Growing up, Albert Li was able to maintain a slim physique while eating whatever he wanted. In college, he lived next to a McDonald’s, and ate there every day. But when he graduated college, the weight stuck.
Six years later, in 2007, Li began focusing on his fitness efforts. Prompted by the struggle to keep up with his roommates while mountain biking, he started going to cycle classes. He competed in a cycling event and two triathlons. He was getting healthy.
In 2011, Li got married, and two years later, welcomed his first child. He recalls that he and his wife both gained weight during her pregnancy, but he was the one who unable to lose it after the baby was born.
This became a trend throughout the couple’s following two other pregnancies: Li gained a few pounds and his fitness hit the backburner.
Li had gained 42 pounds since college and learned that he had 32 percent body fat, a statistic that he says scared him. He decided to join Life Time in Cinco Ranch, Texas, where he lives in 2016. He participated in cycle classes, joined the outdoor cycling club, and began running and competing in events again.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Li canceled his membership and lost his desire to exercise.
But in 2021, Li experienced multiple deaths in his family. He recalls that he wanted to get his mind off what was going on and felt that the best place to do that was at the health club. So, he rejoined Life Time.
Li’s inspiring story — including what came next — was recently featured in the Houston Chronicle:
By this time, Li knew what worked. He needed a challenge — and he accepted Life Time’s 60day Challenge, a program designed to jump-start fitness routines.
“Little by little, he started shredding off body fat,” said trainer Johnny Rivera. “It’s two months of give-it-your-all. Albert, every time I come into the gym, he’s on the treadmill running. He’s never had a setback. He just gets better and better.”
Now, Li weighs in at 155 pounds. “And he’s staying with it,” Rivera said.
Li was a finalist in the 60day Challenge and is currently training for the Chevron Houston Marathon 2022. He spends most of his workout time either running in the neighborhood or training in the club. He also signed up for the Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston in April, preparing for the bike portion with Zwift virtual rides and group cycling on the weekends. He finds time to swim once a week.
In the meantime, Li enjoys going to the club with his wife and children. “My kids love going to the gym, and I missed all my friends there,” Kimberly, Li’s wife, added. “They needed that normalcy again — and so did we.”
Kimberly admires her husband’s commitment to fitness and said he serves as a positive role model for their children. “The kids really do see at a young age how important it is to maintain their health,” she added.
She also said he also motivates others with his example. “He’s very consistent,” Kimberly added. “You never hear him complain. He’s never too tired.” That’s something Li hopes to share — the importance of persistence.
At first, Li said the search for motivation could be elusive. “I tried a lot of different things,” he said. Ultimately, he found it took finding an exercise he enjoys, as well as supportive friends. “That’s the biggest thing for me,” he said. “If you surround yourself with people who stay home and watch TV, you don’t have good motivation.”
Besides the groups he has joined and the members at Life Time, his biggest supporters are at home. “When I ride my Zwift bike, all three of my kids sit next to me and cheer me on,” he said.
You can read Li’s full story here: “Down 60 Pounds, This Competitor and Dad of Three is Ready for the Houston Marathon.”