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A Story of Success – August Newsletter

Hello everybody and sorry for not getting a newsletter out sooner, but it has been real busy. I wanted to share a story from Rich.  Rich has been training with me for a about 6 months.  His dedication to his weight loss goal was unprecedented.  In the short time I have worked with Rich, I have learned lots from him as well.  If you have trained with me, you know that nutrition is not my strength.  During his journey (and studying), he has taught me more than whatever learned in the classroom.  I hope you take some time and read a little about his story.

 

rich  Hello my name is Rich, and I am thankful to be able to share a little of my journey back to fitness with you. To give you a little background, when I was younger I played four sports, lifted weights, and lived an active lifestyle. Along with that I was always an avid video gamer, which was not an issue when combined with the things previously mentioned. The problem came about 11 years ago when I started working for a software company. I would spend 8 – 10 hours a day sitting in a chair for my job, then log into a game and play for hours with my friends. Poor posture, sitting for up to 16 hours a day, and finding food shortcuts (drive throughs, hot pockets, pizza delivery) all helped turn me into the person I never wanted to be. The big problem was I couldn’t see the changes till it was too late, and even then I think I was lying to myself. In 2015, December to be precise, I could not take it anymore and decided to do something about it. At the time I was 246 pounds, which is pretty heavy considering I am only 5’11”. To put that in perspective, when I got out of boot camp and throughout most of my athletic career I was around 185.

 

Now on to the good part, trying to reverse 11+ years of losses. After doing a little research I found a generic program that fit my comfort zone. And by that I mean it had low reps and high rest periods, it was more for building strength and power than losing weight. But it got me moving again, that was the main goal starting out. I also did research on nutrition and different plans, at the time I only knew that calorie deficit meant weight loss and calorie surplus meant weight gain. Who knew that if you didn’t have enough calories, your body actually goes into survival mode and stores fat. I can vouch for it from personal experience, when I dialed my calorie intake in correctly, my body had the fuel it needed to make the changes I wanted. It was slow but the changes started to come on the scale in the form of one to two pounds a week.

Here is where the journey gets a boost in three areas. First I found a nutrition plan that worked for me. There are lots of options out there, some good and some bad. But you need to find the one that fits your desired lifestyle, and that you are willing to maintain. If the best plan is too extreme or makes you give up too much, you are less likely to keep all of your hard work. So for me I found one that was flexible, did not make me give up food types, and easy to do after a week or two. Second I found supportive people, usually looking to make the same changes as me. I found several friends and co-workers that were on their own journeys. As I opened up about my gains and plateaus, they did the same. This helped fuel us when we felt things were stagnant. It also helps to have others opinions since we can be blind to our own changes. The last area that changed was asking for help, finally! After getting though that first workout program off the internet, I decided to seek some help. For most of my life I always did things my way, I didn’t like to ask anyone for help. But after hearing over and over how successful people usually had mentors, I decided to put my pride aside and take the leap. One day I was talking to a close friend and saying that I needed to find someone to help me fix some form issues on my lifts, and some structural imbalances that were created, and she recommended Ryan. After some brief communication, Ryan and I both felt this was an area he could help me with. After working out with Ryan now for a few months I can say that it was one of the best decisions I made. Sure I could have kept doing the trial and error method, but I know this was one of the reasons my transformation has gone so smoothly.

So for anyone wondering how this all turned out, it took six and a half months but I lost a total of 50 pounds. I went from 246 to 196.  I was able to hit my first goal, with all the help from friends, mentors, and co-workers. Along the way I feel like these people may have started in one role, but ended up becoming much more. Now we are working toward the next goal which is to slowly put on lean muscle. Hopefully sharing my story helps someone else. Just remember fitness or changes to your body take time. Usually it took years to get where we are, and we want the changes in days, weeks, or a month tops. Don’t take quick fixes, create lifestyle changes. In closing I wanted to thank everyone that gave me support, advice, or even constructive criticism along the way. I would not have gotten so far, so fast without all of you. Thank you.