Name: Stephen Staiano
Location: New York
Why I decided to transform
I was overweight throughout high school and had low self-esteem. I had many close friends during these years but hated going to the beach or doing anything that involved taking off my shirt.
I hated how I looked and it impacted lots of fun memories during school. I can't say I didn't have fun, but seeing photos the next day always made me feel terrible.
I didn't feel comfortable in my own body and knew it was time for a change.
How I accomplished my goals
Starting off was difficult, but it became easier after a few weeks. I counted calories with an app on my phone, set an 1,800-calorie goal, and stuck to it religiously. Some days I'd be a bit under my goal but never over.
I never thought about quitting because I didn't deprive myself of all foods that I like. I ate healthy yet still had calories saved for a snack.
I took photos every few weeks which helped me stay motivated. Although I didn't see a difference when I looked in the mirror, the photos showed progress and it fueled my drive to lean out.
My best friends supported me and it made a big difference. Having people believe in me and speak positively was a huge boost.
What aspect challenged me the most
The hardest part was cutting down on eating. I was going to the gym regularly but didn't check my diet at all and ate entirely too much without realizing. When I started counting calories, I discovered my mistake.
My future fitness plans
I plan to continue building the body of my dreams for years to come. It will consist of more bulking and cutting phases, but I'm just glad I made it this far.
I'm interested in competing and can see shows becoming a primary goal in a few years.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Make little changes at first and don't do anything drastic. This action plan will make living healthy attainable. Don't think of dieting in a short-term frame of mind; view it as a lifestyle change. Don't do anything that you can't stick to for the rest of your life.
Losing weight is a long but incredibly worthwhile journey. Keep working hard and you'll achieve your goals. I never thought I'd make it this far, but I'm glad I stuck it out.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com helped by providing meal replacement bars and protein powder for great prices. Without the bars and protein powder, it would've been much harder to get the calories and protein I needed daily.
I also enjoy reading articles from people who won contests. Seeing others accomplish goals was a huge factor to help me accomplish mine.
Stephen's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Believe Me" by Fort Minor
- "Shoulda Known" by Childish Gambino
- "Sky Is The Limit" by Rebelution
- "Get It" by Fort Minor
- "R.I.P" by Childish Gambino (Feat. Bun B)