I was 27 years old, 218lbs with high cholesterol, high risk cardio CRP and high risk triglycerides…..my overall wellness score was a 75 and more importantly I was always fatigued, could not run half a mile and had no social self-confidence. I decided to seek help and looked at the personal training options at my local LifeTime Fitness gym in Michigan. After watching and learning about the various fitness coaches in the gym I decided to work with Erik Kugan whose approach was tough, regimented and a little unorthodox but I felt could really kick my ass in gear. After my first assessment I learnt that I was 220lbs, had a BMI of 30.6 (Obese Class 1), a bicep strength of 40 (poor), flexibility 6.5 (poor) body fat composition of 28.0 (borderline High), a body age of 35 that meant an overall fitness of 40 (Fair). There was plenty of room to improve.
Working together, Erik and I targeted my nutrition which meant I needed to start eating more and more frequently to achieve a 2200 calorie daily intake with a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and good fat. We also focused on flexibility and stamina, working with a heart rate monitor to build up my cardiovascular capability using a treadmill, spin classes and core training. Erik’s no nonsense attitude, his zero tolerance standards, daily follow up and his ability to push me, were exactly what I needed. Keep in mind I was also travelling and so he equipped me with workouts and check in schedules to ensure I was still on plan. Every workout was different and a little more challenging and within a few months the pants were loser, I was less fatigued and the results were showing. I lost 50lbs weighing in at 168lbs, my wellness score was now 89.65, BMI of 24.1, cardio CRP and triglycerides were now optimal and my confidence levels up. I went from a 38 inch waist to a size 30.I stuck with the plan and while I stopped training with Erik for a while I managed to stay healthy and committed to my new wellness program. I did a few sessions with him once in a while to refocus myself but things were going well but I began to focus on a new challenge.
In Jan 2012 a friend of mine introduced me to Nate McDonald, a personal trainer at the Canton LifeTime Fitness gym with rave reviews of his ability as a fitness professional. Nate as part of the regular assessments set up a new training plan for me that was focused on nutrition, core and strength training and cardio. Nate’s philosophy of 3-2-1 (3 days of cardio, 2 days of strength, 1 day of Yoga) was different. What I soon learnt about Nate, is that he has an infectious energy, is extremely knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition, cares about the people he works with, really loves what he does and can offer a variety of training options to cater to the individual. He also has a unique ability to connect with his clients and get them to connect with him. We talked about doing races and potentially a triathlon but being someone who hated running outside, not a strong swimmer at all and not having run more than 2 miles outside, let alone got on a road bike……I was skeptical.We started running outside together, he helped me choose a road bike and got me to ride, we trained in the pool, we did a variety of core and strength training sessions weekly and I joined his Tuesday spin class. The best part, I started seeing myself through his eyes and I soon had a new friend that also helped me build a level of confidence I was missing.
In July 2012 I had now stabilized to my current stats of 172lbs, 24BMI, 11% body fat composition, my wellness score was a 97, cholesterol, triglycerides and Cardio CRP were all optimal and my fitness score was a 100 versus the 40 I scored in 2009. Better yet, my body age was 23 and I was running 5-7 miles twice a week, biking, swimming, doing yoga and enjoying a healthy well balanced life.
Nate helped me complete my first sprint triathlon in October 2012 and I just completed the Tough Mudder and am scheduled to do a few half marathons and more races this year.
The secret – don’t ever give up on yourself and trust that while genetics do play a factor, being healthy is a choice and a lifestyle. Ask for help if you need it! Nutrition and a balanced workout must include strength, core and cardio training. More importantly surround yourself with a support system that helps you be the best you can be. Use professionals like Nate to help put an
individual plan together and once you take control of your life, the confidence will build and you will be the best you can.
I’m a 31 year old male that has had a chance to go through several life changing events with the help of some great wellness facilitators.
Like every other person, life sometimes catches up to you and a few years back I was so entrenched in work, moving every few years to a new city, no real support system and a lack of social self confidence that just got worse as I got less healthy.
I had tried everything I could on my own….. dieting, the gym, pills, slimfast, you name it and nothing seemed to stick. Finally in 2009 after a very bad stress attack that landed me in the emergency room, I decided I needed help.