Finalists / Halima A.

Halima A.

Lakeville, MN

Halima A

I was born in a third-world country—Somalia.  For five years, my life was normal. I had three brothers and three sisters. Both my mother and father worked eight hours a day. We were a happy family.  But in 1992, the civil war began, and my normal life and happy family were no more.  I watched my mother pass away from starvation.  In 1995, only three hours after hugging me goodbye, my father was killed on his way to work.  A sister and brother later died of cancer.  My life continued with hunger, sadness, frustration, and poor health when I was still in Somalia.  These memories and traumas haunted me but they also inspired me to push forward and become stronger.

I lived in a refugee camp in Somalia until I came to Minnesota. I have never seen a gym until I came to Minnesota.  No one in my family had ever worked out but in May 12, 2008, I became a member of Life Time.  This was a day I will never forget because this was the day I decided to get stronger, both mentally and physically.

Before I arrived in America, I had never seen women workout. I lived in a society where women were subservient to men. They dressed in traditional garb that covered their faces.  Societal norms reinforced the idea that men were superior to women and that the role of woman was to serve man.  After arriving to America, I began seeing the endless possibilities that awaited me as a woman. I started working out and graduated from the University of Minnesota.  I also started graduate school last year studying Clinical Psychology.

I have a respect and appreciation for Life Time employees and most importantly, can appreciate how the group instructors (who are mostly women) inspire me and their commitment to improving the well-being of our communities.

My goal for signing up for the 60day was to lose 20 pounds, get stronger and gain more energy. Fortunately, I have achieved my goal with the help of my personal trainer and Life Time group instructors. My personal trainer was there for me throughout the 60day journey. He was my advisor and continues to motivate me every day.  The Life Time group instructors helped me to get stronger and they delivered educating, fun, innovative and motivated classes.  Almost every day I did a class. My favorite classes are: Barbell Strength, Gluteus MAXout, Shred and Warrior Sculpt.

My lifestyle has also changed for the last 60 days. Being in graduate school is very stressful and demanding so when I’d got overwhelmed, I used eat to comfort my feelings, but since the last 60 days, I have learned to eat when I’m hungry and not stressed. I have completely cut-off all carbs and junk foods.  I started eating healthy and clean.  For breakfast, I drank a protein shake, for lunch I ate mixed greens and for dinner I ate baked chicken and steamed vegetable. I drank about a gallon of water a day and slept 8 hours a night.  This was my routine every day for the last 60days.

The 60day really made me stronger both mentally and physically. Now I have learned how to eat healthy and stay satisfied, I’m no longer going back to junk food and empty calories. I feel happier and stronger. I know that the 60day has prepared me to push forward and never give up. This was a wonderful journey and I have enjoyed every moment of its challenges.

Thank you for reading my story.