Live With Intention. Train With Purpose.
I am a husband, a father (to a teenage daughter), an employee at a great company and a business owner. My interests are reading (about a variety of topics such as true crime, history, business) traveling and relaxing at home with my family.
My back story starts at the age of two when I was diagnosed with “Wilms” tumor – a kidney cancer that a low percentage of toddlers develop. In order to save my life, I had to have my right kidney removed. Surgery at that age, meant an incision to half of my body instead of the small area that most adults experience. There began my uphill battle with health and fitness. I had to go through chemo which caused me to lose a drastic amount of weight. Then, as I got better I began to gain weight rapidly. I was considered “husky” throughout my childhood, straight into JR High. It was during my preteen years that I began to notice that I had above average strength for my age. My dad had weights around and I would lift them every once in a while. When I hit 7th grade, I was able to bench 185lbs, 8th grade 230lbs and 9th grade I hit 275lbs without any serious training. At the age of 15 however, my best friend and I both lost our fathers. It was then that we turned to lifting weights seriously and it was a great outlet for our grief. My weight at that time was around 225lbs. As I moved through high school my weight climbed to 275lbs. I played football and competed in a few high school weightlifting meets which I won. After high school I continued to lift weights and compete in power lifting meets while in College. Just before I graduated College, I weighed 300lbs. That realization sparked my first successful journey with weight loss. I dropped down to 242lbs which I maintained for almost two years.
Around this time I met my former wife and I started to relax. By the time we were married I proceeded to gain the 50+ lbs that I had lost. Shortly after this my daughter was born. With the passage of time I continued my descent into a “relaxed” state of being, with poor eating habits, and eating out. That period lasted thirteen years. In 2002 my former wife and I went through a stressful divorce, and I became a single father. My priority then (as it is now) was to provide my daughter with a stable home environment. Sadly, I paid little attention to my health. I still lifted weights off and on and that proved to be the saving grace in preventing the onset of diabetes. After meeting and marrying my current wife, we both just kind of woke up one day and spoke candidly about our physical conditions. We looked in the mirror, didn’t like what we saw and decided then and there to make changes. We prayed about it and started taking immediate steps the next day. I weighed in at 335lbs when we started. Fortunately for us I read a lot of muscle magazines. Between that information and the knowledge gained while training with a few national/pro bodybuilders and power lifters, I was able to experiment with a variety of diet and training approaches. Through trial and error a low carb meal plan is what worked best. We both lost over 100lbs each by the following year, while weight training, practicing Bikram Yoga, and doing various cardio activities.
Being able to experience this journey together with my wife has been the ultimate blessing through out all of this. Sometimes, couples can be on a different page as it pertains to health goals. In our situation, we approached it as a team. When I’m feeling lazy, she inspires me and vice versa. It has created a stronger spiritual bond between us, and we both feel more confident, stronger and happier. We give all thanks and glory to God for giving us the strength to get through the times when we might have wanted to quit. Our journey started with a prayer; God answered, and we are forever thankful.
That we are on the same page nutritionally, is also a plus. We’re so in tune with each other that we can go grocery shopping individually and practically mimic each others selections for the week. We subscribe to the KISS principle of keeping it simple; meaning, protein, veggie, good fats, fruits and some starches depending on training day. We never have problems maintaining our eating plan because our motto is “Always keep a protein source ready for use!” No really, just having a protein source readily available makes it easy to prepare a meal around it. This is where most people run into problems. When you have nothing prepared to eat, and you’re hungry – bad things happen. The other thing that remains a constant (because I have one kidney) I must manage the amount of protein that I consume; as well as watch my sodium closely or I’ll retain a lot of water. The surgery that I went through as a child altered the circulation in my left leg, and ultimately this led to my calf swelling (because of a blood clot) back in 2011. I had to be hospitalized for five days, and that was enough of a reminder for me to stay in tune with my body.
We currently train three days a week in our garage gym, On a Push/Legs/Pull rotation, the other 3 days we do cardio/interval cardio/ heavy bag, cross fit/circuit type training & rest 1 day a week. The supplements we take are Omega’s, COQ10 and Nitrean protein powder. BCAA’s are also a staple for me and a great alternative to high protein intake because it doesn’t have to be broken down and digested, it goes straight to my muscle. I can’t recall any setbacks to being fit thankfully. We have been able to maintain our weight loss by utilizing one cheat day per week to eat items we don’t normally consume during the week. Knowing that we have one day to “relax” a little keeps us from cutting loose on the other days.
Now that we’ve achieved our target weight (my current weight is 222-226lbs) I’d like to continue to lower my body fat and improve my overall body composition. When you lose this much weight, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to lose strength. Who knew? So now that my strength levels are coming back I’m starting to get the itch to start competing in a couple of bench press, power lifting meets again, just for fun.
To the naysayers out there perceived and real that would love for us to fail, to gain our weight back, we see you. You fuel us daily. Many of our friends have been supportive, however we have taken note of a handful that exist that would love for nothing more than for us to backslide. This truth, along with being a good role model for our daughter, is a great point of focus, and we’d like to show her that anything can be done with God and putting her mind to it.
Before you start your fitness journey pray first. Then set out to gain as much knowledge as you can about nutrition and exercise. Once you have that knowledge, if you ever find the need to lose weight, you already know what you need to do. Find support, seek motivation. We started www.transformationpics.com as a site for those who are seeking guidance, inspiration, and connectivity to someone who has gone through what they’re going through now. There are over 50 success stories on the site, with various ways & means used to achieve results. Find a story that’s close to your own and seek to duplicate some of the steps that person used to achieve great results. Remember every choice that you make has an end result.
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