Change Starts With A Decision.
Every person that walks through the doors at Reveal Fitness has a story to tell, with more chapters left to write. Most stories will have some successes, ALL stories will have failures. We are constantly adding new chapters, and no one story is predetermined. The next chapters of your story are up to you. You just have to want, and you have to believe in how those chapters are composed.
This next story might be my favorite story at Reveal. This doesn’t mean that other people’s stories aren’t great, it’s just that this one is f#$%ing awesome.
I met Jake a few years ago, the first time he joined Reveal Fitness. If you workout in the evening, you probably know the baby-faced 23 year old as he doesn’t miss a 4:30pm class. Jake initially did the ten weeks the fall of 2014 and had really good results. But as goes the way for many people, it was tough to keep his temporary lifestyle changes made during those ten weeks, long term. Jake kept on for a few more months, but then faded off, back into his former daily routine.
I ran into Jake again this last July, a few days before the start of the Summer Challenge and he asked about coming back to Reveal…I told him he was welcome back anytime that he liked. The timing was perfect as the new challenge was starting soon, but it was also the perfect time for Jake to set a new goal. And with this goal, I really hope that come this summer, we won’t be seeing Jake for a long time!! Huh? Keep reading and you will get it.
Jake’s Journey Begins
Jake didn’t jump on the scale or enter any FIT challenge when he came back into the gym, his goal wasn’t about what the scale said on July 14th…his goal was personal and locked deep inside.
His doctor had him at 317 pounds back in March 2018 and he figured he put on another 5-10 pounds between then and July. Jake has struggled with being overweight most of his life and has lived in a house that cooks great tasting American food. He has always known that diet was the most important thing…and that has been the one thing holding him back…not the lack of wanting or trying. Last summer something clicked with Jake, and he decided to take control of the next chapter in his life. As of now, Jake has lost just shy of 100 pounds, in seven effing months!! I am proud to say that he has met the requirements for the United States Air Force and will hopefully be shipping off to basic training in the next couple months!!! As much as I love having Jake(smiling, no matter how hard the workout) in class and watching him work his ass off…I am really hoping that I don’t see him kicking the bag come this summer! 😀
Questions for Jake
I asked Jake a few questions about some of the things he did or changed to help him hit his goals, those questions and answers are below. But first, my two cents. Jake set a goal and worked his ass off, no excuses! He sacrificed short term indulgences to help him hit his long term goal. He has been consistent, realistic, and most importantly, he has believed in himself. Jake had a ton of cards stacked against him and it would have been way easier to just keep on with where he was. It hasn’t been easy for Jake, as real change is never easy for anyone…goals worth hitting are never easy.
Now, let’s get onto a few questions and answers with Jake and look at some of the things he has done over the past few months.
I believe that WANTING to change is the biggest factor for success. Jake, what was your biggest reason for WANTING to change?
Well, at over 300 pounds, I didn’t feel comfortable telling people that I was still interested in joining the service. That was, however, my intention from day 1.
With regards to your nutrition, what has been the one thing that has helped you the most?
The most helpful thing that I did for myself was to stop eating out so often. Now that I see my meal as fuel, it’s crazy to think that I used to eat out more than twice a week. I started drinking water when I was craving and pumped the brakes at the buffet line. The one macro-nutrient that I count today is my carbohydrate intake, which I keep below 100 grams most days. Finally, I want to say that every time I drank alcohol, I found it extremely hard to look at the scale. Drinking causes tremendous water retention and takes me a full week to work off. If you can cook your own meals and stay away from drinking booze, your goals will be incredibly easier to achieve.
What is your favorite go to snack?
Almonds! I love raw almonds, sea salt roasted almonds, almond milk in my protein mix, almond butter with celery. It’s good stuff!
What is your favorite meal?
Mom’s spaghetti… not even joking. Except now I eat it with spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
Do you have a “cheat” day/meal? If so, what is it?
My success came from changing my view on meals. When counting calories, sugar and carbs, I found that the gratification of eating unhealthy food was not worth the struggle of working it back off that next week. The same goes when drinking. When inebriated, I tend to gravitate towards my cravings like pizza or French fries. These carbs mixed with booze would retain any water my body had, and it would take a week before I was back to normal.
Otherwise, one of my favorite foods to eat would be Honey Walnut Shrimp at any Panda Express. I also enjoy a big calzone from Victoria’s on College Ave, or a burrito from El Serape in Green Bay.
Everyone has ups and downs. What do you do if you feel like you are going to fall off your path?
When I fall off the wagon, I watch motivational videos. Joko Wilink, Joe Rogan, Alan Watts and Wim Hof have some amazing speeches that motivate me to get back on the right path. Also, I find that it helps to let other people in my life know that I’m struggling so that they offer their help.
If you could go back in time to when you started…is there one thing that you wish you would have done differently or something you changed recently that you wish you would have done sooner?
One thing I wish I had started sooner was to drink more water. I normally tend to drink over a half a gallon a day. Also, I want to add that performing a small amount of stretching before class can not only physically prepare you for your workout, but mentally as well. If I could go back, I would try to instill the confidence I have in myself today so that I would mentally prepare myself before each workout. Feeling comfortable at the gym is very important.
For anyone reading this that might feel “stuck”…what would you want to tell them?
Everyone plateaus! Achieving your goals takes extreme commitment and can start to feel like a grind after some time. Take a day off every now and then, it’s good for you!
What is your six month goal?
My end game is to join the Air Force. I meet with a recruiter every month with questions pertaining to my entry and how close I am to meeting the requirements. Other than a bit of paperwork, I’ve got to lose one inch off of my waist line to qualify which I hope to do by the end of March.
Jake…you probably don’t realize how many people have been watching your transformation, but you are an inspiration to all. All of us at Reveal are proud of your hard work and wish you the best! When you leave, know that you will always have a place at Reveal!