I had just finished my first 60-Day Challenge. I promised myself I would enter again and that this time I would complete my goal. I had to ask myself, “Am I willing to commit to each day’s task for a full 60 days?” I found out the first time that the answer was no, I was not ready.
I wanted nothing more than to commit to myself that these next 60 days would be my finest. I am celebrating my 10th year as a member of Life Time. It has been 11 years since I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. On February 29th, 2008 I finished my chemotherapy, and three days later I joined Life Time. My old life was over, the life that was all about work and nothing else had ended. Being a member of Life Time had been my first chance at a change. My life began to grow, and I started taking boot camp and yoga classes. I was soon talking to people in classes, going out, traveling, and eventually meeting the love of my life. Eventually this woman would become my wife and we would start a great life together.
I was able to get in decent shape, but was never able to take it to the next step by myself. I began speaking with trainer Brendan Kroeger, and told him my concerns. Just by talking to him I was able to identify what I was missing and what I did not really need to be doing. Starting in November of 2016, I joined the T.E.A.M. Burn class in the morning, as well as my first 60-Day Challenge. I was not a runner, and could complete a 20 minute jog. Results were taken from the Metabolic Assessment and I was running at a 6 mph pace, which was not something I was mentally prepared for. I weighed in at 240 pounds and 20% body fat, the highest I had been in nine years at Life Time. The Challenge went well, but sadly I stalled and I could not lose any more body fat. I lost over 9% body fat and 30 pounds. I am proud of that accomplishment, but I had more to prove to myself. I visualized that I could have done more, but maybe I was not ready at that time.
When the 60-Day Challenge started in May this year, I learned how to keep up the pace in my zones and was ready to begin. Another Metabolic Assessment was done and now 7 mph was my zone 1, and I knew that I was mentally prepared. This was a big deal to me, because this one time I was determined to see this goal through and feel the success internally. I wanted to reach a new low body fat percentage and show people that I had not taken this second chance lightly.
From day one, my trainer Brendan Kroeger encouraged me to focus on my weaknesses and build them into strengths. I made sure to train in my zones, and most importantly, rest when my body was fatigued. He did not stress lifting heavy, but using proper techniques instead. I have kyphosis of the spine, which makes me hunch over unless I tell myself to stand up straight. During workouts we focused on proper shoulder and back posture for the entire session. I am 10 years older than Brendan, but I look up to him. I am fortunate that I have been able to work out with someone who can describe and articulate each workout.
My wife had also decided to join this 60-Day Challenge. This has led to us going to the gym together to lift weights, run on the treadmill, cooking for each other, and strategizing our goals. With help from Life Time we were able to make sound decisions, such as adding nutrients for each scheduled meal. I got out of my comfort level for certain foods and added more variety that I now enjoy, such as Greek yogurt, cherries, and asparagus. I started to use Life Time multivitamin, fish oils, and glucosamine supplements to replenish my system after all the work I put in. I also was not eating enough good carbohydrates. Learning what my body needs at certain times of the day was critical in reaching this goal. When I was able to remove stress and not let the little things bother me, I was able to see more success on the scale.
We encouraged each other to not feel pressured because others were eating bad food in front of us. We were reinforced with support from the Brendan, friends, family, even strangers at Life Time, and weekly emails from Coach Anika with recipes to try.
Today, my size 38” pants will not fit on me, the 36“ size pants barely fit, and I do not own size 34” pants yet. To see that my chest is more firm is amazing, as it has always been big and flabby. I have abs for the first time that I can see and I do not have to be afraid to take my shirt off. On day 59 of the Challenge, my original 17.1% body fat had come down to 4.7%! I lost 30 pounds, and my goal was only 7% body fat! My wife notices my improved posture, but with getting older each day I still need to improve. As I weighed out on the last day, I can say that the 60-Day Challenge mission has been accomplished. My wife and I still want more and we will find more goals inside of Life Time, and soon accomplish our dreams outside like hiking Mt Fuji. There is no wait for tomorrow, because it came today!