It was 2012. I had been out of the U.S. Army for six years, during which time I vowed to never work out again.
I found myself at a hefty 240 pounds. I was tying my boots to go to work and I noticed I had a hard time breathing, and an even harder time getting up off the couch. I would get winded walking upstairs to check on my kids, or bend over to kiss them goodnight.
I started trying to get fit by sheer willpower. It worked for a short time, but I lacked the guidance to maintain it. I made every excuse in the book to not work out: Life was too busy, I didn’t want to take time from the kids, etc.
In 2014, I went to the doctor to get a blood exam for a reduced rate insurance through my employer. Two days later, the doctor called me and asked me to come in immediately. My triglyceride levels (fat in the blood) were through the roof. They are measured between 1 and 10; mine was 100! I was 29 years old. He told me that if I did not make a change, he was certain I would not live to see 35!
The hardest part of my journey was the decision to get started. But I found Jim Stoppani and started consuming all the content I could. I set myself a goal to get to 195 pounds before the summer, which was six months away.
The first program I tackled was Shortcut to Shred. Man, was it a doozy! By the time I finished the program, I was hooked.
After Jim got me hooked on fitness, I started to pursue a certification in personal training, as I now wanted to help others. By the end of Shortcut to Shred and Shortcut to Size — along with dabbling in other programs and training concepts Jim has on his website — I stood at 175 pounds and 11.5 percent body fat.
I had a hard time with diet (still my biggest challenge). I would tell myself “yeah, but if you don’t enjoy it, what’s the point?” Now the only thing standing in my way of the perfect diet is me.
I travel a lot for work, so I use anything I can find for a workout — hotel gyms, bands, and Jim even did a video about training on the road. His insight to that world was ever so valuable. I have to thank Jim and the JYM Army for that. The support I received from them was unlike any I have received for anything else. I also have to thank my “swole mate” Carina Stone; she has been the yin to my yang. Not only do I thank Jim for his knowledge, my five kids do as well!
If I could leave one piece of advice for anyone reading this, it’s simply to trust the process. I remember seeing my weight fluctuate and not seeing the results I wanted. Then someone pointed out to me, “Hey, you’re getting very trim,” even when I didn’t see it. Also, track measurables besides weight, like body fat and lean muscle mass. Watching those numbers come down was a huge key to my success, as they showed progress when the scale didn’t, and I couldn’t see it in the mirror.
Lastly, stay JYM Army strong!
Start working on your own success story with proven training programs and motivating challenges by becoming a member of JimStoppani.com.