WEIGHT 297 lbs
BODY FAT 38%
WEIGHT 196 lbs
BODY FAT 17.5%
Why I Decided To Transform
My journey started over 20 months ago after a routine visit to the doctor's office for a checkup. I had always been healthy and while I had put on weight through the years, I didn't feel bad at all. I thought, "He's going to tell me I need to lose weight I bet, but everything else is going to be fine."
I had never been sick before, never been hospitalized, so I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary during this visit. I was wrong this time. What I was told would change my life forever.
I was told I was a Type II diabetic. This was the same disease that my mother passed away from in 1989. I watched her deteriorate over a 20-year span starting around the age of 45 thru when she passed away at the young age of 65 after suffering miserably from this disease for years. And here I was, sitting in my doctor's office being told I'm diabetic. Ironically, I was 45 years old. History was repeating itself.
In addition to this life-changing news, I just simply did not feel good about myself mentally. I hated any pictures taken of me. I was embarrassed by what I looked like and just didn't want to face myself. My weight was ruling my thinking and taking over my life in more ways than I could ever realize.
Then there were just the physical demands of life. If I went anywhere with the family, I couldn't walk or stand for too long. I would have to sit and rest because my back and my feet just hurt. I had developed back, leg, heel, and just about any other pain you could imagine when I was on my feet too long. On a family vacation in 2011, I sat alone while my family stood in lines themselves because standing for too long hurt me.
Mentally, I was starting to slip into a deep, deep depression because of all of this. I knew the time was NOW to change. I was at a fork in the road and I was either going to be get better or succumb to all of this.
I decided to fight. Today, I no longer have back, leg, or heel pain. I can walk and stand for as long as I wish and I'm starting to feel much better mentally. My self-image has improved a lot and I no longer mind photos being taken of me.
How I Accomplished My Goals
I started to research diabetes to better understand this disease and what I could do to help myself. I didn't want to die. I didn't want my quality of life to deteriorate either. I found numerous websites of sports figures, and even celebrities, that suffered with the disease and anxiously read as many stories as I could find. These stories gave me encouragement and inspiration. This didn't need to be a death sentence I learned.
There was something I could do to control my diabetes and possibly even reverse it. If there was a silver lining in this news, it was that THIS disease may be reversible with a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition.
Then I started to research nutrition, workouts, and fitness. This is not a "suck-up" line here, but I found Bodybuilding.com had a wealth of information all in one website. There were nutrition and workout tips, workout plans, a forum, supplement reviews, and so much more. I also used social networking to connect with people in the fitness industry that had similar stories to mine.
These stories motivated me, inspired me, and helped educate me. Their daily inspirational and motivational posts helped drive me through a tough day when I didn't feel like going to the gym. And of course I had those. I was sore in the beginning. I wanted to quit. It didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.
But then there was the promise. I made a promise to myself and to my family that I would do whatever I could to get healthy. I was going to change my life. I was going to try ANYTHING and EVERYTHING if I had to! And I was going to win!
But to accomplish this goal, I needed to start believing I could do it. I needed to believe in myself. I set out to just lose five pounds. No more. When I accomplished that, it encouraged me to keep going. I lost weight in no more than five pound intervals, never looking at the total 100 pounds I needed to lose.
With each five pounds, my confidence grew. Eventually, I was hooked and competing with myself and family members for the next five pounds. It was a challenge, and I LOVE challenges.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
There were a combination of things that challenged me, but the nutrition part challenged me the most. I started using an online food tracker that broke food down into macronutrients. This really helped.
I would eat in restaurants thinking I was making healthy choices, but when I was able to see the amount of sodium or other fats in certain restaurant food products it really opened my eyes. I had to make tough decisions and just eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked chicken.
Being diabetic, after the first few weeks of eating clean, my body started to have withdrawal systems from a lack of sugars and carbohydrates. I felt weak and my mind was very foggy at times. I could barely think clearly. This was due to my body having to get used to the new, lower levels of sugar. My body really seemed like it was addicted to sugar and I was going through withdrawal very similar to what an addict must go through without his drug.
Luckily for me, I had read about this online prior to experiencing it, so I was prepared and persevered through it. After a few weeks, my body adjusted and got use to its new food chemistry.
My Future Fitness Plans
My next goal in fitness is to inspire and motivate others. I would love to write articles, books, and lecture on diabetes, heart disease, and how a healthy lifestyle can help reverse these diseases.
I know a lot of people have asked me how I did it. The answer is more involved than just a quick response. Maybe putting it all down in writing will provide something hard copy that people can reference and use for weeks or months to help them achieve their goals.
I also plan to continue training. I set a goal to see my six-pack abs by my 50th birthday in 2015. I'm way ahead of schedule to reach that goal, but my 50th birthday will none-the-less be a celebration of health and fitness for sure.
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
Start by believing in yourself. You CAN do it, but you MUST be willing to do the work. If you're not in the shape you want to be in, you're in control of changing it. Most people just have a hard time getting started and then keeping it going.
I'd recommend just starting. Take it one day, and one pound at a time. If you have 100 pounds to lose, don't look any further ahead than five pounds. I never looked to lose more than the next five pounds.
When I reached it, I looked to lose the next five pounds. I repeated this process all the way to a total loss of 101 pounds.
Remember to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Construct your food and workout plans for the week. Get assistance from a trainer or expert if you need the help. Shop for the week and prepare your food in advance. It makes it easy at meal-time.
This makes it much easier to reference when the hectic schedule of the week comes into play. You know what you're eating and when. When life gets busy (and it will) you won't have to think about it. Your meals will be automatic.
There are NO shortcuts. It will take proper nutrition, weight training, and cardio exercise to see the best results. Take your time, this is no marathon. You will not get into shape overnight. Be patient. Work hard. The results will come.
Use the internet and social networking. There are a ton of websites dedicated to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. There are also many people who have been in your shoes and who can inspire and motivate you. Seek them out, listen, and learn.
Most importantly: Hang in there and don't give up. Surround yourself with positive people. Focus on success, however small.
Best of luck! I hope to read YOUR story on these pages one day!
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals by not only supplying me quickly with my supplement needs, but by also providing educational articles, workout plans, and advice from some of the leading people in the fitness industry.
Bodybuilding.com also has great motivational readings, such as these transformation stories, that a person can draw inspiration and motivation from.
Here's how Bodybuilding.com helped me in a nutshell:
- Very quick shipping on supplement products ordered.
- Large inventory of supplements. They carry just about everything you can imagine.
- Provides free workout plans from fitness experts in the industry.
- Provides free nutritional plans.
- Many articles, columns, and stories that are educational.
- Inspirational and motivational readings (Transformations for instance).