On April 20, 2018, my doctor told me that I must notify my employer that I was unable to perform my work duties, that I could no longer attend the office or work related functions, and that I should remove myself from all stresses and distractions that were contributing to an ongoing pattern of overeating and under exercising resulting in a severe weight and critical high-blood pressure problem.
I am a forty-six-year-old executive vice president of a major and successful real estate development company in the Greater Toronto Area. I have been married for nearly twenty years and have a wonderful wife and three amazing kids that I love and adore. I have been with my company for over twenty years. I worked hard everydayI knew how to lead and get things done. In corporate terms, I was very vey successful.
Health-wise I was a disaster. I have struggled with my weight my entire life but generally I was always “healthy”. By April 2018, my weight had ballooned to an all time high of 259 pounds, and my blood pressure was an unthinkable 191/130. I have been on blood pressure medication for ten years, but this result was completely ridiculous. I found myself becoming increasingly short tempered, intolerant and easily fatigued. This took a toll on those around me at both work and at home.
When the doctor took that blood pressure reading he looked me in the eye and asked me if I want to live, if I care about my family and if I care about myself. He told me if I do – I would tell the people at my office that I will not be back until I am better. I listened to him. I thought mostly about my kids.
Andrew Michael Smith has been trying to convince me to train with him for nearly two years. We met when I first joined the club and he offered to help get me on track. I always had an excuse why I could not do it or why it was not the right time. I am sure he thought I was dodging him a lot of the time, and in many ways and for whatever reason I probably was. A few days into my time off work, Andrew caught sight of me in the Life Café. He was always very friendly with me despite my turning him down so often. He called out to me and said we had to get working together. This time I said yes. Given my situation and my state of mind, this was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Andrew has been amazing as a source of inspiration, advice, confidence, support and pressure to be the best I can. He is very knowledgeable, and I feel he has tailored the program exactly to my requirements, He started to train me a couple days a week for a half hour at a time. My heart rate and blood pressure at the beginning did not let me do any more than that. He gave me amazing nutrition advice and started to strengthen my body slowly.
After about a month and with Andrew’s help I was feeling great and I had lost about 20 pounds. At this time, he suggested I try Pilates. I showed up for a trial session with Laura James and to my own true surprise I loved it. Since the beginning of June, I have been attending and enjoying Pilates sessions twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I can for the first time in forever pull myself up in a sit up position to touch my toes. I am feeling leaner and more flexible and have new appreciation for the strengthening of my back, thighs and core. Like Andrew, Laura is patient and accommodating to my requirements and puts me in a position to be successful, strong and motivated. I feel like I am such good hands with all the trainers and instructors talking amongst themselves and ensuring I am receiving the best advice possible. I feel like everyone is pulling for me to perform at my best and that they have equated my success to their success. In an interesting way, their commitment to me has invested me in my commitment to them. I feel like I want to come through and succeed to acknowledge their time and effort spent pushing me and bringing me along. We are a team focused on the improvement of my physical fitness. I could not do any of it without that strong team behind me.
Now at the end of the challenge I am down to 216 pounds. I feel great. I look good. I feel lighter. I have confidence in my appearance for the first time in years. I feel stronger. I am sleeping better. I feel more disciplined. I need a new wardrobe. I understand healthy eating and I have most of my emotional eating under control. I am in better control of my emotions in general. I have a clear head. I am inspired. I am motivated. I feel successful
For me, the 60Day is just the start of a new way of life and a new way of living. It is the first sixty days of a new approach to managing my time, my relationships and most importantly my commitment to myself. I expect that I will continue training with Andrew and Laura and Anthony. I expect I will still be attending the club every day at 7:30 am. I expect I will remain addicted to feeling great and striving to be the best possible version of me that I can be.