Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can’t buy. –Izaak Walton
I have a fitness friend that I have had the opportunity to see transform. Over the last several months I have noticed a BIG change! He is disappearing before my very eyes in his size, while his attitude and smile are just as impressive. Recently I asked him to tell me what was going on in his life. He shared with me pieces of a very encouraging and motivational story. As I listened, I thought that this could be very impactful for our fitness family. I asked if he would be willing to share some of his story. His reply was a humble; Yes, if I have the opportunity to pay it forward in any way, I would like that.
Every time I see you, you look like a new man-and truthfully we see each other a couple of times a week at the fitness center! Not only do you look great, but I see something else there. You look alive, healthy, and happy. Your energy and attitude is infectious. Tell me about the journey you have been on in regards to your health. What was the catalyst for change?
My road to change really began 7 years ago when I weighed myself at 327 lbs! I immediately joined a gym and started to get active. The shock of how much weight I had gained was the initial launch. I lost 30 lbs that first year by doing nothing more than getting active. As my fitness improved I began SPIN classes and was hooked. I have kept being active since then and now weigh in at 224 lbs. This year I have lost 30 lbs by changing my diet and ramping up my fitness to the next level.
Have you tried other things is the past, but not been successful? How is this time different?
I have tried every fad diet from Atkins to South Beach and Slim Fast etc etc etc. All were short-term successes. My son challenged me to try his whole food diet, which I have been on since May. This is merely converting what I eat rather than watching a so-called “diet”. This has been the “magic bullet” that was missing for me. EAT WHOLE FOODS—processed foods had been my nemesis.
What are some of the positive things that you are experiencing because of the changes you have made?
I am a happier person. I have always been upbeat, but now I feel confident that I haven’t felt for a long time. I surprise myself with my advancing fitness and I have continued to try new things to help get me to where I want to be. I have greater endurance than I had before. I am faster, stronger, healthier. My outlook is transformed from being in a rut to pushing the envelope.
What are some of the roadblocks that you have faced along the way?
Injuries have set me back…pinched nerves, shin splints, and muscle cramps have all been hurdles. As I learn more about nutrition and fitness, I have been able to avoid hurting myself and staying in a progressive upward spiral. Diet soda was another pitfall.
What advice would you give to other men out there looking to create this same type of change? How can some of your new habits and attitudes be applied to all of us?
My advice is this—“you control you!” For the past year, I have made this my personal mantra. We have been given “free will” which means we are in charge of our person. If there is something you want to change (diet/fitness), don’t let your bad habits or excuses get in the way. Once you take control of your will BEND IT to comply with who you want to be. Advice to all on the fitness side—Work out ridiculously!! After all, what is the point? Push yourself to walk/run/ride further or faster than you thought you could. Try Cassie’s Basic Training!! On the nutritional side—ditch diet drinks! Drink water everywhere all day long. Trade enriched white flour for whole grain, trade white rice for brown rice, trade fresh fruit for sugar.
What advice would you give to the busy working person who desires these same habits?
Prepare yourself by setting goals and scheduling your time. Make working out the thing you can’t skip within your day. Pack a healthy lunch. Drink water all day long. If you mess up one day FEEL GUILTY! I used to shrug it off and find myself back in bad habits. If I have a bad day now I hit it harder at the gym and get back on track with the healthy foods.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Raw almonds—great snack, great on salads, I always buy a big bag from SAMS CLUB and I eat them whenever I get the urge to snack. Fresh fruit in season is a close second! I spend a fair amount of time in the produce section choosing fruit that is in good shape and a variety that will keep me satisfied.
What is your favorite ‘being active” activity?
As a died in wool mountain biker there is nothing better than riding single-track! The solitude, the rush of adrenaline and the total focus take me away to fitness nirvana. That said group classes like Spin and Basic Training keep you challenged and outside of your comfort zone. I also really enjoy running….Um, I guess I kind of love being active.
Where do you see yourself in regards to your health journey in the next five years? OR What new goals will you continue to set for yourself?
I am planning on running a half marathon this year. I would ultimately like to run a marathon in under 4 hours. (3 years?) I plan to get under 200 lbs and stay there for the rest of my life. I will be 50 years old next year and I am in the best shape of my life! I would like to say that every year from now on!
As the person who is usually on the motivating others side of things, you can see why hearing about Corey’s journey touches my spirit and reignites my own fire for living well. I am deeply touched by his focus and drive toward making healthy changes in his life. I believe the next 50 years for Corey have absolutely no limit!
Thanks for sharing friend!