Success Stories / Donnamarie C.

Donnamarie C.

King of Prussia, PA

My original goal for 2018 was modest. I simply wanted to get through the year without replacing any more body parts. Long untreated Lyme disease and the resulting health issues had worn me down. The large amount of weight I put on had caused even more problems. As a result I had 2 hip replacements, a new right knee and arthritis in my neck, spine, shoulders, hands and feet.

This year I turned 60 and my mother, who is obese, has diabetes and has had multiple strokes. Then my oldest and dearest friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. These things scared the bejesus out of me and made me determined to do something while I still could.

I joined Life Time and felt as though this was a good place for me. I spoke with a dietitian. Amber Bowitz explained in simple to understand terms what I needed to do to begin my “rehabilitation”. Eat more of the right foods more often, increase my protein intake dramatically, consider using supplements, and plan and shop ahead. My only concern was using the supplements. In the past, I had unpleasant reactions to them. However, after trying several samples provided by Amber, I not only didn’t have any adverse reactions but, I actually felt better after taking them. After that, I took all her advice as gospel and with those changes, I began to see results almost immediately.

While I wanted to lose weight, I knew I needed to build muscle to achieve the other goals I was setting for myself. To do that, I would need help and guidance from a trainer. Chris Donnelly has been my personal trainer since June. We work out for an hour 2x’s a week. He has worked with clients who have had health issues and from my first workout, I knew we were a great match. He has challenged me while being mindful of my joint issues and I have watched in amazement as I grow stronger and more fit weekly.

Chris encouraged me to try other classes that Life Time offers. While I enjoy many of them, Pilates quickly became my new favorite. I take 2 classes a week. I can’t forget to add that I also do cardio work several times a week. Not all of that is at Life Time, however. My greyhounds are enjoying long daily walks and I’m riding and working with horses again. Life is good and getting better.

I can not explain how wonderful it feels to be aware of my strength and, yes, my muscles. My day to day life is much improved. When Chris asked if I would do the 60 Day, I wasn’t sure. Two weeks before it was set to begin, I ended up in the emergency room with a badly sprained ankle and a small chip fracture. Because of the arthritis in my foot, the surgeon felt it could take a long while to heal. It seemed as though my bad luck would once again prevail.

But my workouts, and my diet, and my results, made me feel powerful. So Chris made accommodations in my routine for my badly injured foot, and I continued making great progress. The real issue for me choosing to do the 60 Day was taking the before pictures. It has literally been years since I could comfortably pose for a picture. It may sound silly or vain but, taking pictures while letting it all hang out put me way out of my comfort zone. It took me 2 weeks after starting the 60 Day before I gave in and asked my husband to take the before shots. I still have a long way to go before I reach my new goals. It isn’t hard to keep going. Every week I grow stronger and healthier. My husband is thrilled. He tells me I look younger and happier. Neighbors are stopping me on the street, telling me how great I look and asking me what I’m doing.

The after pictures? They were a heck of a lot easier to pose for!