Name: Dominique Mitchell
Location: Seattle, Washington
Why I decided to transform
Going into high school, I didn't want to be the fat kid anymore, so I tried lots of fad diets that never lasted more than a month. I skipped gym class every day my freshman year so I wouldn't have to run.
As a junior, I was forced to take weight training class. I was intimidated, but the teacher, who later became my mentor, pushed me like no one had before. I ended up taking the class two more times.
I quit working out after high school graduation. In college, I had a doughnut with a huge energy drink before my morning classes and put on more weight. It got to the point where I put a hold on my education to lose weight. I wanted to come back skinny. A month later, I was helping my grandmother pack, weighed myself, saw the scale tip 290 pounds, and thought it couldn't be right. I thought it was old or broken.
For the next month, I went to a fast food restaurant and ate three chicken sandwiches and three burgers every other night. The lower back pain, bad shins, and inability to function properly were the final straw. I started working out at home because I was too embarrassed to go to a gym. With no job and school, I had plenty of time to change. Sticking to a diet I could afford was difficult and I worked with minimal equipment.
Two months into working out five days per week, I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations, but it didn't stop me from working out. I took it easy for the next week and got back to it. In eight months, I lost 130 pounds and weighed 170 pounds. It took a year to maintain a steady 166 pounds. I reapplied for school and went back, but soon realized I had a passion for fitness and scraped my major. I shifted my interest, came across new workouts, and signed up for a gym membership in July 2012.
It was tough for the first three months and I put on 22 pounds of good and bad weight. There was loose skin on my stomach that prevented me from taking my shirt off. I looked into the men's physique division and scoured for help.
In December 2012, I started lifting serious weight to train for a competition in March 2013. I never missed a workout and the results showed. My skin tightened and I achieved the body I wanted.
How I accomplished my goals
When I first started, I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition or exercise. I only knew what carbs and fats were. I started researching online and read books to learn what to do. Three years later, I feel like I finally understand fitness.
There were days I felt like giving up or didn't want to get up, but I stayed focused with discipline and patience. That became my motto and still is. With discipline, patience, and focus, you can do anything.
What aspect challenged me the most
There were lots of challenges along the way, including relationship and personal problems, but I always remembered why I started. All of my stress was taken out inside the gym. Seeing results made it much easier, but it's all about patience.
My future fitness plans
I hope to be a fitness model, sponsored athlete, men's physique IFBB pro, and start a personal training and nutrition team.
I also want to sculpt my body to look exactly how I want it. I decided to take the entire 2014 season off and expect major changes to my physique.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Three words: discipline, patience, and focus. Fitness is a patience game. Nothing happens overnight. You have to discipline yourself to eat correctly and do what you set out to do. The feeling is indescribable. Focus on yourself.
It's easy to follow people on social networks and compare yourself to them, but you can't do that. They've been training for years.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com helped in so many ways. The product reviews, articles, and athlete photos are amazing. My first workout plan was Steve Cook's Big Man On Campus and I loved it. There's unlimited free information at your disposal that helped me learn almost everything I know today.
Dom's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Crown" by Jay-Z
- "All Me" by Drake
- "Racked Up Shawty" by Meek Mill
- "Work (Remix)" by A$AP Ferg
- "Go Hard Or Go Home" by E-40