past winners

Jessie B.
2015 Spring Weight Loss Challenge Runner-Up

Lost 52 pounds
23.39% of body weight *
*Results not typical
Jessie B.

The last 90 days have been a complete transformation for my mind, body and spirit. As an adult I have participated in many fitness programs but until now I had been unable to find success. I am competitive, lived in an active household as a child, and learned discipline from years of intensive gymnastics and dance, yet I became overweight in my twenties. Since that time, in every attempt to lose weight I would strive for perfection, fall short, and give up. With each failure came added pounds on the scale and a reinforcement of negative thoughts I had about myself. Three months ago I decided it was time for a different approach. I began to journal and meditate. I realized that hating my body at 220 pounds was just as unhealthy as hating my body when I weighed 110 pounds. I had become obese, but I needed to forgive myself for letting it happen. Happiness would not come when I weighed out but through celebrating my body and what it is capable of.

I am lucky enough to be a member at a Life Time Fitness and to workout one-on-one with a personal trainer named Morgan. She is kind and understanding while providing motivation. She listened without judgment to my needs and offered guidance. Along with Morgan, the rest of the staff at Life Time in Des Moines began to follow my progress and created a healthy place for me to spend my time. I began lifting weights three times a week. With guidance I was able to work muscle groups I had ignored, balance out areas of weakness, and eventually lift amounts I had not imagined. I have developed a passion for lifting and how strong it makes me feel inside and out.

I also began to walk/jog three-six miles a day, swim laps a few times a week, and push my workouts to the limit. I stretched and did yoga multiple times a day to combat my tight muscles. I set my bike on a stand in my living room. At first I could only peddle for ten minutes. Now that is just my warm up! At Morgan’s suggestion I climbed on the stair stepper, and towards the end of the Challenge I began to row. I found joy in each milestone. That joy propelled me through blisters, joint pain, aches, sore muscles, fatigue, sickness, and a sprained ankle. I no longer workout just to reach a goal but to bring peace, balance and joy to my life.

Outside of the gym I began to live a more active lifestyle. I used these 90 days to reevaluate my priorities. My overall health is important to me, and now my daily decisions reflect that. Dinner out was replaced with physical activities like golf or tennis. House and yard work became twofers, creating balance in my life while blasting calories. I shed emotional baggage, and it helped me make better decisions.

I started my Challenge by cutting foods from my diet. I cut sweets, bread, pasta, soda, juice, and alcohol. During week two I was miserable. I shed tears in the grocery store longing for the foods I had denied myself. I had to adjust my approach, so I began focusing on the things I could eat. I allowed myself unlimited veggies and began to try new foods. I focused on increasing my lean protein intake, but also allowed myself small splurges such as pork, beef, cheese, and sour cream. I found room in my diet for splurges by eating 1200-1700 calories five days a week and 800 calories or fewer the other two. I learned to listen to my body and ate the foods that made me feel strong and energetic. I found that drinking at least 120 ounces of water a day was beneficial even if it meant frequent trips to the restroom. If I strayed from my diet, I forgave myself and moved on. In the future I will continue to splurge on rich foods, but I believe I now have the skills to do it in a healthy way.

I have found an inner peace that no number on a scale could have produced. My weight loss was not linear, and the work I put in did not always translate to a drop in pounds. My challenge was about more than my weight. So, when the pounds did come off it was just an added bonus. Our bodies are complicated miracles, and I now appreciate mine in ways I never thought possible.  

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.