My name is Doug Budziak (pronounced “boo-jack”). I’m 29 years old and live in Pennsylvania. I have a fiancé and four wonderful children, and this is my story.
My goals outside of my fitness journey are fairly simple, but can be hard to achieve: I want to play a more active and energetic role in the lives of my four kids, and promote a healthy, smart, and fun way to enjoy life while sticking to a nutritious food plan.
My transformation has felt like an eternity. After seven years, I am finally at my healthiest state since 10th grade. I started out at the age of 22, size 40, weighing over 300 pounds. I remember working overnights, getting off work to stop at a fast-food place to grab three or four sandwiches, then heading home to sit and play video games. I was in a deep, dark place in my life, with no real care as to what I was doing to my body.
There was a life-changing moment when my dad sat me down and told me if I didn’t change my life for the better, I would end up with a ton of health issues and maybe even end up dead. It took a while for that sink in.
I chose to start going to the gym. I went hard and probably did it in the unhealthiest way possible. I ate only one meal a day and I was hopped up on caffeine pills, thinking I couldn’t get through the day without them.
I lost a lot of weight. In four years, I reached a weight of 220 pounds, but we all know how plans go — you find excuses and give up and find every reason not to go to the gym.
So there I was: 25 years old, weighing 220 pounds. Granted, that’s a great weight-loss result at the end of four years, but I was going in blind with no research and no actual goal other than to lose weight. But my body got used to it and I hit a plateau for years and just couldn’t get away from 220 pounds. I gave up on my diet all over again.
Then I found Jim Stoppani. I messaged him a few times, and we talked back and forth. He’s given me some great advice, short and to the point, and is always encouraging and informative for whatever question I had.
I started the Summer Shred Challenge as my very first program. I started out at 225 pounds, on a good day. My cardio was in the gutter, I couldn’t bench more than 35 pounds on each side of the bar, but I trusted in the program. I busted my ass for six days a week and gave it my all every day. Every day was a new day, every decision with food was nothing but making the right choice, or as Mike Mac would say, “Do the right thing.”
I got through Week 4 and I’ll be honest, I became addicted. I was addicted to the reality of being healthy and making the right choices. I was so addicted to the lifestyle that I didn’t take rest days unless I absolutely had to, and even if that did happen, I found a way to bust my ass for at least an hour in the gym.
There would even be days where I got home from a long day and I would scroll through the JYM Army Facebook page and get the urge to follow suit with the other guys and just do another workout.
I am now at a solid 195 to 200 pounds if I’m carb loading, and my gains are almost unreal. I now bench solid 60s for reps; my leg press went from 140 to 200 pounds for a constant 20 reps for four sets. My waist is down to 30-32 inches. I just can’t believe that 12 weeks took me from a three-year-long plateau to a brand-new me. I finished the Super Shredded 8 program on May 27 and my results were beyond what I expected.
As far as my diet goes, I have hopped on the intermittent fasting train, and as Jim says, you must train within your eight-hour feeding window. But my lifestyle doesn’t allow that because I wake up at 3am to drive an hour to the gym, then work out from 4am to 6am, then I work and don’t get home till 4pm.
So I do what works best for me — I just changed my window from 4am to 12pm to a different plan of 12pm to 8pm, although I break my fast by drinking Pre JYM and Post JYM. I don’t consume anything but water or coffee in the “16 hours of fasting.”
My supplements are legit – the entire JYM line; I know if I wanted results, I had to invest and go all in. I take everything and drink everything down to a scheduled routine.
My biggest motivation throughout my 12 weeks of joining the JYM Army has to be my family. They encourage me and tell me to keep it up. They make posters and jokes about how I’ll look like John Cena or The Rock one day. Stuff like that gives me that fire because these kids look up to those role models as heroes, and if they have one at home, then hey, they just might follow suit. It would make me very happy to see that, not because of looks but for health reasons.
Like I said, I get home from a long day and I get on the JYM Army Facebook page and these guys are killing it and striving for perfection. And although no one is perfect, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a perfect effort! I feed off these guys and their stories, their successes. The fire in them gets me pumped just typing this!
I tell you what, waking up at 3am every day isn’t easy and it was probably the hardest thing I had to change: to make time for the gym and to reach my goals. But it was one of the key factors that led me to my success. That, and my family and friends pushing me and encouraging me.
It was really tough to change the way I ate and lived my life. No chips or ice cream and no more cheesy balls (man, I loved those! LOL); I know it’s not worth it. But if I am gonna do it, then I’m gonna cheat like a beast! You will never succeed a nutrition plan without cheating and I have learned this from Justin Kamb and Jim Stoppani.
It’s kind of awesome showing people your results and hearing one word: “Wow,” then followed by “How did you do that?” I answer and always will answer that question the same way: patience, passion, and persistence.
At the end of the day, everyone has fitness goals and everyone has different obstacles. But my advice would be dedication. Dedicate yourself to this lifestyle. Commit 110 percent every day, every hour, in every decision. Yes, my Summer Shred Challenge is over, but that didn’t make me stop or quit or say, “Well, I gave it my all, I’m done! No, all I did was start that same exact program, going backwards from Week 8 to Week 1, hoping to building more strength and leaner muscle.