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LifeCenter Plus Helps Stow Resident Lose Over 140 Pounds

UPublish story by Christine Brown

Christian Crabtree with wife and son
Stow resident Christian Crabtree, pictured with his wife Victoria and son, in August 2013.

Once his son started walking in January 2013, Christian Crabtree was ready to make a change.


“At that point I was up to around 396 pounds and didn’t want to hit the 400 pound mark,” he said. Besides finding it difficult to keeping up with an active son, he was experiencing serious health issues – high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and sleep apnea.


“Although I’m only 33, my body was old,” Christian explained. “When I was in college, it was just me. But now if something like a heart attack happens, it affects my wife and son.”


Crabtree graduated from Stow High School and went to Japan for two years before moving to Utah for college. There he met his wife Victoria. They moved back to Stow so that he could attend graduate school at Case Western Reserve.


He joined LifeCenter Plus in October 2013 after having bariatric surgery. He took advantage of their assessment program, but was unhappy with what it showed.


“Jerry G. tried to spin it, but basically every area needed work,” he explained. “I started slowly, doing the elliptical or walking. In December I started using the resistance pool with low impact. I was still timid about trying everything LifeCenter had to offer.”


In January 2014 he set another really big goal– to compete in a Half Ironman in Provo, Utah this August. A Half Ironman is a combination of swimming, biking and running for a total of 70.3 miles, so Crabtree, now at 298 pounds, decided focus on losing another 70.3 pounds. He broke it down into manageable milestones of about ten pounds a month.


He started using LifeCenter’s MOVband program and began working out in the Extreme Cross Training class at 5:30 am.


“It was extremely intimidating to walk into that class,” he said. “A group of individuals, who had been working out together, familiar with how the class works… with the trainer… and I’m coming into the group at 300 pounds!”


He wore a hoodie to help keep his focus, like a horse with blinders on. “I select a place where I can’t see the mirror. And I just keep showing up. Jerry gives me modifications if I can’t do one of the exercises, so I can substitute a different exercise that I can do. The idea is keep moving in a steady state of motion.”


After the first workout, “My reaction was: OH! MY! GOSH! This is insane. But I kept coming back. After each of the first few work outs, I’m not going to kid you, I was sore. It made my body hurt where I didn’t even know parts existed to hurt… even with the modifications. But I got better and soon I was not sore, I was re-energized, refreshed… feeling accomplished, like I started the day right.”


He uses the MOVband, step-tracking pedometer wristband to motivate and challenge himself. He is competitive, so during the March Madness Challenge, Crabtree stepped it up. He logged 99 miles the final week of the challenge and won overall for the entire club.


Along with the workout classes and the MOVband program, he says it’s a real advantage to have the Kid’s Korner child care available. “I don’t have to pay for a place for my son to play while I swim, bike and run all at the same facility. In an environment like we’ve had in this winter in Ohio, having a place like this to train is crucial.”


His nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic says she wishes all of her patients would do what he is doing, making the full lifestyle change.


By the end of April, his weight was down to 254 pounds. He is off his blood pressure medicine and the C-Pap machine for sleep apnea. He says his wife is super excited and very supportive. “Victoria is amazed at what I am doing,” he said. “And my son Kyler knows too. I tell him Dada’s getting smaller and Ky Ky’s getting stronger.”


“Well actually, I’m getting stronger too!” Crabtree said with a smile. “I was 6XL, now I’m just starting to fit in to 2XL. I can’t wait until I don’t have numbers in front of my XL!!”

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