In October 2009, Joshua Aurelius was involved in a car accident that left him with a severe spinal injury. To fix the damaged vertebrae, surgeons subjected him to a 2-level spinal fusion in his lower lumbar in 2010. He was out of commission for several months.
Depression and weight gain followed. At his lowest point, Joshua weighed more than 230 pounds with 30 percent body fat.
His rehabilitation was strenuous, but it worked. He regained strength in his back. Then a friend told him about the 12-week BSN Elite Physique Transformation Challenge on Bodybuilding.com. Being a competitive person, Joshua went all in.
Joshua began the program weighing 221 pounds with 30 percent body fat. When the 12 weeks finished, he was down to 176 and 9 percent. Now, the 39-year-old feels like he's 25 again, and his back pain has greatly diminished.
The contest helped Joshua create and sustain healthy habits. He can safely play with his four children and fully enjoy his beautiful wife of five years, Christina.
For Joshua, the future looks bright. He's currently studying psychology and biology at Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and will graduate this year. Then he plans to begin a master's program focusing on diet and nutrition. He plans to test his body's true potential at a bodybuilding competition in June.
Joshua's Top 5 Motivational Tips
If you set a goal to complete 30 minutes of cardio, do the full 30 minutes! There were countless times that I wanted to stop at 28 minutes, but I didn't want to cheat myself. Set a goal and stick to it!
Tell people about your goals and they will ask you how things are going. It's motivating when someone recognizes and congratulates you on your progress.
"No Excuses!" I could've easily failed after doctors told me over and over again that I'm 42-percent disabled. Find what's holding you back and use it to fuel you!
I'm in the best shape of my life at 39-years old. The motivation that comes from how I feel inside and out is so hard to describe, but a 1-word description sums it up best: Fire!
Plan ahead, make meals early and get good workouts in. Pack workout clothes with you so you can go straight to the gym after work. When you get home from a long day it's hard to find motivation to go to the gym. Eliminate this problem by not going home until the real work is done!