2015 Spring Weight Loss Challenge Winner
*Results not typical
There is a lot that can be said about my journey through this ninety day program, and everything that lead up to this time in my life. Never is there a better time to change than now, but realizing that is the true difference.
Before LifeTime, I had been a member of various gyms throughout the years. I had certainly reaped the benefits of exercise when I was healthy and had the time.
However, during that time, things began to change. Over doing it with weights caused a shoulder problem that continued for years. Reoccurring ankle injuries were made worse when I ran a 5k, sprained my ankle, and continued to run that race. Eventually, I felt stuck with a body that seemed to ache with any sort of exercise. To make matters worse I have a job where we often travel or host catered events for customers. This makes it convenient to go out to eat or grab snacks and sodas during those weeks. My health was deteriorating, and I didn’t think I had a solution.
Now, all of that has changed, without the need to change jobs. I love where I work and the people I work with. My friends, family, and coworkers all supported me in their own unique way as I challenged myself on this path to recovery. It also helped that my Trainer, Ryan Wakefield, was there to give me feedback and suggestions.
Early on, I was still making excuses. Ryan was assigned to me as I was introduced to LifeTime. This was a first, by comparison to other gyms. He assessed me and gave me a list of suggestions. After getting to know him better, I found out he was college educated in what he does. That was another first when compared to other gyms. After a few workouts, I postponed making a real difference. In the following months, I spent time in and out of the gym as I traveled and waited for my ankle to feel better. The news of myHealthScore had not affected me the way one would hope. My score was low and my concerns were high. It deflated my ego. I blamed it all on my injuries and the extra time I was using to focus on my career, but that wasn’t the real problem.
Sometime later, out of curiosity, I tried out a yoga class at LifePower. This ignited something in me I hadn’t realized before. My shoulder felt better. It wasn’t magic, but I had learned some new things at that class. This made me start to think about solutions instead of excuses. I began to visit other LifeTime locations as well to see what the different memberships had to offer. Little by little, I took steps to focus on myself and my health again. Eventually, this brought me back to my trainer. The gym is 5 minutes from my job, but it had been months since we spoke. My weight had increased, but my confidence had renewed. I knew I could do more with his help. We put a plan together and it helped me take initiative. There were challenges ahead of us. My ankle was still an issue, but I was going to do everything possible to make some permanent changes in my life.
For far too long, I had put muscle mass before losing unhealthy weight. The truth is that I was tired of being heavy. I had made sure to eat enough protein and didn’t want to do too much cardio for fear of losing the muscle I felt I could barely hang on to.
My new plan however, was simple. I was inspired by the Joe Cross film on juicing some time ago. I had only done a ten day juice fast before, but I thought I could do a series of those during the challenge while eating fresh fruits and vegetables on the other days. I started all of this while I eased into my new exercise routines. The initial results were amazing. It compelled me to try even harder before I nearly collapsed from exhaustion one day.
Then I remembered the things that got me into this mess. Maybe sometimes I try too hard. I eased back and put forth a new plan slowly into motion. This prompted me to communicate my crazy ideas and decisions with Ryan. He gave me feedback and I listened. I combined his ideas with the things I knew I needed to do. All of it helped me to continue. I made sure to stretch every muscle and every limb religiously before and after every workout. I drank plenty of water throughout the day. I cut out most of my TV time and pointless internet surfing from my daily routine. I pushed harder during my work days, so I wouldn’t end up with late night work. More importantly, I always made time for the gym. Each day I felt better and each day I tried just a little bit harder.
Looking back and thinking about the time I spent at the gym makes me realize how much more I enjoy it now. It is truly a great escape from anything going on in my life. Sometimes, I looked to get motivated there, and that wasn’t too difficult. The atmosphere and experience from being at different LifeTime gyms is great. I wasn’t always working out; Many times I was just enjoying the facilities. The whirlpool, the sauna, the steam room, or the lifetime café are great places to take a break and get reinvigorated.
However, it didn’t always feel that way. Sometimes I wanted to quit, but I thought about those who don’t. When I wanted to stop and do other things, I thought about the person I was never going to be again. The people I kept in my mind were athletes, competitors, and the men and women in our armed forces. They were always an inspiration to me when I was young, so I decided to think about these people when I wondered about my limits. As time went by, during my workouts, my mind floated everywhere. However, the encouraging words that people had given me kept me on track as I kept changing my body every day.
In fact, after this journey, I now see someone completely different in my mind. Last I checked my resting heart rate was at 48 and myHealthScore showed great improvement. The pains from my old injuries are almost non-existent. My immediate plans are to participate in more activities at LifeTime. Now, I want to see myself trying to win races. I can see myself struggling to beat others to the finish line for the simple joy of competition and the celebration of health. My new promise is to compete and train for sprint triathlons. The other great news is that my trainer will be joining me on a race together this summer. Anyways, this is my story, but I wish everyone a good one of their own.