Since a kid, I’ve always had a passion for fitness. My love sprouted from playing sports and led me to pursue and obtain a degree in Exercise and Wellness from Arizona State. And, from there, I held a steady career in the Fitness Industry for nearly 15 years. But, just because fitness was my passion, and my career, that doesn’t mean I was immune to the challenges of staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Read on and you’ll appreciate how the story goes.
I would hear it constantly; “You must workout ALL the time since you work in a gym!”. But, here’s the truth… as my career advanced and I was given more responsibility, my hours increased too. Not only that, I became more and more sedentary. As an executive, I was no longer on my feet taking clients through workouts. I was either in my car driving from location to location, or at a desk on my laptop managing operations and sales. So, when my day was done, the last place I wanted to be was at work (the gym) for another hour to workout.
I found my workouts becoming fewer and further in between. I found my food choices becoming more erratic and more “convenient” i.e. fast-food. Slowly, my weight began to climb.
I was’t just changing on the outside. On the inside, I felt depressed, embarrassed and hypocritical. I was leading a team of hundreds of personal trainers who were leading thousands of clients to live healthier and be more fit. Yet, here I was, living my life the opposite.
Then, as if I needed an excuse to exercise less, I sustained a major injury. I ruptured my Achilles tendon. That just about did me in… physically and emotionally. My first week after surgery, I sat on the couch and watched the ENTIRE season of ‘Lost’ on NETFLIX while putting down Digiorno Pizza’s. Doesn’t sound so bad (ha ha), but that pretty much sums up how I spent the next two years. The end result of nearly two years of was what you see (top L pic). I was 248 lbs and 25.5% body-fat.
I decided to make some changes. First, I cleaned up my diet simply by prepping my meals ahead of time. But, more importantly, I began tracking my calories and my macros using My Fitness Pal app. I followed a flexible dieting plan which allowed me to eat the foods I enjoyed, which helped me stick to the plan for the long haul.
Next, committed to working out, 3x week, BEFORE work at 6AM. I loved to lift, but I DESPISED cardio. So, I opted for a HIIT workout protocol with weights. I was seeing results and even I was surprised at how well things were going. 6 months in to it (bottom L pic) I found myself down 40+ lbs and was at 15% body-fat.
At the 6 month mark, I began a “reverse dieting” protocol which was a slow addition of calories back in to my diet to allow my body to acclimate. I followed the reverse protocol for the next 6 months until my calories were back to maintenance. And, as you can see from (R side pic), I actually continued to lose body-fat even while increasing my calories! The final result was 198 lbs and 12% body-fat. I was REALLY pleased with that!
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes which illustrates the universal law of sacrifice: “You may have ANYTHING you want in life, but you may not have EVERYTHING you want. To GET something, you have to GIVE something in return.” What will you give in order to get your optimal state of fit?