Weight: 250 lbs
Body Fat: 36%
Weight: 160 lbs
Body Fat: 5%
Why I Got Started
My workplace offered a bonus in paycheck if we were to do something significant for our health and fitness. After a check up I was told I had extremely high cholesterol and my weight problem was making it difficult on my heart.
I was having a hard time just going up one flight of stairs and was needing to stop to catch my breath. In 3 months I dropped my weight to 190 lbs and in another 3 months dropped it down to 175 lbs and joined a 1/2 marathon.
In August 2007 the right side of my body began to freeze up with pain, becoming almost non-functional. My muscles became so tight and rigid with pain that I couldn't walk without losing balance. My right arm had an uncontrollable tremor.
I had to quit my regular job and my Gold's Gym job and was mainly at home squirming on the floor in great pain from muscular stiffness and rigidity. Finally, after 8 doctors and 2 neurologists, I was diagnosed on April 1st 2008 with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 41.
| Parkinson's Disease:
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills, speech, and other functions. Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement (bradykinesia) and a loss of physical movement (akinesia) in extreme cases.
The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems.
My fitness level had greatly decreased and the news sent me into a depression for several months. After that I decided to rehabilitate myself through this disease and get fit once again.
My progress went from not being able to walk on the treadmill to running at athletic advanced settings on treadmill programs interval of 8 and 9mph with high inclines. Weight training was the most difficult as the pain in my right arm and shoulder was so intense.
I have pulled through the pain and came back to a fitness level that's even stronger and fitter than prior to being diagnosed. I am back to work and also as a fitness instructor and with Parkinson's tremor I'm clearly a motivating mover and a shaker!
Click Image To Enlarge.
I Am Back To A Fitness Level That's Even Stronger
And Fitter Than Prior To Being Diagnosed.
How I Did It
I followed the exercise program and eating habits that I learned from Body for Life in 2003. Today I shock my body with various programs and intensities. I still like the HIIT patterns for cardio that I learned in Body for Life.
I also have a treadmill that keeps me advancing each session. My training sessions with this treadmill are now an hour long and very intense. I'm at a professional athletic training stage in the program.
I follow a program of eating whole-grains, vegetables, and lean proteins. I recently discovered that I am highly gluten intolerant, so wheat, rye, barley, etc. aren't included in my diet. I use a lot of rice and corn meal to make traditional dishes like bread, pancakes, and pasta.
During resistance training I follow a pyramid scheme starting with high reps and low weight to warm-up, then move on to low reps with high weight.
Suggestions For Others
We are in control of our fitness. As long as we set our minds and determination towards fitness and do it despite any obstacles that we can use as an excuse (even a legitimate excuse such as Parkinson's), we give our bodies no choice but to become fit and healthy.