2016 Spring Transformation Finalist
*Results not typical
Growing up I was always active participating in multiple sports and exercising. After graduation one of my main goals was to focus on my health and get back in the gym. Unfortunately, a few weeks out of college I ended up tearing my labrum in my shoulder, and encountered a car accident a few months later, putting me out from activity for the rest of the year. In the span of 5 to 6 months I ended up putting on 15 LBs of unnecessary weight and lost an important piece of my life. When 2016 came around I didn’t feel like myself anymore, my weight was at an all-time high and my energy levels were at an all-time low. IT WAS TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE. On February 2nd I met with Diva Bakhshi an enthusiastic account manager who gave me a tour of the 3-story gym. I had never seen so many things to do inside of a gym before; this was no ordinary gym, this was a gym on steroids. I asked Diva if the Life Time held any weight lifting competitions and that’s when I learned about the 90 Day Challenge which was about to begin. When she told me about the 10K grand prize my eyes widened and jaw dropped. The 90-Day Challenge was the perfect motivation I needed to get fit. IT WAS GAME ON.
A few days later I officially signed up for the challenge with Trainer Leah Gibian. I told her about my past struggles and that I needed some serious help getting back into shape. What I really liked about Leah was that she really listened to what I had to say and put a specific plan in place that was designed to help me reach my goals. I had never been at a gym where the trainers were so committed to helping their gym members succeed. One of the major areas of improvement Leah recognized was my current diet and recommended I sign up to see one of the Nutrition Coaches they had on site. I met Omar Shishakly, a Registered Dietitian which changed the game for me. For me to reach my goals I first had to understand what issues caused my body to put on this excessive weight. One of the main problems was my eating habits remained the same while I wasn’t able to exercise due to my injuries, so I was eating the calories but no longer burning them off. Other concerns that were discovered, were stress from work and the timing of my meals, which Omar helped me manage.
I didn’t want to completely change everything I ate and not be able to sustain it. So for the first month I focused more on the proper timings of my meals rather than the meals themselves. For example, I was no longer eating carbs late at night before going to bed but rather eating carbs before or right after my workouts. As the weeks went on my diet became more controlled and strict. I stuck to lean meats such as salmon/chicken, for my good carbs I had sweet potatoes and drank lots of water. I also no longer stressed about losing my job, I performed the tasks that I was asked to do and if I was going to be let go for that then so be it. I invested further in my health by purchasing a standup desk which aided in lowering my back pain and dropping my weight. In return, I was able to burn extra calories while working in the office.
I utilized low-weight, high-repetition workouts for the first two weeks to build my muscle endurance and avoid any injury. One of the many benefits of 90-Day were the free Try-It Tuesday classes and seminars on nutrition, fat loss, and strength training that were offered every Tuesday. While attending one of the sessions I learned about interval training on the treadmill by Christy Favorite. This particular session came in very handy for me as I applied what I learned from her as a warm-up before every single workout. Determined to reach my goals I raised my level of training in the final month. I started working out twice a day with an hour of cardio in the morning and weight lifting in the afternoon.
When I started this competition I was in the worst shape of my life. I weighed 170 LBs and my body fat was at 18.5%. I had told one of my coworkers about the Challenge and how if I was going to have any chance of winning, my body fat would have to drop to around 5% based on past winners’ % changes. I still remember his response. He said, “There’s no way you’re going to reach in the 5% body fat range, we’re talking professional athletes are in that range. You work in an office and you don’t have the time or resources to reach that.” May 7th, 2016, I had my final weigh-in and I weighed out at 144 LBs and my body fat dropped all the way to 4.2%. I dropped 26 LBs and had a 77.3% change in body fat. All credit goes to my mother who helped me with meal prep and Special THANKS to the Life Time staff Diva, Leah, Omar, Christy, Wayne, and Eric for all your service and guidance. I don’t think my co-worker realized I had been working out at Life Time Fitness and that they had all the resources in place for me to achieve my goals and give me my life back. I don’t think my co-worker realized that I CAN DO IT ALL IN MY LIFETIME.