Anyone who has had to endure even one incident of bullying can understand the impact that it has on a person’s psyche. As a young boy, I was the target of bullying in school on a regular basis. Unable to effectively divert the attacks or defend myself, I fell victim time and again. I paid the price for that bullying with lowered self-esteem and depression. Eventually, food became my steady, unfailing medicine for salving the wounds. By the time I graduated high school, I was morbidly obese. It got worse when I attended college as depression and social anxiety overwhelmed me.
All that is ancient history now. When I reflect on the past 60 days and the journey that unfolded, I can’t help but smile. I can remember that Saturday it all started, thinking to myself, “What did I just get myself into?” Taking the before pictures and getting weighed in for the first time were difficult. My eyes turned downward, gaze focused on the floor. I can recall feeling embarrassed with how I looked and with what the scale read. Over the past few years my weight has climbed higher and higher, and before I knew it I was watching life from the sidelines. This is a lonely place and being on the sidelines was taking a toll on my confidence. I wanted to get back in the game. My life needed a change; a big change.
I used the 60-Day Challenge as the turning point and the push to get my life back. Day one, I met with the trainers and we talked about a game plan: what I should do and how I should do it. We planned out what would be the best way to work out and talked about how to better control my diet. From that point I knew that it was time to put in the work and push myself physically, but more importantly mentally. I told myself that for the next 60 days I will give everything I have to keep up on my nutrition and to push through workouts. The goal started as “Let’s see what happens.”
The first couple of weeks I was taking weight off like I have never done before. The more weight that I lost, the more motivated I became. The staff and other members at Life Time started to notice the progress and that turned into added motivation. For the first time in my life I started enjoying going to the gym. Walking into Life Time became like walking into a second home, and the staff turned into a second family. They constantly encouraged and helped me with any issues and problems along the way.
I was making progress, but I wanted to know how I could do more, so I decided to take the RestingMetabolicAssessment. Talking with the trainers about the results, we were able to make some small changes to my diet to further the success I was having. The process was far from easy or pain-free, but the training staff was always there, willing to help keep me on my feet and going strong.
This past 60 days has made me not just stronger physically, but mentally as well. I have proven to myself and the people around me that if you put in the work, anything is possible. Although I have come a long way, my journey is far from over. I plan on continuing my progress to become the best version of myself. It is easy to say that I could not have pushed myself and had the know-how to lose the weight that I did without the entire training staff on my side. The support that I received from staff and trainers, from nutrition and workout routines to the words of encouragement, was very much part of my success.
When I look back to where I started compared to where I am now, it’s like I’m a whole new person. I never once thought when the Challenge started that I would end up losing as much weight as I have. It is great to know that I have this kind of determination inside of me. It can certainly be harnessed for some of life’s other challenges that are sure to come my way.
Someone told me that “It doesn’t matter where you start, it matters where you finish,” and that held true throughout the 60 days. I didn’t know how much weight I could lose; I just knew I wanted a change. The more weight I lost, the harder I wanted to work to lose more, and day by day, I felt better and better. I am now a healthier person overall.
I love the idea that I might be able to help inspire people to start living a healthy lifestyle by sharing my story. I know what it’s like to be the biggest guy in the room, and now I stand taller, walk with greater confidence, and live a healthy lifestyle. By working with me to form a disciplined approach to nutrition and exercise, Life Time Fitness has helped me find my voice and become my own person.
I want to thank Life Time Fitness for giving me the tools and motivation to hit the reset button on my life and for providing me with habits for good health.