My Life Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery
My personal struggle with weight before my surgery was that I would over-eat and attempt to consume as much food as possible until I couldn’t take another bite. I felt like food was my outlet and my way of coping with everyday stresses. Food was my comfort and was always there for me when I needed it.
Some desires that I hoped to achieve, but felt I couldn’t before surgery, were feeling comfortable in my own skin, not being embarrassed to take off my shirt when going to the beach or in swimming pools, and the ability to go shopping at any department store and not having to shop in the “Big and Tall” section.
My Passion for Competitive Bodybuilding
Competing competitively in bodybuilding has always been a dream of mine, even when I was obese. I have always been into health and fitness my entire life but never had the determination to stick with a training protocol for more than a couple of weeks before giving up. After I lost 100+ lbs, I felt like this was the best opportunity to test myself and see how far I could push my body to get the results I always desired.
My experience with balancing my new diet and my fitness goals was difficult initially but became easier as time progressed. I learned a lot about my body and what foods worked best to achieve my fitness goals. I knew that it would be a long journey but I enjoyed every step of the process. I had an amazing support staff (spouse, family, friends, co-workers) who all understood what my goals were and motivated me every step of the way.
Stepping onto that stage was such a surreal experience. All I could think about was how far I had come and how excited I was to finally step foot on that stage. This was something I had dreamed of doing since the first time I ever lifted a dumbbell (middle school age). A part of me still questioned my physique and wondered if I even belonged on that stage with everyone else. To my surprise, everyone was so friendly and helpful. They understood the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to prepare for a bodybuilding show.
When my name was finally called and I walked on to that stage, all I could think about was my wife and my two beautiful daughters. All of those hours of cardio, weightlifting, and consuming all of those meals had finally come down to this moment. I walked to the center of that stage, looked those judges in their eyes, and began my posing routine which I had practiced thousands of times in front of a mirror. The feeling was incredible!!! Hearing my family and friends cheering for me was and indescribable. My heart was overfilled with joy knowing that I was able to achieve one of my life-long goals.
Some of my future goals include competing in future bodybuilding competitions, continuing to progress towards my fitness goals, and educating other people on the importance of health and wellness.
Undergoing Gastric Sleeve is a Decision I Am Highly Proud to Have Made
If I could go back in time and tell my former self-anything it would be to start striving for my goals sooner. I would tell myself to continue to work hard and stay humble throughout the process. Be willing to take constructive criticism and use other people’s doubts as fuel for continuing on this fitness journey.
Some recommendations I have for achieving your fitness goals are to write your goals down. Make sure to have both short-term and long-term goals written. Always remember who and why you are doing this. Never be afraid to ask questions. You will have some good days and some bad days but never forget how far you have come and how far you will go if you continue working hard and dreaming big. Some helpful resources that I utilized during my fitness journey were MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun, and plenty of youtube videos.
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