Member Spotlight | The Ring

Member Spotlight | The Ring

Before – April 2017

After – November 2017

By the time I turned 50 years old, I had worked hard, raised 3 great kids and enjoyed 28 years with my wife. My family always came first. My focus was on them and on trying to be the best dad I could be in order to provide for my family. That meant I came last. I didn’t take care of myself; I ate fast food between meetings and didn’t exercise. My stress increased. I gained weight and had some bad habits that affected my health and well-being. I knew I could exercise and eat better, but it was not a high-enough priority…until that day in August of 2016. It was the day I had to take off my wedding ring for the first time in 23 years because my ring finger turned blue. I got it off, but could not put it back on – no matter how much I tried.

I had grown to a weight of 261 lbs., with the belly to match. I couldn’t run without exhausting myself. My clothes were too tight, and I couldn’t see my feet without leaning over. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, blurred vision and headaches. I felt embarrassed, guilty, depressed and angry at myself for letting myself go. Not wearing my wedding ring felt like I was cheating. I continued to think about it for several months, and it never got better. It still affected me. I knew I had to get that ring back on no matter what.

On May 11, 2017, I was driving by an LA Fitness and decided to stop in to ask some questions. I knew I wanted to change and had to do something about it. I was introduced to my personal trainer*, Jose O., for the first time. He listened to me, understood my situation, and started training me while working around some preexisting injuries to increase my strength, endurance and flexibility. We talked about nutrition and ensured I was eating correctly. I cut out sodas, alcohol and fast food. He encouraged me with challenging workouts and pushed my limits, while ensuring I remained injury free. He reminded me why I was here. When I thought I was exhausted and had reached my limit I would hear him say over my shoulder, “For the ring.” And that was all the extra motivation I needed.

I used a free mobile application to keep track of my nutrition and calories and ensure I was getting all of my nutrition. Through the app, Jose and my friends who also used the app were able to see my diary and progress and give me encouragement and tips. They also made sure I was accountable to them and myself. They became my online fitness family. In 6 months, I lost 67 lbs. I feel absolutely powerful and fantastic. My wedding ring is back on, and it’s going to stay on forever. My stamina is up 500%. I decided to compete in my first triathlon in June of 2018, and I remain committed to that goal. My old clothes went to Goodwill. My headaches, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and blurred vision are 100% gone. I saved tons of money cooking for myself rather than eating out all the time, which more than paid for the LA Fitness membership and training. (I really don’t even like fast food anymore.) My great friend Jose is always there encouraging me, challenging me to excel to get better and ensuring I remain injury free. My wife sees the difference and loves her new and improved husband (and occasionally walks by and touches me for no good reason whatsoever. And that’s just nice.).

Tom G. and his trainer Jose O.

If I have one piece of advice for success, it’s this:

We all know what we need to do to get healthy and stay healthy, or know how to find out how to do it. It all starts with the “X-Factor”. Your X-Factor is that primal gut feeling and emotion that affects you so deeply it can permanently change your priorities. For some it’s waking up in the hospital realizing you had emergency bypass surgery; for others, it’s not being able to play ball with your children and seeing them go and play with someone else, or being told in front of your friends and family that you cannot go on the rollercoaster because you exceed the weight limit. For me, it was not being able to put my wedding ring on no matter how hard I tried. It is that primal emotion that can trigger a response so deep that it makes it an easy decision to rearrange your priorities and do something about it and to keep doing it no matter the obstacles you may encounter.

My advice? Find your X-Factor. If it causes an overwhelming emotional response every time you think about it, then you found it. Use that to motivate you to work, learn, and improve. Set your long-term goals and focus on meeting your goals each day. Tomorrow is a different day. In the end, if you stay honest to yourself, use your X-Factor, eat right and work hard with the great staff at LA Fitness, you will always succeed.

*Personal training services require an additional fee and a separate agreement.

Some slight adjustments have been made to the member’s story for grammatical reasons, length, and/or clarity.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 


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Member Spotlight | Building a Strong Heart, Maintaining a Strong Mind

Member Spotlight | Building a Strong Heart, Maintaining a Strong Mind

I have worked out at home, then at various clubs, on and off since I was in junior high. I’m not a big guy so getting stronger was my main incentive. As with most people, I learned from observation, and tips from other people, how to do sets and reps. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was going to be prone to clogged arteries, and in 1992 suffer my first heart attack at age 44. A year and a half later came the second one, which damaged the heart muscle and necessitated my triple by-pass. I didn’t learn until much later, that about half my heart function was negated at that time.

The years passed, I still worked out fairly regularly, and after moving to Orange County in 1997, I joined LA Fitness. I believe it was the late 90’s that I worked out with a personal trainer for several months at LA Fitness, then worked out on my own again. I moved in 2002 and started going to my current LA Fitness club in Yorba Linda, CA.

In 2004 however, I got a stent procedure and six months later, I got another stent procedure. I never stopped working out. In 2010, I had my third stent procedure, and in 2014 I had my third heart attack. Now, I can tell you this, I looked pretty good for someone having all these heart problems. Kind of begs the question, how has working out helped?

I would say this, make your body do some work and put in some effort. It can become way too easy to beg off doing anything because it takes too much effort or time. But choosing to do nothing kind of leads you to the “out of time”. I’ve made going to the gym the same as when I worked, I may not always want to go, but I NEED to go.

Roger B.

LA Fitness Member

The day I was being released, my heart doctor came in and told me I was very fortunate. He told me that because of the many years I had been working out, my body created a maze of collateral arteries around my heart. He also told me that for about any average person, they would not have survived the heart attack I had, leaving me with one functioning artery. Unlike a lot of people, I eat OK. However, I’m not exactly the poster boy for how to eat; so I work out 5 to 6 days a week. Although I don’t lift as heavy, I do more reps and sets with lighter weights and better form.

A couple of years ago, I worked out with two other trainers from LA Fitness, just to kind of dial in a more effective weight lifting routine and I accomplished that. At this point in time, my goal is to maintain good muscle tone. I’m not going to recapture the energy and endurance I once had, but doing something is way better than doing nothing.

It pretty much boils down to this, do what you can as much as you can, and do it safely and sensible. I’m 70 now. The clock won’t roll back, but I can try to keep it from rolling over me. All in all, it IS worth the effort.

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Disclaimer: Some slight adjustments have been made to the member’s story for grammatical reasons, length, and/or clarity.


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Member Spotlight | Finding Your Inner Superhero

Member Spotlight | Finding Your Inner Superhero

My story begins a year before I actually joined LA Fitness. In 2016, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. After consulting at length with my doctor about how I could have contracted diabetes, we settled on two things: I was probably already pre-diabetic, and most importantly, the stress of my mother’s death probably led me there.

In February of 2016, my mother’s doctors informed her and our family that she had only 6 weeks to live and subsequently set us up with a home hospice care provider. As time progressed, she deteriorated and so as predicted, she passed in her sleep at home on April 11th 2017. In large part, it was due to a bad heart but she had diabetes as well.

It took a while to process all of that and then a couple of months later I found out about my own diabetes. Working with my doctor, I started a regimen of prescription medication to get my diabetes under control. I went to special classes that talked about diabetes and special diets. One thing that was stressed in the classes was that losing weight would aid in my treatment. I tried doing things at home for several months but I wasn’t all that successful. I finally broke down and decided to visit my local LA Fitness in La Habra, CA.

I meet with one of their representatives, and we settled on a membership with the addition of a trainer as well. There must have been an angel looking out for me when I got assigned my trainer. Her name is Brianna H., or Bree as she likes to be called. I cannot tell you have happy I am to have Bree as my trainer. She is a huge reason that since I have started I have lost 10 lbs. as well as 3 inches from my waist. I have also gained muscle mass and have become toned – I love to flex my biceps now!

Bree is completely invested in my success. She’s my drill sergeant and cheerleader combined. She has me working hard and I like that because I know she wants me to succeed. I will work out at times by myself as well and I can see the difference. I’m just not as determined without her constant encouragement urging me on. She corrects my posture and reinforces my positive outlook and is always checking in to make I can handle the weight. She knows that I am sixty years old and that I hadn’t worked out literally for decades, so while she pushes me onward she’s also sensitive to where I’m at as I progress in my workouts. I consider her to be not just my personal trainer but also more like my personal superhero.

Through her strong suggestions, I have even begun to change my eating habits. I’ve added salads to my diet and I try to manage portion controls better. I still need to get better but with Bree’s input I hope to make more strides and improvements in my overall health. I will forever be grateful to Bree and LA Fitness for the help that I have received and will continue to receive as time goes on. If I were to offer anyone advice, I would say that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and it’s okay to ask for help. Get a trainer and trust that they really want to help you succeed. It’s hard at times but anything that’s worth it is. I know that I’m worth the effort that I put into my workouts and I know that my Mom is smiling down on me on my journey.

Disclaimer: Some slight adjustments have been made to the member’s story for grammatical reasons, length, and/or clarity.

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Special Event For Augie’s Quest

Special Event For Augie’s Quest

On Saturday, February 25th, all LA Fitness Group Fitness classes will participate in ACTION FOR ALS! From Bodyworks to Cycling to Kickbox Cardio to Yoga and Zumba® classes, our dynamic and diverse classes will team up with Augie’s Quest in the fight for a cure for ALS! This is a fun day that you will not want to miss!

On Saturday, February 25th, all LA Fitness Group Fitness classes will participate in ACTION FOR ALS! From Bodyworks to Cycling to Kickbox Cardio to Yoga and Zumba® classes, our dynamic and diverse classes will team up with Augie’s Quest in the fight for a cure for ALS! This is a fun day that you will not want to miss!

Donors who give $100 or more will receive a complimentary event shirt, while supplies last!

Donate $20 or more and take action by taking a class near you to help find a cure for ALS!

For over 6 years, LA Fitness has supported Augie’s Quest, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for ALS. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that can impact anyone.

To learn more about LA Fitness’ efforts to help support Augie’s Quest, please visit www.LAFitnessCares.com.

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Donations collected online only. Zumba® is a registered trademark of Zumba Fitness LLC. ©2017 Fitness International, LLC. All rights reserved.

How Can I Gain Weight? | Q+A

How Can I Gain Weight? | Q+A

 

Question:

How can I gain weight? I eat a huge breakfast +2 protein shakes every day and 6 meals daily. I’m 6 ft tall. I started at 142 lbs. I’m up to 154 and haven’t been able to add an ounce beyond that. Help, please.

-Anthony G.

 

Answer:

Good job on gaining some weight! Your weight for your height equates to a BMI of 21, which is within normal weight. If you were underweight, I’d recommend the following:

Focus on energy density, not just volume of food. Simply put, you need to make every bite count. So amp up calories in everything you eat and drink – entrees, snacks, beverages, and desserts.

Choosing the richest options could double your calories. For example, ¼ cup of nuts provides 160 calories compared to the 40 calories from microwave popcorn. A shake made with whole milk, protein powder, peanut butter, and frozen banana slices has 600 calories versus less than 300 calories from the same volume made with low-fat milk, protein powder, fruit and ice.

Meat lasagna made with regular ground beef, whole ricotta and whole mozzarella packs almost double the calories of one made with lean beef, low fat ricotta and part-skim mozzarella cheese.

Adding toppings whenever possible could increase calories significantly. A humble 80 calorie blueberry pancake becomes a powerhouse 150 calories with butter and maple syrup. Laying a slice of cheese on a chicken taco adds 100 calories to each. Spreading a half mashed avocado on a turkey sandwich adds 150 calories. A scoop of 150 calorie ice cream reaches 300 calories when you top it with caramel and nuts. You’ll notice that most of the additions are in the form of fat and sugar. This is no accident, as these happen to be the most energy rich.

Make every sip count by enriching your beverages. One way is to opt for the higher-calorie versions of each drink. Whole milk and nectars are richer versions of milk and juice, respectively. Go for chocolate milk for an even bigger energy load. Smoothies and frappuccinos are calorie-laden alternatives to soft drinks. Another way is to add concentrate to the liquid. For example, add 2 spoonful of dry milk or frozen concentrate to each glass of milk and juice, respectively.

If you were strictly speaking of adding lean tissue, see our article How can I gain weight in muscle, not fat?

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Ask our Dietitian

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Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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