2016 Spring Transformation Winner
*Results not typical
I thought the athlete in me was long gone. I had forgotten the feeling of being competitive. Life Time Athletic not only changed my life, it uncovered the competitive athlete that was always in me.
The day I walked into Life Time Athletic, I looked around and knew I was in a healthy atmosphere. It was full of people making healthy choices and I had been living a life full of junk food and no exercise. The reality hit me hard. I was in the physical condition I was in, because I simply wasn’t trying. That day I gave up sugar. Step one.
I met Caleb Herman, and we talked about what I would like to gain from the club. I knew I needed help but I wasn’t sure where to begin. I had been very sick for about a year, and it was unclear what the cause was. I can’t tell you how, but he flipped a mental switch and I was on a new path…a healthier path. I would be training with Brandyn Ambrosy three times a week. I knew it would be hard, but I knew I needed his help. I had a plan. Step two.
I had suffered two unimaginable losses and used food to cope. I was a part of a close, loving farm family. The devastating call came early one morning, and the words “heart attack” cut through my head and heart. Many people gave their best effort but my dad was gone. I watched my mom and four sisters shrink in size and I gained 30 pounds seemingly overnight. Food was my comfort, my friend. The food I chose had nothing that would fuel my body. This food was not a friend. It was destructive. This was the beginning of a seriously unhealthy path full of bad nutrition choices and no exercise. Questionable health related issues began showing up one after the other. Five years later, I received the second devastating call late one night. My mom was gone in a horrific and unimaginable car/train accident. I’d lost my best friend. Once again, I was facing an unbearable sudden loss, and again, I used food to cope. Two and a half years passed, and the stress, lack of exercise, and unhealthy nutrition was taking a toll. My choices were the reason I was having health issues. I faced the truth. Step three.
The first two weeks at Life Time Athletic were a whirlwind of change. I started training with Brandyn, signed up for my first 90 Day Challenge and had my Metabolic Assessments done. We discussed the pain I had been having on my right side, and I met with the Dietitian, Kelsey Ermels, and completed a Food Sensitivity Test. I had a team of people who cared enough to help me find a solution. I chose to do a Comprehensive Lab along with the Food Sensitivity Test to get a better understanding of what was happening in my body. Two major offenders were gluten and dairy. I gave them up along with several other minor offenders and within two weeks I felt an incredible difference. I had no stomachache and no pain in my joints. Brandyn helped me make a plan of what Life Time supplements to use and foods to focus on so I would have energy and build muscle. My body can now feel when I’m on track and it is fueled for a workout. I have learned to love planning my meals and prepping nutritious food. Nutrition made a difference! Step four.
After the first 90-Day Challenge, I had lost 28 pounds. I felt successful and motivated to sign up for my second 90 Day Challenge. I was physically and mentally prepared and ready to compete. I was beginning to believe in myself as much as my trainer believed in me. Exercise was something I didn’t just find time for, I planned and look forward to it. This included six workouts a week with three of them being weight lifting with my trainer. I felt completely insecure going to the weight side of the gym as I had never lifted weights before. It was comforting to have him remind me of correct form and watch that I wouldn’t cause an injury to myself. I could feel myself getting stronger and loved being able to increase the amount of weight or the number of reps. A Garmin watch and the My Fitness Pal app helped me keep track of my zones and macros. Brandyn pushed me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of and made me laugh which is an important part of training for me. We set goals and reset them as we got close to reaching them. I will continue training. I will master a muscle up and work with Life Time’s dietitian to learn to love cooking healthy meals with my children. Set goals and don’t give up. Step five.
The daily encouragement I receive from the Fitness and Nutrition staff keeps me motivated and on track. I am grateful for all of them and my three children as they have had an enormous impact on my new healthy way of living. I’m proud to be a good example to my children and show them what goals and determination can do. Surround yourself with positivity. Step six.
TRANSFORMATION is a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. My transformation was not only in my appearance but choosing a healthy lifestyle. I believe challenges can teach us about ourselves and those around us. I’ve learned to let it motivate me to do better…be better for myself and those I love.