About Me

Tommy and Pam

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope that by telling you more about my personal fitness journey you will begin to realize that anyone can reclaim their fitness no matter your age or your present physical condition, and that it’s never too late to start.  I’m no fitness expert, nor am I a nutrition guru, I just found some solutions that worked for me and for thousands of others.  If we can do it so can you!  I am proud to be  affiliated with the top health and fitness company in the world – Beachbody.   The Official Mission Statement for Team Beachbody is “Help people achieve their goals and live a healthy, fulfilling life.”  

My personal goal is to help others find solutions that help them get fit and stay fit, and for those people in-turn to pay it forward, by helping others do the same.  I have made health and fitness my true vocation, my personal path in life.

 

How Did Fitness Become My Vocation?

Let’s start at the beginning…

“Obese” has been a word describing my physical state since I was 19 years old. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of things to lose weight.  I always had some success, but later gained the weight back and then some.  If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve ridden this roller coaster.  It’s definitely a buzz killer.  

Fast forward to 2009, at my heaviest weight of 255 lbs (at 5′ 7″ tall). It was time to see my doctor about my weight, and to help me get a handle on this before something serious happened. I lacked energy, my clothes didn’t fit, I would literally fall asleep waiting on the traffic light to change. Test results showed my liver enzyme tests are out of whack, indicating I had a fatty liver, my cholesterol was too high, and I had severe insulin resistance. Further tests confirmed I had sleep apnea.  All these factors combined were signs of what the medical community describes as Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-Diabetes, or Syndrome X. It was really getting scary!  Researchers are not sure which factor causes the others, but all of them contribute to each other, and if I eliminate one, it will help the others. The doctor prescribed medication to help lower my blood sugar and cholesterol, and a CPAP machine to help me sleep, but medicine would only do so much. The real changes would not happen without diet and exercise. My doctor told me that with insulin resistance or “prediabetes”, unless I changed my behavior, I would soon develop Type 2 diabetes. HOLY CRAP!  Based on the failure of my past plateaus, I decided to let modern medical technology and chemistry solve my problems. After all, these days you can get a pill to fix anything, right?.

After several months, my health continued to get worse, every time I went in to see the doctor, I was prescribed more meds. Just about that time, I got word that one of my best friends growing up had recently had a heart attack at 45!  He survived it, and was treated quickly, but that was one hell of a wake up call! Talk about hitting home. If it could happen to him, it could happen to me. We shared a lot of the same problems with weight, and grew up with the same eating habits. Time to get serious and give in to my doctor’s previous advice  – EXERCISE AND DIET.

I had to do this right though, I had to find something I could stick with. This was after all going to be for life, not just to lose a few pounds. Like most I GOOGLED it. SO MUCH TO SORT THROUGH!  It was very frustrating. On the TV, I had seen infomercials for a program called P90X. At first I thought this was just another gimmick sold on TV. So many companies out there try to make a quick dollar preying on people’s insecurities. As I watched, I saw the standard “before and after” shots. You know the ones where the model slouches and pokes out his gut in the “before” shot, and then stands tall and sucks it up in the “after” shot. These were different, they were home-made video testimonials on Youtube, and with amazing results. There was no way that THESE people were merely sucking it in to look thin the changes were too dramatic. So I went to Youtube to do more research. There were hundreds of people, not fitness models, but ordinary people of all shapes and sizes, who were getting amazing results on P90X.  I was sold, but how do I sell my wife, who was more skeptical of TV ads than me? I decided to kind of ease her into the idea with the Youtube videos before I told her I wanted to spend $120 on a TV video fitness program. When I finally told her the cost, I expected the full litany about wasting money in this hard economy, and how I should never believe those lies on TV. What I got instead however, was her serious look (guys, you know the one) and in her quiet voice she said, “You need to do something about your weight, it’s starting to affect your health, and I don’t want to be a young widow. I want you to be around for a long time for  me and for our boys.” WOW! I didn’t see that coming.

Tommy - Before

Me at 255 lbs

This is a photo of me at the time.  Clearly it was time for a change.  I was so excited waiting for it to come in, and when I finally got it, I immediately took the pre-test to determine if I was fit enough for the program, after all it was “extreme home fitness” like it said on the box. I passed the test, but I was in worse shape than I thought.  I could only do one pull-up, and that took me 3 tries.

When I started P90X I weighed 246 pounds.  The first month of P90X was the hardest. I was literally sore for a solid month. I had never in my life worked out like that. I was determined though. After all, I was fighting for my very survival, it had to work. After the first month, the work outs seemed a bit easier for me to do, and I was starting to notice changes. I was losing weight, getting muscular, and feeling more energetic by the day. It wasn’t just intense exercise causing these changes, P90X also had a great nutrition plan that was extremely easy to follow and I could keep it up as a lifestyle change, not just a diet.

I finished the first 90 days at 224 lbs. I wasn’t ripped, but then again I had a lot to lose, so Round 2 was in the plans. As I progressed through Round 2, I hit a few plateaus in my weight loss. Along the way I started experimenting with my nutrition.  Bingo!  The plateau was broken. It worked like a charm.  I had finally dial in the right combination of exercise and diet that was working for me.

I finished Round 3 on January 15, 2011 at my goal weight of 180 pounds.  After Round 4,  I weighed 168 and had exceeded my Round 4 goal of 170 pounds.  The image here is me after 4 Rounds of P90X.

One of the things that helped ensure my success with P90X was the great support system called Team Beachbody.  Their website has a great discussion board for everyone using their products. I registered immediately upon starting with P90X, and was automatically assigned a coach. The Coach’s job is to provide individual support for the user. They answer any questions, and give moral support that is so necessary, especially when plateaus hit, or the results are not happening like we would want. 

Why not sign up for a FREE account (Click) yourself? 

My newly assigned Team Beachbody Coach was Teresa. She has been from Day 1 a constant source of support and information.  She has truly become a close personal friend. Early on she tried to convince me that I would also make a great Team Beachbody Coach, but at the time I only wanted to concentrate on my own fitness, and felt I didn’t have the time to devote to others, as I tried to figure this fitness thing out. Even now looking back I wish I had listened to her back then.

As I began to see greater results over time, I would post my progress on Facebook. I began to get questions on from my old friends on how I was achieving my level of fitness, and about P90X. The most asked question I get is, “P90X, is that some kind of pill?” It still makes me laugh. Over time more and more of my friends, inspired by my results and advice, began to also try P90X and other fitness options themselves. People were actually asking me, the fat guy (this was how I still pictured myself deep down), for fitness advice. It still blows me away. What’s more, I really did enjoy helping. I got a message from Teresa congratulating me on the advice I was giving to people, and how I was giving Beachbody all this new business, but she was curious as to why I wasn’t helping myself as well. She had been trying to sign me as a coach for almost a year, and I didn’t really want to do this. Now all of a sudden, something was different. Whether I realized it or not, I WAS a coach. People were basing their fitness decisions upon my advice. I had not really become an overnight fitness guru, or a nutrition expert, I simply pointed people with problems to solutions that would help them like they helped me.  By signing up as a Coach with Team Beachbody, I made it official, and started to earn some income from the products people purchased through me. COOL!

So why has fitness become my vocation? Simple, I truly enjoy getting fit. More than that, I also have found that I enjoy helping others achieve their own fitness goals. It is so very rewarding to see people go through the physical, emotional, and psychological changes associated with becoming fit, and to have someone say “You made a difference in my life”.   You can’t put a dollar value on that.  When I see someone who is obese, I really want to reach out and let them know that there are solutions that will work for them.  I’m not sure if it was my choice or God’s plan, and whether I achieve success financially in this venture is not that important to me, as helping others regain their health. In order to help them I have to remain on the journey to set the example.  

Would you like to help others while helping yourself? Consider fitness as YOUR personal vocation, and in helping others, you will help yourself that much more. Maybe, like me when I started out,  you just want to get fit yourself.  Contact me and let’s talk about it.

Be Fit and God Bless!

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