2016 Spring Weight Loss Finalist
*Results not typical
“Daddy, you don’t just have to get healthy for MY wedding, but MY KIDS’ weddings too.” Wisdom and Inspiration from my 10-year-old daughter, Laney. Later that day we attended a play, and I couldn’t fit into the theater seat! IT WAS TIME! I was about to turn 50, and my weight had become both physically and emotionally crushing. It was affecting every aspect of my life.
Later that week, while visiting friends in Michigan, I read that Life Time was conducting a 90-Day Challenge starting the next day. I left early and drove 10 hours overnight to join my local club and weigh in. At my weight, it needed to be a marathon, not a sprint. The Challenge got me a great start. But more important. Life Time has given me the knowledge and support to change my lifestyle, forever.
In Experience L!fe magazine, I read about different types of goals. My initial outcome goals were:
1) replacing a diet of soda, candy and junk food with the proper fuel for my body
2) losing my daughter’s weight (78 pounds)
3) getting fit enough that she could hug me with her hands touching
Life Time took me through cardio, flexibility, strength and Resting Metabolic Assessment (RMA) testing. Then my personal trainer, C.J., helped me translate my outcome goals into more empowering behavior goals that were long-term, lifestyle-oriented and 100% within my control.
1) We set a detailed plan for how and when I would work out, which included resistance training, lots of cardio and one of my favorite activities, swimming.
2) We set a calorie target based on my RMA results. Then set up sub-plans for increasing certain things like good fats, veggies and complex carbs while eliminating the easiest big hits like soda, candy and junk food. We added protein shakes and supplements to aid in recovery and curb my hunger.
Life Time’s help was vital in helping tailor a plan specifically for me, my body and most importantly my psyche. Most of the strategies I used for the 90-Day have evolved into long-term lifestyle changes:
1) Support Team: Having a small group of friends and my wife and kids actively helping me. Two friends actually got automatic daily emails of exactly what I ate. That provided daily accountability and also made me feel like people cared about my success.
2) Calorie Budgeting: This exercise helped me think about food just like a financial budget. It helped me stay accountable and make wise trade-offs. Tracking everything for 90 days really helped inform my long-term decision making. In a counter-intuitive way, it was a freeing process.
3) Morning Person: I now get up at 5:30 every day which allows me to get my workouts in before the demands of kids and my business take over. I am sleeping better, and an earlier bedtime allows me to avoid my habitual late-night snacking time.
4) Something bigger: I focused on how lifestyle changes would positively affect my family, my business and other people in my life. Losing weight for health and even vanity can be great motivators, but long-term, making the effort part of something bigger, is a great help.
5) But Not Too Big: Long-term, I didn’t want to take myself too seriously. I customized some workout shirts to help remind me (and others) I was working on the “issue”. One shirt had a scale and an arrow pointing to my stomach. It read, “It’s not a Baby, but it WILL be gone in 9 months”. The shirts were a kind of armor and drew a lot of supportive comments from other club members.
6) Competition and Gamification: I religiously tracked my work-outs and eating, making it a game of sorts. The Challenge provided competition and camaraderie, which really fueled my fire during the tough days.
7) Active Life: I have started playing tennis and basketball again. Walks with my wife and playing football, tag and Ghost in the Graveyard with my kids is now actually fun.
I feel a debt of gratitude to Life Time for the education and inspiration that has helped me persevere. Certainly the great facilities enabled my transition, but it was the people that really made the difference. Try-It Tuesdays were a godsend as they encouraged me to do things I would not have otherwise done. Nutritionist Anne rocked my world with her practical guidance for eating, cooking and grocery shopping. The new member on-boarding process taught me about the facilities and programs and led me to my personal trainer, metabolic testing, a heart rate monitor, TEAM programs and protein/supplements from the LifeCafe.
I am proud of my 100-pound loss. However, I remain “hungry” and humble, knowing that I need to lose another 75 pounds, and that the real challenge lies in KEEPING IT OFF. One day I hope to attend my daughter’s children’s weddings. In the meantime, in November, I plan to run the Las Vegas Marathon in an Elvis costume to symbolize the long journey to my new lifestyle. Viva LIFE TIME!