For the first time in my life I am hearing phrases like, “You are getting too thin” and, “I can’t believe how skinny you are”! This 60-Day Life Time Challenge has been so difficult, but so incredibly rewarding. Most of my life, I have been extremely overweight. I weighed approximately 400 pounds about 6 years ago, and through just diet and exercise I managed to lose an incredible amount of weight. It has always been an emotional subject for me. Even having had great success, I’ve NEVER been comfortable in my own skin and the excess that still remains. For this reason, I could not bring myself to pose shirtless for the before and after pictures. This Challenge created a new spark, giving me the opportunity to shoot for the stars. I have never publicly shared my weight with anyone, but with my success I am ready to face that fear. I am excited to announce I have lost 70.8 pounds, and that my ending weight is 172.4, a weight I haven’t seen in over 30 years. In 60 days, I lost 29.11% of my starting Challenge body weight. My percentage of body fat also changed dramatically, decreasing by 58.27% down to 12.6.
With great enthusiasm, I began the Challenge drastically reducing my calorie intake, and I set a goal of burning 3500 calories per day. I vigorously used the Stairmaster, treadmill, and elliptical machines. I lost 33 pounds in just 2 weeks. I thought I was setting this contest on fire. Then week 3 really brought me back to reality when I stepped on the scale. Not only had I not lost more weight, but I had actually gained 9 pounds back. I was horrified. I thought I was doing everything right. I stuck to my routine and hoped for a big drop. Weeks 4, 5 and 6 I continued my daily exercise and low-calorie diet, but again no loss. I was so confused and ready to quit. I transgressed to poor eating that day. The next morning, I woke up, looked at my 60-Day Challenge wristband and headed to the scale to see how much damage I had done. And to my surprise I lost weight. That moment was a big turning point for me. I realized I needed to re-evaluate and modify my routine.
Knowing I had to act quickly, my diet rejuvenation became my first mission. I immediately took a metabolism class at Life Time. It gave me some great insight as how to eat properly. I discovered that I had not been eating enough calories, which in turn told my body that I was starving. This explained my stall in weight loss, regardless of exercise. I had been so focused on my calorie count, I neglected to pay attention to the kinds of foods I was eating, which was negatively impacting my metabolism. With my newfound information, I increased my calories, worked out a new grocery list, started taking a multivitamin and sadly ended my relationship with the saltshaker, which was causing me to retain lots of water.
My fitness regimen also needed to change. Though I was very accustomed to my regular machines, an old torn quadriceps injury flare up was making it nearly impossible to continue hours of the same repetitive exercises. I had to try something new, and I knew I needed help. I’ve been a member at Life Time for 22 years, and I decided it was finally time make full use of my membership and start exploring all the different programs that Life Time offers And take advantage of the expertise of the Life Time professionals, like personal trainer Heather Meek. I participated in a TEAM Boot Camp. I received personal training from Arica Hedstrom, and then joined her TEAM Fitness for a workout. I took Zumba, H.I.I.T., The MIXX, Dance Jam, LifeBarre, Step Interval, INSANITY, Triple Cardio, 50/50 and No Limits Cardio. I was actually one of “those people” running down the street, stopping at each sign doing push-ups, and I survived. The instructors and trainers were all very inspiring. I got great tips in order to modify my workouts to take care of my injury, not work against it. Believe me, I was not always the smoothest person in the class, but I laughed at myself and just kept going.
Everyone I’ve encountered at Life Time on this journey has been great. No matter how busy my schedule was during this 60-Day Challenge, I managed to only miss one day at the club. I was quite surprised how many other faces I would see day after day. The other Life Time Fitness members were very inspirational. No matter what others’ fitness levels were, I was always so impressed by the dedication and true effort they had shown. I intend to follow their lead and continue as I have with eating healthier and switching up my exercise routine. I have never been in a place where I felt I didn’t need to lose more weight, but I feel this Challenge has finally gotten me there. My new goals are to maintain where I am, and to work on body sculpting as much as I can.
Thank you Life Time, for giving me the opportunity to reach my potential! I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Steve Maddux, my Mom, Jeff, Lori, and all the people who have supported me in my journey.