Wellness 180: John's Story
John Zavitz, Lake Bluff
Lost 30 pounds, regained motivation
"I was a high school athlete, a collegiate tennis player and I competed in triathlons. But then I hit some kind of wall. Maybe it was getting older or settling in as a married man with teenage daughters. Whatever the reason, I gradually went from 225 pounds to 263.
"But I didn’t know where to start. It felt bad to run, and it hurt to climb stairs. I didn’t even want to swim because I was embarrassed by how my trunks fit. I was seeing a cardiologist [Dr. Eli Lavie of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital] because of family history and other risk factors, even though I didn’t have heart disease—not yet. Dr. Lavie referred me to Wellness 180°™, and I realized I had to take responsibility.
"The exercise trainer is incredible, and I got a lot from the support network that develops in the program. The people in my group became friends of mine, and we work out together a few times a week. They have been in the same place as me and understand how I feel, even though we’re very different from each other. It’s easier getting out to the center in the morning when I know that they’re there. The nutritionist didn’t re-teach me how to eat, but I learned a lot about food and that really helped, too.
"Now I’m down to 230 and I’m really looking forward to 200 or even lower. Last weekend I played tennis without feeling like I was dying, and I took a run afterwards. My motivation is definitely back. I’m on my last belt hole and my pants scrunch up in the back—It looks awful, but feels great. When I see Dr. Lavie again, I want to say 'thank you.'"