“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness, film)
My name is Terence Jenkins, most people know me as T.J. – I’m 24 years old and I am from O’Fallon, IL. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always been a bigger kid. I was always wider and stronger than most people my age. Coming up as a kid, I was never known as the “fat kid”. Most people would tell me I wore my weight well, so I never really knew how heavy I was.
After high school, I attended a four-year university. This is where my weight began to spiral out of control. I would work out here and there but still ate terrible. Shortly after, I stopped working out completely and continued to eat terrible foods. During my junior year of college, my now fiancée got pregnant. This set off a whirlwind of emotions. With these emotions, I started gaining weight rapidly and it continued throughout her entire pregnancy. Even then, I never realized I was THAT overweight. Basically, I was in denial. After my son was born, I never really lost all the “baby weight”. I was so consumed with trying to provide for my family that I never took the time to care about myself and my weight.
Finally, I graduated college and started my first real world job. Being a software engineer, I primarily sit at a desk for 8 hours a day. Little to no activity throughout my workday was a contributing factor to my weight gain. I would occasionally play basketball but never cared enough to work out or control my weight. I ate whatever I wanted when I wanted. About 2 years after graduating college, my fiancée and I found out that we were expecting another baby boy. This time around, I wasn’t too stressed out about it. However, just like last time, as her belly grew, mine grew as well. At my heaviest, I was about 260 pounds, standing at 5’10. I would look at myself in the mirror and be disgusted. No one ever knew how I felt, but I was in a bad, bad place.
After my second son was born, I made a promise to myself to eat better, lose weight and be healthy. I told everyone around me about my goal; no one ever believed me. Everyone doubted me, but that only gave me more motivation. I want to be healthy for my kids. I want to be able to run around with them and have fun without having to worry about health issues or my weight holding me back.
I started my weight loss journey by controlling my portions. This was BIG for me. I would always over eat. After I contained my hunger issues, I started cutting back on all sweets and fried foods. I made sure to eat all the right foods and stay away from the junk. Then, once I got to a more desirable weight, I started throwing in intermittent fasting once or twice a week. I would fast for 14-16 hours a day. This sounds crazy, but it worked!
Of course, I would weight train about 3-4 times a week and couple in cardio training 1-2 of those days. I started watching a lot of fitness and weight training videos on YouTube. They taught me about good things to eat, ways to lose weight and gain muscle. Through these videos, I learned about Quest Bars and other protein products. I purchased my first box of Quest Bars and I loved them. They really helped out when I needed a healthy snack or needed to meet my protein count for the day.
When I started working out, I weighed in at 250 pounds. After about 6 and a half months, I am now down to 187 pounds. I feel so much happier and healthier. I feel like a new person. It’s amazing how quickly my body has transformed. I love my new look and I love working out. My goal now is to fill out and build more muscle!
The quote you see above, has been engraved in my heart ever since I could remember. Anytime someone doubted me, I would think of that quote and push myself even harder. Motivation and determination will get you far! DON’T EVER GIVE UP ON SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IN!
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