When I first started, my goals were to reduce my BMI, shed some fat in those annoying areas (tummy, thighs, hip area), and to gain muscle mass. I’ve always been told I’m “skinny” or “slim,” but I’ve always wanted to tighten, tone and get some muscle mass and definition. After the first few weeks of Shortcut to Shred (the first of Jim’s programs I tried), I found myself addicted to lifting weights and the high I got from setting PRs, so lifting heavier became a goal as well.
I started at around 152 pounds (height 5’9″) and when I completed Shortcut to Shred, I was 145 pounds. A couple months later, I participated in Jim’s New Year’s Challenge, cutting down to 135 pounds but also adding some noticeable muscle mass and definition. One thing I learned from these measurements is that I should have also done BMI and BFI measurements and calculations, because just weight can be misleading. The mirror doesn’t lie though, as well as overall performance in the gym, so that’s how I judged my progress.
Over the past couple years, I’ve completed Shortcut to Shred twice and Jim’s New Year Challenge (Fitter, Faster, Leaner). I’ve also done a bit of the Daily Grind, HIIT 100, and Super Shredded 8. With these programs, I also followed Jim’s Dieting 101 program and the nutrition plan for Shortcut to Shred. I counted my macros, and I kept my carbs fairly low because I found that worked best for me for getting and staying lean. I supplemented my diet with Pre JYM, Post JYM Active Matrix, Post JYM Dextrose, Pro JYM, Shred JYM, Omega JYM, and ZMA JYM. I also took CLA and carnitine daily (not JYM products). I’ve also added Vita JYM to my daily supplements now.
My biggest motivation was that I wanted to change my lifestyle and gain confidence. I wanted a stronger, healthier body and mindset. The JYM Army community kept me motivated and helped me with any questions or concerns I had, and the New Year Challenge really pushed me to stay committed and do my best. Personal struggles in life are also key motivators.
When it came to changing my lifestyle, I used to be all about cardio/running, specifically long-distance running. I went from the track, the running trails and spin classes to hours of ifting weights at the gym. My significant other, who has been my gym buddy for the past two years, was deployed quite a bit and I had to get used to working out alone. Diet wise, hitting my macros was a bit difficult, because I’m not a huge eater. I would always fall short in all categories, or not finish the meals I prepped. Getting used to eating more and timing meals was tough for me. I also had to be more accountable for keeping track of the food I ate. I cut down a lot on beer and wine.
Through all of it, I learned so many valuable lessons. The most important: Never quit. Getting frustrated is normal, but turn that frustration into motivation. Remind yourself why you started in the first place. Give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve a goal or hit a PR, or even if you just complete a workout! Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or advice. Use Jim’s articles and videos!
I’d like to think I motivated some people to change their lifestyles and diets. Anytime I got into a conversation with someone on the topic (mostly at the gym) I would tell them about Jim Stoppani and JYM Supplement Science. I got a lot of great feedback, not only on my physical progress, but on how much happier and healthier I appeared and how people were impressed with the dedication that comes along with sticking to a program and showing progress and results.
My advice to beginners is to find a program that fits your needs and your lifestyle, and stick to it. A lot of Jim’s programs are flexible and can be tweaked a little. (And if you need help, hop on the JYM Army Facebook page and ask!) Diet is very crucial throughout, so do your absolute best to follow the nutrition plan. Use JYM Supplement Science products – they’re scientifically designed to be effective in all areas of overall health, muscle-building, fat loss and performance. Finally, be confident and never give up!
In the future, I will continue to use (and endorse) Jim Stoppani’s programs and nutrition plans, and JYM Supplement Science products (all of them!) I recently committed myself to the HIIT 100 program and will complete that in six weeks. My long-term plans include continued use of Jim’s programs and supplements to achieve peak fitness and physique. I also plan to incorporate some Olympic lifting into my weekly routine. I am considering the possibility of competing someday as well. I have learned so much from Jim Stoppani, JYM Supplement Science and the JYM Army that I’ve gained confidence going forward and can’t wait to continue my fitness journey!