Finalists / Kathleen O

Kathleen O.

68.49% change in body fat percent*

*Results not typical

To transform is to change completely the appearance or character of something or someone especially so that thing or person is improved.  That pretty much sums up my life after these past 60 days. I have been on a wonderful journey and come out the other side a new person with a new outlook on life and broader horizons that include a new career and ever evolving goals.

I always procrastinate when it comes to writing papers and essays. But I knew I would be doing this essay for the 60-Day Challenge at the last minute because I knew it would be an emotional process. Over the past several weeks as I traveled this journey I composed pieces of my story in my head. Most of the time I would become tearful, I guess because of the impact the process has had on me and the changes I have experienced. I needed to be mentally prepared for that so I grabbed my tissues and tried to stay put at the computer.

I had been taking care of other people my entire adult life, as a nurse for 30 plus years and being married with 3 children.  I hold 2 jobs, one as a school nurse at a special needs school and one working night shift at a hospital. I also volunteer at my children’s schools and their sports teams.

I was always tired.  I was not taking care of myself.  My sleep was poor. I never wanted to get dressed up or go out. Conveniently I was able to wear scrubs to work. If I had to go somewhere I would wear black, thinking maybe it made me look slimmer. But the dark color also reflected my mood. I had issues on the home front that were very challenging and stressful. I took my unhappiness out on myself by not eating well, rarely exercising and drinking too much.

In addition, I had concerns in the back of my mind regarding health issues.  Other than the dentist, I hadn’t been to the doctor in years.  My family has several medical issues in our history including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. My sister who is only 7 years older than me had just in the past year had a stroke and been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is still recovering. It was frightening to me to see the similarities between her lifestyle choices that contributed to her poor health and my behavior. I was on the same path. These factors combined with the fact that I was 53 and in the obese category were setting me up for big time health problems.

Deep down I knew I wanted to change and Life Time gave me what I needed to make that change happen. Sitting and relaxing by the beautiful pool at sunset I realize that I have been truly blessed by the people, programs and services that have been available to me at Life Time. I am so grateful that I have had the ability to join Life Time and participate in the 60-Day Challenge.  The Challenge appealed to my competitive nature while everything else that was in place gave me the structure I craved. I could not have completed this journey or had the success I did if not for all of the services and staff being in one place.

My programming was developed and guided by my trainer Sean. His belief in me made all the difference in the world.  I cannot speak highly enough of what his support and friendship have meant to me. Although I didn’t believe him at first and felt like his goals were somewhat lofty, he always felt like I could win.  He was always there to train, give advice, support or send me a workout. He has helped me put things in perspective outside of the gym and gain the confidence to tackle life’s challenges.

This Challenge we worked with another team led by Kyra and did small group classes in addition to individual training. The classes were so much fun and it was great getting to know some of the other club members.

Sean is also my nutrition coach. What I have learned and put into practice over the past 60 days have been totally instrumental in helping me hit my targets. I strongly believe that my nutrition has been the pivotal piece in helping me lose 60 pounds and over 78% body fat since I began training with Sean.  I have learned how to manage my macros, time my meals and carbs for better workout performance and I can see how different foods affect my body. I have learned quite a bit from the information available through Life Time online about meal prepping and planning and have used many of the recipes as well. My whole outlook and behavior around food has changed.

I have been so impressed with this aspect of my training that I am becoming a certified nutrition coach this fall and have already taken steps toward this new career path. Over the past months I have been approached by numerous people I know who asked me what I have done differently to get the results I have gotten. I tell them that I have changed my lifestyle and nutrition and that I believe the nutrition has been key. I want to share what I have learned with others and hopefully make a difference in the lives of people I see every day like the night shift staff I work with who tend to have health related issues due to working overnight to the autistic students I care for during the day at school.  Unfortunately, many of the students in my school have poor diets and limited nutritious food offerings available to them and as a result are overweight. I am hopeful that I can make a difference.