2015 Fall Weight Loss Challenge Runner-Up
*Results not typical
I am 63 years old.
In the ’70s, I was young, strong and healthy! As a high school athlete, I participated in 7 major sports. After college graduation, I entered the Air Force and became a C-130 pilot. I flew the blue skies all over the world. But after several years, I became weary of being away from my wife and 4 children. So I decided to leave the active Air Force and my flying career.
I got a supervisor job working the night “graveyard” shift at a very large processing plant. The building was made of block walls with no windows. It felt like I was working in a “dungeon.” This was a very different work environment compared to my flying days. The pay and benefits were good enough to support my family so I stuck it out for 23 years. I was not happy and had very little job satisfaction.
Soon, my life began to turn upside down! Working this shift was very stressful. It had very destructive effects on my health: lack of sleep, overeating and little or no exercise. The supervisor’s lounge became my only place of peace away from the hectic and frustrating work environment. It became my own “Fortress of Solitude.” I would consume 2,000-calorie cafeteria “comfort meals,” drink about 2 liters of soda and snack on several candy bars daily. My weight ballooned to over 260 lb. I developed high blood pressure, sleep apnea, severe HCM (Heart Wall Thickening), joint and neck aches, and my blood panel was dangerously out of limits. I would get out of breath easily and had a hard time bending over to put on my socks. Friends would ask me if I was expecting a baby. But, what hurt the most was when my grandkids would ask me why my tummy was so fat? I felt trapped in this big body and couldn’t seem to figure out how to fix it. I tried different gym memberships but the atmosphere seemed unfriendly, the facility unclean and so I seldom used them. I was always too tired, but mostly I feared any effort would be fruitless and I would fail again.
Then, my life got even worse! In a oneyear period of time I was facing a million-dollar lawsuit due to a family car accident, an IRS audit, high credit-card debt and most devastating…a divorce after a 29-year marriage. At this point, I was so miserable that I didn’t care if I lived or died.
Last March, I applied for life insurance from 3 different companies and took 5 medical exams. I failed all the exams and was turned down by all 3companies. They were betting I would not survive the next 20 years and did not want the financial risk. I was deeply discouraged.
In July, I walked into Life Time just to take a tour. I was not a member and skeptical about joining. Yet, I was impressed with the cleanliness, friendly professionals, families and activities. As I was nearing the exit, I passed by a trainer named Bryan. He was offering free samples. He was very knowledgeable and energetic. He told me he’s a nutritionist and explained how important it is to maintain a healthy diet. He asked me if I ever thought about counseling with a professional. I told him, “No, but it’s time that I did!” I finally made the decision that it is more important to invest in my life and health with Life Time rather than invest in my death with an insurance company. So, I became a member and met with Bryan regularly. He encouraged me to join the 90-Day Challenge. I did and began to believe!
Bryan had me provide him a written log of everything I ate. He conducted a myHealthScore. I scored 67% which he said was an (F). And a metabolic diagnostic test that showed how to maximize my exercise program. Next, he assigned me to a fitness trainer named Joe. I did everything they told me to do. I drank a gallon of water every day, ate small portions of wild fish and game, organic super salads, very little carbs and no sweets or soda. I worked out at the gym 6 days/week doing machines, swimming, weights and hot yoga. Trainer manager Anton Andryakov and his staff gave me tremendous advice, support and encouragement.
After 90 days, I lost 75 lb. of weight and 52 lb. of body fat. My body fat went from 37% to 19% and I scored a 92% (A-) on my latest health score. My blood pressure drastically improved and metabolic blood panel test became normal. I rest well and no longer have sleep apnea. My doctors have checked my heart and say it is normal and healthy. My joint and neck problems are gone and I can put on my socks with no problem.
My grandkids are following me on the leaderboard and are excited about my accomplishments. I plan to continue with good healthy habits for the rest of my life. Recently, my trainer Joe asked me how I was feeling. I smiled and said, “I feel like I am growing younger, stronger and healthier every day!”
Finally, at the age of 63, with the help and support of Life Time, I have conquered obesity!