Meet Jeff, a dedicated RxFIT athlete who works out every morning at the Draper location. He wasn’t always into fitness, however. Before I share with you his story (in his words), I want to first show you some pictures.
What’s interesting about Jeff, however, is that he started to quickly put the weight back on after the Marines. Here’s his story:
I have been inspired by Tyler’s emails especially by the ones that detailed his humility in his unsuccessful attempts to play college football. But one email that I have read multiple times and shared with others is the one about the 4-minute mile. The email began with Tyler’s account of one his client’s struggles with his weight at 365 lbs and his addiction to food. He described himself as hopeless and destined to die early leaving behind his five kids to be raised by another man. This story truly broke my heart and resonated with me since I have struggled with my weight multiple times throughout my life.
I was in shock when I mustered up the courage around my 18th birthday to finally step on the scale and saw the glowing numbers of 255 lbs. I had already begun my weight loss journey weeks before, so I estimate that I had started at 265 lbs. Standard fare was two Burger King Whoppers or similar, fries, and lots of soda topped off with a variety of Hostess cakes. I literally had no idea what I was doing to my body.
Drinking water and eating vegetables was a foreign concept. I remember being too embarrassed of my appearance to eat in front of most people.
I finally noticed the pesky nutrition facts labeled on most foods and began cutting down on fat grams (thus calories) and experimenting with intermittent fasting by refusing to eat after 7pm. I didn’t know what I was doing but I was getting results, especially when I added jogging to my curriculum.
Months later I suddenly found myself interested in and eligible for military service. To summarize, in February of 1997 I weighed over 255 lbs. By September 1997, I left for boot camp weighing around 184 lbs. I graduated Marine Corps boot camp in December 1997 weighing around 140 lbs.
I served in the Marines for nine years, having exited in 2006. I did mostly ok in the Marines, managing my weight within their archaic weight standards (~175-180 lbs) for my height, though I only sporadically concentrated on my fitness. After several years of civilian life, I was again weighing well north of 200 lbs.
I began attending the gym in 2013 topping out at 235 lbs. I had done it again, I was obese and as my wife might admit, no desire to make a real change. I thought joining Crossfit was that desire, but I soon learned just how hard it is to out-train habits and diets. I didn’t make much headway towards weight loss, although my lifts were much stronger.
I loved the weightlifting portion of my classes but looked for any excuse to distract myself during my pathetic performance on the WODs. I finally had it. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
My wife introduced me to the Whole 30 diet, and I began to attend the gym daily regardless of the WOD movements. I am very happy with the results as I am a more well-rounded athlete who is finally very proud of how I look at 185 lbs at 42 years old.
Some simple cues that I use to prevent myself from backsliding are: “Is this going to taste as good as it feels to be fit?” and “How did this make you feel last time you ate it?”.
Simple enough, but questions I never considered as I struggled with my weight pretty much my whole life. Also, I am reminded that all my efforts in the gym, on my diet, and towards personal growth are worth it as I raise three kids of my own who I desperately do not want to abandon.