| AGE 21
WEIGHT 120 lbs
| AGE 27
WEIGHT 178 lbs
Why I Decided To Transform
When I was a senior in high school, I had no goals or aspirations to make anything of myself. I planned to work for my father in the family business. After graduation, I enrolled in a nearby college, but dropped out because I was intimidated and not motivated. No one in my family ever attended college and it wasn't expected of me either. I just wanted to cruise my way through life.
I was a college dropout and found myself bored, disorganized, unhappy, and with low self-esteem. The hypoglycemia I battled my whole life had gotten much worse, my diet was terrible, and the doctor informed me that I was on a path toward diabetes if I didn't improve my diet. I also found myself yearning for structure and some sort of outlet for my emotions. This culminated in my decision to make fitness/bodybuilding a new part of my life.
I joined Bodybuilding.com and learned everything I needed to know—from proper nutrition and supplementation to how to exercise properly.
I spent months reading articles and becoming motivated. What I didn't know at that moment was that this "hobby" would entirely change my life and the person I was to become.
After one year of gaining self-confidence through bodybuilding, I felt empowered to make the next big change in my life, which was to leave the family business and become the first member of my family to acquire a college degree.
As a first generation college student, I was absolutely petrified of school, especially since I was a sub-par high school student. Additionally, I was still only around 125 pounds, which didn't help my self-confidence on campus.
I used the core principles instilled in me by Bodybuilding.com and I came up with the "I = CAN" equation and attitude (where I is the Impact, C is Consistency, A is Aspirations, and N is Never give up) and applied it to every challenge in my life.
I wrote "I = CAN" at the top of all my college notebooks and used it as backgrounds on my cell phone screen. It was a simple way to approach daunting problems and conquer them. This profoundly simple equation allowed me to embrace every challenge in my life as an opportunity. Equipped with the fundamentals from Bodybuilding.com and my "I = CAN" equation/attitude, I excelled in academics and fitness and never looked back.
I went on to graduate summa cum laude with additional highest honors and a 4.0 GPA, be my class graduation speaker, win numerous outstanding senior awards, and publish multiple scientific papers. I went on to excel in my graduate studies, maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA, win awards for academic performance, and win a graduate student instructor award. I achieved my academic accomplishments while transforming my body.
When I began, I was around 120 pounds, and when I finished I weighed about 181 pounds. I remained lean throughout the entire process. I contribute my academic and fitness success to Bodybuilding.com and I want to somehow pay it forward (please don't hesitate to hit me up on BodySpace and ask me questions).
In addition to helping me with academics and fitness, I used the same mentality for my personal life, which has led to a very fruitful and prosperous life with a happy marriage. Along the way, I helped and inspired friends, family members, and other members at my school gyms. I regularly have phone calls, texts, or emails from family and friends about fitness, nutrition, academics, or some combination of the three.
My wife, Amanda Garzio-Hadzick, was also influenced by my transformation. My newly found ideologies imparted by Bodybuilding.com bolstered her academic, health, and fitness success as well. She maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, won numerous outstanding senior awards, spoke at graduation with me, won an outstanding graduate student instructor award, and published multiple scientific papers. She was elated by the benefits of proper nutrition and exercise programs and has been living a happier and healthier life since my transformation.
My transformation dramatically changed my life and who I am today. I consistently use my "I = CAN" attitude to do my very best and help others. My transformation has led me to be a happy, healthy, successful, and optimistic individual working in a career of environmental science - a field I'm very interested in and passionate about.
My hypoglycemia has been under control for years now and my health has never been better. I can't begin to fathom where I'd be today if I didn't find Bodybuilding.com and change my life.
How I Accomplished My Goals
The key to my life-altering transformation was education, my "I = CAN" equation/attitude, and my ability to surround myself with supportive people. The newfound energy, self-confidence, discipline, and positive attitude I had from bodybuilding allowed me to fervently focus on learning everything I could to be successful in school and the gym.
There surely were days that I had doubts—I think everyone does. What allowed me to overcome and conquer my doubts, challenges, and plateaus was my "I = CAN" attitude. I know it sounds trivial and silly, but it's an amazing way to operationalize daunting challenges and work toward solving them. I highly encourage everyone to give it a try.
I certainly gathered inspiration from Bodybuilding.com, but I also had tremendous inspirational support from my wife, family, and friends. That's why I believe it's pivotal to surround yourself with the right people in life. I was fortunate to see all 50 of the United States and still manage to work out at different gyms across the country.
I owe so much of that to the wonderful support of my loving wife. She helped me find local gyms I could lift at in the mornings before sightseeing and also helped me piece together creative yet healthy snacks and meals so I could stay on my diet!
Supplements That Helped Me Through The Journey
Over the years, I tried various kinds of supplements, but here is a list of the ones that I felt gave me noticeable results.
Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation
My diet is always changing. I regularly switch up the types of food I eat, but here is my current meal plan. Calories in my diet come from approximately 41 percent carbs, 36 percent protein, and 23 percent fat. I regularly switch up my protein sources. Anywhere I list chicken, I regularly substitute turkey, salmon, tuna, eggs, and sometimes beef or pork.
I always keep in mind where my food comes from. Because I'm in the field of environmental science, I'm very cognizant of sustainability; therefore, I always do my best to buy locally sourced meat, eggs, milk, and produce. I was a vegetarian for nearly five years of my transformation.
Carbs (I change up the carb source for various kinds of shakes)
Training Regimen That Kept Me On Track
My workout routine, like my diet, is always changing. Here's an example of what I do now. I incorporate cardio 3-5 times a week. Cardio entails jogging, basketball, rowing, or use of the elliptical machine. I change my workout routine often.
I'll change the exercises, number of sets/reps, and alter rest periods. I believe you need to keep changing things up to get continuous results. My rest days vary depending on how I feel.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
The most challenging aspect of my transformation was being new to bodybuilding and college. I didn't know what to expect, how I was going to perform, and what I was doing; I was really scared and intimidated.
I overcame these challenges by focusing on my long-term goals and seeking help from others. For school, I'd seek guidance from the professors or teaching assistants, and for lifting I'd ask gym buddies and reference Bodybuilding.com. It's amazing how much professors enjoy talking about their subject and how much people in the gym love to help beginners.
It's crucial to get over your ego and remember to tell yourself "I = CAN!" In both academics and bodybuilding you have to take the challenges one step at a time. You will have some bad days in the gym, poor performances on exams, or fall of your diet, but remember to do your best, stay consistent, and never give up!
My Future Fitness Plans
I'm seriously considering entering a competition sometime in the future. In the meantime, I sincerely want to help others in their fitness and academics aspirations. I really encourage people to reach out to me and ask me questions about balancing school, work, and the gym. I've gone through it myself and realize how hard it is to do alone. I would love to be able to provide guidance and tips to individuals in similar situations.
As I get older, my goal is to maintain some of my athletic accomplishments, like a 45-inch vertical leap and a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. I'd also like to get my one-rep max for bench-press back up to 300 pounds. Lastly, over the next few years I'd like to put on more lean mass.
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
You might not be the best, but you can be your best. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but it's important to recognize what they are so that you can seek help for your weaknesses and excel at your strengths.
My biggest piece of advice would be to not dwell on the details. Far too often I read or hear about people having panic attacks because they missed a workout or meal and completely fall apart. Forgive yourself and move on. My advice would be to keep your eye on the prize and remember the "I = CAN" equation/attitude. Patience and consistency is key and if you work hard enough you'll surely achieve your goals!
For those who are already transforming, "congratulations, stick with it, and never give up." Bodybuilding is a positive feedback cycle—it's one of the many reasons I love it. The more you work at it, the more results you see, and the more driven you become.
Be reflective and always re-evaluate. Whether it's in school or bodybuilding, there is always room to incorporate something new into your routine. In school, I tried different methods of studying and then evaluated if the technique was best for the exam. In bodybuilding, I'm constantly trying new exercises and combinations of exercises with different numbers of reps and weight to see what gives me the best results.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com helped me in so many ways, but the single most valuable and beneficial aspect was undoubtedly the articles. I cannot put into words how much knowledge, motivation, and inspiration I acquired from the Bodybuilding.com articles.
There is always something new to learn, so I like to keep an open mind. It's easy to think all the answers are out there and that you know them all; that's certainly not the case. I'm always willing to change my diet or routine based on the latest science.
As I mentioned earlier, Bodybuilding.com, allowed me to come up with the "I = CAN" equation and attitude and apply it to every single challenge in my life.
Along with bolstering my confidence and equipping me with my "I = CAN" attitude, Bodybuilding.com has also showed me how to properly perform a seemingly endless amount of exercises while also providing me with fast, reliable, and affordable products.
I can't thank Bodybuilding.com enough for all they've done for me. I genuinely hope my story helps to inspire and motivate all who read it. Please don't hesitate to hit me up with questions and remember "I = CAN!"
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