My fitness journey began when I was embarrassed by my lack of preparation for my first half marathon – my wife had to wait an extra hour for me to finish (3:37:18 was my time). My pride was hurt. Beyond that, my wife told me that she just “wanted to me to be healthy.”
I graduated with my Masters the next week, and New Years Eve came a few weeks later. As I drank a jack and coke, ate nachos, and watched the Aggies make a big comeback against Duke, I told myself this unhealthy life has to stop because it not only affects me, but my wife. I knew earning the PhD would mean more stress and more stress meant more weight. I couldn’t allow that I happen because my wife didn’t deserve that.
So I started going to the Gold’s Gym again in January 2014 with a purpose – I had a membership for two years, but went sporadically. Even at 253 lbs, I knew I could be fit if I made a plan and put in the work executing the plan day in and day out. I saw the Gold’s Gym Challenge and signed up for it. Trainers Chris and Keri handled my initial measurements and they were quite helpful with tips that would make my transformation a success.
I didn’t hire a trainer because I am pretty self-motivated and determined person, I just need a reason and I had that with my wife. Also to keep me accountable, I created an Instagram account, became a part of the fitness community there. That community is something special when it comes to support day in and out! Beyond my wife and maybe three close friends, my main source of inspiration and support came from fellow Instagram fitness folks. Lastly and most importantly, I had to be accountable for everything I put in my body so began to track my caloric and macronutrient intake with the “Nutritionist App.” Honestly, it’s the best $4 I have spent – I can set a fitness goal, get my calorie count along with my macros and the program adjusts as your continue to progress!
But even with all of that, it would take about two months for me to really understand the importance of nutrition. You cannot out-train bad nutrition! Out went the sodas, fast food (for the most part), candy and I began to drink more water, intake more lean grilled meat and fish, steamed veggies, fresh fruit, and any protein shakes. Funny thing about Quest Nutrition, I found out about it through @cartergood who has been featured on this blog (talk about coming full circle!). Ever since being inspired by his story, I began devouring Quest bars like no one’s business. And I’m so happy that Quest Nutrition has developed protein powder and protein chips! The quality of the products are second to none.
As for what I did in the gym, I bought 4 strength training programs that were designed specifically for my goals of as I was training for a half marathon in March to redeem myself. I used both free and resistance weights, jump ropes, HIIT training, and running (speed work and long distance).
As for the Gold Gym Challenge, I didn’t win the challenge, but I improved my half marathon time by 20 minutes in a matter of three months. What I learned is that I needed a routine, structure and accountability to make things happen. What I found is that as results came, the healthy lifestyle – eating healthy and getting exercise – became second nature. I was hooked on fitness after dropping 45lbs by June and was in the best shape of my life, so I decided to train for a marathon. So I was mentally ready to train and did so twice a day! I had a goal to finish under four hours (very ambitious). I would complete the marathon in 7 hours after dealing with an aggravated Achilles, so I’m already motivated for 2015.
Now I’m here currently at 202lbs (my lowest was 188lbs in October) and I can run a half marathon in 1:53:26. I can honestly say I’m in the best shape of my life!
I owe a lot to the Gold’s Gym staff, specifically Chris, Brent and Keri for their encouraging words and tips. I also have to credit the Nutritionist App for keeping me accountable and honest about what foods I ate. I learned to eat toward my goals while also understanding how to “have fun” with my cheat meals! It really does mean a lot for those who are going from unfit to fit. Finally, Quest Nutrition which is a staple in my daily nutrition be it bars, powder and/or chips! Y’all are the real MVP! Keep up the great work!
I would encourage anyone who wants to make that leap to fitness to develop patience and persistence because without either, my results would not be here. My philosophy has become: take it a day at a time, a meal at a time, and a rep at a time. Nothing great was done overnight. Finally, find something that will push you when you want to quit so that you don’t quit. For me, it was that embarrassing moment after finishing my first half marathon and my wife’s concern for my health. #chasedowngreatness
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Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]. Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!