From Eye of the Storm to Eye of the Tiger

Chicago attorney Joanne Lee has struggled with weight all her life.   

"Most people gain the 'freshman 15' in college but I gained the freshman 50," she says.  "I'm only 5 feet tall but eventually ballooned up to 190 pounds at one point a few years ago. I had zero understanding of how my body worked."

After "trying every fad diet you can think of," she resolved to transform her life on January 13, 2014.

"I remember the exact date," Joanne says. "I was very overweight and in really bad shape. I went on a crash diet and lost 10 pounds the first week then the scale wouldn't budge no matter how little I ate or how hard I worked out. I became really frustrated and discouraged."

She thought the issue might be slow metabolism or a thyroid problem and began researching each on the Internet. In the process, she discovered DexaFit and scheduled a DXA scan and resting metabolic test (RMR) test.

"Contrary to what I thought, my thyroid was fine and my metabolism was super fast—I was burning 1,900 calories a day sitting and doing nothing," Joanne says. "But my scan showed my body fat at 39 percent, which set off alarm bells I needed to hear. And I wasn't eating enough on my diet, so instead of burning fat I was burning muscle.

"My goal had been to go from 155 pounds to 105 pounds, which was a number I basically picked out of thin air," she adds. "But I was shocked to learn that based on my body composition, I'd need to lose virtually all of my muscle mass to get down to that weight. I'd be thin, but I'd be an unhealthy bag of bones."

Instead, Joanne worked with DexaFit staff to set goals to reduce her body fat to less than 25 percent, increase her muscle mass and tip the scales at a strong, healthy 125 to 135 pounds.

"After that initial DXA scan and RMR test everything fell into place," Joanne says. "For the first time in my life, I was armed with real knowledge about my body and able to create a plan that helped me lose nearly 34 pounds of fat and gain 4 pounds of muscle in 7 months. And I've been the same weight for a year-and-a-half, which has never happened before."

Today, Joanne looks and feels great, has "a whole new wardrobe," runs 30 miles a week and is training for her first half marathon.

"I never considered myself an athlete, but running has become one of the most rewarding and enjoyable things in my life," she says. "I used to come home from working a 12- or 16-hour day and go through the roulette of McDonald's, Wendy's, Popeyes, Portillo's or Taco Bell for dinner. That seems like a long time ago and I can't imagine going back to that life.

"I would not be the person I am today without DexaFit," Joanne adds. "In fact, when I think of DexaFit I hear the Rocky theme, 'Eye of the Tiger.' It's all about kicking ass and I've really exceeded my wildest expectations in a way that makes me really proud of myself."