My doctors gave me a choice — “Either you can decide to start to make positive changes to your lifestyle on your own today, or you can wait, and in a few months, we will have to make these decisions for you with a lifetime of surgeries and prescriptions.”
That was all it took.
I was 42 years old. But I felt I was living in the body of someone twice my age. I would lose my breath walking up stairs. I couldn’t bend over to tie my own shoes and putting on socks was a challenge. My plantar fasciitis was so bad it felt like I was standing on a knife all day. I was having heart palpitations. I had chronic sleep apnea and exhaustion and as a result, I would eat junk food and drink soda all day and night just to stay awake. I was also suffering from numerous pre-diabetic symptoms.
I hadn’t always been obese, but after my mother passed away in a tragic car accident while on vacation, I turned to food. Within a year I had put on over 100 lbs. Multiple attempts to lose the weight through calorie restricted dieting combined with self-directed exercise resulted in short-term weight loss but eventually led to plateaus, binging and sports related injuries. Each time I would gain all the weight back and then some.
In December 2016 my health took a turn for the worse. I started feeling a stabbing pain in my left chest. This pain would usually only last a few seconds and I just wrote it off as a side effect of being so fat. But by summer of 2017, the pain was getting more intense and more frequent. Because I come from a family that has had many heart-related health issues, I really started to panic. My father, who lives a very healthy lifestyle had had a stroke a few years ago. My uncle had an aortic aneurysm, flatlined 10 times during the operation, and survived. My aunt passed away last summer as a result of multiple strokes over several years. Shortly thereafter I discovered a large lump in my left chest. Several visits to my doctor and after multiple tests, it was determined that the mass was not cancerous . . . yet. And now, as a result, I will have to be retested every year to ensure it hasn’t grown or spread.
It was a scary thought that my genetics combined with my obesity was going to probably kill me — sooner than later.
I decided then and there that I had to change my life once and for all — both for myself and for my family. My wife and I agreed we needed to make a massive lifestyle change and we purchased a Life Time family membership for Christmas at our local club in Ajax, Ontario.
Shortly after joining Life Time I met Ryan (my personal trainer) and things really got moving quickly. Ryan took time to listen to my history with exercise, my health issues and helped map out a strategy that has completely changed my mindset about fitness and health. I started swimming three times a week at the Life Time pools — the fact that they open early and I could swim before work really fit my schedule. I also started taking some of the Life Time EDG Cycle classes. The instructors were very supportive of new members joining their classes. Both swimming and spinning were easy on the joints and I quickly started to lose weight.
After a few weeks, I decided it was time to step up my game and I joined the Life Time Body Burn classes. A couple of sessions a week I have high-intensity interval training (weights and cardio) with Ryan and the rest of the group. Many of whom were also taking part in the 60day and have been very supportive throughout. Ryan also recommended the Life Time Metabolic Assessment — which gave me a better understanding of my heart rate ranges and ideal workout parameters that I should be using.
Life Time has completely changed our family life for the better. We are spending way more time together as a family now that we have 2 or 3 family gym nights each week — plus my wife and I go another 3–5 times each week on our own. We are eating more clean home-cooked meals together as well.
Not only did I manage to lose 51.4 lbs. during the 60day — but many of my other health issues have disappeared as well. I have had no pain in my chest in the past two months. My plantar fasciitis and my knees are completely pain-free. I no longer have headaches, digestive issues or other pre-diabetic symptoms. The quality of my sleep has improved and my energy levels have significantly increased.
I look forward to continuing my journey toward good health with my family and with all the support we’ve received from Life Time since joining 3 months ago.