As I look over my before and after photos of the 60day transformation, I can’t help but be amazed. Not only amazed at how the body can change when given the right nutrition and exercise, but also amazed at how these photos are a reflection of my overall well-being. It’s hard to even look at my before photos let alone submit them for others to see. It is embarrassing and frustrating to see the condition I allowed myself to fall into, but extremely motivating to see the results of a healthy lifestyle.
More than anything, I want the story and photos of my transformation to motivate others. I want people to see that no matter where they have been, or how many times they have attempted change, that success is still within reach.
As I stood on the scale for my initial 60day weigh in, I couldn’t help but wonder what would make this attempt at transformation any different than the multitude of previous attempts. Over many years I had gotten into a yo-yo pattern of weight loss and rapid weight gain. This pattern had left me with the highest body fat percentage I had seen yet. Not only did I feel discouraged by these repeated failures, I also felt more disadvantaged than ever because of 2 shoulder injuries and lower back issues. If I couldn’t make a long term transformation when I was healthy, how could I do it now? Despite my self-doubt I was ready to give it another go. There was just too much at stake to stay in my current condition. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. I found myself avoiding photos and even social situations. I was letting my family down by modeling a destructive pattern of eating. The inactivity and binge eating had also taken a physical toll. I constantly felt tired and irritable. My body ached and I didn’t have the energy to pursue my favorite activities.
My initial doubt began to transform to optimism and resolve as our trainer, Ryan, went over the initial results and helped me define some goals for the next 60 days. I began to believe this time would be different, not just because of the fantastic resources Life Time provides for the program, but also because my wife had decided to participate in too. Although my wife had always been supportive of my health goals, she never truly understood what I was going through. She had never struggled with compulsive eating or her weight. She had never recorded calories or been on a diet of any kind. She had started to come to a point that she was beginning to realize that thin did not necessarily equate to healthy and was also ready to make some changes. Together we developed a meal plan and a workout schedule. We started to work out together 5 nights per week, we prepared our food together, and weighed in together each week. The support and motivation that came from being a team cannot be overstated. Not only did we help each other achieve our personal health goals, we created a healthy new way of living for our entire family.
I knew I faced a big challenge with my physical limitations. I realized that to lose weight without losing muscle, I would need to concentrate on a weight lifting routine. I would have to find exercises that wouldn’t aggravate my shoulders or lower back. Fortunately the vast array of equipment at Life Time made this task easier, and I was able to create a work out that accommodated my challenges. Many of my exercises were rehabilitation oriented. Because of this, I had to accept the fact that I wouldn’t be able to lift as much weight as I had in the past. At first I felt self-conscious using lower weights, but soon realized that Lifetime had a supportive environment and no one was judging me.
Other than all the advanced workout equipment in the gym, the state of the art, Inbody body composition analyzer became my greatest tool at Life Time. By measuring body fat percentage and lean muscle mass in addition to weight, I was able to precisely track the changes to my body. It was so motivating to see that the pounds I was dropping weren’t coming at the expense of muscle. To the contrary, I was making muscle gains at the same time I was losing fat! Sending these weekly results to our Life Time trainer, Ryan was a great motivator to stay on track.
When I look back over the years, there were times when I actually thought about cancelling my Life Time membership. The ironic thing is those were the times I needed Lifetime the most. I am so thankful I stuck it out and I am especially thankful I entered the 60day. I would have never experienced this amazing transformation if it was not for Life Time. It has been life changing for me and the people I love the most. I feel younger, more energetic, pain free, and much more self-confident. I am now free to be the best version of me I can be.
The hardest part of this transformation was mustering enough faith to give it another shot. Never be afraid to try again!