Danielle L.

Burlington, MA

Danielle’s Story

“Give yourself the grace to be human.”

I’ve thought so many times about how to write this essay, but I can’t ever seem to quite find the words to truly describe my experience so I decided to start with a quote.  The best yoga instructor on the planet, Maria, says some incredibly resonating things, but this one has stuck with me more than any of the others.  It’s one of the most impactful things I’ve learned through this experience and a sentiment I will carry with me always.  The truth is, the 60day and the many amazing women at Life Time have changed my life.

On January 5, days after I joined Life Time and a few hours after I signed up for 60day, I found out my 2-month-old had a life-altering condition.  I was wrecked, but at the same time, I had never felt more motivated to fix my body.  I had to do it because if I couldn’t help myself, how could I help my family?

My weight has always been a challenge, but having kids really gave “stress-eating” a whole new meaning.  Then Covid hit and, like so many, depression and anxiety was another fun roller coaster to ride.  Now, though, not only was I trying to figure out how to fix my body and lose a significant amount of weight, but doing it at a time where I had to make an incredible life-shift.  After years of neglect on my body, I was obese, tired and not keeping up with day-to-day life. With 3 kids, and now another who needed extra support, it seemed impossible to find the time to fix myself.  I didn’t even know how I could set a realistic goal knowing I’d inevitably get pulled in a million directions.

“Feel all the feels.”

I’ve definitely had a lot of “feels” during this process.  And not good ones either. I love Maria’s yoga classes because she approaches her practice with a gentleness and understanding that everybody is different, on different days, and at different times.  I try to go to 2-3 a week, so this is another one of her phrases that stick with me often. Through it, I’ve learned to embrace what I need and listen to what my body is telling me.  That mindset is a big part of what helped frame my work with the best personal trainer on the planet, Emily.

Emily spent a lot of time listening and observing me before we set some basic goals.  Goals I initially thought were crazy and I’d never be able to do!  She breaks down things so that I learn, practice and build using the right form. We took what we did in our weekly sessions, then used the Aurora, Beginner and Intermediate options in 60day to more easily blend modifications based on what my body (and my coordination) was ready for.  It gave me a routine and structure while offering nutritional information I didn’t realize I needed!  I’ve increased my protein, been sticking to the 1-2-12 approach and completed the D.TOX Program part way through the challenge.  And I’ve never felt better.

Some time ago I was putting on my socks, getting ready for a workout, and realized I could put them on WITHOUT SITTING DOWN.  I’m going to be honest, I cried a little.   It was the first “moment” where I noticed such a shift in my physical ability.  I’ve been noticing more and more of those since then.  I shared the socks story with Emily, a little embarrassed that I was ever in a position where I couldn’t do it to begin with, and she was ecstatic.  She might have been more excited than I was.  She has helped me through so much physically, but that kind of support has made all the difference. She’s taught me to see a strength in myself that I didn’t know I had.  I started our training together not thinking I could do most of the things she was asking me to do, but she always believed in me.  She knew I could and now, so do I.

There were a lot of times I had to cancel a class or a training session, reschedule, or didn’t make it as long as I wanted to. The relentless appointments, programs, kids events, and everything else life has to throw will always be an obstacle to the perfect workout schedule, but with Emily, Maria and 60day’s guidance, I absolutely know that I’ll be able to navigate all of it.

“Can you savor how healthy, strong and grounded you are right now? Could you accept if it stayed this way forever?”

I lost 28 pounds during 60day, 40 pounds total, and have 75 more pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight. I can run a half mile, deadlift a barbell with weights, do a tree pose without falling over and so much more.  I know I’ll get there, and until then I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, what Life Time has given me, and the community that keeps me going.

I hope that I can lift someone up even a fraction of the way the women at Life Time have for me.  For now, I’ll leave you with some final words of wisdom from everyone’s favorite yoga instructor:

“Know that whatever comes your way, you’ve 100% got this.”