LifeStories

LifeStart exists to engage and motivate the corporate workforce. We've been helping people transform their lives for over 25 years. We'd love to hear how LifeStart's staff and program offerings have helped you achieve lasting change. If you have a story to tell, click here!
Kathy L.
My abdomen alone went down over 9 inches, 6.5 inches in my thighs, and Body Fat went from 28.9% to 17.2%. These numbers still astound me! I just love the new me!
Ever since turning 30, I have been avid about working out and trying to be healthy. My workout consisted of a 3 - 5 mile run daily...that's it. But I was still young enough that I was able to eat pretty much what I wanted. Then I turned 40... so I bumped up my runs to 5 to 8 miles a day. I tried incorporating weights on my own but that didn't seem to get me anywhere - then came the 45 year mark where I was putting on weight and would continue to put on weight over the next 5 years - to the tune of 50+ extra lbs. And because of all the running I had been doing, my knees were shot - Cartilage was little to nothing in both knees. It seemed that it didn't matter what I did, I couldn't lose the weight. I was so depressed and unmotivated that I wasn't doing my daily workouts which increased the weight gain. Well...Just under 3 years ago Club Samsung opened here at the office and I signed up for personal training sessions immediately. I first met with my personal trainer for Body Metrics (which was awful for me to see where I was) and to set up a workout schedule. Personal training consisted of 3 days a week (M-W-F) for 1/2 hour. On T-Th I would workout on my own for 30-45 minutes walking. I was also aware of my eating habits. Oatmeal for breakfast, small snack at about 10 am, lunch consisted of a good sized salad with protein, small snack at about 3, and dinner had more veggies on my plate than anything else. By June of the following year I was down 51 lbs. and more leaner and muscular than I had ever been in my life. Fast forward to today - I am 55 years old - I continue with my workout schedule and with my personal trainer. My abdomen alone went down over 9 inches, 6.5 inches in my thighs, and Body Fat went from 28.9% to 17.2%. These numbers still astound me! I just love the new me! Thank You to Cara Simpson my LifeStart Coach and Fitness Enthusiast!
Mary Lou
I’ve been able to lose 16 lbs, get stronger and closer to my ultimate goal.
I’ve been training with Matt Banchak for several years now. With a combination of personal training with Matt and participating in his classes, the changes to my lifestyle that I would attribute to him are numerous. He manages to change up the workouts every week and they’re always challenging. With his knowledge of training, motivation, encouragement and much support, I’ve been able to lose 16 lbs, get stronger and closer to my ultimate goal. I’m on my way to losing a couple more pounds and building the strength that training with Matt has helped me to achieve. He’s an awesome trainer!
Nicole S.
At 45 years old, I'm in the best shape of my life!
In Sept. 2016 I decided it was time to make a change. I was nearly 50 lbs. overweight and in the worst physical shape of my life, so I made a commitment to eat healthy and workout 5x a week. When I joined LifeStart in Jan. 2016, Jamie Regan, the Fitness Center GM, walked me through MyStart assessment, as well as created a strength training workout routine for me. Unfortunately, I didn't take action until Sept., but she was kind enough to guide me through a refresher session on what we had gone over 7 months earlier! I hit the ground running (literally!) and went to the Fitness Center faithfully 4-5 days a week during lunch. Even with a few set-backs along the way (I worked a little too hard and tore my meniscus and needed to undergo arthroscopic surgery, so I could not work out for 2-months!), I've lost 45 lbs. in the last 8-months!! At 45 years old, I'm in the best shape of my life! Jamie has been so helpful with creating new routines for me that keep me challenged and motivated.
I can honestly say I could not have accomplished this without LifeStart Fitness and the encouragement and support of Jamie Regan! The path to better health and fitness has only just begun and I'm excited to see what the future holds!
Debbie L.
"I hit my weight goal. I was down almost 180 pounds from where I started."
My journey began on January 12, 2015. I knew I had to do something about my weight and decided to simply start counting calories. After 3 weeks or so, I'd lost 12 pounds and that inspired me to add in exercise. I started slow with just walking outdoors, then started working out in the gym in my homeowners association clubhouse. I had some success & lost about 60 pounds, but the game changer was joining Lisle's Central Park LifeStart facility in July 2015. I got a free month's membership at a health fair but LifeStart proved to be so handy that I joined after my freebie expired. They were located in the building adjoining where I work, so it was easy to run over there for a workout before, during, or after work. I really enjoyed some of the group exercise classes and all of the trainers were so supportive and encouraging. I never felt like anyone looked down on me for letting myself get so heavy. I was able to work out 6-7 days a week and on December 15, 2016, I hit my weight goal. I was down almost 180 pounds from where I started. Since then I have lost another 8 or so pounds and I continue to work out at LifeStart 6 days a week. Abby & Michelle provide constant encouragement and also work with me to set new goals now that I have lost the weight. My focus now is on weight training to become leaner and stronger. LifeStart is a wonderful facility for people of all ages and fitness levels. Both the staff and members make going to the gym more of a pleasure than a chore. I know that LifeStart can support my goal of maintaining a healthy active lifestyle to keep the weight off.
Laura L.
"The scale may only show a loss of a few pounds, but the changes in my body mass are much greater."
11 months ago I went on a hiking, camping, rafting trip with my son. One of the rafting outfitters had a sale on nice rain gear. I found a jacket I liked, but the largest size available was a size or two too small. I bought it anyway, determined to one day fit into it.

I joined the gym at Laitram and have been working closely with Kristin, our nutritionist, who kept assuring me that I was making progress despite very little change in my weight. I have also been enjoying the classes that our gym offers.

Every few months I'd put the jacket on and be encouraged by the two sides of the zipper coming closer and closer to each other. This morning I zipped it up to my chin with ease. The scale may only show a loss of a few pounds, but the changes in my body mass are much greater.
Carrie C.
Now six months later, I feel better, have more energy and am getting more confident using the equipment every day.
In 2016 I underwent surgery and treatment for breast cancer. After this diagnosis I realized that I needed to take control of my health and treat my body better. I joined Lifestart in March 2017 with the goal of getting muscle strength back lost from chemotherapy treatments and to lose some weight. I was not familiar with any of the weights and machines in the gym, so to help get familiar and also get into some sort of exercise routine, I began training sessions with Hailey in April 2017. At first I was hesitant since this was WAY out of my comfort zone but Hailey, knowing my history, started me off slow, while pushing me at the same time. Sometimes I would look at her with a “are you crazy face” when she told me to do deadlifts or burpees, but I always ended the sessions feeling energized (and sore the next day). Now six months later, I feel better, have more energy and am getting more confident using the equipment every day. I have Hailey to thank for this, for pushing me and telling me I can do it, and to help me realize that yes, I can do it and will continue to get stronger every day.
Drew E.
When I started all this back in August 2016 I weighed 330 pounds. This past year I have been running 3 to 4 times a week. I am now down to 277 pounds!
After years of putting on the pounds I decided to join a shared 50 mile ultra marathon August 2016. I started using The Shwellness Center because the race was in October 2016. I am a spouse and lucky enough to use the facility. Once my race was done I continued to run at the Shwellness Center.

Every December there is a Milez challenge and my wife encouraged me to participate with her. I didn't even think that I would hit the 50 miles mark by the end of month. However, I finished with 101 miles at the end of the challenge. I remember joking with Leah and Breana (health coaches at the gym) that I wouldn't be able to hit the 50 mile mark by the end of the month. I look forward to more challenges like this in the future to help motivate and push myself.

When I started all this back in August 2016 I weighed 330 pounds. This past year I have been running 3 to 4 times a week. Also, this past summer I started meeting with a personal trainer 2 days week at the Shwellness Center. I really enjoy adding this to my routine instead of just running all the time. The workouts make you use muscles that you haven't used in awhile (I am sore after them but a good sore).

I am now down to 277 pounds. I still have 27 pounds to hit my goal. With all the help and support from the gym I am sure I will hit this goal in no time!
Jessi
After 6 months and 34 pounds lost, I knew I was ready to take things to the next level in my fitness journey.
My story starts with a diagnosis. I had been dealing with some pretty serious reproductive system issues for 3 years without insurance. I was extremely limited in my physical activity, I had gained a great deal of weight in a pretty short span of time, I was constantly exhausted and all I did other than work was sleep. My moods and emotions were out of control. I was depressed and scared because my body just didn't feel like ME anymore. I worried that by the time I was able to get the answers I needed, it might be "too late" and some irreparable damage might have been done.

When I was given my diagnosis in 2014 after those miserable 3 years, it made sense with what I was experiencing. I had researched, and I expected this (but that didn't change how scary it was to hear a doctor confirm my fears!). At the age of 24 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is a condition caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones and is one of the most common causes of female infertility. I had to start medication to regulate my hormones and it took a long time for my body to adapt. I had to take iron (almost needed a transfusion!) to restore my very limited supply and regain some of my energy. This was a long, slow process. My iron stores were still low after more than a year of supplements. I wanted to be healthy, but it took me two years before I was even able to attempt working out. When I finally started working out in 2016, I never had the energy to PUSH myself, and I never really saw results - turns out, PCOS makes weight loss difficult. With no motivation and no results to show for my efforts, I fell off the wagon hard after an unexpected layoff.

To my great fortune, the next company I worked for was located in the Esplanade building. I started the new job in November 2016 and even though I heard about the amazing gym located in the building, I still never had the energy or time to really workout. In December 2016, I made a decision that changed my life and lead me to where I am today. I decided to start following a Ketogenic Diet in the New Year after hearing many other women with PCOS share their success and how great they felt. I did tons of research and found this way of eating is recommended by fertility specialists, and has been shown to help with balancing hormones. I started this way of eating on 1/1/2017, and I haven't looked back since. The results I've had in weight loss are NOTHING compared to how different I've felt. After 6 months and 34 pounds lost, I knew I was ready to take things to the next level in my fitness journey.

I joined the LifeStart Fitness Center in June 2017 and started going every weekday on my lunch breaks. This only gives me a 10 minute window to work out, but this was the only time I felt like I had to do this for myself, so I took it. I started small - walking on the treadmill - but have since graduated to using weight machines, doing floor exercises on my own, and I've even started attending Zumba classes two nights a week! I found that once I got into this routine, it was something I actually started to look forward to! Now, working out is not a punishment, but a release. After finding a diet that worked for me and my medical issues, I finally had the energy to PUSH myself. After two months of my new gym routine, I ran a 15 minute mile for the first time EVER in my life! This was a huge accomplishment for me and showed me just how far I have come from where I was. I almost cried right there in the gym! One of the biggest reasons I love LifeStart is how encouraging everyone is when I share these milestones - being met with a solid high five from Matt and/or Katie after a workout is the best! Also knowing I have resources to utilize as I advance, or even if I get bored with my usual routine, has kept me pushing myself to hit that next milestone over and over again.

I am currently down 47 pounds. I started 2017 at a size 18 and this week I fit into a size 12 pair of jeans! I've lost 5 inches in my waist alone. It's amazing to me that in less than 9 months of fully committing to my health, I've made some pretty significant changes. I never thought I would be able to make time to workout. I never imagined I would be a regular at the gym, and ENJOY IT! I never thought I could run for 7 minutes straight. I never thought I would be discussing my fitness goals and routines with a personal trainer, or signing up to take workout classes for fun! And I certainly never thought I would show my before and after pictures to someone and they would say "I think others need to hear your story".

My pace may be slower than others, but I'm taking my journey at my own speed and finally giving my body what it needs. I can't encourage you strongly enough to do the same! See you in the gym!