As I look at the picture of the progress I’ve made, I’m almost in disbelief. All my life, I was the chubby kid. I hid it well under my clothes, but when I had to take my shirt off anywhere, I was always self-conscious. I had a big belly with no muscle definition; not the best confidence-builder growing up. I always tried to work out and lose the weight, but I was never consistent. I found it hard to stay motivated and be strict with myself. Life always got in the way.
Two years ago, back in the spring of 2015, I got a letter from the local police department offering me a chance at a position as an officer. I only needed to pass a fitness test. Bad part: I only had a few months to get myself ready. So I hired a personal trainer. Getting a guy like me in shape after years of neglect and bad habits was no small feat. He wasn’t a miracle worker, and I ended up failing the test.
I found it difficult to just flip a switch and start working out like Mr. Olympia. The huge mountain I had to climb was too overwhelming for me. Yes, I made progress in the short time I had to prepare, but it wasn’t enough. I didn’t push myself enough.
After I failed, I was down on my luck, and went from 235 pounds to 248 in roughly a year. April of 2016 is when my “Before” picture was taken. That’s me at age 26 and 248 pounds. I was sick and tired of feeling sorry for myself, so I decided to make a change.
I found Jim Stoppani’s programs, loaded up on all the supplements he recommended, and decided I was going to take a crack at Shortcut to Shred. That first week felt like hell. It brought me back to my high school football days of feeling like death, but I pushed through.
I tweaked my back out around week 3 and had to switch up my routine. I ran more and just did cardio with light lifting throughout the rest of the summer, while utilizing the knowledge gained from all of the JYM resources.
I started to slowly get back into Shortcut to Shred around the end of the summer, and I was already down to roughly 225 pounds. I achieved my goal of doing my first 5K mud run, and I felt like every day I was getting stronger and leaner.
I alternated lift days with pure cardio days and I kept losing weight. I was down to around 215 pounds in the winter, and I started doing my own adaptations of the Shred program with cardioacceleration in the gym. I continued to lose weight.
Around February, I was down to 210 pounds, and me and my friend decided to start a new cycle of Shortcut to Shred. This time, I was going to do it as designed and I was going to finish it. I did. During the last three weeks, I started to use a weighted vest for more punishment. It got me down to a weight of 200, which was my goal when I started this journey.
It comes as no surprise that the program got me shredded. I started to see really great definition in my neck and shoulders, as well as my arms and torso region. After I finished S2S, I began Super Shredded 8 to switch things up. The “After” picture was taken during week 4, and I was down roughly seven pounds since starting SS8.
I plan to do a little bulking this fall, but I’m still very happy with my results. I can lift triple the weight and run twice as long, but the most important thing I gained was confidence. I feel like a different person. I’m genuinely happier. I enjoy a lot more of life now.
I hate that I have to buy new clothes every month because I keep losing weight, but clothes look good on me now, so it’s OK. I’ve set goals for the first time in my life and I’m working toward those goals every day. Losing the weight was an all-around mentality change. It taught me to be disciplined, consistent, dedicated, and true to myself.
If you’re looking to get started, find your motivation. Don’t stress over the big picture. Take each day as it comes and continue to improve every day. Don’t tell yourself it’s a lot of work, because that’s obvious. Nothing worth it comes easy. Without pressure there’s no diamonds, but if I can do it, you can, too.
People ask me all the time what my secret is, and I tell them the key is to find your motivation, no matter what it is. For me, it was getting my life together, having a purpose, and bettering myself. My family is super proud of me, too. Without them and their support system (like letting me store my eight buckets of JYM supplements in the kitchen cabinets), I wouldn’t be where I am now. People at work, people I haven’t seen in a while, family, and friends all compliment me on my success and it motivates me even further to keep going and never look back.