WEIGHT 240 lbs
BODY FAT 34%
WEIGHT 180 lbs
BODY FAT 10%
The decision to transform started as a need. I was 18 years old and my body fat was 34 percent. I decided to enlist in the U.S. Army and found out I didn't meet the standards—I needed to be 24 percent body fat to enlist. But wouldn't let myself fail.
I started working out with basic weightlifting knowledge from high school. I reduced my food intake and started to eat healthier. It took three months of eating healthy and working out to hit 24 percent body fat. I was amazed that the hard work paid off and how fast I shed fat.
At my first duty station with the U.S. Army, I was 220 pounds and 19 percent body fat, but I wasn't content. To feel confident about my physical performance, I decided to make a complete change and get in the best shape possible. Instead of working out, I started to train my body to fit my desires.
Throughout the next 18 months, I dropped my body fat to 14 percent and my weight to 200 pounds. In April 2012, I injured my leg in a military accident which hindered my ability to train. Walking became a serious task. I rehabilitated my leg for 10 months, but it wasn't the same. In February 2013, I decided to train again and become the best possible me. It was tough because I can't train legs; I can only swim. Carrying weights to the bench was an issue, but I didn't let it slow me down or hinder my ability to train. I adapted and made sure to find a partner to help me.
My transformation had an effect on many people around me. I no longer consider training a task. I surround myself with people who share the same goals and views as me and ask people to train with me. Nutrition played a big part to accomplish my goals.
My life changed immensely since I decided to start training. I'm no longer in the military and am now a college student, which means I have more time to accomplish my goals. I enjoy eating healthy and going to the gym every day. My self-confidence and attitude has never been higher. I had many setbacks in my journey, but I made the correct steps and realized I can accomplish anything with determination, attitude, and support. My mentality has never been higher, and I have bodybuilding to thank.
Accomplishing my goals wasn't easy. The biggest aspect to accomplish my goals was to surround myself with positive people who share my goals. I met my friend, Tyler, in the Army. He provided my motivation and is a big reason I'm here today. I took him to train every day and eventually received daily texts from him asking if we were training after work. It motivated me to be on time so I wouldn't let him or myself down.
Another measure I took to stay motivated was to stay in touch with my lifelong friend, Caleb. He is knowledgeable about anything related to physical fitness. I contacted him regularly to update him on my progress and get advice.
I faced many troubles during my journey. I can't count how many times I wanted to quit. The toughest test was my leg injury. I lost motivation because I loved to train legs and run. It took 10 months to step into a gym to train again. Overcoming a life-changing event isn't easy, but it's possible.
I was seriously inspired one day when I watched a video of someone who had a worse physical impairment than me, and they were accomplishing their goals. I realized I was making excuses and stepped back into the gym the next day.
The most challenging aspect to overcome was nutrition and my leg injury. Nutrition was a battle through trial and error. I read lots and asked for advice to learn to eat properly. My leg injury required physical therapy and the desire to be better. I had to adapt nearly every exercise to accommodate my injured legs.
I plan to continue transforming. I'm nowhere near the ideal version of myself. I also want to become a licensed trainer, which I will work on this fall so I can share everything I learned and motivate others to become their ideal vision. My final fitness plan is to motivate people with injuries and show them how overcome or adapt to them.
- Read. There's a wealth of knowledge out there waiting for you.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Understand what you put into your body and how it will help you.
- Don't be afraid to ask for advice. You will be amazed how many people will help.
- Never quit. You will be proud tomorrow of what you did today.
Bodybuilding.com was a big help to accomplish my goals. A friend told me about the site and its deals on supplements. I couldn't get enough of the forums. I read countless forums on nutrition, exercise, and bodybuilding concepts. I read the articles always find them informative.
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- "Beast Mode" by Jake Miller