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SO DAMN HUNGRY…THE JOURNEY

When I reflect back on my life between where I started and where I am now, I cannot help but think about how the various parts of my journey have felt like mini chapters in my life. When I started, I was lost and out of control and needed a program to follow – something that would allow me to stay focused and begin the process of taking back my life. While I thought my journey was solely about losing weight, I soon realized it was much more.  In fact, the more weight I lost, the more I realized how many issues I truly had. While reaching my goal weight was great, I knew all too well that the real work was still ahead.

It was at this point that I found the courage to start tackling the issues behind my eating and getting to the root causes of why food had more control over me, than I had over it. Little did I know at the time how much work was truly ahead for me and how I still had to learn that process of change had less to do with overcoming my issues and more to do with learning how to manage them.

In time, I grew stronger and stronger and learned to be at peace with my issues. Sure, I would need tobe constantly vigilant as I learned to live differently. And, as time continued to pass I eventually reached a place where I was no longer focused solely on my own success, but helping others to follow in my footsteps. During this time, I learned the important lesson that in helping others to overcome the same issues that I have faced, I actually become stronger myself.

Before long, I had started The New Lifestyle Diet, wrote my first book and continued to remain ever vigilant in the process of change. As you would imagine, I had my ups and downs and more than my fair share of falling down along the way. But, always picked myself up and grew stronger with each lesson learned. Having now lost the weight, I soon found myself returning to the gym and enjoying the process of lifting weights. As a kid, it had always been a passion of mine and nothing felt better then returning to these roots. At first I was weak, but over time, I grew stronger and stronger and the connection between my mind and body returned. For the first time in years, I could feel the cause and effect of the food that I ate and the connection to my body and overall performance. Food was no longer something that I just ate to enjoy, but something that I was using to fuel my body. This part of my journey continued for a number of years and during this time it’s safe to say that I literally rebuilt myself.

Through a random challenge from a friend of mine that was a runner, I found myself facing the daunting task of running my first marathon (which I had no business doing). I was clearly outside of my comfort zone and while I was certainly in better shape than ever, running was still not something that I either enjoyed or was good at. Recognizing the insanity of the situation and not being someone to back down from a challenge, I sought out a running coach to create a training program for me. While seeking out this expertise was not a big deal at the time, this single decision ended up having a huge impact on my life. Not only did I go on to complete the marathon, but recognizing that I was hungry for more challenges and events. My running coach and now good friend encouraged me to seek out and train for other events. After a great deal of training, I found myself completing a succession of various obstacle events at all levels. With each one, I trained harder and did better and better. Ultimately, I found myself participating in some of the world’s hardest events, not so much to win, but to simply compete and prove to myself that I was capable of much more than I ever thought was possible. The things that I once believed to be impossible are now the very things I do on a regular basis. As you can imagine, I often look in the mirror and wonder who the person is staring back. And, as my physical transformation continued, what I discovered was an inherent belief that I could accomplish any physical challenge that I set out to do.

Having successfully proven my fortitude at obstacle course racing, I then decided it was time to reinvent myself again and continue the evolution of my training. To do this, I changed my focus at the gym and began the process of doing more fitness and traditional strength training. I was once again returning to my roots, but this time, I was taking things up a notch. The process of doing this proved to be so enjoyable that two of my good friends and I decided to open 3strong – our own gymwhere we would provide strength training and fitness for anyone crazy enough to participate. Having committed myself to this new focus, my body literally came alive and I continued to revamp my diet, experiment with different proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and discover how my body responded to each of them. Over time, I increased my knowledge beyond using nutrition for weight loss, but I was now using nutrition for physical performance and increasing lean muscle mass.

Today, I’m still evolving and I couldn’t be more excited or amazed at where the journey has taken me. By applying all that I have learned in terms of weight loss, performance, training, and nutrition, I’m now focused on the continued development of my own physique.  Just like when I wanted to run a marathon, I continue to seek out the expertise and training programs of those around me.  My training has changed again and while I still enjoy daily strength training, I’m now focused on the development of muscle, reduction of body fat, and increasing my performance. Of all the challenges that I have faced along the way, this one is proving to be the most rewarding. Unlike other events that have finish lines, the development of ones physique is something that you carry with you everywhere you go and doesn’t have a finish line. It’s sort of funny when you think about it, but when I started my journey, I just wanted to see a number on the scale go down. It’s all that I cared about and how I used to measure my success.

Today, I judge my success by the reflection in the mirror and my performance at the gym. Sure, getting on the scale still has its place, but looking at the mirror, using the measuring tape and knowing my body fat % gives me a much better picture of where I stand. This is the polar opposite perspective from my days of staring at the scale. Of course, this is not to say that this type of change is easy or that it has not presented its own set of challenges. For example, just several weeks prior to finishing this book, I decided to rework my daily workout and overall nutrition in hopes of making even further progress with my physique. Needless to say, my little experiment was a complete failure. Not only did my adjustments not work, but they left me feeling horrible, looking awful, and my performance at the gym went out the window. However, I didn’t freak out or overreact, I simply continued to make adjustments until I got things dialed in.It took a couple of weeks, but as I continued to make the necessary adjustments, I couldn’t be happier. I could see the changes in my body, the way I felt, and with how I was performing at the gym. To me, this was another great reminder in how every hurdle and obstacle that I have crossed in my journey hasrequired patience and having an open mind to changes

I truly believe that I’m a living example of how the evolution of personal change cannot be rushed. Instead, it should be savored and enjoyed. While my journey has been filled with many chapters of change along the way, with each one I continued to focus on the goal in front of me and allowed it to be the catalyst for further changes and adventures in my life.

By hanging out with me here on So Damn Hungry website, you’ll get to experience a life from a new perspective – a perspective where you aren’t burdened by emotional eating any longer.  I know you can heal through whatever life has handed you and haven’t a doubt in the world that you can take all that I have to teach you and create an entirely new life for yourself. Whether your goals are to lose weight, learn to manage your issues with food, take on new challenges or completely change your physique, YOU CAN DO IT!

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