Finalists / James D.

James D.

Warrenville, IL

James D

My family has been members of Life Time in Warrenville, IL since our location opened back in 2000. At that time I was just a 7 year old who enjoyed the play tunnels and basketball court in the childcare center. Throughout my youth I was very active, adventurous, and always down for a new challenge. About 5 years ago I suffered a horrible ski accident which left my back and left knee in very bad condition. These injuries affected my ability to do the things I love such as golf and tennis, and also resulted in serious pain during daily activities such as driving and even sleeping. Over the past 5 years the active and athletic person that I once was disappeared and my bad nutrition habits got even worse. Eventually none of my clothes fit me anymore and I was completely out of breath from tasks such as putting on shoes. The 60day gave me the impetus I needed to take a look at where I was; overweight, short of breath, back and knee pain, at risk of heart disease…and set goals to lose weight, build strength in my back and joints, develop nutritious eating habits, and make sustainable lifestyle changes to carry with me long after the 60day.

At the initial fitness assessment, my weight was too much for my wrists to support during the push up test, I could not do many squats/lunges because my knees and back were aching, and I gasped for air for the more than 16 minutes it took me to complete 1 mile on the treadmill. At over 250lbs and over 40% body fat, most traditional exercises were proving to be too much for me. Through this challenge I was fortunate enough to meet personal trainer David Westerberg. He helped me learn specific exercises targeted at improving overall strength while supporting my joints. In addition, he gave me valuable corrections on my form to maximize the safety and effectiveness of each exercise. Personal trainer Jake Styve provided me with great training methods to achieve cardiovascular health and reduce body fat by introducing me to interval training, heart-rate zone training, and strength training. In addition he also taught me how to push myself out of my comfort zone in a safe and controlled way. The 60day has also introduced me to Pilates and TEAM Boot Camp, and provided me with prewritten workouts. These amazing resources in combination with the personal training has had a tremendous impact on my strength, balance, cardiovascular health, and joint/back pain.

The 60day also provided me with excellent resources to learn about good nutrition. Registered Dietitian Meredith Palagi helped me set specific and measurable nutrition goals that are relevant to my personal needs, realistic and achievable. Through her guidance, I devised a nutrition plan that catered to my exact needs. This included lower calorie foods for weight loss, as well as foods that contribute to good heart and joint health. Through the smart start nutrition seminar that Meredith conducted, I picked up many great tips which I apply daily such as eating slower, drinking more water, consuming more protein and vegetables, and not eating at night. I also benefited greatly from sample meal plans, healthy/nutritious recipes, and even grocery shopping recommendations provided to me at the seminar. She introduced me to a few foundational supplements which I now take daily such as AM/PM multivitamins for better energy/focus, whey protein to support muscle recovery, and omega 3 fish oil to support essential fatty acid intake. As a result of the changes Life Time has helped me make in my diet, I have lost a lot of body fat, gained muscle/joint strength, reduced my risk of heart disease and have more energy and mental focus.

I have had such a positive experience with all Life Time team members that I came in contact with during this program. I was given incredible treatment not only from the personal trainers and nutrition experts who had hands on involvement with the program, but from others such as Danny Mcbride (assistant supervisor of member services) who helped keep me on track every step of the way, and Kathy in the LifeSpa who helped make Life Time a place to relax and enjoy myself. It is because of the environment/culture created by each facet of the Life Time team that I am motivated to go to the club each day and stick to a diet and exercise regime. I am now a regular at Life Time not only because of my renewed health focus brought on by the 60day, but also because I honestly enjoyed the whole process. I am now over 60 pounds lighter, with virtually half the body fat percentage. Knowing specific exercises and how to perform them with correct posture has allowed me to make strength gains that I plan to build on moving forward. I now have less back pain for all the activities I love and plan to enjoy for the rest of my life. I am thankful for Life Time for giving me the knowledge and encouragement to change my life and I look forward to embracing life with newfound vitality.