My fitness journey started at the end of February 2017. I had a severely sprained ankle and was going in for a follow-up doctor visit. They were taking basic info when I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 232 pounds. I was really in disbelief that I had let myself get out of control and become that unhealthy.
As I was recovering from my sprained ankle, I took the time to research some dieting tips and figure out what my plan of attack was going to be. My first step was to quit drinking soda and eating candy (I had a massive sweet tooth), and start prepping lunches to eat during the week so I wasn’t tempted to go out and have fast food.
Fast-forward to the middle of April 2017. I had lost about 12 to 15 pounds just from eating better, and I was finally able to be more active after my ankle sprain. At that point, I decided I needed to join a gym and start exercising.
I was a little intimidated at first, but I worked up enough courage to finally go into a local gym close to home and commit to a year membership. For the first week or so, I realized that I really didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing in there.
I turned to bodybuilding.com, found some workout plans, and ordered up some pre-workout and some protein, not really knowing much about the different products.
I set my goal of getting down to 179 pounds by my birthday, July 31, which I got to about three weeks before my birthday. So I thought, “Well, what do I want my next goal to be?”
I then set my mind to just getting rid of more body fat and hoped to find my abs one day. I had dropped the first 50 pounds easily and was like, “I can do this.” I was doing a very low-carb diet and plateaued. I was getting pretty frustrated and tried just working harder and harder, but couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.
Luckily for me, a sponsored ad popped up on my Facebook feed. It was Jim Stoppani talking about some of his different exercises for a workout program. From that point, I started following Jim’s Facebook page and then stumbled upon the JYM Army group.
I just lurked and absorbed a bunch of information from all the members. I read Jim’s Dieting 101 and his articles on intermittent fasting and carb cycling. After reading and watching a bunch of his videos, I decided to try his program Shortcut to Shred, which I am currently finishing up.
I had reverse dieted to get my carbs so I could follow his macro recommendations. I switched to taking Pre JYM, Post JYM, and Pro JYM, using those as recommended, and following his diet plan for Shortcut to Shred, as well as incorporating the 16/8 intermittent fasting.
I started seeing the results I had been dreaming of. I have gotten down to 161 pounds (71 pounds in 6 1/2 months), and while the scale hasn’t moved much, the mirror test and the pants test tell me I am dropping fat while gaining muscle.
The JYM Army has shown me how to live a healthy lifestyle while still being able to enjoy many treats, like doughnuts and pizza on cheat days. The biggest changes I have made are not drinking as heavily as I used to and eliminating processed sugars from my diet.
When I started my journey, I didn’t tell my family or friends what I planned on doing for fear of failing and not achieving what I set out to accomplish. The biggest accomplishment for me is knowing all the hard work that I have put in and having people notice the results without having to tell them.
What keeps me going when I find that I am getting down on myself is just looking at my transformation pictures to see where I have come from in such a short time. I keep at it daily and try to be just a little better than I was yesterday.
I plan on doing Jim’s Shortcut to Size program next to gain some muscle and strength, and can’t wait to compete when his next challenge comes out. These programs help motivate and maintain a healthy lifestyle that I don’t plan on giving up for any reason.
Remember to stay JYM Army strong in every way possible, offer motivation, advice, and help the next person out so that they can achieve their dreams and pay it forward to someone as well.
Start working on your own success story with proven training programs and meal plans by becoming a member of JimStoppani.com.