I began my 60 Day feeling I was already a fairly active individual. I worked out about 3 times a week and played racquetball intermittently. Despite my best efforts I felt I was not reaching my goals and had hit a wall. I attributed this to the fact that I am in my 40’s. In addition, a few years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent a thyroidectomy. Since then I have been on synthetic thyroid hormone replacement which I felt was also hindering my progress. Signs advertising the challenge encouraged Life Time Fitness members to participate but I felt it would be nearly impossible for me to make any worthwhile changes in just 60 days. My trainer, Stacey, encouraged me to give it a try so I thought to myself, “What do I have to lose in participating in this challenge? This will motivate me to reach my goals by making me accountable and stay on track.”
I wanted to gain muscle mass but at the same time try to reduce my percentage of body fat. I knew these would be very challenging goals to work on simultaneously so I sat down with Stacey to map out a plan for achieving them. He first recommended I keep track of what I was consuming each day and I soon realized that I was not consuming an efficient amount of food for the amount of physical activity I was engaging in. Most days, I was actually in a deficit.
Stacey suggested that I start meal prepping and attend the “How to Meal Prep for Success” event. I am glad I decided to do this early on in the program as I felt that it was a vital part of making my transformation. The nutritionist encouraged us to carve out time in our busy schedule – 1 hour for grocery shopping and 2 hours for cooking. We were to try to batch cook larger amounts of food. I have to admit that this was very difficult because I am not much of a cook. Being a bachelor I tended to regularly eat out as I felt it was too time consuming to grocery shop and cook. I remember once attempting to boil eggs but forgot about them until all the water had evaporated and the eggs were making crackling sounds. The E-book and weekly recipes sent from Life Time Fitness gave me wonderful ideas on how and what to meal prep. Stacey suggested to take pictures of my weekly meal prep and send them to him. The accountability really helped. At times I did not feel like going to the grocery store or cooking but I knew I must in order to produce a meal prep picture of the week. I became aware that I had been in the habit of eating whatever I wanted and then justifying it by going to the gym to burn it off. However I never seemed to make much progress towards my goals despite spending hours at the gym. It was counterproductive and I realized if I was to achieve my goals I would have to change my mind set by combating this faulty thinking.
One more thing I had to alter was my sleep pattern and quantity. Prior to my 60 Day I would try to squeeze as much as I could out of the day by staying up as late as I could. Most of the time I would go to bed between midnight and 1am, waking up at 7 am for work. I would fight my tiredness by downing coffee the following morning. After speaking to others at the gym, many recommended that I get about 7-8 hours of sleep daily allowing my body to rejuvenate and my muscles to grow. I began to view sleep as an essential part towards my transformation.
In addition, I started to attend the Alpha class which started at 6 am MWF. I had to admit I did not think waking up at 5 am to attend this class was possible but I managed to do it. I kept reminding myself “Just do it. It’s only for 60 days!” I soon realized that the key factor in getting to class at this ungodly hour was to prepare the night before. I am glad I signed up as it forced me to bust out of my exercise routine rut. I was doing new and unique exercises that I have never heard of nor done before such as pulling a sled across the turf field, donkey kicks, suicidal sprints, and dumbbell prayer presses, just to name a few. The first morning of the Alpha class made me nauseous to say the least but I hung in there. As the weeks progressed, I felt my stamina improve.
I am grateful to Life Time and their staff for providing the platform and support that helped me with my transformation journey. It was not easy but the effort was worth it. It has taught me that transformation is possible despite my age and medical conditions. It enabled me to establish new and better habits such as weekly meal prepping and getting enough sleep. The 60 Day is over but I continue to go to the 6am Alpha class. My transformation has boosted my energy level and mood and I am thrilled to see my hard work paid off. I have transformed!