Eagan, MN

Joseph J.

My wife and I have been with Life Time for about 2 1/2 years. Our emphasis was almost exclusively on strength training.

After a water skiing injury (torn hamstring), I was out of the club for about 3 months. Coming back to Life Time and working with our trainer helped my recovery but I eventually stopped strength training.

My spouse continued, and at one point, after watching her participate in a 60day, I suggested that the next time she did the 60day to let me know. The implication was that, maybe, I would do it with her.

Well about 3 months later, we were signed up!

I knew that in doing the challenge, I either would blow it off or I would have to make myself really engage. (I’m kind of digital, e.g. on or off). Ultimately, I chose the latter.

Next, I knew that if I was going to get any lasting improvement, I had to improve my cardio.  I didn’t like walking up two flights of steps and being unable to talk once getting there.

I remembered when I had been doing strength training previously at the club, it wasn’t my arms or legs which held me back; it was my heart.  It got old, always stopping my workouts because I felt nauseous.  There were even times were I would lay down after a workout in the stretching area, only to be awakened shortly thereafter by concerned staff.

So with all of this in mind I decided to keep it simple.

My principle objective was “to improve my cardio”.  I added a secondary goal to lose 10#, since that seemed easier to measure.

To attack my cardio goal, I did elliptical once a day, every day. I found the elliptical to be easy on the joints and old injuries, and I could easily adjust it as I improved. One key element in making this work, was to pick a time that worked for me, which was early each day.  The on-going encouragement from our trainer Andrew also kept me motivated.  Ultimately, I didn’t miss a single workout day throughout the entire challenge period.

To get after the weight, I did three things. I tracked all food I ate with an app recommended by the Life Time coaches.  This turned out to be very easy.  Next, I practiced portion control. (This was doable once I saw the calories via the app).  And finally, I allowed myself a few cheat days (not a lot) and I didn’t let anyone of them get totally out of control. (Ok, the app “guilted” me out the first time, so that solved the repeat issue.)

Changing my eating habits was not easy.  I didn’t want anyone “messing” with my food.  I was used to eating anything I wanted and would commonly consume >2000 calories watching tv in the evening, e.g. Popcorn (with lots of butter and salt), milk shakes and/or rum and cokes.  The protein supplements from Life Time ultimately became a huge help in shifting my diet, and I actually found that I liked the taste (who knew?).

Getting control over the bad eating in conjunction with regular exercise has gotten me to where I have been able to walk up 10 floors for a quick discussion in another department, and not be out of breath or get sweaty.

I’m back into clothes I wore 15 years ago (yeah, I’m not a slave to fashion), and I’ve found I that many of my favorite foods are still ok, I just have to moderate some of the extras.

While I’ve never considered myself heavy, I was surprised at the reductions I’ve seen on both the weight and body fat. (The scale at the club, now says I’m average, e.g. normal, for both, I’m guessing that’s a good thing!)

Overall I haven’t felt this good or fit in 30 years (I look younger than I am, thankfully!). And while I’m writing this before this 60day is done, I’ve already mapped my goals for the next 8 weeks leading up to the next 60day, e.g. continue the cardio, start re-incorporating strength training, and further refine/expand the menu.

Have a goal.

Keep it simple.

Keep it competitive, ideally with yourself!

Let others help you.