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Posted By Onelife Fitness on Aug 14, 2018 2:09:44 PM

A motivating story about a year of big changes for one inspiring individual.


I knew going into 2016 that it would be a year of big changes. My wife and I had just had our first son, we moved to Atlanta to be closer to family and I was starting a new career. Stressful as they are, I welcomed every one of those changes. Between stepping into the craziness of being a first-time dad and moving away from my whole life as a Bostonian, everything was in a constant state of motion. It was a roller coaster, but one that I loved riding.  One change was not planned and it brought the whole ride to a stop. At 35, after a lifetime of perfect health, pushing myself as an endurance athlete, and barely seeing a doctor for any reason, I found out that I am a diabetic.

Before leaving Boston I noticed that I had started losing weight. I’ve been lifting for over 15 years and know my body and metabolism pretty well, but I still didn’t think much of it. Once we were settled in Atlanta I found a new position at a local hospital. During my pre-employment screening more red flags popped up. When I left Boston I was 224 pounds. I weighed in at 201! I didn’t think anything of it when they did a blood screen, figuring it was pretty routine. I also didn’t give it a second thought when the nurse asked if I felt okay, what I ate for breakfast, or if my daily life had changed dramatically.

After all the questioning, I wanted to know what my blood results were showing. The nurse told me my blood sugar was at 390 (keep in mind the average person is around 80 to 130). There was no way that my sugar was that high. The nurse instructed me to get one of those over the counter glucometers and do a 12 hour fast and check my levels. I can remember sitting in my car in the driveway staring skeptically at this thing. I did what the nurse told me and when I checked my levels I was at 271. I contacted the nurse to give her the results and she told me I needed to see an endocrine doctor ASAP. After seeing a doctor I was officially diagnosed with type-1 diabetes.

This last year has been all about learning. Everything from learning how to do the math on insulin to the new products coming on the market, every experience was brand new. The biggest change came with my diet. I used to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or chocolate chip cookies without a second thought. Now some of my favorite foods are reserved for very special occasions. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how extremely lucky I am.

My wife made a great meal plan that had dramatic effects on my blood sugar levels. Type-1 Diabetics check their A1C levels by comparing scores every three months. My level started at an 11.5 (well above the 5.5 of the average, non-diabetic person). My amazing wife put together a meal plan that was heavy on healthy, fresh foods and eliminated processed junk. In less than a year my A1C level was down to 5.8!

The year opened with many changes, some expected and some not. A change that was even more unexpected than my diagnosis was that type-1 diabetes would push my fitness to the next level. I have been lifting since high school and have pushed myself in triathlons and in functional style workouts. I have seen a steady increase in the past year to things I wouldn’t have dreamed of just a few years ago. This year I broke huge personal milestones with a 400 lb. squat and a 320 lb. front squat.

Being diagnosed with diabetes made me change my diet, refocus my lifting, and served as a big challenge to push myself farther and harder than ever.

Do you have an inspirational story or know a member who has a story to tell? We want to hear about it! Find us on Instagram @sportandhealth and use #MySportandHealth to share your story with us.

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Really great gym. The layout is perfect, never a competition for cardio equipment and the classes have all been awesome.

Shawna W.

I love this place, great environment, friendly staff and customers. I've been here about three weeks and its worth my time, I'm really motivated to get into shape.

James L.

I love this gym. They have everything you could want in a gym: sauna, pool, hot tub, hot yoga, classes galore, stretch equipment/area, tons of machines, basketball gym, childcare, hydro-massage, etc, etc. Overall our family is very happy here- there's something for everyone at a reasonable price.

Kerry W.

They have all the cardio machines you need with a full movie cardio room. Heated swimming pool. Full sized basketball court. Tons of free weights and cable machinery. You should never have to stand around waiting to use anything. All the amenities are beautiful. The sauna is great. They have private showers for all guests and FREE WIFI!!

Ken P.

I'm a huge fan of the Onelife Fitness in Newport news, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The gyms are well equipped, well run, and all have very diverse range of equipment and classes to suit most fitness needs.

Troy W.

Love this gym! They have everything, it's very clean and aesthetically pleasing, there's a pool, hot tub, sauna, nice locker rooms, basketball court, two floors of workout equipment, great classes, etc etc! For the price you pay, it is a really great deal and definitely makes working out fun and enjoyable! Would highly recommend.

Konnor M.

I love this place! Customer service is awesome! Front desk always smiling and greets you! There is such a wide selection of classes in afternoons, evenings and weekends. So, even though I am a working mom i can find a class perfect dor my schedule! LOVE Nicole's hot yoga!

Tracy Guy

Probably the best gym I've ever been a member of. Great customer service, huge and has everything. Just about any exercise, article or video you've seen where you've said "I've never even seen that equipment before", this gym has that equipment.

Donald B.

Love this gym! Such a spectacular price, location, and convenience. I signed up the first day of my free 3 day pass because I fell in absolute love. The trainers are amazing. I workout with Adam and love his guidance and motivation during the training session. All the equipment is new and beautiful. In addition to the wonderful trainers and equipment, the group classes are empowering. I also enjoy using the space if a class is not going on. You must join this gym!

Alanna R.

This gym is the total package, friendly staff, nice people around, lot of weights and machines, clean, wide, different activities are possible.
Love it.

Sergio L.

I LOVE this gym! The classes and instructors are awesome! I lost 2lbs in one week doing classes and personal training. Love that there is so much equipment you never have to wait.

Jessica H.

This gym is incredible. Top-of-the-line equipment, lap pool, onsite theater, basketball courts, functional intense training areas, group exercise classes throughout the day (7 days/week), spa-inspired locker rooms...what more could I ask for?

Michelle L.

This is an awesome and amazing gym! One Life is the best one I have ever belong to and absolutely love it :-) it is clean, professional and I cannot say enough good things about it. I would never consider going anywhere else. I love all of the cardio equipment, free weights, circuit training and classes. The locker rooms are exceptionally clean and well-kept. Another plus is the Wi-Fi.

Virginia D.