When it comes to something that we don’t want to do, we all have used phrases such as “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll worry about it next week.” In the past, this had always been my approach to exercising, eating healthy, and practicing positive lifestyle behaviors. Tomorrow became the next week, next week became next month, and eventually time passed by in increments of years. My body and health continued to worsen. I was in the worse shape of my life. I was diagnosed and placed on medication for high cholesterol, hypertension, and was pre-diabetic due to my weight and hereditary factors. My confidence also suffered and I felt extremely insecure about myself. I was ashamed to participate in activities such as swimming, going on beach trips, or even going out because many of my clothes did not fit. I knew in situations where I had to take my shirt off, I was not happy with my weight, so I always chose to say no to those that asked to go to a pool or the beach. I walked by hunching my back and slouching my shoulders to hide all of the weight I had gained.
I quickly realized that the idea of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle can only come to fruition if I proactively did something about it. I could have wanted weight loss to happen, I could have wished for it to happen, or even believed it can happen, but I knew if I didn’t make it happen, all the wishing and wanting would have left me even more disappointed in myself.
After I committed to having the healthy lifestyle, I spoke with Jack, my Life Time personal trainer. I told him that my goal was to lose as much weight as possible, and with a sarcastic laugh, I told him I wanted to try to win the 60-Day Weight Loss Challenge. While I may have been laughing at the time, he heard me and took it very seriously. He was committed to helping me achieve my goals – he even said “we can win it.” Throughout the Challenge, Jack kept me motivated with a single phrase, “What do winners do?” He expected me to respond each and every time by saying “Winners always win.” It was this motivation that made me push myself to take the Challenge seriously and do everything possible to achieve my desired results.
I utilized every benefit I could at Life Time to reach my goals. I used the results from my RMA and AMA to understand how my body worked and also adjusted my diet appropriately based on nutrition coaching I had received from Life Time in the past. Soon much to my surprise, the Life Time team was right, and not only was I eating healthier, I found myself completing intense workouts with Jack, something that I have not been able to do in years. I recall when I first started working out with Jack, I was not able to complete a workout longer than 15 minutes at an intense level, and now not only am I able to complete a full workout, I am also able to complete my cardio workouts after finishing personal training.
Throughout the 60 days, the journey was not easy. There were times where I felt discouraged and my body was exhausted, however, one thing that I learned was how to have mental strength to push through the desires of giving up. I live by a philosophy of three words: “can,” “do” and “can’t.” I remind myself that I “can” do it; it is my motivation. When I “do” it, I am successful. But “can’t” is not an option because it means failure. My personal trainer never allowed me to say I “can’t” do it and he pushed me to limits that I never thought I could achieve. In addition to support from Life Time staff, I got support from my friends and family. When I couldn’t find the motivation, friends would be there for a treadmill run, and to remind me that I “can.” My friends challenged me to attend a cycle class at Life Time, and now we “do” AMP Cycle regularly. My family helped me say I “can” to improvements in my nutrition, by preparing healthy meals rather than our regular over-indulgence during our weekly meals. As a result, progress was noticeable. Looking back at the journey, I am glad that I had the mental strength and support to dismiss the “can’t”; believe I “can” and have experienced the success of “do.”
Progress came quickly, and two months later, I have never felt better. I have my confidence back; I am walking taller and excited about this being the first summer in a very long time that I can enjoy the beach/pool without being embarrassed about my body. I am back to playing basketball with coworkers weekly, something I had been avoiding. I have also drastically improved my overall health. I routinely have my blood pressure and labs checked, and during the middle of the Challenge, my lab results had stabilized in the normal ranges.
This Challenge may be over, but I “can” continue to succeed by continuing to “do” the things I have learned creating my new lifestyle. I appreciate the support from my friends, family and Life Time staff in tackling this Challenge and creating a new lifestyle. I now feel empowered to be able to do this “All in My Life Time”.