Growing up, I was always a husky kid; one of those “big-boned” types, you know. I developed bad eating habits early on in life and figured I was just destined to always be on the bigger side and would never have that “beach body.”
At 23 years old, I hit my heaviest weight of 313 pounds. It would be nothing for me to eat a half dozen donuts for breakfast with a quart of chocolate milk. Ultimate Cheeseburger, Super Scoop fries and a large Oreo Shake? Sure, why not?
Midnight snacks often consisted of a double cheeseburger, a couple of chicken quesadillas, extra-large fries dipped in nacho cheese, with a 32-ounce Cherry Cola followed by a pint of ice cream.
I was slowly, or maybe even quickly, killing myself. I say all this to tell anyone out there who struggles with food addiction that it can be overcome. I knew I did not want to be that guy anymore, so I decided I was going to change.
Crash diets had me lose weight quickly and start feeling better, only to eventually fall off the wagon and gain a good chunk of it back. I knew I had to begin exercising and do it consistently if I ever wanted to have sustainable results, but I despised the gym. When I travelled for work, I was more concerned with what kind of nice dinner and drinks I would be having than even thinking about hitting the hotel gym.
December 11, 2011, was the day I decided to commit to embarking on a journey of fitness. That date will stick in my mind forever. Not because the switch turned on and everything was great and I had a six-pack in 90 days, but because since that day, I stuck with fitness and became absolutely addicted to the gym.
Before that date, I had managed to get myself down to the 260-pound range through pretty much diet alone over the course of 10 years or so. I lost some weight pretty quickly, but had no focus on my nutrition, so I tended to gain some back and never got where I wanted to be. I was doing primarily cardio-based workout programs at home and not really supplementing properly, and just eating what I thought was right.
Then, in mid-2015, I stumbled upon Pre JYM. I don’t recall exactly how I came to try it, but that’s what helped me turn the corner and learn how to properly supplement my body, plan my nutrition, and start hitting on all cylinders. Pre JYM was my gateway to the JYM Army and JimStoppani.com. I dove into the articles and videos on training, supplements, nutrition, and started putting it all together.
My wife actually jokes that I am in a “relationship” with Jim because whenever any question about nutrition, workouts, etc., comes up, I’m always referencing the Doc. Not to mention, she sees Pre JYM, Post JYM, Pro JYM, Vita JYM, Omega JYM, and ZMA JYM all around the house!
The training programs on JimStoppani.com I’ve completed are: Back and Fourth, 5-3-2 Strength, Shortcut to Size, Shortcut to Shred, 3 Prong Strong, Super Shredded 8 (SS8), the Ripped in 6 Challenge, and the New Year’s Challenge. I had my best results with SS8 toward the end of 2016, when I got down to 201 pounds and about 10 percent body fat.
I had another work relocation in 2017, along with an attempt to bulk that added some fluff back on. Ripped in 6 took care of about half of it and the New Year’s Challenge knocked the rest off.
I’ve gained so much knowledge and confidence through the help of Dr. Stoppani and the JYM Army, not to mention the amount of strength and lean mass I’ve built.
It’s funny, people who didn’t know me when I was heavy think I’ve always been fit and that I must have been a college athlete. I used to have some shame in who I was before. Now, I tell anyone who thinks that I’ve always been this way that I’m a testament to the fact that it can be done. Anyone can do it if they really want to.
You’ll run into plenty of obstacles along the way, as well as people who try to derail you – sometimes intentionally and other times unintentionally.
Staying consistent with my nutrition was always my biggest downfall. The biggest piece of advice I would give that has worked for me is this: Plan your entire day of eating before you ever put a single thing in your mouth.
When I first decided I would start tracking my macros, I would often get to the end of the day and be either over or under in one, significantly enough that I couldn’t really adjust for it. Then I had this realization that it’s a heck of a lot easier to delete/adjust something before you eat it! Additionally, at least for me, when I plan the whole day in advance, it makes those tough choices during the day non-existent because that decision has already been made.
I’m currently at 210 pounds and about 15 percent body fat, on my way down to less than 10 percent.
Jim and the JYM Army have provided me with all the tools I need to succeed, and succeeding is what I’m doing. I have never felt better or been happier, and I will be a JYM Army disciple for life!