My fitness journey began a couple years ago when I stepped onto the scale and the number “298” flashed in front of me. I was mortified. “How could a kid who was 180 throughout high school allow himself to get to 300 pounds?” kept echoing in my mind. It was finally time for a change. The only goal in sight was to lose weight.
In the first year, I had zero knowledge of nutrition or what a good program would be for fat loss, so I was lured into the lose-weight-fast schemes we see all on TV. No matter what program I did, my results would just fade away. On the verge of giving up, I stumbled onto Dr. Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program in August of 2014. His videos on proper nutrition and supplementation all made sense and proved that everything I had done in the past was completely wrong. I decided to go all out and follow Jim’s programs to a T.
To date, I’ve completed Shortcut to Shred and I’m now in the middle of my second round of Super Shredded 8. Throughout this time, I’ve only used JYM products: Pro JYM, Pre JYM, Post JYM, Vita JYM and Shred JYM. Along with the supplementation, I’ve followed the nutritional guides provided with each of Jim’s programs, which are very detailed and tailored to whatever program you’re doing.
Due to Jim’s fantastic guides and workouts, the results have been phenomenal. I’ve dropped from 275 pounds to 235 pounds and lowered my body fat from 25% to 18% in only eight months. My overall goal now is to get to 8% body fat at a solid 225 pounds. I still have my work cut out for me, but I’ve come too far to stop!
This battle has been anything but easy. There have been many sacrifices and a lot of soul searching along the way. The most obvious sacrifice is food. Transitioning from eating anything fried with a beer on the side to eating clean was a tough task for me, but it was something that had to be done. Also, trading my long nights out on the town for sleep to allow my body to recover from a serious workout took willpower I didn’t know I had.
In order to overcome these challenges, I set up small goals for myself. If I were to get a small cheat meal or go out, I would plan a weight-loss goal ahead of time. One goal would be, “If I don’t lose five pounds by this weekend, I’m not going out.” I made myself earn those cheat meals and nights out. It finally got to the point where I’d earn a cheat meal and not partake. I was just proud that I could meet my goal
Even though I work out solo in a small gym, there’s absolutely no way I would’ve been able to do this alone. First off, I’d like to give a big shout-out to David Hueffed and Joe Pollak. All three of us set off on this fitness journey at the same time in three different states, holding each other accountable along the way. We probably annoy everyone on Facebook with our fitness posts, but who cares?!
I also want to thank my incredible family for backing me every step of the way. My mom supports me every chance she gets and is the absolute queen of making clean eating delicious! My dad always pushes me to keep going and reminds me that even though I may not be able to see my results, they’re there. And of course, my brother. He’s not the sentimental type, but a “Damn man, good job!” from him goes a long way. Last but definitely not least, the support of all my friends. A simple “You’re looking great” or “Keep it up” goes a long way for someone trying to make a serious fitness change.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who’s supported me this far. No matter how tough I may try to act, I’m still going to need all your help to keep this journey ongoing!
As I finish this up, I’d like to leave a few tips and tricks that have worked for me. The first one is to ignore the word “diet” and use the term “lifestyle change” instead. That will give you the mentality that you’re not just doing this for a week or two. Second, don’t start a program – finish it! Anybody can start a program, but if you commit yourself to finishing one you’ll have results like no other. Third, have another program lined up so that as soon as you complete one you’ll have a smooth transition in your workout lifestyle.
Lastly, when things get tough, fall back on your family, friends and the JYM ARMY. We’re all here for each other! Never be scared to reach out for a pick-me-up or a piece of free advice. All of us want to see others succeed. On that note, I wish good luck to all who are making a change. Keep waging war and always stay JYM powered!