From 589 pounds to 220 pounds. This is my journey. Welcome to the countdown.

Posts tagged ‘accomplishment’

Score One For the Countdown

As I was cleaning out my email, I found something I’d never posted. This happened in October–a month which seemed to be all about the celebration of my weight loss. The following was sent to every employee of Lifetime Fitness. If I’ve not said it before, I’ll say it again: it’s all about the people you work with. The people of Lifetime Fitness Old Orchard are those people.

From: Jason Thunstrom
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 12:35 PM
To: All Team Members
Subject: Our ‘WHY’: A journey from 589 pounds

Life Time Team:

As you know, we commit to helping people positively change their lives every day. For some, the degree of change is small. A fine tuning, so to speak. For others, however, it can be a massive overhaul. The following story from Life Time Old Orchard member, Jeff Stein, speaks for itself. Mr. Stein’s dedication to his health is both powerful and motivating. The support of our Life Time Old Orchard team was equally critical. Read on – and be inspired. This is the ‘WHY’ we do what we do!

Regards,

JT

Hi Jason,

My name is Jeff Stein. I’ve been a member of Life Time Fitness Old Orchard since Feb 2012. One of my trainers sent me a copy of an email you’d sent out to the employees, entitled “This may make you cry.” 

https://mms.ltfinc.net:443/105503000/105503290.jpg?1413309832322

In 2007, I weighed 589 pounds.

I wore a 6-7x shirt and size 74 pants.

As a child, I was overweight. At 12 or 13, I remember being over 200 pounds, 300 or more in high school, and 400+ in college. My life wasn’t horrible. I had a job, friends, and drove a car. I even played a year of college basketball. New England Division B, but still, it was college basketball. I was your average guy – just a lot bigger.

I can’t remember a time I was not referred to as fat. I couldn’t get into booths at restaurants. I had a chair or two break under my weight. One was in my boss’s office. I even missed out on an incredible free trip to Las Vegas and a major speaking opportunity because I was worried I wouldn’t fit in an airplane seat.

In November 2012, I set out on an ambitious weight loss program with the help of Jeremy Survoy, Miranda Willetts and Matt Bauman. It as a week before Thanksgiving and, at 543 pounds, I set out to change my life.

Fast forward to today and my life is different. A LOT DIFFERENT.

I weigh in at 325 pounds. That’s 264 pounds fewer than my days at 589. I’m wearing 2XL shirts and size 48 pants. 

In February 2014, I boarded a plane for the first time in over 20 years, no longer worried if I’d fit in the seat. The day I got to Vegas, I walked more than 30,000 steps! 

A day I’m not at Life Time is rare. I workout 7 days a week – sometimes twice a day. On top of four training and nutrition sessions, I participate in Pilates, WERQ, water fitness, and yoga. I wear a Fitbit and average 10,000 steps a day. As a member of Life Time Fitness Old Orchard, I’ve won the club’s 90-day weight loss challenge – TWICE. Many people in the club remember the day I walked in at 543. People I’ve never met ask me about it daily. My trainers tell me I’m asked and talked about even when not in the building.

My goal weight is 220 pounds. When I reach it, I will have lost 369 pounds from the 589 I once weighed. 

While I still have a little ways to go in accomplishing my goal, I’ve started to talk about it. I do this because I think it’s important people know what they can accomplish. That it’s not about pills or surgery. I want inspire and help others toward their goals, dreams, and a healthy lifestyle.

Life Time has been a huge part of these accomplishments and this journey.

Best Regards,

Jeff Stein

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20 years later…

Next week I head to Vegas for a 4 day weekend–place I’ve not been in 20 years.

It reminded me about the time I could have gone to Vegas and didn’t. About 4-6 years ago, I was President of non-profit game group. We helped run and promote games like Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic the Gathering. An industry magazine had decided to create a trade show and approached us about having members demo games for companies in…Las Vegas. It was all expenses paid. Further, they were giving me an opportunity to create a seminar talking to the biggest and best in the industry. Given my penchant for public speaking and hunting for a career opportunity this was an amazing break.

But it never happened. I never went to Las Vegas.

I told friends it was fiances and I couldn’t get of work.

A total lie.

I didn’t go because I knew I wouldn’t fit in a plane seat. Because I was scared what would happen if I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn’t fit in it. Because I didn’t want to ask them to pay for a 2nd plane seat.

And so my friends boarded a plane and I stayed at home.

And that was the first time I realized what I’d done to myself. That my weight was indeed an issue. That it had hindered me and I missed out on an amazing opportunity. And in typical fashion, it made me unhappy, depressed, and caused me to eat even more. Because at that time, I could grasp how I’d ever could be anything more than the overweight man that I was.

I told myself there’d be another chance and I’d go next year. There was no next year. The show folded after one year. I missed out because of my issues with weight. Now I’d like to believe it was all for the best. That maybe it all needed to happen. That it was the beginning of my awakening. That it made me think about doing something. That I started to look at places like Structure House.

But the truth is we’ll never know. But I do know this: on Thursday night I’ll board a plane for Las Vegas.

The last time I was on a plane?

Before 9/11–when it didn’t cost you to check a bag.

Yeah, that long ago.

The true test? Will I need a seat belt extension? I’m hoping the answer is no.

The last time I was in Vegas, I was 21. I’d always though I’d be back sooner. A lot has changed in 20 years and I plan to see all of it. And a lot more. Thursday night marks the biggest milestone so far–I can travel on a plane again. Even when I went to North Carolina to Structure House it was a 2 day drive there and back.

But now things will be different now. I am never putting myself in a position like that again. I’ve got places to go and people to see. Well as long as the airfare isn’t too high. But 20 years later things will now be very different from now on.

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