Hello, my name is Tammy Franco, I’m a member at the Biltmore Life Time. My healthy way of life journey began with one mission, to lose inches and fit perfectly into my wedding dress, the 60day Challenge was my opportunity to reset and have a new frame of mind.
I’ve always strived to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s been important to me to be an example for my children. It’s been over 18 years since my thyroid cancer diagnosis, a very scary experience. My children were little, 13 months old, and 4 yrs old. My only thought and prayer was to get through it to see my children grow up. When you are reminded of your mortality, you view life differently. I was fortunate and grateful to overcome cancer, despite losing my thyroid (a vital part of me that I didn’t know how much I would miss until it was gone. Along with all the side effects I would experience after, no one could prepare me). Shortly after my surgery to remove my thyroid, I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. An autoimmune disease that can not be cured or reversed, but with meticulous diet, exercises, and medication, symptoms can be controlled to feel “normal”. At the time, I didn’t realize the combination of Hashimoto’s disease and no thyroid, would forever continue to be a challenge and adjustment for the rest of my life.
Life without a thyroid: always feeling tired, achy joints, panic attacks, weight would fluctuate significantly, 10, 15, 20 pounds. My body and how it functioned completely change,d and no matter what I did, I felt constantly defeated. I was not willing to accept the “new” me, it didn’t feel comfortable. Maintaining a healthy body weight is not only a daily challenge, it is what I will battle forever. My determination and striving to find balance has been a long road.
I’m now 46 years old, and the 60day Challenge was what I needed to reset everything. A challenge to keep me on task to get the results I wanted and feel energized again. In the beginning, my sole focus was on inches, I really wanted my wedding dress to fit how I pictured. I have been waiting for this moment, and I wanted it to be perfect. However, what I thought I wanted from the start of this journey, I soon realized there was so much more I needed.
Since the cancer, I’ve maintained a fairly healthy diet, although too much of a good thing is not always best. I cut back portion sizes and in addition, my coach proposed; no alcohol, as well as no sugar (cancer loves sugar), I’m proud to say, I completed those challenges as well. My measurements and where did I start: weight was 141.5 to 125.9, body fat % from 34.1 to 29.8 visceral fat level from 10 to level 6. My measurements in centimeters: arms (r/l) 27/26 to 25.5/25.5, chest 96 to 90, waist 81 to 70.5, hips 105 to 98, thighs 58.5/59.5 to 55.5/55.5. I don’t have the words to express the gratitude I have for the Life Time trainers/coaches. My Pilates Instructors: Hope, Melissa, Lisa (in no order) and GTX instructor Elliot. The Life Time Pilates Instructors guarantee a physically challenging workout. Each instructor has a unique way to critique and guide the class, building on the skills of each client even in a group setting. They all are encouraging, and are truly beyond phenomenal, not only have they made me stronger and leaner, they have built my confidence. Feeling strong and confident, I decided to try GTX with Elliot during this 60day Challenge and now I’m hooked! Elliot pushes me to do more than I believed I was capable of. He’s personable and energetic, and he will not let you off easy. Once intimidated, I now feel capable of much more, and I love it!
In addition to the motivational instructors, I have a newfound love for the Inbody machine. It changed my perspective tremendously, every week, I saw progress, the progress I wouldn’t have noticed or been aware of. It’s easy to get discouraged when you look at one number, pounds! However, my new frame of mind on this health journey had me paying more attention to numbers that matter to my overall health: body fat %, my BMI, my visceral fat level, etc. My initial goal of losing inches began to take a backseat and now my focus was on the bigger picture and my overall health. Given my health history, I strive to be healthy: physically and mentally, to be prepared for any “fight” in the future. I look forward to seeing where I’ve advanced or improved and it’s been encouraging and motivating.
My journey will not end after the 60day Challenge, it has only begun. I will keep utilizing all the tools available to me. I’ve established a routine that works for me: Pilates 3x a week and GTX 2x a week, and the reverse every other week. It’s what got me to this point, and now it’s not only the progress I see but the feeling I love. I truly enjoy my trainers, all of who played a crucial part in my journey. Next, the daring step to take on an Alpha class! I’m no longer a chunky monkey! I’m gonna be a Life Time lean lion!