2015 Fall Weight Loss Challenge Runner-Up
*Results not typical
“I’ll have a hand-cut 32-oz. ribeye, a baked potato – loaded, and a salad with ranch. Oh! And a Cactus Blossom as an appetizer and keep the cold Coronas coming.” Ninety days ago, that would have been my standard dinner order at my favorite steakhouse. I may have even gone for a large Blizzard at DQ for dessert on the way home. That was before I had the help and support of Life Time Fitness to turn my health around.
Most of my adult life I’ve been overweight, even obese, because of my addiction to food in very large portions. As my daughter once told her friend before we took them out to dinner, “Don’t be alarmed. My dad eats a lot!”
Now, here I am, 115 lb. smaller, a healthier and happier version of that person.
It started innocently enough, when a couple of my buddies and I started talking about joining a gym to work off our nightly scotch drinking. So, after about a month of talking about it, we decided to actually do something and take a tour around Life Time. That’s when I learned about the 90-Day Challenge, and was inspired. I had my eye on the prize… I was going to lose 100 lb. and win that challenge! My wife was worried about the cost, but reluctantly agreed that my health was worth it. I even talked her into joining the gym and doing the 90-Day Challenge with me; she also lost 10 lb. and 6% of her body fat composition.
Before the challenge, Adoreya, the lead trainer at the gym, called me to set up a health assessment. She provided me with nutritional advice and workout tips for getting healthy, including instructions to drink lots of water (key to weight loss). She listened and understood my health history and my back problems, and gave me tips for using the equipment to strengthen my core without straining my back. From the very first day I went at it – working out, cutting down my portions SIGNIFICANTLY, staying busy from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. I walked nearly 1,000 miles in those 90 days – most of those miles on the treadmills at Lifetime.
The trainers gave me a lot of advice and plenty of support along the way. I think Jeff was the first to call me “champ,” and it seems to have stuck. But I didn’t always feel like a champ. There were plenty of days I was ready to give up, but just in time there was a trainer to give me the words of encouragement to keep going – telling me to keep doing what I was doing because it was working! Boaz turned me on to cardio, which was the key to my weight loss for the last 90 days.
The LifeCafe was also very helpful, providing healthy meal options that taste great! The Portabella Meals to Go is one of my favorites. Chrissy set me up with AM/PM vitamins so I was sure to maintain nutritional balance even with my smaller portions and higher calorie burn.
My life is so much better than it was 90 days ago. For starters, I feel better about myself – I’m happier and have more confidence than before. My energy levels are also through the roof. Those naps I used to take every night after work? No more! Now I have energy to grab a rake and clean up the yard after working an 8-hour day. My wife is also happier because I help more around the house and have tackled a few of those “honey-dos.”
I can’t wait to meet with my doctor next week when I go in to see if I can get off of my cholesterol medication. She will be so shocked, and so proud. My blood pressure has also come down, which was likely the next medication by body was going to require. After the scare I had earlier this year when I thought I was having a heart attack, this weight loss is just what my doctor was begging me to do. What will she lecture me on now that I’ve given up all of my unhealthy ways: quit smoking, quit drinking, lost weight.
Now what? Well, first, I’ll need some new clothes. I’ve added 10 – yes, 10 – holes to my belt to cinch up my pants. I’ve lost 20 inches around my belly and 10 inches around my waist. My 3XLT T-shirts are just hanging on me like oversized dresses. Work won’t be too happy when I request new uniforms be ordered either!
One thing is for sure, I’m going to keep the weight off and continue to work out with Life Time. I’ve already scheduled sessions with Adam, a personal trainer at Life Time, to start weight lifting, tone up and strengthen my core and back. Twice in the last 10 years, I’ve been hit with a herniated disk that put me on my back for 8 weeks or more. Both times, my doctor and physical therapists wanted me to drop weight and strengthen my core. Now, I truly feel that I’m in a position to build that core and back strength.
The shock on people’s faces who haven’t seen me since before the challenge is gratifying. I’m inspiring many others to lose weight too, including family members, co-workers, and neighbors. Watch out, Life Time. You may need to build a bigger gym for my recruits!
Shout out to KirbDog from Columbia, MD, for some crazy competition! That definitely kept me motivated each week to not let up!