Finalists / Tom B.

Tom B.

Garden City, NY

Tom B

I recently became a Life Time member. My previous experiences with gym memberships have been brief and futile. I joined my first gym when I was 30 years old, prior to this, I had never stepped foot in one. The gyms I would join were always basic; one large room with random equipment clumped together. I would manage to figure out the cardio equipment enough to get by, but I avoided weights since they intimidated me. After a few months of regular exercise, when I had mostly lost the extra weight I had put on, I simply stopped going. This cycle continued for years as I went up and down with my weight.

As I entered my 40’s, I had less time to commit to my periodical maintenance exercise routine, as I would call it. I was becoming increasingly unhappy, and unhealthy. In the past when I would be overweight, it would only affect my overall appearance. Now, in my early 40’s, I was feeling it physically as well. I was getting tired more frequently, and my energy level plummeted. I felt lethargic and unhappy. My jeans would always tell me when I getting too out of shape, but now, for the first time, my body was telling me. I knew it was time to commit to one version of myself, or the other. It was then when I made the decision to commit to the healthy version.

My first visit to Life Time was a great experience. This was nothing like the previous gyms I went to in the past. I was greeted by a friendly staff, who called me by my first name. Little touches like that make a difference. I felt as though I was in a five star hotel. The locker room was clean, with all the amenities I would need.

In my first month, I stuck to the basics, cardio and swimming. The strength side of the club was still too intimidating. It was like a foreign country to me, with no hope of learning the language.

I noticed the promotions for the 60day, but felt that kind of thing is for healthy people, the kind of person geared towards fitness. Not me, I’m out of shape, weak and at my lowest point. Besides, I’ve never done well at any sort of contest, let alone one that revolves around good health and fitness.

But the more I looked into it, the more it appealed to me. I thought maybe I could use it as a motivator to kick me into gear. The thing that appealed to me about the program was the discount offered for personal training. I felt that was what I really needed.

I went to the trainer’s desk, and signed up for the 60day. I met with a trainer named Dom, and he asked me what I was hoping to get out of the program. “I’d like to go from looking 9 months pregnant to looking 3 months pregnant,” I joked. We laughed, but I confirmed that my main goal was to lose weight.

I started training with Dom the following week, and began to feel comfortable in a fitness environment for the first time. Dom was also a nutritionist, so he suggested a low carb, high protein diet. I was also taking supplements for the first time. Life Time’s AM/PM supplements combined with fish oil, and whey protein shakes quickly became a daily routine. In between reps, Dom and I would talk a lot about nutrition, which helped correct a lot of misconceptions I had. I always came to our sessions with questions.

In addition to strength training two days a week, I wanted to take my cardio to the next level. I decided to take an Active Metabolic Assessment. I was set up with a program where I would have three days a week of pre-set cardio exercises working with a heart rate monitor. These pre-set cardio routines transformed the way I worked out. Instead of aimlessly running on a treadmill, I now had a guide. I was understanding my heartrate zones, and how recovery applied to my workouts.

At the start of the program, I was already thinking of the “bad food” I was going to have upon completion. I’ve always been a passionate person, and my passion for food has always been a powerful force in my life. A little before the halfway mark in the program, I started seeing results, serious results. Not just in the numbers, but in my appearance. My jeans were literally falling off me. I went from a tight size 36 waist, to a loose size 34 in just a matter of weeks. This 60day program? The one I wrote off and didn’t think I had a chance at? It was working.

Then a monumental switch occurred in me. My passion for food had shifted to a passion for being healthy. My body was being rewarded for my efforts, and I was starting to feel great, and yes, happy. That’s when I knew that this wasn’t going to be just some 60 day contest. This was going to be a 365 day lifestyle.

Now that the 60day is over, I don’t have weekly weigh-ins to be accountable to. More importantly, I’m accountable to myself. I plan to keep things on track and focus more on conditioning, which is exciting. This program has changed me, and I’ve changed the way I think about fitness and food. For me, the 60day has translated to a lifetime commitment.