Djordje (Jojo) M.
Small Group Training | Personal Trainer
For New Year’s Eve, our family toured Life Time and tried out their pool (which we had all to ourselves the evening of 12/31/2020). It was so much fun. We went ahead and joined – partly because of all the amazing promotions for families, such as a free week of camp, free childcare every day, and free tennis and swimming lessons. I also wanted to participate in the weight-loss challenge as soon as it was available, to possibly be able to earn a free membership. There of course were other reasons besides the prizes to want to lose weight. I wanted to have more energy, lower cholesterol, and be able to keep up with my children. I definitely had a lot of weight to lose after packing on over 20 extra “pandemic pounds” in addition to the extra weight I was already carrying.
I think healthy people may not understand how we overweight people got to be this way. For me, depression contributed. I didn’t care enough about my life or my health to stop overeating and start exercising. There’s a funny meme that says, “Exercise gives you energy but you need energy to exercise. Sounds like a pyramid scheme to me.” I had let myself go, and really needed an extra push of external motivation to get moving. The childcare for my 2-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl was excellent motivation to get me out of my house and into the Life Time Club, even if I didn’t feel like exercising.
Once the 60day challenge started at the beginning of March, I cut out all carbs from my diet except for vegetables and fruit. If I felt a craving, I followed the Life Time dietician’s advice (also included in our membership) of making sure I was eating enough protein (20-30 grams per meal), veggies (around 2 cups per meal), and healthy fats to feel full. The Life Time Cafe was a lifesaver when I needed some healthy fuel. I love the chocolate protein shake (with some added peanut butter), and the Life Time burger with chipotle mayo (no bun) is delicious. Their meals to-go, such as salmon with brussels sprouts or broccoli, ended up being a favorite for my children! They even think the protein bars from the Life Time Cafe are candy bars, which is fine with me!
I tried many different exercise classes at the club. My favorites are Aqua Zumba (fun and low-impact dancing in the pool), GTX conditioning/strength (not too difficult but still a great workout), Pilates (I had always wanted to try this), and yoga (especially the easier deep stretching classes). I started out slowly, being careful not to injure myself. The instructors at Life Time are amazing and frequently check-in to see how you’re feeling. They were always very helpful by suggesting modifications when I had a bit of knee pain. They also suggested taking fish oil and glucosamine for joint pain, which I easily purchased through Life Time with my LT Bucks. I loved our introductory tennis lessons as well; they helped me step back into a sport that I haven’t played since I was much younger. Now that the outdoor pool is open, it is like a vacation at a resort anytime I want.
I’m so proud to have lost 37 pounds in only 2 months! My appetite is surprisingly smaller and I think my stomach must have shrunk. I have tried a bit of bread and it didn’t even taste that good. I thought, “this isn’t worth it,” so I didn’t finish it. What a change from before, when I just ate whatever I wanted without any thought. Besides fewer cravings, other benefits I’ve noticed are: increased energy to play with my kids, better sleep, less fatigue during the day, and increased strength (I have started cleaning up my garage, and lifting heavy boxes are no problem). I also had recent blood work that shows my cholesterol is back within the normal range!
Although the challenge is over, I still have a lot of weight to lose. I plan to continue my low-carb diet, except for perhaps one “cheat meal” per week so I don’t feel deprived. I also am continuing to exercise at Life Time three times per week or more. I’ve made some friends in my group classes including the instructors; this accountability and friendship give me a launchpad for continued efforts.
The Life Time 60day challenge has helped me change my lifestyle. I’m so thankful to have begun this journey.