As Michelle told you guys it took me awhile to let her share my “before and after” pic with you guys. Coming from a guy who has refused to even take off his shirt at the pool my entire adult life yu can image my reluctance to share a shirtless picture (at least the before pic…lol).
Anyways, I just wanted to take a minute and thank both of you guys for what you guys did. Truly. Without you guys I would not be where I am at. I know I shared with both of you a little bit of my background but I think it bears repeating. I have been “working out” and “lifting” since I was 16 years old. Always being the fat kid and unhappy with my body I was constantly working towards getting to a point where I was happy with what I saw in the mirror. That point never came. Even as an adult you’d think that I would have had the self confidence that typically comes with age but it never came. I guess in a way that constant push to change my body and be happy with it is actually what kept me working out over the years, so in a strange way maybe it was a good thing.
So from age 16 to age 43 when I finally decided to reach out to Debbie and Integrity for some help, I had been “spinning my wheels” by myself and never made any noticeable progress. I was always viewed as the “big guy” and falsely equated that with being a “fit” guy. From time to time over the years, I dropped weight even getting down to 180 lbs in June 2013. I did this by cardio, some lifting and having a really restricted calorie diet. I talked with John numerous times about feeling small, weak, and sickly at that weight and how I was nervous about getting that low again. As I am sure John can relate, my identity had been tied to being a big guy. I did not want to be that “small” 180 lb. guy again. As you can see from my before picture (233 lbs), right before Michelle and I started with Integrity, I had eaten my way from a “skinny fat guy” back into that role of just the “fat guy” again. The picture we shared with you guys shows me at 233 lbs in January 2016. However, by the time we started at Integrity 3 months after that, in March of 2016, I was up to 243 lbs. I don’t have a picture of that and it was by far THE heaviest I have ever been.
Working with you and John put me on the path to where I am right now. The biggest thing, for me at least, was having the confidence that you guys knew what you were doing and trusting in that. Before, when I tried on my own I always had that thought that I was not eating enough, or I was eating too much and I just could not get it right. By having you guys tell me what I needed to do nutritionally and in the gym, I was free to just “do it”. No second guessing my self, no flip flopping back and forth on my diet like before. Just get in there an do it. It sounds corny but being able to “trust the process” you guy laid out allowing me to just “do it” is exactly what I needed.
Although life got busy and family obligations made it difficult to continue training at Integrity, the changes I made with you guys truly kept me going on my journey. I now continue lifting at home and watching my diet closely. I’m excited to see where I go from hear but I wanted to take the time to say thank you and what you guys do is truly incredible. Keep up the good work and tell everyone that asks where it started for me in the hopes that they can have the same experience with you guys as I did.