers.
It paid off. In the last six months (from the start of my first 60-Day Challenge, to the end of this second Challenge), I lost a total of 37 lbs. and had a 53% percentage decrease in body fat. I would never have met this goal without the loving support of my kids and the good people at Life Time.