The last year has been a huge year of change, a year of transformation, maturing, and growth.  Why this last year? Why the change, now?  The story is one with ups and downs and all kinds of twists and turns resulting in the roller coaster called my health and well-being.  The story starts now.

3 years ago I decided I wanted to lose weight and be a healthier person, I went to the gym, watched what I ate, and had a personal trainer.  I was motivated….at the time.  Summer ended, I went to college, and the normal lazy inactive person I was before became who I was again and the weight began to pile on.  All the weight I lost over one summer came back, plus some.  I was on a downward spiral of weight gain, depression, injury, anger, and laziness that lasted for years.  All that was about to change.

I reached my low last December, after a semester of excessive partying, a ton of drinking, junk food, late nights, and unhealthy living.  I reached the point where I could not stand to see the man I saw in the mirror.  I hated the man I had become.   I was miserable.  I was depressed.  I was always tired.  I stopped caring about myself and thought change would be impossible.  Things had to change right then, at that moment, because I literally thought I would not be living much longer.  I was at 276 pounds and had a body fat percentage of over 34% at the very beginning of this year.  If I didn’t fight for change for myself, who would?

I began carving my path at the beginning of the year with some light cardio days that started to help me lose a few pounds that I inevitably would gain back when my ankle surgery took place at the beginning of march.  Ankle surgery resulted in 8 weeks of being unable to do strenuous physical activity, but it gave me 8 weeks of pure reflection and the ability to change my diet.  I left college and came home for the summer where it instantly became game time!

It began with a regulated sleep schedule, many small meals throughout the day (usually every 3 hours), and a schedule that I would not allow to change or falter.  My path was more than a physical change, it was a mental change, a lifestyle change, a complete change of the person I was, and it needed to happen!  Functional training was the answer, a mixture of training techniques including high intensity cardio, endurance, strength, stability, coordination, flexibility, power, yoga, and body weight movements allowed for rapid (yet healthy) change.  I fought exhaustion, stress from my internships and work,  and soreness to conquer the mess I had become and change my life! I beat myself and my negativity to lose over 60 pounds and nearly 20% of my body fat.

I told you my story for one reason, motivation.  It comes down to what you want, what you want out of life, and what you want out of yourself.  I had to drag myself out of the despair that had overtaken my life and climb out of the darkness.  I learned something this summer, anything you truly want and are willing to work for can be attained!  The benefits of change far outweigh the work I put in to obtain, all the blood, sweat, and tears that accompanied the 3 months I was home for summer were worth nothing compared to the confidence, self-esteem, happiness, and personal drive and accountability I have found.  Motivation is everywhere you look, it’s different for every individual, but exists in all things.  My motivation to change came from the mirror I stood in front of day in and day out for years.  Any person can achieve anything by allowing motivation and drive to encompass them and push them.  What drives you?  What motivates you?  What pushes you further then you could ever imagine?  Harness whatever it is that motivates you and push for anything and everything you want, you never know what you can accomplish unless you push yourself to the edge to reach what you desire.

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