Our featured LifeStory for March 2019
Exercise and healthy eating have now become a way of life for me.
At age 74, I’m sure I’m one of the more “senior members” enrolled in LifeStart. But that’s all the more reason for me to stay in shape, as I want to continue pursuing my active lifestyle.
I retired 10 years ago because I wanted to be able to travel while I was still in good health. While I’ve had several other personal trainers, the one who’s made the biggest difference in my life is Brian Halling, general manager of a LifeStart fitness center in Chicago, who has trained me for the past five years.
I train with Brian for two 45-minute sessions each week. The sessions are a combination of weight training and cardio exercise. The cardio might be jumping rope, rowing, or cycling. We also work a lot on balance, especially in the winter, because I want to remain upright on Chicago’s icy sidewalks. One of my favorite things is to lace up the boxing gloves and throw a few punches. A few months ago, I started taking a weekly kickboxing class and now want to try some of the other classes too.
About six years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis in my left hip. It gradually worsened and, after trying various anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and cortisone injections, I finally had hip replacement surgery in November 2016. I spent three months recuperating, and was thrilled when my surgeon told me I could start working out again. I was very touched that, while I was home recovering, Brian and his lovely wife Michelle gave up one of their Saturdays to visit me and bring lunch for all of us.
In March 2016, I didn’t like what I was seeing in the mirror and decided I needed to do something about my weight. Each time I’d try to lose weight by myself, I’d start out with great intentions but after three or four days I’d be back to my old bad habits. Brian put me in touch with Grace Iberle, a LifeStart Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. In our first meeting, I admitted to eating a doughnut every morning and having a dish of ice cream every night. Grace helped me understand that I needed to add more protein, fruits, and vegetables to my diet. She explained the “Plate Method” which aids in portion control.
During the period that Grace and I met, I kept a food diary of all my meals and snacks. She would review my food logs at our weekly meetings and help me set goals for the following week. She had excellent suggestions for healthy snacks, including yogurt, almonds or pecans, Babybel cheese, and Kind bars. She encouraged me to try new foods. I discovered that I really liked brown rice, and that I really didn’t like turkey bacon!
At the end of four months, I had lost 18 lbs. and have managed to keep it off, although I do occasionally backslide. But when I do, I know what to do to get back on track. Since our initial sessions I’ve periodically scheduled “refresher courses” with Grace if I feel that I’m starting to lose focus or the number on the scale begins to edge up. I now use "Healthie", an app on my iPhone, to log my food as well as my workouts.
Exercise and healthy eating have now become a way of life for me. I’m grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received from both Brian and Grace and value tremendously the personal and professional relationships I have with them.
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to submit your narrative of how you achieved lasting change, for example, by losing weight, building strength, or reaching a health goal. If we feature your story, we'll give you a LifeStart insulated bottle and a LifeStart t-shirt. And we'll enter you in a raffle to win a free Apple Watch
at the end of the year!
More importantly, your story could inspire thousands of other LifeStart members to supercharge their own efforts to live life well!