Lanse’s story…a journey of losing weight with diabetes and dialysis

On the day that I was hired for one of the gyms that I work at I was given a tour of the building.  This particular building is somewhat of a maze…and the ins, outs, multiple rooms and locations of all the classes…and the stairs…can be overwhelming for someone seeing the building for the first time.  

While on this tour…a lot of names and faces were in front of me.  People were in the gym working, classes were going on and others were working out.

lanseOne of the people I met though stuck in my head.  The progress and determination that was made by this individual is amazing…and he was standing right in front of me.  

Since being hired I have had the pleasure of not only having him in class but now…also being a co-worker with him.  His desire to help others is tremendous.  His own journey…indescribable.  His enthusiasm for getting healthy…is being spread to others.

This summer I hope to be able to go on a bike ride with him and others to help with the support of raising money for finding a cure for diabetes and for the awareness of this disease.   I am really excited about this and plan on sharing this event with every biker that I know to come along for the ride and support this as well.   Not only has Lanse been battling this illness but it is one that has personally been part of one of my own family members.  I knew that if my life kept going the way it was, my name would soon have this same illness associated with it too.

When I asked Lanse if I could share his story at The Journey…this was his response…

“Cool.  Why not?  My hope is I can take the bad of what I go through with kidney disease and dialysis brought on by diabetes and turn it into a positive through my personal changes which might inspire others to live better.”

The news story below talks about where Lanse was back in April.  Let me take a second though and tell you about him today:

  • He cycles way more than I do…sometimes before classes, sometimes after classes…and has at least 2 classes on the schedule and subs too…and takes other classes.  He is a riding machine.
  • He has been doing a Couch 2 10k.  Not a 5k…10k.  
  • He has more energy than I can even tell you about.
  • He has had surgeries come up due to his illness…and he isn’t letting that stop him.  
  • He is at the gym more than anyone else I know…and his family works out with him too.  🙂
  • When I don’t feel motivated to workout…he has some status that he throws out there on Facebook that reminds me that I need to get my butt in gear and workout…because he is on round 2 of his workouts.

Be inspired by Lanse…and read his story.  Thank you Lanse for letting me share it at The Journey and KAAL for interviewing him this past year.

  Get Fit: Man Loses Weight for Possible Kidney Transplant

(ABC 6 NEWS) — At the Rochester Y, everyone knows his name. Lanse Kyle is a regular – he can be found lifting weights, riding a stationary bike, or teaching a group fitness class.

That active lifestyle, though, is a recent development for Lanse. It was sparked by the realization that, after years of being obese, he needed a kidney transplant –and in order to get on the list, he had to lose weight.

“I had the classic office lifestyle. I had a sit-down job and liked sit-down entertainment. It led to me getting sick: diabetes and kidney disease.”

“I was so heavy. I remember getting slip-on shoes because bending down to tie my shoes was some grief. Though, at my age, I would be a good candidate [for a kidney transplant], I was not a good candidate because I was so obese. They said I had to lose weight. I was going to die.”

Looking at a “before” photo of Lanse (at least 100 pounds heavier), he said he looked, “haggard.” He did. He looked exhausted. Lanse said it was ironic that he looked so bad because he could remember the photo being taken, and trying to look good for the camera.

“I wanted to get on the list. I wanted to save my life. So that’s what I did.”

Lanse works out on a stationary bike in 30-minute blocks. Depending on how much time he has that day (and whether or not he has an appointment at the clinic, or dialysis) you might be able to find him peddling for three hours or more. He bikes to the gym, too.

“The quality of life, the functional well-being—it’s bananas. I run up stairs. I play racquetball. I rode my bike for 1,100 miles outside last summer.”

As he unlocks his bike, and puts on his helmet to prepare for an outdoor ride he says, “The support I’ve had as somebody who’s trying to make these changes has been great.”

“I feel pretty good, disease aside. Now, I’m on that list so that’s a process too. But when a kidney does come along, I’m a much healthier vessel to receive that. My outcomes are expected to be very good.”

When asked to sum up his journey, Lanse said, “Do you want to feel great, or do you want to eat all the stuff that you want that you think is going to make you feel great…but you’re not going to feel great? Maybe you won’t quit, today, what you know that you need to be quitting, but pick something up that will make yourself a little more active. You’ll feel better, and if you feel better maybe you’ll make some of those changes you need to make.”

To date, Lanse has lost 138 pounds.  (that was as of April…and he has shrunk since then)

Link for the original story at KAAL – which includes a video of the story

Do you have a story to share about your journey?  We would love to share that with others here at The Journey.  For more information e-mail  

Thanks for being part of The Journey!  You can find more stories from others at The Journey here.


Jessica is a mom of three, wife to 1 and is a fitness instructor with Lanse in Rochester, MN.  


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