When I first began this little experiment, I was angry at the world and had been for some time. I have full custody of my 9-year-old daughter and I am 35. I work in a highly stressful job as an ER nurse in a busy metroplex. I worked, came home, and found my joy in sedentary activities, which basically amounted to drinking and eating and watching TV.
I got more out of shape over the years and became just overall unhappy with myself in all aspects. It manifested in a low-confidence level and me being a grump. I ate whatever I wanted and only ran if something was chasing me. I was not strong. I had no stamina or energy, and I always felt tired and run down.
I had no intention of looking like a fitness model or a bodybuilder when I decided to do the No Limits Challenge. I just thought I could lose some weight, feel a little healthier and possibly have more energy.
My main motivator was that I knew that if I had to post a picture every week, I would have to work hard because everyone would see it. I didn’t want to embarrass myself by not having any visual changes.
On July 15, I took my before picture and posted it. I read Dieting 101 and articles on meal prepping. I calculated my macros and made a plan for myself based on Jim’s nutrition plans. It took work, but this was just the first step.
It was also the first moment of the changes that I had no clue I was going to experience. That bitter, angry, unhappy person that I was had become distracted. In the course of the following eight weeks, I experienced physical, emotional, and mental changes, and I accomplished all of these things without really knowing that it was happening.
I had days that presented setbacks. There is no fail-proof, straight-line plan. You have to adapt and adjust, and that resiliency is part of the emotional and mental strength that began to build.
I stepped on the scale at 187 pounds with 27 percent body fat. I am currently 176 pounds and 12 percent body fat, and I hope to be single digits body fat in the near future.
I have put on some lean mass, but how to calculate that is sort of a mystery to me still. I just know I have ripped underwear because my butt and thighs are bigger, and my old scrubs are too tight, but I weigh less.
I am finishing up the Giant Program with the No Limits Challenge, and then I’m going to jump into the daily Train with Jim series until the next challenge is offered; I like the accountability that it created for me.
My nutrition through this was simple. A day looked like this:
- Wake up and take Shred JYM, then 30 minutes later a Pro JYM shake. I use the carton egg whites and pour five whites into a bowl and then sprinkle oats on top and microwave for two minutes.
- About two hours later, two low-fat cheese sticks and 1 ounce of almonds.
- An hour later (11am), I take Shred JYM again.
- At noon, I drink another shake and open a meal prep tray: 6 ounces of salmon or chicken, depending on the week, and then a veggie — broccoli or Brussels sprouts with ¼ cup jasmine rice.
- Around 3pm, I have 1 ounce of almonds and two cheese sticks. I make a shake and start drinking it slowly around 4:30pm, and follow that with my Pre JYM shake around 5:30pm.
- Post-workout I take my Post JYM Active Matrix and Fast Carbs (IT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY DAY!) I look forward to this delicious drink all day.
- Then I have my last shake of the day and eat my dinner, which is 4 to 6 ounces of chicken or fish, veggies, but no rice. I typically double my veggie at dinner.
If this looks familiar, it’s because it’s from Jim’s nutrition plans. I adjusted it to fit my life and schedule to what worked for me. I don’t hit my macros perfectly every day. I just get them as close as I can, with protein being my focus, knowing if I am getting that, then it really leaves no room for calories from empty sources.
I never get bored of eating the same thing. It makes it easier because I don’t have to make decisions. I just open and eat. Fail to plan and you plan to fail.
All in all, I am a better person today than I was two months ago. I am happier and have a new outlook on life and everything in it. My daughter looks at me with a sense of pride and admiration like never before. I am her HERO, but now I look like one, too.
I welcome the challenges and adversity each day brings; it gives me a chance to prove my mental strength is now just as strong as my physical strength because I AM JYM ARMY STRONG!