My journey began several years ago with a routine physical. At the time I weighed 266 lbs with both cholesterol and blood pressure measurements in the extreme danger zone. In short I was literally a walking heart attack waiting to happen. I was taking an anti-anxiety medicine and had recently been temporarily laid off from work. My wife had just had surgery for a softball size tumor (benign) on her ovaries. In short, a total mess. I remember the doctor told me that without a significant lifestyle change, I wasn’t likely to live to age 65.
At my wife’s urging, I consulted with a wonderful acupuncturist who was able to get me off the anxiety medicine and fix my digestive system over a period of several months. She also did treatments to boost my metabolism and I changed the way I ate. I was able to lose 30-40 lbs rapidly. Unfortunately a couple life events soon got me off track. I lost my gall bladder and my Mom passed away. Again the acupuncturist was instrumental in getting me back on track.
Still I had no thoughts of any kind of exercise program. I always had it in my mind I would start working out after I lost the weight. So I actually trained my body to eat less and eventually got to the point where I was consuming no more than 800 calories per day. And not exercising.
Shortly before my 60th birthday, I walked into a personal training studio for the first time. I had no tone, was gray in color and was told I looked like a vampire. I weighed around 191 with a 35 percent body fat measurement. The first thing they did was double my food intake and start me on a regular weight training program. I had never before in my life lifted weights. It was there watching my first trainer in a competition that gave me the dream.
In early 2012, I finally found the trainer I needed. We have worked extremely hard to get me where I am today. Even since then there have been setbacks – a couple severe vertigo attacks, a measured balance function difference between left and right side, and earlier this year, hernia surgery while preparing for a competition. Through it all I’ve kept my eye on the goal and finally 3 days short of my 67th birthday, I have arrived.
The competition itself, NGA Fredericksburg Historic, was a life changing experience I’ll never forget. The entire show organization staff was nothing but totally professional and helpful. Being the only competitor in the opening class, I remember walking on stage for prejudging and feeling like a deer in theheadlights. But it got easier each time and when I finally went out for my routine I was having a blast. By far the most uplifting part of the whole experience was the number of people I reached. From young kids walking up and saying congratulations to the video of my routine getting over a thousand views in the first 12 hours, I cannot put in words how that made me feel. I believe if I am able to influence a single person to change some aspect of his or her life, then every drop of sweat has been worth it. Looking forward to the next one!!"
"I have always been athletic and into sports. After laying around for a year doing nothing, I went from a bulky 200 pounds to a soft and fat 200 pounds. I then decided to go after a childhood dream and become an all natural pro bodybuilder. After 2 years of competing, not only am I still learning, but also knocking on the door and getting closer and closer to that pro card. I am proof that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible."
Since I was about 12, I can recall being fascinated with bodybuilding. However, I really did not know what bodybuilding truly meant. Growing up I never paid attention to bodybuilders. Instead, I would watch the World Wrestling Federation because I thought of wrestlers as bodybuilders.
After high school, I became a US Marine where working out and being active was my job. So, I knew about mental and physical challenges, but I did not know how to transform my body into something greater that I was seeking. One day I asked Medina Roberts, the fitness director and personal trainer at Sport and Health Fredericksburg, "How can I look lean and retain my muscle?" She said "at 130pm when I am going to brief my team, come over and you will find out.”
I got started with a workout and diet plan. I already knew how to work out so I simply need to follow the plan and eat muscle building fat burning foods. Nothing would prepare me for how my body transformed after following the diet and workouts. My body fat went from 12% to 4% and I lost about 26Ibs.
I was unarguably the most muscular in the Men’s Lightweight Division at the NGA Annapolis Show June 2013. I truly believe that if my posing would have been better, I could have place #1 on all judges’ score cards. I enjoyed the experience and have no worries about my ranking because I got a piece of mind knowing I can challenge myself to achieve something I thought I was not capable of doing.
Now, I am the individual at the gym being asked, what I do for arms, abs, shoulders, back and so. People, say “You look great! How does it feel?” I give people tips when I can, but I always tell them, come to the gym with a goal to challenge myself think about what you want to accomplish, set goals and make the goals your passion, and challenge yourself, then you will know exactly how I feel. I think this approach can be applied to everyday life.