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!
Shannon L.
I’m down 80 pounds from a year ago and I cannot wait to see the look on my doctor’s face when she sees me and the progress I've made.
Complications from Type-2 diabetes contributed the death of my mother and grandmother. With that family history I've known for years that I was at risk and my weight added to that risk. Yet, for years I failed to heed the warnings.

Last year, that changed. My doctor's report went from "pre-diabetic" to "borderline and at your next annual physical you will be diabetic and we will start you on medication." That was the wake-up call I needed. I was determined that even if that happened, it would happen with me fighting it every step of the way.

I immediately made one change at a time. I’ve tried to get control of my health before but always jumped in with both feet thinking “all-or-nothing”. The efforts always failed and I always gave up. Incrementally, first I cut easy-to-cut sugar (like tea, coffee, soft drinks and desserts). Then I started logging food and tracking blood sugar. Then I changed how and when I ate carbs. Next came morning walks. Two months in I was seeing some pretty great results with about 20 pounds down but I knew I could do more.

I finally walked in to the LifeStart Fitness Center at work, something I joined when it opened years before but only used a time or two. I met with our Manager and Dietitian, Kristin, to discuss nutrition. She encouraged me to meet with Colin, the Fitness Director. After the first meeting with Colin, I was hooked. His enthusiasm and encouragement got me excited. Despite many gym memberships through the years, I’ve never been excited about fitness. I signed up for personal training three days a week, started a variety of group classes and found myself going at least once a day, often more. I love that right there at work I can do personal training with Strength, HIIT and endurance goals and have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of fun classes including aerobics, dance Pilates and yoga. Each aspect of the program provides a different yet critical part to my success.

It has now been a year since that doctor's appointment and I’m down 80 pounds. The results of my follow up appointment were wonderful! A year ago I was borderline diabetic and had been pre-diabetic for years. As of my annual check-up last month, not only am I not borderline diabetic (or full on diabetic as my doctor had predicted), I’m not pre-diabetic at all! My fasting glucose and A1C numbers were all within normal range. My blood pressure was also a lot lower and she has me on a 3-month plan to wean off of blood pressure medication. I really owe my life to the team at Laitram’s LifeStart facility.
Stacie L.
"I am closer to 40 than I am to 30, just had babies back to back and I am in the best shape of my life."
After having my second baby in 15 months, I knew that if I wanted to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I was going to have to make my health a priority. I began my journey by getting an assessment done by one of the trainers at LifeStart. I was provided with a detailed breakdown of my body fat vs. lean muscle and what I would need to do to reach the goals we discussed. I began working out immediately. I signed up for all available classes and was working out at least 5 times a week. While my activity level was high, I didn't alter my diet at all. While I lost some weight, it was minimal. I expressed these concerns with the new trainer, Izzy. He got a feel for my personality and started challenging me with little things. Of course I had to not only meet, but beat the challenges. He provided healthy eating tips, tricks, and methods that not only changed my way of thinking about food but also transformed by body. I noticed that my body was slimming down in the areas I wanted to focus on. He started me on a weight lifting program and I began to notice definition in all the right places. I started taking new and more challenging classes, like spin for an extra calorie burn. The classes offered are just the right mix of cardio and strength training.
I am closer to 40 than I am to 30 and just had babies back to back and I am in the best shape of my life. I feel stronger, have more energy, get less winded, and look better than I ever have. Kudos to the staff for letting me vent and then pushing me to be my best.
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.