For the majority of my life, I have been overweight. My parents knew very little about fitness and nutrition, therefore I knew even less.
To be honest we never really went out for dinners all that much but momma’s home cooking was more than adequate for me.
As you can tell by the picture above I weighed significantly more than most kids my age.
I remember shopping for back to school clothes and all I wanted was shoes. Shoes always fit, jeans not so much. I mean by the time I was 15 I was a size 38 and standing a mighty 5’3”.
Although I didn’t know it any other way and to be honest I never really got teased about my weight (at least not that much and mostly because I would just make fun of myself) I HATED the way I looked. I felt helpless, I thought I would be the fat kid my whole life. You know the guy who wouldn’t take his shirt off at the swimming pool, and damn I wanted to do the parking lot peel back (jumping out of your car with your boys, ripping your shirt off before you even hit the beach)
Then at 18 years old, my life got flipped upside down.
I have core group friends who have been like brothers to me for close to 20 years. And on April 19th, 2005 one of my brothers was killed in a motorcycle accident. Looking back on it, I don’t think I really comprehended how much it impacted my life. To be honest, at that point in my life it was the worst day imaginable. Sitting back now, I can also say it was the turning point of a new me (Trav I know you’re up there smiling when you hear that). I immediately left my job as an auto body apprentice in order to pursue a career in helping others. Since Trav wanted to be a fireman, I thought hell I’m going to honor him and become a paramedic. Again virtually clueless I had no idea what to do.
Step 1. I needed to get certified with the highest level of First Aid and CPR I could get.
Step 2. Get my ass in shape to pass the physical exam.
But how does an 18-year old kid with no confidence lose weight when he has zero idea what to do?
There was no way you were getting me into a gym. Are you kidding me? A GYM!?! Where other people could see how fat and out of shape I was?
Then I saw it.
As I was sitting at home one day The Biggest Loser came on T.V. and I was hooked. I remember Bob Harper preaching calories in vs calories out. Now I’m not a math whiz by any means but I thought “SERIOUSLY, THAT’S IT!” I’ve struggled my whole fucking life with my weight and all I had to do was burn more calories than I ate! FUCK YEAH this is easy! So, off I went.
I bought 3 things;
A heart rate monitor
A notepad to track my food
The biggest loser workout video (yeah guys do workout videos too)
After 4 months, I had lost 60lbs. I went from a 210lb chubby kid to a 150lbs skinny-fat kid. But I had no idea what skinny-fat was. I was just pumped that for the first time in my life, a pair of jeans were actually loose. (I don’t think people realize how big of a deal this is but honestly, after 18 years of not being able to fit into jeans, this was the be all end all to me)
Then the next roadblock happened
June 10th (I remember the date because it was the day I hit my goal of 150lbs) I got hit in the face with a hockey puck shattering my jaw. You would think to have your jaw wired shut for 6 weeks would be a bad thing, but for my messed up mind, I thought it was great! Remember calories in vs calories out, if my jaw’s wired shut I can’t eat. So boom! I lost an additional 20lbs in just 1 week. Now imagine that 18 soon to be 19-year-old, 130lb, 5’7 ( I grew a couple inches after I graduated) with no front teeth.
From the age of 19-24 I was still having ups and downs with my weight.
I ended up regaining all my weight back after I had the jaw surgery just to lose it all again. This time instead of workout videos I would hop on my bike and made sure I burned at least 2000 calories per day no matter what it took. I went up and down a couple more times over the course of the next 3-4 years. I knew this whole time that I wanted to be a trainer I just couldn’t bring myself to go to school. I thought all personal trainers were in amazing shape. One day while working my job as a warehouse laborer, a friend of mine mentioned he was going to personal training school and he encouraged me to go with him. By this point, I had an amazing knowledge of training I just didn’t look the part, so I thought I wouldn’t be believable. I hummed and hawed about it and finally decided if I didn’t go then I would never go.
I wouldn’t say the rest is history, but all those events lead me to where I am today. To be honest I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Exercise and nutrition changed my life more than I can ever express.
Because of fitness, I feel like I have lived two lives. One as an outwardly happy inwardly disappointed kid and teenager who had zero confidence. Into an inwardly and outwardly positive and happy man who feels like he can do anything, he puts his mind to.
This is the reason I am so passionate about exercise and the reason I opened Club Sweat.
I want others to experience the same life-changing effects I got through fitness.