2013 Fall Transformation Challenge Winner
*Results not typical
“GET FOCUSED and MAKE IT COUNT!” That is the mindset I use to drive myself through life’s challenges and what my Drill Sergeant screamed in my ears during Boot Camp 20 yrs. ago! The Life Time 90-Day Transformation challenge has helped me become a better person in all aspects of my life. I learned I can do more with the limited time I have. It helped me achieve a more active lifestyle which overall makes me mentally and physically a better person.
Before I began this challenge, I had 2 rules I had to follow. First, it cannot conflict with my current balance of work and family time. Second, I cannot offset any of my daily responsibility to my supportive wife or anyone else. My time was already crammed with a 3-hour daily work commute to New York City, rotating work hours, kids’ sports, kids’ homework time, family time, daily household chores, etc. I didn’t want to neglect my responsibilities as a supportive parent and husband. This required major planning and time management! Life Time Fitness offers the greatest benefits for on-the-go parents like my wife and me. Life Time Fitness in Berkeley Heights, NJ, is open 24 hours so it was perfect for extreme early risers like me. They provided a variety of programs to fit my lifestyle, interests and goals. The staff and coaches are friendly and energetic. They also have an amazing Child Center and kids’ summer camp. The lunch menu for summer camp is from the Life Time cafe so I knew my kids were getting a tasty lunch and snacks that were also very healthy. My little guys love Life Time which makes it a win/win for us.
My journey consisted of 2 basic principles, “MOVE MORE” and “EAT HEALTHY.”
Let’s start with the “MOVE MORE” principle. Because my time was very limited I made the weight workouts shorter, efficient, intense and more frequent. I included a short medium-intensity cardio after every workout. When possible I tried to sneak in some short HIITs cardio in the PM. What also helped is how I used the non-workout time to Move More. No more elevators and escalators for me! Working on the top floor of a New York City building, stairs quickly became a favorite. I switched the subway part of my commute to either jog or bike rides. My household and outdoor chores were done with a small weighted vest at a much faster pace. The best part was playtime with my kids. Our time was spent doing more active activities like playing chase, king of the “hills,” playing basketball, and they even joined me on some backyard cardio drills! It made cardio that much better with them around. My fitness level quickly improved. I was able to complete one of those “Super” obstacle races of 8+ miles in very impressive time! Before this challenge I was scared to even attempt it! Not only did my fitness level improve, but more importantly my overall health also improved. Prior to this challenge I struggled with cholesterol and feeling fatigue. Now I am feeling energetic and better than I did 20 yrs. ago. I did the Life Time myHealthScore for my lab work and general health check… I scored a perfect 100! transformed my overall health! Not only did I transform my body, I also just transformed my overall health!
Now it’s time for the “EAT HEALTHY” principle. Before this challenge, I used to be known as the food disposal system aka the “Finisher!” I ate huge plates of dessert as an appetizer, then the family’s leftovers as my meal. I truly needed help on this one! First, I had to get educated. Life Time’s nutrition manual “Eat Well. Live Well.” was the answer! I read it (twice) and took key notes. What made it magical was when I applied it. I also subscribed to Life Time’s Flourish e-newsletter, which gave excellent tips as well. I had 2 challenges with this principle. First, I needed time to make food and second, I needed time to eat the food. I dedicated 2 hours on Sundays to prepare everything for the week and sometimes weeks. Meals were usually something I could take anywhere and eat anywhere. I planned ahead for on-the-road days and always had emergency snacks/meals around. I always ate plenty of healthy food before social events. I kept away from alcohol, sauces, junk food and even desserts! The crazy thing was after the third day of healthy eating, my addiction for desserts and junk food completely diminished! Wholesome food quickly became more enjoyable and desirable!
My plan was rock solid and progress went very well until I hit a wall and plateaued on the 6th week! My body actually started to shift the opposite way. I made 2 adjustments. First, instead of one high-carb day a week, I added another high-carb day. Second, my personal support group gave me the best gift of all…Life Time’s Fish Oil supplements and the Life Time AM/PM Multivitamins! These were quality supplements that played an important part of my success. Progress picked up again and I was back in the race with newfound energy! That was a lesson learned. I went in very intense, very fast which worked until my body eventually showed a nutritional demand.
These small changes I have made in my lifestyle turned out to be monumental! I have learned there isn’t a need to take big, drastic leaps to achieve new heights. It can be done with small steps at a time, no matter what age or condition anyone is in. You are your biggest competitor. It takes persistence, patience and planning for success. Now is the right time to start your transformation. And once you do, remember… “GET FOCUSED and MAKE IT COUNT!”