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After being sick and tired of being sick and tired, Leif Welhaven is now the more inspirational member of Granite Health and Fitness.

Beyond a New Year Resolution

Story and Photo by Matthew Struck, Marketing and IT Director at Granite Health and Fitness

It was about this time one year ago that Leif Welhaven drew a line in the sand. He knew his health was poor with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and overall fatigue. Leif suffered from headaches, acid reflux, as well as, back and knee pain from carrying around all his excessive weight. It was during the holiday season 2016 that he was sick and tired of being sick and tired and made the commitment of working out for 365 straight days and lose 100lbs.

This was beyond a simple New Year's Resolution as Leif starting creating a support system of people and creating a plan to make it through this monumental challenge. This started with reaching out to the team at Granite Health and Fitness. Leif had already been a member but with his new motivation, got out of his comfort zone by asking personal trainers and group training instructors for help and guidance.

Starting slow in 2017, Leif started scheduling his workouts in his weekly calendar in order to build a successful behavior change. Leif adds, “I used to plan my life and then try and squeeze a work out in here and there. Now I schedule my work out first and then squeeze life in and around it!”

He attended a wide range of group training classes including one's he originally ruled out. What he started noticing was the staff and other members that started cheering him on as he made his way in every day.

“I had to learn how to eat clean and most importantly, I had to overcome my old ways and how I think and approach a Healthy Lifestyle,” Leif states.

It was tough, but as Leif started to put in the time, the weight started to come off. In the beginning, a pound or two, but after a few weeks, he started to drop more and more weight. Leif kept increasing his efforts to continue the momentum by working with Granite's personal training staff and his nutrition coach Darcy Balsam. He would meet with Darcy weekly to weigh in and discuss his food logs as she had him tracking his food intake with regards to Calories, Protein, Fat and Carbs. These weekly meetings were crucial as they created a form of accountability to his goals and to the process. He and Darcy built a friendship and trust that will last long after his weight loss goals are realized.

Leif now realized it was time to start bringing his efforts home. Leif's wife Annette helped both of them change what they eat at home by buying healthier food and cooking more healthy options. Annette was a crucial part in Leif's success and was his ultimate cheerleader.

Just over half way through his challenge, Leif started setting other personal goals of completing a 5K Run. At day 270, he shattered this goal by running Nine separate 5K's and even One 10K. He'd dropped more than 70lbs and starting seeing the benefits in doctor visits and blood tests. He dropped his Cholesterol over 30 points and his Blood Pressure came down to a healthy level. His headaches, backpain, knee pain and acid reflux were all gone.

The hardest part in Leif's journey was overcoming his habits of a sedentary life and unhealthy eating. “I had to learn how to eat clean and most importantly, I had to overcome my old ways and how I think and approach a Healthy Lifestyle,” Leif states.

“I would eat horribly and sporadically and was in the habit of drinking alcohol almost daily out of habit.”

The more Leif got involved at Granite, the more his inspirational story touched others. “I feel more confident and more outgoing and friendly. I feel I have another platform to affect others for change and positivity and I hope I can help other people in a small way become better!” Leif says humbly.

Leif started posting about his journey on social media to hopefully offer some hope and inspiration to others maybe facing their own health challenges and he soon realized that he was having a positive impact on others. Several individuals would call, e mail and text him asking questions and how they

could maybe even get started. Leif was able to bring in several to Granite where they found a team of people willing to help them with their own personal journey. Leif has embraced this platform and is using it to affect change positively for people all over the country following his journey and for that he is excited that something that started in him has affected so many.

As his challenge comes full circle, Leif overcame his obstacles and has lost a total of 90 lbs. He's been an incredible inspiration to watch through 2017. During Granite's Member Appreciation Day, Leif was nominated by members and won the title of Granite's Most Inspirational Member.

When asked about providing advice Leif says, “Surround yourself with Good People and Good Things will Happen!”