inspiration stories

Mike A. – North Dallas, TX

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I was a runner. Then I got busy. I started my own business in 2007.
Mike_A_12.13.14My second child had a condition that required long and frequent stays at the hospital. I had a number of other excuses to not work out. By 2011, I weighed 322 pounds, I was on blood pressure and acid reflux medication.

That was the year weight loss became a personal goal. I started strong, but we had another child, and my business began to grow quickly so exercise happened less often than it should have. In June 2014, I herniated a disk in my back. Too much time in a chair leaning over a drafting table was the cause of my condition. The pain was excruciating. I needed a walker to get out of bed. Doctors advised me to skip our family vacation because traveling would put excessive stress on my injury. My wife and kids had to go without me. I felt like a failure. It was time for change.

In July, I needed a cane to walk. My workout involved walking in the pool to build back my posture, and stretching sore muscles in the hot tub. I noticed the 90-Day Challenge was going to start soon, so I asked my doctors what I had to do to join. My chiropractors  (Autumn Gore, Tom Gore and Lance Wright), got me in condition to start the Challenge. Ten days before the Challenge, I was cleared to walk, swim, and use the elliptical machine for 20 minutes at a time. I literally limped into the Challenge at 293 pounds, but I was determined to change.

My Plan
Two Life Time trainers helped create a weight loss plan. Ryan Barbosa suggested using a Fitbit to monitor my activity and calorie intake. He also helped think of creative ways to get extra steps throughout the day. Bathroom breaks at work became quick 15-minute walks. I began walking to the grocery store with a stroller. We added walks in the morning before getting the kids ready for school and after they went to bed. After the first few weeks I was getting 20,000 or more steps a day. I was also coming to the gym at least 3 times a week to swim and using the elliptical machine.

After week 4, I was cleared for exercise. Ryan gave me an exercise routine to specifically help me strengthen my core and generally work my other muscle groups. He showed me variations on many exercises that I could do with my injury. It didn’t take long for me to make strength gains. As I got stronger, we added jogging, basketball drills, and even a few aerobics classes into my program.

Christin Bell helped me with nutrition. She coached me through the D.TOX program. During D.TOX, the Cafe made me a number of fantastic healthy meals. My favorite was the Caprese Chicken and grilled peppers. D.TOX really helped me to get food portions under control. Christin also gave us a wonderful tour at Whole Foods. I learned what foods to buy and how best to prepare them. Grilled lean meats and vegetables cooked with a little coconut oil or ghee quickly became the staples in my diet. I also added raw nuts, seeds, and Fast Fuel Complete shakes to cover snacks twice a day. During the first month of the Challenge, I dropped 33 pounds!

During D.TOX, my daily calorie intake was around 1500. At one of my weekly weigh-ins, we noticed that I wasn’t eating enough to sustain my muscle. Christin provided a Resting Metabolic test to help understand my diet needs. We increased my daily calories to around 2000. We also increased my fat and protein intake. It slowed my weight loss down slightly, but I wasn’t losing muscle. After these small changes, my energy level was higher, and I had better workouts. I began to make quick strength gains.

By month 3 of the competition, I was running, playing basketball, and tennis. My wife and I were going to Danceaton classes on Saturdays. Working out was fun again. I had gone from a tight 44 inch waist to a loose 38 inch waist. I had plenty of energy to play with my kids and more focus  at work. My time in the gym was paying off.

The 90-Day Challenge was life changing. I learned how to incorporate exercise into my very busy schedule. I still found time to be a husband, a father and a business owner. On the last Try-It Tuesday, we had a 5k, and I finished in 29:50! Once again I can proudly say, I am a runner. Thanks for all your help.

The Success Stories testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted only and may not be representative of the experiences or results of others. Life Time Fitness does not guarantee any individual results. Factors such as diet, genetic makeup, overall health and physiological differences may influence results. Please consult with your physician before embarking on any new nutritional and exercise program. Nothing contained herein is intended to substitute medical advice, care, diagnosis or treatment of your physician. Individuals were not compensated for testimonials. Results not typical.