Why I decided to transform
Several things influenced me to get started on my transformation. One factor was my wife being in shape. There were also times I would take my kids to the water park and would wear a shirt in the pool out of embarrassment of the size of my stomach.
I couldn't even suck in my stomach, it was so big. I decided I didn't want to continue down the path of several of my overweight co-workers, and decided to take advantage of my work providing a free membership to a local gym, which included a free personal trainer.
How I accomplished my goals
People always ask how I did it. I tell them that it takes dedication, discipline, and determination. Patience and hard work are also needed. When I was younger I played sports, was in the military, and hated to exercise; I was pretty much forced to. Once I started and began to see a difference though, it became an addiction and I couldn't get enough.
There were plenty of challenges, work being a major one, with long hours, being on-call 24/7, and no set schedule. Working nights and weekends had me stopping at fast-food restaurants or gas stations and being tempted to buy junk food. With determination, I started preparing my meals in advance. I now make small portions, label them, and freeze them, so that when I go to work I can just grab them and go. I do the same with healthy snacks by prepping them in advance in snack-size Ziploc bags.
Just like most people, I also have to have time for family and other responsibilities. I make the effort to continue with my regimen though. Time is limited, but I make time. No excuses! If I can do it, anyone can.
What aspect challenged me the most
The aspect that challenged me the most was trying to get in the cardio and leg day workouts with bad knees. I started out with very light weights and high reps and built the muscles around my knees and made them stronger over time.
There was also a lot of trial and error before I started using Bodybuilding.com, which caused frustration and more time to pass before I started to achieve my goals.
My future fitness plans
My fitness goals include getting more defined abs, and to work on lagging parts, such as my forearms and calves.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Regarding nutrition, I recommend drinking plenty of water and eating small portions several times a day of high-protein, low-calorie whole foods. I also recommend sleeping 7-8 hours each night, with an afternoon nap, if possible.
Other things that helped me succeed were keeping a log of food, sleep, workouts, water, and anything else that affected my outcome for the day, and changing my workout often. I switched up the equipment used, body parts, sets, reps, speed, rest, etc.
I also used many different programs on Bodybuilding.com for change-ups, even taking different programs and combining them to create a workout of my own. My favorites are MFT28 and 6 Week Shortcut to Shred.
Be sure to take pictures of yourself and post them on your mirror to see every day progress. Measure yourself, start out slow, pace yourself, and have patience.
Stay off of the scale, and pay attention to your body; don't compare yourself to what someone else is doing. Just improve and do your best every workout. Build Up, Stay Up!
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com helped me achieve my goals by providing so much free information on nutrition, workout routines, and discounts on supplements. In my opinion, no matter what your goals are, Bodybuilding.com has the most accurate and informative free information on the web.
I'm not the strongest or the biggest, but I feel great and like the way I look, and my confidence is high. For me, at 43 years old, it's all about proportions and being healthy and fit.