Finalists / Bonnie W

Bonnie W.

West Bloomfield, MI

Bonnie Winchar Front

I have been overweight all my life and have been on many different diet programs. Nothing ever worked for me for longer than a few weeks. I think I had every excuse in the book, but the most common one was, “I don’t have time to exercise.”

Fast forward to now, and I find myself not just overweight but obese. My knees have nearly given out and I have great difficulty climbing stairs. I have lower back issues, difficulty sleeping lying down, and an irregular heartbeat which causes me to be short of breath after any exertion. There is diabetes in the family and I fear that is where I am headed in the not too distant future. I really felt something had to change and as fast as possible.

I was downsized from my job last fall and could no longer use the excuse that I was too busy to exercise. I started with Life Time in late December, determined to give it a try, hoping I could finally change the course of my future.  Life Time had the best resources of any of their competitors.

I love the lap pool, the hot tubs and the dry sauna. It is not fully utilized during the afternoons, so I found it easy to get a lane to myself. After an hour of swimming, the hot tub and the sauna was just what I needed to warm me up!

As I am on a limited income, I didn’t think I could afford the personal trainer option. Then I was introduced to a great personal trainer, Cindy, who I could relate with easily as we were in the same age bracket. Cindy referenced “Core 3” at the time of my on-boarding session, that in addition to moving my body (movement), I needed to become nutritionally sound (nutrition) and know (knowledge) what is going on internally in my body. All I could think of was, “Oh, great, this is going to cost me a small fortune!” However, working within my budget, Cindy managed to create a program which allowed me to get the most out of my membership. She introduced me to Pilates in the large and well-equipped studio. I found the Pilates exercises easier on my joints and the stretching of my muscles did wonders for my back. Having a trainer really made the difference in how I approached the machine workouts, too. Besides meeting with me once a week for the Pilates sessions, she “made” me meet her two more times a week on the treadmills for a 5-minute pep talk. Those appointments helped keep me on track, as I could have easily decided to just stay home instead.

I had never used protein powder before, but I started on the D.TOX program at Cindy’s suggestion. I felt better after those two weeks, more energized and happy with the quick jump-start to my weight loss program. I continued with the Vegan Protein powder and the Life Greens powder, to help kick-start my metabolism each morning. I liked the convenience of drinking those protein shakes for breakfast and got in the habit of stopping in the Life Time Café after each workout for a healthy meal. I am seriously considering getting a food sensitivity test to determine which foods will provide me with the fastest route to reaching my goal.

Now that the 60day is over, I plan on rewarding myself with a pedicure at the LifeSpa. I am very glad I participated in this 60day. The staff was very supportive throughout, checking on my progress and encouraging me to stay on track.  Having that type of support really helped to keep me motivated. It was a great way to get my body used to eating the proper foods and more frequent exercise. I feel the changes in my body already, as my back is much stronger, I can sleep comfortably through the night, I have more mobility in my legs and can walk further without getting out of breath.

I am convinced that the future will bring me the additional weight loss I need to make a huge difference in my life.  I am already feeling more confident going into job interviews, able to focus on the interview itself, rather than wondering if the conference room chair was sturdy enough or if I would have difficulty getting out of it. I am looking forward to the time I can stop driving separately on work outings, just to hide the difficulty I’d have climbing into back seats or stepping up into the higher SUVs.

I would like to travel more often in the future, without asking for wheelchair assistance to get through the terminals.  I nearly didn’t go to my sister’s funeral as I wasn’t sure I would fit in the narrow airplane seats. Losing my excess weight would make a big difference in the quality of my life and I can see it happening in a healthy manner as I continue my program at Life Time. Walking into Life Time was one of the best decisions I ever made!