The Scare

“You’re about to have a stroke.”

That’s what the CVS nurse told me on the windy November afternoon in 2010. I’d gone in for a cold and came out with a pounding heartbeat. Man, that’ll shake you up for sure.

To be fair, life wasn’t all that great even before this moment. I weighed 280 lbs, possessed little self-esteem, and struggled in a career that gave me loads of stress with little fulfillment. Life sucked for 30-year-old me; as I drove home that day, I knew that something had to change. Otherwise, I’d never live to see 40.

From 0 – 100 Lbs

Starting on February 1, I started making changes to my lifestyle so I could lose the extra 100 lbs that I’d been carrying for years. It started with small changes: a protein shake for breakfast; a bottled water in the afternoon. Nothing radical, mind you–just baby steps of progress every week.

Knowing that I’d never manage to lose 100 lbs in one shot, I pledged to lose 30 lbs in that first 90 days. I lost those 30 lbs by May 1, too. Those first “baby steps” of progress had led to other changes over time: more walking, less fast food; better sleep; lower blood pressure and higher self-confidence. I stumbled along the way, of course. After all, pizza tastes better than broccoli and deserves to be eaten, too. Nevertheless, I persisted towards my goal. Armed with this new thrill of goal achievement, I set off for another 90 day goal, one more baby step at a time.

I followed this same pattern over the next three years: set a 90 day goal, break it down into 13 weekly baby steps, and give it a shot. Sometimes, I made great strides towards that 100 lb destination; at other times, I stagnated. I hit a roadblock at 200 lbs and plateaued for over six months before I found a way to break through. I discovered the importance of proper eating habits and drinking water. Little by little, I shifted my whole lifestyle from obese to healthy person.

The hard work paid off. By October 2013, 32 months after I set off to lose the weight, I finally lost 100 lbs. I’ve more or less maintained that weight loss from that point forward.

From Former Fat Boy to Gym Dom

Before After Action Pic

It’s almost inevitable: whenever one person sets out to transform their life, other people stand up and take notice. Creating a healthy lifestyle for myself encouraged others around me to do the same, asking me for advice on how they could make the shift, too. In early 2015, I decided to break away from old, less fulfilling career and find better achievement for others as a certified personal trainer. After devoting that year to intensive study, I earned my personal trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in November 2015, exactly five years after my stroke scare.

Between the weight loss and career change, I referred to myself as the Former Fat Boy; after all, I wanted the world to know that I’d lost a ton of weight! After becoming a trainer, I opted for a new moniker. The name “Gym Dom” came from my intensity as a trainer in guiding my clients towards their own lifestyle transformations. I use the lessons learned from my own health journey to create my Baby Steps approach–a goal mapping system that uses weekly steps of progress to move clients towards their own goals, 90 days at a time. You can read about Baby Steps right here.

Are you ready to step towards your own health goals? Don’t wait for life’s rude awakening like I did; the sooner we start your health journey, the better quality of life that you’ll experience. Drop me a line here to schedule your consultation today.

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