Written by J Carrell
My story is quite boring, uneventful, and pales in comparison to so many other profiles I’ve read. But if my recent transformation over the past year, or where I am today, can inspire one or two people to take control of their lives and believe in themselves, then I’ve accomplished my goal by sharing.
Sports were always a way for me to get away from the realities I faced at home growing up. From 7th grade through high school, and all the way through my last season in college, football was always my motivation to lift weights and stay in shape.
After graduating college, I still loved being in shape, lifting and working out, and competing with myself, and in various football and basketball leagues. From 22 to about 32 years of age, it was all still pretty easy for me to stay in shape, and my body responded well to the lifting I did a few times each week.
After 32 or so, my body started slowing down athletically, and I ended up shutting down all the sports leagues I was playing in at the time. Five years later and very unmotivated, I was introduced to CrossFit, which I quickly fell in love with. But after a year or so of CrossFit, and suffering through a shoulder injury and severe back pain, I had to discontinue that as well.
For the next three years, my shoulder and back kept me from doing 95 percent of what I wanted to do in the gym. I couldn’t lift like I wanted, I couldn’t play sports like I always had, I couldn’t run much without pain, and I had little desire to eat properly. I went downhill physically.
After those three long years passed, I was finally healed enough to get back into the gym. My only goal at the time was to simply get lean and look muscular once again, and I really had no quantifiable goals or objectives.
After a trip to Chicago with friends, I came home and took my “before” picture in July 2016. I was 41 years old, I weighed 163 pounds and I had about 20 percent body fat.
I posted it on social media in an effort to let the world know I was getting back in shape. I knew it would be a way to hold myself accountable to do what I said I would do. The progress was slow at first, but it’s been a fun journey so far. Over the past year, I have been able to cut my body fat to around six percent and I now weigh about 150 pounds.
Outside of the unbelievable resources from Jim Stoppani, I owe a big “thank you” to my workout partner and dear friend, Matt Smith, who holds me accountable daily. He and I got started with Shortcut to Size last July and have since done Shortcut to Shred two or three times, Daily Grind, Power Pyramid, Jim’s Giant Program, and just started Super-Man. We both loved the cardioacceleration aspect of Shortcut to Shred and have incorporated it into most of our programs since then.
Over the past year, outside of a two- to three-week period early on when I experimented with the keto diet, I have followed Jim’s original advice from Shortcut to Size and Shred. I’ve pretty much stayed at about a 15- to 20-percent calorie deficit with 40 to 45 percent of my calories coming from protein, 25 to 30 percent from fat, and 25 to 30 percent from carbs.
I’ve never deviated from Jim’s recommendations and feel as though this has been the driving factor behind any success that I’ve had physically. As far as supplementation goes, I use Pre JYM, Pro JYM, amino acids, and creatine.
When I started, I was hitting my protein macros utilizing whey only, but have since fallen in love with Pro JYM, which is now my go-to post-workout protein. I have at least two to four scoops throughout the day each day to complement my other protein sources.
Although I’ve been motivated and driven by many personal factors throughout my life, including my childhood, over the past year, I’ve been exceptionally motivated for various reasons.
Those who know me know I am a very humble guy and I do not like attention drawn to myself, especially when it comes to how I look physically; it’s always made me very uncomfortable. However, I was encouraged by a dear friend several months ago to post a progress picture on the JYM Army Facebook group and to join the No Limits Challenge. Since that first post, I’ve been blown away at how my journey, my comments, and my posts have had a positive impact on the lives of others.
To hear someone say that something I posted was a reason for them to get out of bed; have the courage to step into a gym for the first time; to hammer out one more rep; or to say that I inspire them to reach their goals and prove that it can be done is more motivational and inspirational for me than just about anything in this world.
At this point of my journey and in my fitness life, it’s not about me anymore. Although I am very grateful for the overwhelmingly positive comments I’ve heard about my journey, I’m more encouraged to do more, say more, post more, and simply get better knowing I am helping others along the way.
My only goal is to stay in the best shape I can so that I can continue to help others believe in hard work, believe in nutrition, believe in the JYM System, and most importantly, believe in themselves.
If someone out there is looking for help, courage, motivation, accountability, or a fitness community, step out of your comfort zone (like I did), join the JYM Army Facebook group, perhaps post a picture, and let all the amazing JYM Army peeps help carry you in your efforts.
This is what it’s all about, it’s why I’m writing this, and it’s why I’ll continue to do what I do with my efforts. Believe in yourself and create your own journey. If not for yourself, do it for your family, friends, co-workers, and so many others who are looking for inspiration and a story to help them believe.
#humbled #grateful #JYMArmy #JYMArmyDallasCrew