The day had finally come. The biggest moment of my life was here. My hands were shaking, I was anxious and excited all at the same time. I had practiced my routine a thousand times, but kept praying that I wouldn’t pass out or choke under pressure. I had worked so so hard and all my efforts for the last 6 years would pay off in this very moment. After flying 2,000 miles for the biggest show of my life, I was finally ready to step on stage. I looked around at my competition. Nothing. Nobody. I felt confident and knew I was going to win and take home the hardware. I totally forgot to get a tan that morning, but I figured it would be ok.
All eyes on me. Stay focused. Can’t turn back now. One step in front of the other as I walked out in front of everyone and I could really feel the pressure now. I saw my girlfriend in the distance and as she smiled at me, I knew this was it - it was GO TIME! I hit my first pose, the flashes of the cameras went off and the judges were shocked – they had no idea what was coming. I got down on one knee (you better believe I perfected that pose!) and pulled out a diamond ring from my pocket. My girlfriend started crying and walked over to me in disbelief. There were 75 people in the audience, who were all clapping and shouting in excitement. None of them expected the proposal to happen at the big family reunion!
“I love you with all my heart” I told her, as tears streamed down her face. “I can’t thank you enough for your endless love, support and encouragement. You’re my best friend, my biggest fan and I never want to live a day without you by my side. I would be so honored to call you my wife until the day that I day. Will you marry me?” This moment was better than I could have ever imagined. The 6 years of growth in our relationship and hard work to make myself a better man for her, had all paid off as I walked away with my first place trophy. It was better than a sword, better than a physical piece of hardware. My grand prize was the joy that came when “She Said Yes!”, it was the moments shared with her entire family, and most of all…my grand prize was walking away with the love of my life, my best friend who I would soon be able to call my wife. Who said you needed a spray tan to win?
Ok, so I’ve never participated in a bodybuilding competition. Maybe one day I will! But I imagine, the pressure would feel somewhat similar. I was sweating bullets before I got down on one knee! No, I mean literally. It was a really hot day and at the time, I was overweight and racing around to make sure everything was perfect! Although that particular day was absolutely perfect, my “everyday life” during that time was far from it. I was working for the county as a Protective Service Worker and I was finding myself stressed out and always physically and mentally drained. I’m usually a very positive person, but work life was taking a toll on me. My job consisted of having to remove children from broken homes, abusive parents, and other harmful situations dealing with drug addition, criminal convictions, poverty and violence.
I worked really hard in college and graduated with a degree in psychology. I’ve always had a huge love for children and a strong desire to help others, so I thought this would be a great career choice for me. However, this vision of what my life was supposed to look like was unfortunately, nowhere near the reality of what it actually was.
The unthinkable things that I saw in these homes truly broke my heart. I tried to do my job to the best of my ability but removing a child from their home (especially with resisting parents) was no easy task. On multiple occasions, I was put in life threatening situations and although I tried to be strong, I would wake up feeling sick every morning thinking about what the day would have in store for me. I started to question if I was made for this type of job. Somebody’s gotta do it, right? I told myself to suck it up and not allow myself to get attached to these kids – to just do my job. But having such a huge love for children made it difficult and I always felt the need to go above and beyond to rescue them from these terrible situations that no child should ever have to face on their own. I would see children who had gone days without food, while their mom was covered in bruises and too high on drugs to care why I was there in the first place. I would have to deal with young children clinging to my arm, kicking, screaming and crying out of fear and confusion when I would drop them off at the temporary housing care facility and tell them goodbye.
I found myself in a very dark place, feeling lost and not like myself. I would go home after work each day, with a huge weight on my shoulders carrying the guilt that some innocent child had to deal with undeserving pain and suffering. I have never been one to take out my emotions on those around me, but more and more, I would catch myself being angry or putting up a wall, shutting out the ones I cared about. Being so mentally exhausted each day led me to stop caring as much about what I was eating and how I was exercising. I started consuming high amounts of calories each day as a way to cope with what I was going through. Before I knew it, I had gained so much weight because I was trying to escape reality through food and drinks. While doing so, I abandoned the gym altogether.
I had a huge wakeup call when I had to go in to see my doctor. My blood test results indicated that I had high levels of blood sugar and I found out that I was at risk of getting diabetes, which is something that runs in my family. When I was younger, I remember seeing my dad deal with the all the shots and symptoms and I promised myself that I would never neglect my health. But there I was…staring at myself in the mirror and I couldn’t even recognize myself. I was embarrassed. I was disgusted. I was ashamed that I had let myself get to this point.
Then, the day came that would change my life forever. I just got off work from one of the worst days I had ever had working at the job. My girlfriend and I were talking about our day and she could tell I was burnt out and incredibly unhappy. She knew I hadn’t been myself and she saw how miserable I was. I had been bottling it all in and I finally broke down. I shared with her my doubts and fears. If I were to leave this job, I would feel like a complete failure. I had invested so much into making this my life-long career so I could support her and our future family. But I questioned how I could ever live like this and have a happy, fulfilled life.
“Are you happy?” she asked me. Obviously, she knew the answer to that question. She continued, “If you kept working here, do you think you would be happy 20 years down the road? And is it really worth it to risk your health and happiness to spend the rest of your life doing something you don’t love?” After a long heart to heart talk, she gave me her blessing to leave the job and told me that no matter what happens, we would find a way to support one another and we would find a way to make it work. She assured me that she wasn’t in this relationship for the money that I made and that she would rather us be poor but live a happy, fulfilled life than to be rich and completely miserable. My mind started racing at the thought of started over. Being free. Being happy again and living a new, healthy lifestyle.
Two weeks later, I finished my last day of work and we jumped on a flight 2,000 miles away to North Dakota for her big family reunion. We gathered everyone for a huge group photo and she set up her camera on a tripod. After adjusting the settings on the camera’s timer, she ran back to stand with the family for our first take. We all smiled as the camera flashed. At this point, I was sweating bullets (remember?). She started walking back to the camera to set it up for the next photo. As she was walking with her back turned away from us, I unrolled a huge sign that read, “Will You Marry Me?”. Her family held the sign up and I walked to the center, in front of everyone. She fixed the timer on the camera for the second take, turned around to run back to the group and stopped dead in her tracks. She gasped and started crying as I got down on one knee. The camera went off and captured the moment perfectly. She said yes and the proposal was a success! I can’t put into words how happy I was or explain the emotions I felt. In that moment, I was more in love with her than I had ever been. She supported me and stood beside me when I was at my lowest. I was out of shape and I didn’t even have a job, but she loved me all the same.
I was ready to start our next chapter in life and this really lit the fire inside me. I had to make a change. I had to do better for my fiancé! I heard about the Transformation Challenge and to be honest, at first I was skeptical of what bodybuilding.com claimed to offer. Giving tons of nutritional meal plans, options, workout guides and fitness advice absolutely free of charge? AND offering $250k in cash and prizes to help motivate people to get fit and healthy!?! It sounded a little too good to be true (….well, it did 50 pound ago)!
Continue to PART 2.....
Results 1 to 5 of 5
04-20-2016, 03:12 PM #1
Why I Joined the $250k Transformation Challenge and How I lost over 50 pounds
04-20-2016, 03:17 PM #2
PART 2: Why I Joined the $250k Transformation Challenge and How I lost over 50 pounds
(Continuation from previous thread)
I decided to go ALL IN with this challenge and lost over 50 pounds and got down to 6-7% body fat. In the beginning of January, I was well over 30% body fat. Some people who have seen my before/after photos have questioned if it was real and how that could even be possible in only 12 weeks. But in order to understand how I accomplished such a drastic transformation, you would have to understand the motivation that was driving me throughout the entire challenge. I think most men feel a need to be able to protect and provide for their family. As men, we want to be that big, strong protector to keep our family safe. We want to have the financial stability to provide for them and treat your woman out for a fancy date. I couldn’t do either of those things. It’s not a pride thing. I just wanted to get out of this hole I had dug for myself, and turn my life around. It’s that simple. I wanted to get healthy and strong (for myself, for my fiancé and for my future family) and I wanted to win the cash prize (to pave the foundation for our future)! And when you want something so bad, you will do anything in your power to achieve it. You’ll sacrifice hours of sleep, force yourself to overcome bad habits and temptations, turn down outings with friends, all so you can achieve your goal.
For the last 6 months, my fiancé and I have been planning our wedding and looking into buying our first home together, so of course winning the cash prize was MAJOR motivation for me. I kept telling myself…If I could just put everything I have, 110% of my energy into this challenge and have even a small chance of being a winner, I knew this was my only shot and I had to take it. I’ve always been extremely competitive and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to achieve something great and go full force, with no regrets. The thought of being able to make my fiancé proud and give her the best gift and buy our first home to thank her for believing in me when nobody else did, for sticking by my side the last 6 years through all our ups and downs...and to prove to myself that I could do ANYTHING I set my mind to…it was all the motivation I needed. Oh, and that buff body I was working for wouldn’t hurt either!
But trust me, it was NOT easy in the beginning. I had no idea where to start. I was at a point in my life where I knew that needed help and I couldn’t do it on my own. I’m so thankful I found out about the challenge when I did, because I had been trying to get back in shape, but I didn’t have the knowledge or resources to execute my goals properly. I played basketball in college so I was comfortable in the gym and weight room but my understanding of proper nutrition was definitely lacking. I would work out and then fall back into my bad habits of eating junk food. But after really dedicating my time to learn how to effectively lose weight, I finally started to see results. I spent hours on bodybuilding.com during the challenge, researching articles on the website day in and day out and absorbing it all like a sponge. I had NO idea what my body was capable of. All I needed were the right tools!
These past 12 weeks have been the most challenging, difficult, yet amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. I followed Kris Gethin’s’ 12 week Daily Trainer to a T and tried my best to mark my workouts in bodyspace as I went. I missed a few entries but I never missed a single workout. After I accomplished what was scheduled for the day, if I had any more energy left, I would workout harder and put in extra reps or extra cardio. I would be on bodybuilding.com literally every single day, finding new ways to make myself better. I was blown away at how much information and knowledge from fitness experts there is, all on one website! Everyday, I tried to do some type of slow, steady cardio like the stair-master or jogging 3-5 miles, then I would dedicate time for hard, heavy weight lifting and I would also incorporate HIIT cardio, like incline sprints or intervals on the stair-master at the highest level. But I should clarify, at the beginning of the Transformation Challenge, if I tried the higher levels, I probably would have fallen on my face! I pushed myself as hard as I could and listened to my body. My mile times kept improving and my stamina was getting better and better. By the 6th week of the challenge, I was lifting heavier than I had ever lifted in my life. It felt so strange because I used to lift (what I thought was) a lot of weight and eat junk food, thinking those carbs would fuel me and help me lift more. Boy, was I wrong! I kept my diet clean and strict. And I was shocked at how much energy I had.
My meal plan was adjusted a few times throughout the 12 weeks. I watched the bodybuilding.com live google hangout with the winners from last year, and I really liked the formula that Chandler was using. He incorporated 1.1-1.2 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs and 0.2 grams of fat for every pound. As I applied this formula to my meal plans, I would steadily decrease the overall calories based on how much weight I was losing so I could maintain that consistent ratio. It opened my eyes to how much of a science this really is because the scale kept climbing down. I stuck to my plan and I lost over 50 pounds during these 12 weeks – 50 pounds!! I didn’t even think that was possible. I am 5’5 so losing that much weight made a huge difference. Throughout the challenge, when people hadn’t seen me in a few months, their reactions were priceless. I would get so many people asking me what my secret was or if I was killing myself in the gym or who my new trainer was? Well, I WAS putting in a ton of work in the gym, but I didn’t feel like I was killing myself. I felt more alive than I had ever been. I took each opportunity to tell them about bodybuilding.com and all the resources they had to offer for FREE! Plus, the supplements they sell on the site are high quality and GREAT value. I already have a bunch of my friends who are planning on signing up for the next challenge on bodybuilding.com!
The hardest part of the 12 weeks for me, was the last 2 weeks. For 10 solid weeks, I had given it everything I had and I saw the end drawing near. Like I mentioned before, I am extremely competitive and I promised myself I would work harder than any other person who had entered the challenge. When my alarm would go off at 4am and I felt like staying in bed, I refused to give up. I refused to let anyone put in more work than me. I wasn’t just doing this for the challenge. I was now proving to myself that I am stronger than my excuses. I am stronger than that guy I had let myself become. Everyone goes through hard life scenarios, but I refused to let it get in the way of my health and happiness.
By week 11, it was started to feel so real. It hit me that I was near the finish line. I wasn’t going to do a photoshoot or get a spray tan (who needs one right?). JK. I just didn’t know where to get one. I had read on the forums where some guys had done several body building shows before and they just needed to bulk up for their before photo then workout hard and shred some water weight, but I had never done this before! I was tempted to doubt myself and get intimidated because I felt like a newbie in this big fitness industry. But I stayed focused, followed my bodybuilding.com plan and finished the week strong. I remember the winner of last year saying that having a spray tan would help accentuate the muscles in your “after” photos so I decided to go for it! I had spent so many hours in the gym and in the kitchen prepping my meals, so why not? I wanted to do everything I could to show off what I had worked so hard for.
I prepped for my “after” photos as if I was prepping for an actual bodybuilding competition. There are so many helpful articles on bodybuilding.com that I felt like I knew exactly what I needed to do to execute that “show-ready” final body. And wow, I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes when it was time to take my final photos. I have never had abs in my life! Well, I mean I have but they were hidden under a few layers of fat. So to go from having a belly to shredded abs with veins all over my body in only 12 weeks.. It was weird! It was awesome, but it was weird for me! I kept giving it all I had in the gym each day and staying 100% on top of my diet, and my body literally transformed before my eyes. It was such a rewarding feeling to see all my efforts pay off.
Looking back, I can’t thank this amazing company enough for helping me get my life back. I was lost and in a very dark place and right now, I am the happiest I have ever been. Thank you for providing the tools needed for me to accomplish something I never thought possible. I’m very thankful for the struggles I went through because I was able to overcome so much – physically and mentally - than I ever imagined. I am now pursuing a career as a personal trainer so I can help others who are dealing with similar situations. I want to motivate and inspire others the way that bodybuilding.com has done for me. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and am excited to see where this journey takes me.
Great job to all who completed the challenge!!
Best of luck & let's keep up this healthy lifestyle.
05-09-2016, 10:54 PM #3
- Join Date: Jul 2015
- Location: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Age: 39
- Posts: 1
- Rep Power: 0
05-11-2016, 05:27 AM #4
- Join Date: May 2014
- Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
- Age: 27
- Posts: 1
- Rep Power: 0
Congrats man you did it well. Now you are one of my motivators. I really love to win my new challenge. I read your jurny it was awsome. Thank you
07-13-2016, 04:09 AM #5