My lowest point before the FitMania challenge was when I weighed 200 lbs. I had gained nearly 60 pounds over the last 7 years from when I was running 70-90 miles per week as a collegiate cross country runner. One day, my 4 year old daughter asked, “Dad do you have a baby in your belly? It is really big.” This innocent, yet honest comment from my daughter made such a deep impact on me and made me realize I needed to change NOW. I was known to say, “I will start my diet and workout program tomorrow.” This challenge was my “tomorrow,” and I cannot believe the results I have achieved. While I’m happy with the difference, I’m not yet satisfied with my overall health. The challenge has increased my desire to continually push myself and to gain increased strength, fitness, stamina in addition to living a healthier lifestyle. I not only want to get back the body and fitness I once had, but I also want to improve all the aspects and quality of my life.
With this challenge, I have unlocked my dedication and commitment to my fitness and health that has been hiding since I completed my collegiate cross country career. I have tried gyms, competing in races, or various other fitness programs only to complete a short term goal and go back to my old bad habits. This program works for me, and I will continue to improve physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel that these things are all connected and when one is out of balance, you cannot achieve your goals. I did not realize how far I let myself go physically; it was as if I was blinded.
I work as a RN on a cardiac floor, and daily, I see the consequences of poor nutrition and lifestyle. I was heading down this path myself even though I knew better. My taste for food has changed, I no longer grave the sugar or salty food that I did before. I’m getting accustomed to eating 6 meals a day, but this was difficult for me at the beginning. I now plan and pack my meals for work the night before instead of going to the cafeteria or quickly grabbing whatever I could find on my way out the door. I must admit that after my weigh in, I had a “cheat meal”. I ate a greasy burrito that I used to eat frequently, but had not had since I started the challenge. I literally felt physically ill afterwards. I also used to drink at least one sugar containing soda drink a day. I cannot believe this was my normal before. I didn’t realize how lousy and tired I felt all the time before doing the challenge. Now, I know that my poor eating habits were largely to blame. My body no longer wants fast, convenient, greasy food, but natural, nutrient rich food that will fuel my body and help me achieve my goals.
I became tired of my clothes fitting tight and having to buy bigger sizes. It is a great feeling to be able to start fitting into those clothes that I have held onto because “one day” I would fit into them again. I know this is only the start. FitMania has given me the guidance and tools to change my life, and I truly appreciate all they have done for me. I am reminded every time I sign in at FitMania and see the former picture of the person I never want to be again. I know it is still up to me to continue to make progress and changes, and I WILL continue!
My wife has been a great support not only with her encouragement, but also with planning healthy meals as a family. I know that teaching our kids the importance of eating healthy at a young age is imperative and will help determine their lifelong eating habits. We are also more active as a family now, going for walks, hiking, and practicing yoga. It is pretty cute watching a 2 and 4 year old do yoga! It is amazing to see the transformation in their young minds and to know the positive impact we are making on them.
Before the challenge, I always had excuses for not eating right or working out. Now, with my meal planning and ensuring time for my workouts, even when I work a 12+ hour days, I no longer have to make excuses. I have made this new commitment to myself. I know that with the changes I have already made and will continue to make, I will be a better father, husband and friend.