Finding Motivation Within

Carter lost a total of 120 lbs. in his transformation.
Carter lost a total of 120 lbs. in his transformation.

I started my weight loss journey in January 2012. At the time, I was hovering between 295-305 pounds and well over 30 % bodyfat. Throughout my life I was overweight and for the most part, didn’t have a problem with it. Anytime I would start to feel guilt or shame I would just convince myself that I shouldn’t worry about how I look and that my personality is what really matters. To this day I still believe that your personality is what will matter in the long run and that physical appearances will come and go.

It wasn’t until half way through my junior year of high school when I realized I needed to make a change. I was waking up the steps at my high school and when I reached the top, I had to stop to catch my breath. My friends continued onto class while I stood there struggling to breathe normally. I remember being so embarrassed as kids walked by me. No one said anything, But I knew what they must have been thinking.. “I’m glad I’m not that big” “He’s out of breath from just walking up a flight of stairs?” It was also around this time that I started to get interested in a girl in my school. I thought for the longest time that we were going to start dating until I found out from her friends that she just “wanted to stay friends.” This had happened to me before, but I made it a promise to myself that it would be the last.

I decided to do the typical New Year’s resolution and so on January 1, 2012, I bought a gym membership. My diet honestly came much easier than I thought it would. I didn’t track anything or have a set plan. I just knew that I needed to be eating in a caloric deficit. I stuck to mainly soup, salad, and lunch meat sandwiches. I also changed out all of my beverages for water. My first few months in the gym were mainly devoted to cardio where i did anywhere from 20-40 minutes on the stair-stepper, elliptical, or treadmill. I lost about 30 pounds doing this and, even though I got tired and frustrated at some points, I never lost the drive. photo 2

About three months and thirty pounds down, I got introduced to weight lifting. I got so into it that I would spend my free time looking up information on it and watching numerous YouTube videos about it. At this point, I knew that there was no way I was giving up. I was finally doing this for Fun and Enjoyment rather than just feeling like I had to do it to lose weight. When I started weight training, I started dropping weight like CRAZY! I went from 305 to 200 in a little under 8 months. I know looking back that this was definitely too fast to be losing weight, and if I paid for it with loose skin, but at the time no one could stop me from doing what I now love to do, BE HEALTHY!

From summer 2012 until now I have lost another 15 pounds an have gained a good amount of muscle and am still in love with working out and living a healthy lifestyle.

I had always heard the horrors of protein bars and all of the sugar and stuff that goes into making them, so I never ate them. I discovered Quest Bars at my local gym and was AMAZED at what was in them! Not only are they extremely filling and tasty, they have great ingredients, were full of fiber, and had 20g of protein per bar! My favorite flavor was Apple Pie for the longest time until the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor came out and O…M…G. I was hooked at that point. I have probably ordered 10-12 boxes of them and enjoy eating them when I am on the run or am out and need a good source of protein! Quest Bars have definitely helped in my transformation because they provided a way for me to eat healthy while also feel like I am cheating with a candy bar! I believe the popular hashtag is #CheatClean, and I definitely did, and continue to cheat clean with Quest Bars!

When I look back on my transformation, Sometimes I can’t believe how far I have come. Not many people can say that they lost 120 pounds with just diet and exercise. When people ask me how I did it, I just tell them the only thing I know, “Find the right motivation, become obsessed, and visualize where you want to go and remember why you are doing it.” I have fitness role models that I look up to, but at no point did I aspire to be them. The only way you can be successful is to do it for YOURSELF and I try to preach that to anyone who asks me!

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