Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

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Fitness isn’t about a crunch or a pushup. It’s about taking your power back!

The person that I am today would not recognize the person that I used to be if you placed him in a line up with 4 other “ME” look-a-likes.  That is an absolute blessing.  From what I can gather, there are more than a handful of people around my age that hit the proverbial mid-life crisis mode seemingly all at the same time. To say that I joined them in that journey would probably only be half the story.

My crisis was pretty much my entire adolescent life right into my 30’s.  Here is the funny thing about that.  Not many people would have noticed because I hid it really well until the split came between my wife and I.  I hit rock bottom with a thud.  I know many of the readers also hide their pain, anguish and disappoint. More on that later.  The man I am today loves the reflection that peers at him in the mirror every morning.  The man I am today welcomes the sunrise by opening my blinds the night before so it is one of the first magnificent things I see in the morning.  The man I am today cares about his health and his body but more importantly his mind and his emotions.  The recent changes I have made in my life has also brought on many new interests and hobbies.  I love photography, and carry my camera every where I go.  I’m still a huge sports fan and will probably still get neurotic around football season.  However there are so many wonderful things manifesting in my life right now from starting a new business in the next few months, mentoring others through the darkness of their lives (Me! A life coach, who would have thought), to taking my mother in and making my home her home.  The only thing that I feel is an obligation in my life now is to live it full of happiness, joy, health and unconditional love for any and everyone that crosses my path.  To find the BLISS in life and get swept away in it every opportunity that I have.

It was not always this way.  I have a pretty huge extended family.  I am also a product of a fractured home and re-mended family.  I was the baby of four brothers and one sister for a long time, then my little brother came along ten years later.  Too confusing to draw all the lines in. My parents divorced early in my life and then my father remarried a family friend and her family became our family as well.  Needless to say that relationship ended in a pretty nasty divorce that forced me and one of my siblings to go live at my Grandmothers in Miami until the dust settled over.  My wonderful grandmother on my mother’s side (Grandma Stella) was and is an angel or as near as a saint that I have ever seen walk the face of this earth.  But she was a saint with rules, a belt and a bible.  Lets just say as a kid I never listened to the first (rules) all the time and received the second (belt) and third (the bible) on a regular basis.  I grew up as an alter boy in the catholic church and I remember many times when the Priest would say those all too familiar words “Do this In Memory Of Me” then he’d wait for me to ring the bell and I would be over on the side with the other alter boys goofing around and not paying attention.  I would spend a good majority of my childhood grounded or in some type of trouble. Still are very pleasant memories. We were brought up on Soul Food.  Meat and potatoes, Ham hocks, Chit’lins, Collard Greens, Mac and Cheese, Corn Bread, Sweet Potato Pies.  Not exactly the cleanest way of eating but my Grandmother always made sure all of the kids (my cousins stayed over all the time) were in activities or forced to play outside until the street lights came on.  I started playing football then to stay out of trouble and didn’t stop until my senior year in high school.  We always had family cookouts and worrying about food, calories, processed verses unprocessed foods was never even heard of.  We ate hearty, played a lot and most of the kids never suffered childhood obesity in my family.  Then again, video games were just making their way into mainstream America and didn’t have its hooks into us yet! Those were the good times.  It got inevitably darker after that.

I later chose to live with my mother and the Judge would not split me and my older brother up so he had to go live with my mother as well.  She had a really hard time getting past the divorce.  Actually, she still hasn’t gotten past it truth be told.  That led to us bouncing around from place to place. Finally settling down in San Antonio, Texas in what I would not exactly call “Section 8” housing but it had all of the familiar symptoms of  “Section 8” housing with the crack-heads and broke down cars. Life was rough, free lunch kid, working at 14 and barely getting by all the way through my senior year.  I stayed busy though, with football, track and baseball when I wasn’t running the streets.  So I was always fit in high school.  The coaches tried to put me on multiple weight gaining programs but I did not have the heart to tell them that I couldn’t even afford to eat the amount of calories they wanted me to intake.  So I just got by.  College….well it was a blur filled with fun, crazy times and lots of debauchery and lets just say I’m surprised and fortunate I made it out alive!  Next Subject!

I was never really passionate about fitness when I was young.  I guess you could say I was blessed with good genes because I could eat any and everything and then drink a six pack and not gain an ounce.  I was always active and I guess it somehow balanced out. My awareness and passion came after my metabolism decided to pack it’s bags and head off to Italy or some where far far away. When I hit 27, I packed on 25lbs before I even noticed.  I went from the really skinny kid to filling out the way I always wanted to; but it didn’t stop there.  For some reason it never clicked in my head that, “Yo Stat, you know this weight isn’t going to stop piling on if you keep doing what you’re doing – right?”  In a matter of 3 years I went from 145-150lbs to 200lbs. Holy Crap! My passion for fitness was sparked when the reality set in that I had hit 200lbs. Like everyone else in the mainstream I grabbed all the fitness magazines, celebrity health books (the LL Cool J book was pretty good in hindsight) and jumped on every fad diet I could get my hands on.  I lost pounds and when I stopped the weight would come right back.  I yo-yo dieted for the next 6 years never losing more than 10-15lbs at a time.   When it was all said and done I weighed 226lbs. More than I started with. The heaviest I had ever been in my life. At 5’8 and a half, what the hell was I thinking?!?

Today, fitness and healthy living is such a pivotal part of my life that I am amazed I survived this long without it being the staple of my well being.  I walk daily now at least 2 to 3 miles weather permitting.  I hit the gym or do something in house to get my heart rate up as much as I can during the week.  I choose the best option of foods to eat that I have available but I don’t make myself crazy over watching each and every calorie.  Just generally track my calories. I also introduced meditation which I believe was the single solitary thing that has made my transformation possible.

“The body does not go where the mind does not lead it”

Not having a clear mind, a relaxed mind, a peaceful mind I feel would have made it easy for me to stop doing the things that were important for my overall health.  It’s as simple as loving myself completely unconditionally for who I am right now, to who I will be in my mind’s future.  It’s so important for all of us to lock into that mindset before ever making any goals and pushing like crazy to achieve them.  You have to be aligned with your goals mentally and physically before you will ever see the results that you strive towards.  My everyday goal is so simple:  “Every Day, In Every Way, I Am Getting Better and Better.”  My goals ascend as I ascend to just be a better overall person in every category. It does however turn out to work both ways because feeling healthy and being full of energy allows your mind to think more clear and sometimes twice as fast.

It’s always good to have a support system around you.  Family, close friends, workout group of your peers.  I have always been fortunate to have the greatest family and friends around me who always have supported me in my decisions whether they were idiotic or not.  I think however in today’s culture the emphasis on this support system has caused a false premise to be made into a belief.  It is that belief that often trips up many people.  For me, while a support system is good to have, maybe even important depending on where you are mentally and emotionally, it’s not a necessity.  When we couple ourselves so tightly to our support system we tend to allow their beliefs, likes, dislikes and philosophy to imprint on and cloud our own judgment.  We often find ourselves acting out of obligation to another instead of being internally driven.  This creates conflict within ourselves which just forms another road block you must maneuver around while you still work towards achieving your goal.  You should always be your most important Support System.  You should always check with yourself first to see if something is right for you.  Your emotions are the only guidance system you ever need.  it will always steer you towards what will ultimately make you happy in life.  At the end of the day, the decisions made are only for you to live not others.  However, when you are completely happy, free spirited and filled with love, everyone around you benefits including your support group. You may even realize that you have the power to influence them to find themselves and make a change FOR THEMSELVES. What has been most rewarding for me is now people gravitate to me from all different walks of life and I am having such and amazing time interacting, learning and sharing with these wonderful people like Shay and the team at Socially Fit.

However to get to the place that I now am, I had so many obstacles to get over.  The funny thing is that every single obstacle was placed in front of me by myself.  I think that was the hardest thing to get over.  To come to the realization that I was my own worst enemy.  Sure I had a disjointed childhood, and yes I live in a time was we were completely flat broke and had to come home to eviction notices on the door.  However, I used all of the short comings in my life as excuses not to get to where I knew I deserved to be.  I also brought a lot of the baggage into my relationships and thus effecting other peoples lives as well as my own.  So when I look back over my entire journey, my hardest obstacle was loving myself, trusting myself and believing in myself.  I was always very sarcastic even if I put a humorous twist on it.  I had low self esteem, self defeating thoughts and depression.  I felt unworthy and sometimes even a failure, especially after my marriage broke down. I resorted to drinking heavily all of the time.  8am in the morning was a great time for a beer on the weekend and I would drink until the sun tucked itself into bed and the moon came out to party.  Non Stop.  It even started to blend into my work week which left me dragging and uninspired at work.  I swear, If you can lock down these three virtues in your life (love yourself, trust yourself, believe in yourself), your life will be become infinitely better in just a short amount of time.  There is a saying, I’m not sure first coined it, that it goes:  “If you can not change the situation that you are in, then change your perspective on the situation.”  It might sound a bit cliche, but there is a positive in every situation, and I think it is your absolute benefit to spend all of your energy searching only for that positive silver lining and not laboring over negativity that often blinds us.

Once you can do that, then your goals and aspirations become so much more obtainable.  I use to hate running with a passion.  I mean really really hate it.  Kicking, screaming, slobbering you get the picture.  One day, I decided that I was going to change my perspective on running.  I was going to play a game or movie in my head as I ran that had a purpose and a meaning so that I was not senselessly running for no reason once so ever.  I realized that running actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.  It didn’t get any easier but my feeling towards it was much more favorable now. Once I got the taste of enjoyment from running, especially when you finish and all the energy is just coursing through your body, and your covered in sweat and you know that you accomplished something good today, its such a shot of confidence that you want to get out and do it again as soon as you can.  This lead me to the goal I that I never saw myself ever even attempting let alone doing. That goal was to run a 5K marathon.  I am happy to announce that early this year, I accomplished that goal and ran the whole thing non-stop and even beat a few of my friends that run marathons on a regular basis!  I got my first 5K medallion and it hangs from my rear view mirror and I look at it every day.  Never again will I tell myself that I can not do something.  What a tremendous feeling that was!  It only fuels you to want to do more.  I also had a goal to get from 226 lbs back down to 180 lbs in 6 months.  Two weeks ago, I also eclipsed that goal and I am not sitting at 179 lbs.  The lightest I have been in over 10 years.  So along with what seems to be life long dream to get my six pack abs back, my new fitness goal is to run the Tough Mudder in November 2014 and get down to a solid 170 lbs even.  I could have run the Spartan or the other 5K races but why do those, when I can challenge myself to tackle the behemoth!

So I really start training next week.  I will continue to walk 2 to 3 miles a day.  I will restart my Insanity Program from the start and I will hit the gym about 3 days a week to start off with.  I’ll listen to my body and then adjust day by day and week by week.  I love to juice (vegetable and fruit juicing people, not the needles) and if any of you haven’t tried juicing I heavily recommend it.  It was an important factor in my dramatic weight loss.  I will substitute a juice for one of my meals 3 times a week, eat as clean as I can and just enjoy the journey.  I mix in plenty of salads and I eat chicken a lot!  I have actually cut out almost all supplements, I found out by juicing on a regular basis my body responded so well, I did not require anything else.  I will continue with what is working moving forward.  I can’t wait.  I’m pretty damn excited. I do use a recovery drink and add in some whey protein but that is it for supplements.

As for my meal plan once I start working out, I haven’t quite figured out what I am going to do yet. I have never done an intense training regiment along with weight training at the same time.  Before I boosted my caloric intake up to around 2100 cals a day.  I’m not sure how much fuel that will give me for this next chapter in my journey so I will blog it about it as I go along and see where I end up. However, I do have some staples that I stick to pretty religiously which will not change much with whatever plan I decide to go with.  Eat Breakfast.  It is so important that everyone do this for so many different reasons but the one that means the most for me, is the energy burst in the morning. I normally have oatmeal with flax seeds and some type of chopped up fruit.  If its not oatmeal, I love eggs and I’ll have three to four eggs as a wrap or on whole wheat toast.  I tend to pile my carbs on in the morning and afternoon.  Evening most of the time is protein and vegetables unless I sub in a juice.  Make your meal plan something that you like to do, something that is easy for you to maintain and can be switched up to add variety.  I often sub in fish for my protein for my dinners.  Salmon is my favorite especially on the grill.  You also do not have to be chef to cook and eat clean healthy meals.  I have a YouTube Channel I’ll mention at the bottom of this article that teaches you have to cook some quick delicious meals if you’re interested.

What an amazing journey this has been.  I have met so many people who were in a rut just like me. Basically getting up each day just to get the day over with.  No ambition, No vision for a better future. The endgame was just to stay afloat long enough to survive to the next day.  I am here to tell you that your life does not have to be that way.  You do not have to settle for what your current reality is giving you right now.  You can demand to have a better life and the go out an seek it with the passion and zest that you never knew you even possessed.  It all starts when these few things that I feel got me on the right track.

1)  Tell yourself this Every Single MORNING: You are an amazing person. You are strong, you are smart, you are WORTHY and you deserve more.

2)  You have the power within yourself to change your current situation. You do not need help from others.  You do not need a hand out.  You do not need follow anyone else’s path.  Follow your gut feelings, they are there for you and you alone.

3)  Every day in every way, KNOW That you are getting better and better.  You have to stop being so hard on yourself.  Stop self criticizing and instead start focusing on the things that you appreciate about yourself and the life as you are currently living it.  Look around at the things that you are proud of.  Take time to appreciate those things.  Friends and individuals that inspire.  Appreciate them.  Spend the majority of your time looking for the blessings, not the slights.

4)  Make your most dominant focus every single day, about something positive in your life, or something that you find inspiring.  When ever something unfavorable comes into your existence, become an active thinker and change the subject in your mind, focus on something good and hold that thought for as long as you can, and your mood will change and so will the things and people around you.

5)  Break the cycle. This is so important because we all have become such creatures of habit.  Take time to dissect all of your habits.  Highlight the good ones, the ones that make you feel good and add value to your life and make a list of the bad habits, the ones that lead to depressing feelings and anger or despair and eliminate them.  Whenever you feel you are about to move into that bad habit, you will know because you will feel uneasy.  Check yourself in the moment and change.

You have all of the tools you need to be as successful as you want to be.  The inner you has been waiting on you to realize how special you are and that this person is who you always should have been.  Find that person, embrace that person and in time you will be standing where you always wanted to be, feeling proud, accomplished and full of Bliss.

I want to take a moment to personally thank Shay and the Socially Fit team for allowing me to come here and tell my story.  I am not really good at this type of thing so if I rambled too much and jumped from topic to topic; I’m extremely happy that you are still here reading! I really enjoyed this time and it gave me an opportunity to stop and reflect and really appreciate how far I have come. Shay and the team are doing a wonderful thing here at Socially Fit and I am a fully supporting them from this day forward.  I love the stories that I have already read and I look forward to more inspiring stories in the future.  Hopefully I will be able to sway Shay into coming over to my blog for a guest writer piece from time to time as well.

So with that said, there are a number of vehicles where you can get in touch with me and follow my journey. I have just launched a YouTube Channel titled:  A Healthy New Stat which covers the three major pillars that help me get my life back in order. The Mind (meditation, inspiration and exploration of thought), The Body (healthy eating, cooking tips, quick healthy recipes), and The Spirit (all things that brings joy, laughter and smiles).  Please come by, watch some videos, interact and Subscribe if you like what you see.

Or My Blog which I’ll be launching in the next couple weeks – tons of inspiration and motivation along with links to my videos and guest blog writers.

I have a Fitness and Motivational Instagram and Twitter account you can follow me for daily inspiration, motivation and laughs.

Please feel free to come find me at any of these outlets.  I respond to everyone personally and I love making connections.  If I can help you along your journey, I would consider it an honor to be by your side!

Love often; love always and love unconditionally. May you become the healthiest fittest version of yourself that you could ever dream of.

Dee
#TrainInsane #LeaveHumanityBehind #TeamMutant

#TrainInsane
#LeaveHumanityBehind
#TeamMutant

Well it’s time to share my journey and life transformation through fitness. Two years ago I was given the opportunity to share my story for the first time and it really changed a lot of things in my life for the better. The overwhelming positive response that I received added to my already burning desire to be the best that I could possibly be!

It all started in 2011, I weighed 267 lbs. and had lost all respect for myself. One photograph that I received from my parents changed everything. I saw how awful and out of shape I looked and knew right there it was time for a change. Through a clean diet and some exercise I managed to lose 90 lbs. in 95 days.  Everything in my life beyond just my health and specific level of fitness was amazing from the beginning of my journey up until today.

Last year when I shared the second year of my journey I had already taken on more of a bodybuilding workout regimen and had just invested in my first gym membership a few months prior. I fell in love with the atmosphere at the gym. Everybody was so positive and willing to share so many great tips. For all of last year and even today I generally train 6 days a week.

Since the last story I have really taken my workouts extremely seriously. Endless hours have been spent in the gym training as hard and heavy as possible in an effort to gain size. Bodybuilding is such an amazing art and being able to watch the way you are physically able to manipulate your body is incredible. I’ve spent the last 12 months focusing on adding as much muscle mass as possible to my frame. When I had initially lost all of my weight, I had dropped to 178 lbs. and I felt too small. I currently weigh 218 lbs. and I am finished with my bulk. I am focusing on cutting down and walking around with a body fat percentage of around 12%. My ideal weight will likely fall between 200lbs.–205lbs. and I’m excited to see results from my years of hard work.

Last June I was fortunate enough to become an ambassador for Mutant Nutrition. This is a major supplement company based out of Vancouver. The products are located in 76 countries worldwide. I had been using their supplements for around a year so I was definitely excited to have a chance to work with this great brand if even in just a small capacity. As an ambassador I promote the products mostly through social media.  Forums like Instagram and Twitter as well as Facebook make it extremely easy to connect with people and answer questions regarding the Mutant Nutrition. I hand out samples at gyms in my area and the response is overwhelming. People love the supplements and the sponsored athletes, so it really makes my job very easy. I’m promoting something that I love and that I truly believe in. I will also work a few of the Mutant booths at bodybuilding expos which is really going to be great! I look forward to interacting with the fans first hand and hearing their feedback about the products.

Mutant products have been around for a while but in the past year the brand has really blown up. The products are processed in British Columbia and are always guaranteed results if used properly combined with proper diet and training. There’s everything from pre workout powders to post workout as well as everything in between. I stand behind the products and can tell you I would never go back to using anything else. If you’re interested in seeing the entire line of supplements, clothing and training videos go to iammutant.com.

This year my main goal is to lean out and see how I look. I’ve added cardio back into my regimen so it won’t be long until I see the results from my year of training hard. I’m really expecting great things for this year! To be a bodybuilder is an incredible obsession. But in the end every ounce of sweat that you sacrifice in order to reach your goal is worth it. By the end of this year I would like to be 220 lbs. with 12% body fat. It won’t be easy to reach this, but then again I never enjoyed anything that came too easy.

My workouts always vary but for the most part I generally train one muscle group per session. Often times I will throw in some calves or abs at the end of a workout. I train calves and abs 4-5 times per week and everything else just once. My sessions are usually around 90 minutes long and often include upwards of 50 sets and 500-600 reps. I love the burn and I crave the pump when I’m training. I like to hit things from multiple angles and different rep counts. I include giant sets, drop sets and super sets in my workouts. It’s great to constantly change things up so you can create a bit of muscle confusion. My current split is back, chest, arms, shoulders, legs and then day 6 I start all over again or just have a rear delt and trap day.

My normal diet consists of 6 meals. Basically the only foods I eat are rice, sweet potatoes, veggies, chicken and ground beef or turkey, eggs, egg whites and oats. I also have 2 or 3 whey protein shakes a day. Normally I consume 3500-4000 calories a day. 300 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbs and 100 grams of fat is the norm. Now that I’ve begun cutting those numbers will change. Eating cold meals out of Tupperware has become my life. I much prefer this lifestyle over my past where fast foods were a staple. My cheat meals are generally massive and sloppy. Lately my go to has been a meal consisting of lasagna, veal parm, meatballs, sausage, garlic bread or piles of chicken wings and a lot of pizza. I usually have one cheat day a week and without counting I’m sure I’ve had some days well over 7000 calories. Cheat days are great to control cravings throughout the week and give you something to look forward to. However mine get a little out of control and I’ve cut them completely for the next 3 months while I cut.

I feel it’s important that everyone knows that anyone can do this. When I started I was a 30 something year old obese lazy slob. Once it’s in your mind to be great, nothing can stop you. The mind is your most powerful weapon. It can literally either make or break you. If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, only you have the ability to make the change. Start with just some light exercise, go for walks, eat more fruit and limit your sugars. It’s very easy to get started but once you do, be prepared to work your ass off and continue to do so for the rest of your life. Fitness isn’t a part time job. It’s every day, every meal and every rep at the gym. It is the healthiest addiction you can have!

I just would like to say in closing, thank you to each and every person who ever called me fat or told me I couldn’t do this. Your words have been on my mind for the past 3 years and it has been the motivation I needed to reach my goals. I’ve set my goals so high that I will have to keep working for the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Train hard and live the fit life!

Follow me on Twitter @MUTANT_FREAK_
Instagram @mutant_freak_
Or Facebook Michael Gainz Green

On the Road to Greatness

Chantelle Emch

Chantelle Emch

I am 23 years old  and I’m from Brevard, North Carolina. I have two boy’s and I married a USAF man. We are stationed in Cheyenne WY. We have been here almost four years. I’m a down to earth, fun, bouncy individual. I’m always very busy  trying to juggle everything I enjoy. I love fitness. I did my first NPC bikini show August 2012 and I plan to do a couple more show’s this year. My dream is to make pro one day. Right now I’m working on gaining muscle for my next competition and networking. I want to motivate and help people all over the world to get started on reaching their fitness goals and dreams.

Growing up southern I ate a lot of fried foods so my diet wasn’t very good at all. After my second son I looked into the mirror and didn’t like what I saw, so I decided to do something about it. I started  slow with cardio and worked up the nerve one day to try weights and after a couple of weeks I saw such a huge change. I was toned and tight and I loved it. I realize now that a lot of women including myself have it in their minds that when you have kids and get married that you can never be sexy or wear a bikini again; that women shouldn’t lift weights; that it’s for men only! I have had my share of people who judged me for starting my fitness journey but it drives me to push harder. I’m very competitive and that drives me to be the best at everything. I have since decided to pursue a career as a personal trainer. I’d like to show all the Moms out there that they can look great in a bikini again .

My husband and kids are my biggest supporters. I couldn’t do it without them. My husband love’s to tell people what I do and he helps keep me on track; he pushes me daily and my boys both want to be a bodybuilder like their Mom. They melt my heart. My Mom, Dad and sister are still very new to the idea but they are so proud of how far I have come. They are always supportive. A fit lifestyle is something a lot of people don’t understand.  My baby brother on the other hand keeps me going! He’s just as competitive as I am,  so we are always trying to up each other on weight and compare abs lol! Family support is such an important thing to me. I am so glad to have them all behind me on this.

Scheduling time to go to the gym is my biggest obstacle. My husband is in the military and sometimes he’s gone weeks at a time. I remember going to the gym at 1am (after he came home) in order to prep for my competition. I was focused and determined.  Nothing great comes without hard work.

My accomplishments to date: 
– I went from 169lbs 22% body fat to 130lbs and 12% body fat in 8 months

– I also placed 6th in open bikini at the Armburst Warrior Classic 2012 NPC show in Loveland, Colorado

I am currently bulking for a couple shows so I can add some muscle size. I’m doing heavy lifting 6 days a week . For muscle gain and growth I use pro protein from complete nutrition. I love it! They have some of the best quality products I have ever taken. I would highly recommend their products. I eat a clean high protein diet every 1 to 2 hrs so around 8 meals a day . I’m hoping to see more growth in my legs and shoulders before my next show. My goal is to win! I want to go on to a National qualifying show and keep working toward one day going PRO!

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Set a goal for yourself and don’t stop till you reach it .

Feel free to follow me on Facebook at Bikini competitor-Chantelle Emch. I post tip’s as well as my workout and diet plan. I am always there to help with any questions that you may have.

Live With Intention. Train With Purpose.

William and his wife Rhonda (before weight loss)

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.

A young William

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.

William 335lbs

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.

William on vacation most recently, with his wife Rhonda. Together they’ve lost over 200 pounds!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to follow our journey:

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Galaxy Training for Athletes

Cedric

My journey to health and fitness is a long one. As a child I grew up eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. My parents are Jamaican so in my house we ate very well and there was never really a demand for healthy eating. We would usually have large amounts of food pretty much every meal of the day. End result of that was me being 210lbs by the age of 12. I was always teased, “fat boy” seemed to be a staple for what people would call me. So I turned into a bully so that people wouldn’t say much to me about my size. Even though I was big, I was very active and agile for my size. It usually shocked people how this “fat boy” would finish 1st in track and field events or win athlete of the year annually in elementary school.

High school came and I slimmed to about 190lbs because I was very serious about playing basketball. It was my passion and I didn’t want to have a crutch. Due to lack of knowledge and a bad foundation my eating habits were terrible! If I knew then what I know now, it would’ve been scary how good I would’ve been. Even with being a bit heavier than most I was still a very good player. When I went to college it was the same thing, still heavy, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. My girlfriend at the time was pregnant and basketball didn’t take me down the path I had expected it to. I ended up playing a couple of years in college but my weight was ALWAYS in question, so I pretty much stopped playing basketball. This is where it all went down hill for a bit. I started drinking and partying. I was also eating terrible foods very late and going to sleep. Before I knew it I was up to 260lbs.

The transformation

Basketball continued to be my passion so I decided to stay involved with the game through coaching and skill development. Growing up I’d always be the one at the park running workouts for my friends or kids in my area so I had a passion for training. The problem was I’d train and then eat McDonald’s. In late 2007, I decided start a business involving basketball skill development because I was very good at that. I knew a bit about physical development so I used what I knew and started training ball players all over the city. My reputation started to build once I started working with a few PRO basketball players and their friends, mainly Jevohn Sheppard and Jermaine Anderson from our Canadian National team.

At this point my business didn’t have a name and I asked myself a very crucial question “how am I training people and I’m out of shape?!” I wanted to have the ability to get people into shape as well as developing their skill as basketball players. Around this time my daughter’s mother and I broke up so I found myself with more time, but also a new focus. I wanted more for my daughter and I didn’t want to be the out of shape Daddy. I wanted to be more knowledgeable about the fitness world so I enrolled into Durham College’s health and fitness promotions program. I started doing two a day workouts. I also decided that I wanted to play basketball again for my last year of college. I changed my eating habits completely; no fast food, no juice, and no sweets. I would lift in the morning before class, play basketball on my break and then do cardio again in the evening. As I did all of this I was still running my business and doing my school work. While doing all these things I found time to study and get my personal trainers certification through CPTN.

Cedric Carter – CEO Galaxy Training

It was the most focused I’ve ever been in my life. It was not only a physical transformation, but a mental one as well. I wanted to change the way my life was going and I felt like I had to be happy with myself before I could do that. Nine and a half months after I put my mind to it; I lost 60lbs, cut my body fat % from 33% to 14% and I made my college team. We made it to Nationals while having one of the top teams in the east division of the OCAA. It was the best I’ve ever felt in my life and the rest is history.

My business in 2009 was registered as Galaxy Training for Athletes and it is known as one of the top training programs in the country. I currently work with a lot of professional, college and high school basketball players. I don’t just work with athletes, I do body development for the average person trying to stay fit as well. I go around to schools and share my story to hopefully inspire children who go through the same struggles I went through. I appreciate anyone who will listen and anyone that I can inspire. 

You can contact me directly on FB: Galaxy Training for Athletes or e-mail me at galaxytraining09@gmail.com. My website is under construction so look out for that in a few months.

Thanks to Socially Fit for allowing me to share my story.

Cedric Carter

Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation

If you have not seen this video, please take a moment to view.

http://youtu.be/qX9FSZJu448?hd=1

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again.

He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try — he couldn’t do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story.

Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey – he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.

Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an incredible rate! Because of DDP’s specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility — which gave him hope that maybe someday, he’d be able to walk again.

His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Neither Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life.

The true message ~ Believe in yourself, and anything is possible!