Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
There is just so much to say here, and if I’m ever asked to elaborate, I will. Summarizing how I felt about myself and my body before I started this whole fitness journey is one word: “lost.” For the majority of my life, I had extremely low self-confidence. What I see when I look at that “before” picture was a “me” that was extremely afraid of change, stubborn, sluggish, and depressed. I worked hard in all the wrong areas. I love my friends and family dearly, but did not understand that one of the biggest things missing was loving myself. I am a very big emotional eater (seem possessed at times), and very good at mentally tricking myself that I was doing everything I could. I can’t tally all the cheeseburgers, ring dings, cookies, fast food, and excessive alcohol I consumed, but I can say it had me in a vice. No matter how much I thought I was doing to better myself, I never felt “right.” I felt my body was at a dead end without a clear direction to go.
What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, while the electricity was knocked out, I was talking to my wife about making a change and wanting to try to start losing weight. I was not feeling right: pains and aches in my joints, clothes not fitting right and getting worse, and that inevitable guilt of shoving food down my mouth I knew deep down was not good for me. With all the pressures of life, this all depressed me. I also got to thinking about all of the obstacles my best friend ever, my grandfather, was going through as he was experiencing many problems due to nutrition through diabetes and heart problems. By candlelight, I saw the deluxe packaging for INSANITY for the first time that my wife had purchased but hadn’t used. This seemed like it was the light at the end of the tunnel. There was an element to this that made me feel like this wouldn’t work, but I wanted to make a change. That night I said that everyone has to start somewhere, and this is where I will start.
What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody help you overcome that challenge?
There were three main things I would say that posed the greatest challenges. First, recognizing that there was something more I could do. Whether this was saying that I actually do have the time — one favorite question I love to ask anyone now that questions me about time is “Do you watch TV every night? How much?” — or feeling confident enough that no matter how awkward I would be at first, I had to start with baby steps and I’ll get there. At the time, I had sworn off many exercises due to injuries sustained in a horrific car accident that resulted in ribs that broke and healed wrong. I rationalized that this was legit. The second reason was other people. Whether people believe it or not, excessive negativity can affect everyone around you. With lack of support comes a stream of reasons why there’s no sense in starting the journey. The third reason was starting. The start is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you feel helpless in the warm-ups of the first workout, let alone the fit test. That start is so hard.
What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
I think Shaun T is one of the most incredible motivators, and he has simply taught me so much about myself through a video and television screen that I simply wouldn’t have learned before. If I ever saw him in person, I don’t know if I could find the words to express how thankful I am for his hard work and dedication. Every program provided the perfect guide for moving forward. All the workouts challenge me even now, and I still strive for perfection in every workout, because I know there is always something to improve. The calendars kept everything organized and the fit tests provided real tangible results to track.
Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
I’ve had a complete body transformation. I was 218 pounds; never doing cardio or trying to lift heavy at the gym, because I convinced I was hurting myself; showing no self-control with food; low self- confidence; and shying away from meeting challenges head on. After the first two rounds of INSANITY, I noticed such a change, I was completely hooked. After the Asylum hybrid calendars, I had gotten down to 175 pounds even, and this was completely unthinkable when I started. I think one of the biggest moments that made me feel confident was when I popped Asylum Volume 1 in and had to face jump rope exercises. What my neighbors probably thought was an earthquake was me refusing to give up. I’m in a completely different category with how fluidly I can perform these now. I also did all of these programs in the time allotted on the calendars. My jumping ability was non-existent, and pull-ups were another pipe dream in my head. This and so much more I am thoroughly proud of.
How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
Outside of the obvious physical changes, the programs shaped my mind to continue to work and to continue to Dig Deeper. I embraced the challenges I was facing at the time I started. I got a new job, got promoted at that job, bought a house, and dug myself out of other things I felt were holding me down. I’m not looking back. I have a “can do” attitude now, no matter what the task ahead of me. I’ve also been more active with my Coach’s group, trying to inspire people through the experiences I had and learning from others. I am a computer programmer, commute three hours a day, and I’ve worked my life to fit in what I need to fit in. I never felt compelled to fill this submission in, but with support from my Coach and group, I decided to break my silence. It would be great to get shirts for all these programs, and I do feel proud of them all. I love seeing others succeed too. It’s a contagious, positive cycle that I’m thankful to be a part of.
How did your Team Beachbody Coach support you on your journey?
For so long, my achievements were kept under wraps. Most people I talked to were either not interested, felt uneasy talking to me about things, or in a way discouraged me from it all. My Coach brought me out of my shell and taught me to be proud of everything that I’ve done. She also brought me into her group, and I started talking about myself to people in the group. I started finding that I have more to offer than just a “before/after” picture. I like to help people, I love to see them succeed, and I love moving through this journey with a group. Danielle is awesome!
You can change your life, too. Take the Beachbody Challenge for the tools you need to Decide, Commit, and Succeed! Complete any Beachbody program, and enter your results for a free gift and a chance to win cash and prizes.