I started my fitness journey in March of 2015. At the time, I weighed 286 pounds, with a 42-inch waist, and 42 percent body fat. I was on high blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine and several other meds to fight the side effects of my aforementioned state.
I have been a football coach for 26 years and have had the opportunity and privilege to coach some amazing athletes over the years. I was a three-sport athlete myself in high school, and was lucky enough to play college football as well. With that said, I have always understood the value of fitness. My livelihood depends on it. But for some reason, I had let myself slide to the point of being VERY unhealthy.
In March of 2015, I was attending a strength and conditioning clinic at Texas A&M. One of the strength coaches was a former player of mine who I had not seen in years. When I walked up to him, he barely recognized me. The first words out of his mouth were, “GOD, Coach, you have gotten fat!” Talk about a punch to the gut!
That night, we went to dinner and he asked me if I have changed my coaching philosophy. I have ALWAYS preached “Bigger, Faster, Stronger!” I told him I hadn’t. Then he asked me this: “Coach, how can you ask your kids to go in that weight room and kill themselves when you look like you do?” Second punch to the gut.
He asked me about my health and when I told him, he delivered the knockout blow. He said, “Coach, I love you. I am where I am today because of you. The last thing I want to happen is to hear you had a stroke and died on the field in front of your kids. And Coach, if you don’t change, that is what’s going to happen.” I was done.
I went to my hotel and started searching for programs. Crazy, right? I have been training athletes for 26 years; why did I need help? I was 48 at the time and wanted someone close to my age, not some 20- or 30-year-old meathead telling me to just drink this, pop this pill, and I will magically turn into Jay Cutler.
After a couple hours of searching and reading, I stumbled onto a YouTube video by Dr. Jim Stoppani. It made PERFECT sense. I also have a degree in biology and EVERYTHING he talked about was spot-on and science-based. I was sold!
I joined his website, read Dieting 101 and have followed it religiously ever since. I track my macros as closely as possible.
My first program was Shortcut to Strength. I sent Doc a tweet and he suggested adding cardioacceleration. I also bought Pro JYM and Pre JYM at first and lost 20 pounds with that first program. After that, I went with the full line of JYM products. I added Post JYM, Vita JYM, Shred JYM, ZMA JYM, and Alpha JYM.
My next program was Shortcut to Shred. Another 15 pounds gone. I have now completed Six Weeks to Sick Arms, Super Shredded 8, Shortcut to Size and I’m currently doing Down and Up Mass. I have repeated a couple of these programs as well.
My current stats: 220 pounds, 34-inch waist, and about 12 percent body fat. But the biggest change is that I no longer take any medications!
The biggest obstacle I face is not seeing the results I want as fast as I want to. It’s a process. It will not happen overnight. I set short-term goals and that helps keep me going. As I always tell my players: “Embrace the grind and enjoy the rewards.”
A friend showed some of my progress pictures to a photographer in Dallas and he asked me if I would be interested in doing some modeling. I was blown away. He told me that they are always looking for “aged” models. I accepted and even followed Doc’s program to get ready for a photoshoot. What a fun experience for an old ball coach! Seeing my hard work on display in department stores is very heartening, and humbling as well.
It hasn’t been an easy road, but Dr. Stoppani has laid out the roadmap and given you all the tools you need to succeed. The JYM Army community is the greatest source of inspiration and encouragement you will ever find. All you have to do to succeed is be willing to put in the work.
I am humbled by the people who reach out to me and I’m honored to share my story with them. I am always willing to help or just offer a word of encouragement; the friends I have made here in the JYM Army I hold dear.
As many of you know, I lost my little brother to ALS in January. I started this journey just after he was diagnosed. The one thing he wanted me to do was live life. Because of Jim Stoppani, the JYM Army, and some hard work, I am doing just that — LIVING life.
Stay JYM Army strong!
Start working on your own success story with proven training programs and meal plans by becoming a member of JimStoppani.com.