Ben T. – Kingwood, TX
My journey began a long time ago when I was in middle school. It started out as an unhealthy one with bad eating habits and a lack of motivation to change them. I was always one of the heavier kids in school, and I was even jokingly called “The Candy Man” because I had a bit of a sweet tooth. With all of those factors in play, one might say healthy eating and exercise were not part of my life. With more unhealthy habits and zero motivation to exercise, as I got older the weight just kept piling on. I then got married to my wonderful wife, Erin, and began a career as an Air Traffic Controller. Air traffic controlling is a demanding job that requires high levels of responsibility, making it one of the most stressful jobs. Unfortunately, stress is one of the leading causes of unhealthy eating habits and excess fat storage. My wife and I had a son in 2010, and when he started to walk and run, I found myself struggling to keep up with him. That is when I realized that if something did not change soon, I wouldn’t be there to enjoy life’s precious moments with my family as we grew older.
I then took the first healthy step in my journey when I joined Life Time Fitness in January of 2012. When I joined, I was at the heaviest I had ever been – 248 pounds – with high blood pressure, and I couldn’t even run a mile. The personal training staff eagerly jumped in and helped with fitness tips and nutritional guidelines, and taught me how to set my own fitness goals. The trainers told me about the 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge. This struck me as the perfect opportunity to start by setting a competitive goal. With a healthier diet and a lot of cardio I won first place at my Life Time location and came in 10th in the nation. My blood pressure dropped, and I felt great, but I needed a new goal. At that point I decided to try for a duathlon, then a triathlon, and then a marathon. After tackling all of these goals, I then ran two half-marathons and achieved a qualifying time for the Houston Marathon, which I plan to run in 2015.
As I kept my journey alive, the holidays were not so kind to me. At the end of 2013, I found myself slipping back into bad eating habits. At that point, I decided to make another change in my lifestyle and set a new goal. Soon after the New Year, I saw the sign for the new 90-Day Transformation Challenge. I signed up immediately, and again the Life Time personal training staff was great at getting me motivated to make the change. Dustin at Life Time Kingwood suggested that I should add supplements to my diet to help balance my body’s needs. I started by taking L-Glutamine, fish oil, and multivitamins and could instantly feel a difference in my energy levels. I also did research to discover what I was really putting into my body when I ate the way I had been in the past. I compiled a new diet that consisted of all natural things like lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. I took away all processed and complex carbohydrates, like rice, grains, and pastas, and recorded everything I ate. I used a food diary application on my phone to record all of my calories in and calories burned. My main goal this time was to lose fat and gain more lean muscle mass. Running, stair climbing, swimming, and biking were my main sources of cardio, and this time I added weight training to my routine to create a perfect balance. All of that together jump started my metabolism and helped my body burn fat more quickly.
I started the transformation challenge at 207.5 pounds and 21.4% body fat. 90 days later I am proud to say that I am now at 166.7 pounds and 4.4% body fat. Not only do I feel and look better than I have in my entire life, but I have completed another goal and can’t wait to find a new one. I think that the most important thing for anyone, regardless of age, gender, or weight, is to find what works best for your body. Set goals that inspire and motivate you, and never let anybody tell you that you can’t do it, because YOU CAN!!!