Michael S.

Frontenac, MO

Michael’s Story

Before the 60day Challenge at Life Time I was struggling to find time for myself, let alone to take care of myself.

I work from home and the job can be pretty time intensive, so there would be days where I would barely leave my basement, let alone the house.  What free time I do have is consumed by our twin two-year-old toddlers that keep me busy during the rest of the waking hours.  On top of not exercising, I was eating the kids’ leftovers, their Halloween candy and other mindless snacks.  Pretty soon I had reached the highest weight I had ever been.

I have several big events occurring in the upcoming months.  We have a third kid coming in May. I’ll be in my brother’s wedding in July. I’m turning the big 4-0 in September. This challenge has given me the perfect chance to kick-start my weight loss and get back to a healthier, happier me.

I immediately hired a trainer to assist me in my journey.  I was lucky to find Rick who was overseeing the challenge at my gym.  I told him my goals, and the events I had coming soon, and we worked out a plan to get there.  The first thing I did was make time for myself with work to get to the gym by scheduling out blocks of time twice a week.  I met with Rick every Tuesday to do a full-body HIIT workout where we would do 14-16 exercises in an hour with three reps each, mainly because I pushed for more to get the most out of our sessions.  We hit every muscle group throughout the workout and even got to do some fun activities like pushing the weighted sled.  I then came back on Thursdays, to repeat the same workout before the kids would show up for swim lessons.  I also started coming to the Saturday Sweat Sessions and pushed myself while exploring the variety of classes that Life Time offered, and finding that I really enjoyed both the GTX and Alpha classes.

I have always struggled with weight, not only with my weight loss but with keeping it off. I would normally spend my entire time on the treadmill, focusing on cutting calories. I would get burnt out and take breaks, and the weight would return.  This time around, I’ve been doing more strength training to build lean muscle, and I’ve enjoyed the workouts ten times more. It’s something that I can continue to do, while incorporating some additional cardio.

In addition to finding the time to get to the club, I carefully looked at my eating habits and made significant changes there as well.  My wife and I have enjoyed making several dishes from the Meal Plan/Recipe Book that was provided as part of the challenge, and I’ve stuck to it religiously.  Some of the many recipes we enjoyed were the Steak Stir-Fry, making that multiple times, the Indian-inspired dishes as well as the snacks like the veggie roll-ups and the peanut butter protein bars.  When entertaining out-of-town guests, I’ve found ways to eat healthier at restaurants. I’ve also made sure to stick to key principles, like choosing more proteins or veggies and limiting certain things, like eating a lot of simple carbohydrates from the bread or my favorite ice cream place.  I’ve also found ways to enjoy events like my third child’s gender reveal party and the Super Bowl while still managing to eat healthy, staying away from dips and desserts in favor of healthier options that were available.

When I say that I have noticed a difference in my mood, behavior and energy level, that would be an understatement.  I look forward to every Tuesday to see what Rick has in store for me, knowing that my body might hurt a little the next day and that I get to do it all again on Thursday.  I’m excited to start fitting in the additional GTX and Alpha classes now that the Sweat Sessions have finished.  I even started playing basketball again for the first time in over a year and wasn’t tired or exhausted.  Even better, I have the energy to keep up with my kids, as they love to run every which way around the house.

Rick and I had set an initial goal of losing 10% of my starting weight, which I came really close to achieving during these last 60 days.  More importantly than the number on the scale, I dropped 13% body fat, dropped two numbers on visceral fat, and significantly improved my stats from the beginning assessment to the end.  I went from doing 20 pushups in a minute to 48, as well as improving my mile time by over 4 minutes.  Another long-term goal is to get back into racing in triathlons, which I used to participate in extensively many years ago.  Competing in triathlons is my absolute passion and I’m excited to continue working hard so I can share those experiences with my girls.  They have yet to see me compete and I’m really looking forward to sharing not only my racing passion but a healthy lifestyle with my whole family.