Thirteen years ago I decided enough was enough and thus began the journey that would change my life forever. There have been so many ups and downs that I can’t even recall them all, but here we are, over a decade later, and I’m still on this journey.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have great support over the years and I’ve worked extremely hard to be successful in my weight loss, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that once the weight is off, you’re not done, you’ve actually only just begun!
I’m a fan of shows like The Biggest Loser because they can help inspire people who may not otherwise start a journey towards health and fitness. That said however, they also set up a lot of false expectations and false hopes out there for those people who don’t realize that what they do on these shows isn’t realistic for most of the population. The issue I have with “reality” tv is that they don’t show us what is actually done to have these people lose so much weight, so fast. They are put on very restrictive low calorie diets and have them workout 8 hours a day, which isn’t realistic, or healthy in my opinion. Also, because they are “crash dieting”, a lot of them don’t keep the weight off.
We run a beginner health and fitness program at our gym called Life Change, and we really stress and teach the fact that fad diets and magic pills don’t work. We educate people that the way to lose weight, get fit and be and stay healthy, is by hard work, dedication, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. We don’t make promises of losing 20 pounds in 6 weeks, because we can’t make that promise. If we did make that promise and we tried to follow through on it, we’d be putting people’s health at risk the same way I believe those reality shows do. What we do instead is give our gym members the tools, education, and training for the rest of their lives.
There have definitely been people who have lost up to 20 pounds in just 6 short weeks during our program, but that’s because they committed to put in the work outside of the gym and at home. They used the tools and content that we give them which gives them the opportunity to be successful, and they do the work.
All of the above may have been the toughest thing for me to learn; it’s not about fad diets, it’s not about losing weight fast, it’s not about false expectations, it’s about education and application. I’m learning something new every single day, and regardless of what it is, my goal is to continue my journey for me and for our gym members. This isn’t just my passion, this is my career and my life, and I’m always learning so I can help others.
Even with all of this education and training, I really do think that the biggest thing I have to remember is that I’ve come so far in the last 17 years; 110 pounds gained. 100 pounds lost. A rollercoaster of food addiction, anxiety, smoking over a pack of cigarettes a day, and borderline alcoholism. Bad relationships. Good relationships. Friends and family come and gone. Healthy, and then not healthy again, and back to healthy. And now finally being happy with myself. Being a husband. Being a dad. Being a leader in the gym.
I’m constantly working on my physical and mental health, and learning every day. It’s about education and application. I love what I do, and I love helping people, and this is a big part of the journey for me, and I know it’s just begun.