Princeton, NJ

Jacqui D.

Four years is a long time – 1,460 days to be exact – or – 24 times as long as the 60daye. Four years ago, was the last time I looked at myself and loved what I saw.

Four years ago, I had things figured out. I was living by the beach, running the trail daily with my dog, hitting the gym afterward. Yes, it seemed like I had everything figured out, but something was missing.

It was then that I met my husband while surfing in San Diego. It was obvious what had been missing. We both wanted a family. Two kids – two years apart, we dreamed! We thought it best to move quickly.  Afterall, we wanted to be able to keep up with those kids!

At first, it went according to plan. We got pregnant… But we had a miscarriage.  I was devastated – and I noticed that my body wasn’t quite the same. Before I ever really got my body back, we got pregnant again.  This time we had a beautiful girl, Khione. She was pure joy, sleepless nights and all.

Of course, with exhaustion, fitness was forgotten. Everyone assured me that was okay.  After a while, they said, you have time for yourself again; you lose the weight… right?  Wrong.

Khione got older, but my body stayed the same. I ate well, but it wouldn’t change. I exercised, but nothing happened. I began to resent myself. It felt like I had no control, and it turns out I didn’t.

Tumors had developed on my thyroid, causing it to overact, growing it to a mass that pressed on my lungs. No wonder it was difficult to breathe when I ran! Needless to say, I had it removed. The doctors warned that my weight might fluctuate, I might feel like I was “not in control.” Ha, I thought, what else is new. But why was I still gaining weight three months later?

Remember the plan to have two kids, two years apart? Right on schedule, we were pregnant! It was hard – duh… Harder still regulating thyroid medication. Harder still when my husband’s job offered him a promotion… in New Jersey?  I decided it was the right move for us. Seven months pregnant, we headed across the country.

Shortly thereafter, we had our second beautiful girl, Sierra. Having done this once, and knowing it would be more challenging with two, I was determined to find a way to care for my family and regain control of my health and fitness.

It was at this time that we joined Life Time Athletic. At first, we could do nothing more than take the girls swimming. Khione refused to go to Kids Club. Honestly, I didn’t mind. I felt guilty being away from the girls – even though they exhausted me. I wouldn’t have said it, but in a way, they were my excuse to avoid working out.

I wasn’t lazy; I was scared. Four years ago, I was in great shape. Now a handful of crunches terrified me. What if I couldn’t do it? My husband pushed me to exercise a little at a time. He took the girls swimming so I could go to the gym floor.

Checking in one day, I noticed the 60day. For some reason – maybe I’d had too much coffee – I felt inspired. And when I signed up, it did not feel like a half-hearted attempt. This was the transformational moment that put me back in the driver’s seat.

I printed out the diet plan and training schedule. My husband could tell I was serious. He committed to supporting me so that I could commit to the 60day. At LifeTime, the manager of Kids Academy, Kayla, noticed Khione’s hesitation to leave me. She went above and beyond to develop a relationship. This was crucial – without her help, I never would have been able to work out.

As the program progressed, I saw results. I couldn’t believe it!  Over the last four years, my body had gone from bad to worse, and with it, my self-esteem. From the first day pictures to the midway pictures, I could see change.  Nothing I had tried had worked like this – not other gyms, not personal training, not even guidance from a dietician.

Regardless of the physical improvement, this was really the first time in a long time that I felt like I was in control. The progress mattered as much as the results because I could see the direct outcome of my efforts.

The 60day helped me dial in every part of my life. I was up early to make family breakfast, also prepping lunch and dinner! I no longer felt guilty about leaving the girls at Kids Academy and was no longer exhausted by them. I had energy!  I felt organized.  Because of the dietary plan and the class schedule, my days became structured.  My grocery bill went down (and the food was delicious)!

I noticed my husband looking at me differently – or maybe (he said) I was looking at myself differently – with… confidence?

My name topped the leader board, kindling my competitive fire! In four years, I couldn’t find what the 60day gave me in 2 months – effective habits. The program encouraged goals. As I beat my goals, my husband and I celebrated. I felt wonderful, both physically and mentally. The 60day showed me the supportive community around me. It put me back in control.