NOTE: This post was recently edited. I want to be clear that Jason was already in good shape before starting a transformation. For him it was more than just a physical journey. He wanted to fix digestive issues, body rashes, and bodily aches and pains he was experiencing. He was also looking to find a better balance between eating well and his duties while working two jobs and being a husband and father.
I received a comment that remarked that Jason was already in good shape. How could this be a success story? Success for each of us is defined differently based on our own unique circumstances. Success for Jason, you, me, and the guy next door are completely different. Each of us has different goals, dreams, and ambitions. Maybe a physical transformation is what you are seeking but please remember for others it may be a mental, spiritual, emotional, or just an educational journey that others are on.
One of my favorite things about writing on Limitless is hearing from you all. I love going back and forth with you about what’s going on in your life, what you are struggling with, and more importantly the strategies you have used to overcome those hurdles. I wanted to share a success story I have been holding on to for some time now. It’s from my good buddy Jason. I think you can relate. He was working two jobs, is married, and has 2 (now 3) kid do’s. He made time to get healthy, pursue some dreams, and all the while maintain a happy household (maybe his wife had more to do with that one 😀 )
If he can do it. You can do it. Ok, without further ado… please welcome Jason.
Q: You are married, have beautiful kids, and work full-time. How were you able to balance working out, creating healthy meals, and fitting in family time?
A: That was one of the issues I knew I would run into right from the get go. First, I made a commitment to go to the gym early so it would not cut into work or family time. second, I like to keep things simple, I knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about what I ate, you had given me great guidelines on what to eat so I simply followed that with the easiest route possible. many times I would just grab a bag of mixed veggies from the store and munch on those throughout the day along with a cleaner sandwich chicken we had found or whatever leftover meat from the previous day. I stuck to meat veggies and healthy fats probably 80% of the time.
Q: Describe a typical day for you before you started focusing on health and wellness.
A: Ewwww…it grosses me out to think about it. Haha. Before I became conscious of my health and wellness a typical day consisted of waking up anywhere between 7 and 10. for breakfast I’d eat whatever we had in the cupboards whether it be lucky charms oatmeal or maybe whip up some french toast (my favorite). Head to work. I’d usually work till about noon, and depending on the job I was on I’d eat lunch at a fast food place or maybe just pick up a bag of starburst (another fav) and head back to work, if it was a small job I’d head home for lunch with my family. Dinner was different every night. Some nights we would make a really fresh and clean meal, other nights fast food.
Q: You were already in pretty good shape before. What changes did you need to make/understand in order to reach your goals?
A: I had two weeks before a big vacation. and I wanted to look the best that I could. I simply followed advice given from you to eat a strict diet of meat veggies and healthy fats and was able to reduce my body fat 2%.
Q: What inspired you to step it up a notch? What was your motivation and what keeps you motivated?
A: One of my theories was that if I could get a six-pack before I was 30 that I would keep it the rest of my life. Hahaha. Seriously though, I knew I wanted to be healthy and look good my whole life. But now I know how easy it is to slim down, really anyone can do it. My motivation now is to be a walking billboard. I want to help people do the same things I’ve done or more. I enjoy inspiring people and seeing people reach goals and find happiness. Another motivating factor is my 3-year-old daughter. We have found she has peanut allergies and a strong gluten intolerance. I’d say that’s really what shoved me into all of this. Finding out how to best keep her healthy and happy has taught me many things in the last 3 years.
Q: What was the toughest change that you needed to make. What strategies did you use to change?
A: Before I met with you and told you of my goals, I had tried a gluten/sugar/dairy free lifestyle and had great results. The toughest change after talking with you was sticking to only meats, veggies, and fats. Very difficult. I stuck to it about 80% of the time. I experienced short tempers from day 5 and on so I would occasionally cheat to keep the peace in the home. (Read this post to understand why Jason experienced that. Very common.)
Q: Aside from your body changing how has a developing tha habit of healthy nutrition and exercise affected you?
A: Oh wow…all I can say is I’m glad I was open to it at a young age. I used to have very bad digestive issues and bodily rashes. Never thought I’d be able to get rid of any of it. Digestive issues are solved and rashes have subsided. It’s only a matter of time before I have clear skin. As far as exercise goes, I used to have a slight shoulder pain and was beginning to feel bodily aches at 25, I also had a chest pain that would never go away. I now have no aches and pains and I am 27.
Q: What strategies did you use when having any food cravings. If you had none what do you attribute it to?
A: I have a sugar addiction. I still battle with this on occasion but since visiting with you and using your support I have a new image of that addiction and that helps me to battle it and win more battles than lose. Some strategies I use now are using stevia. I’ll simply sprinkle a bit on my tongue and that helps curb cravings. Along with using coconut oil (Justin’s notes: this makes me happy). Or simply drinking a tall glass of water. All good tricks.
Q: How often were you strength training, doing cardio. What were your strategies? Sets, reps, long cardio, sprints?
A: Everyday except sunday. Chest/triceps plus cardio, shoulders/abs plus cardio, back/bis plus cardio, legs/abs cardio. Rinse and repeat. I go through my workout as fast as I can. Doing between 4 and 6 exercises per muscle group shooting for 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps. Cardio days would alternate hiit and light jogging. (Note: Jason now is a Crossfit competitor)
Q: What are your goals moving forward? Not only with health and wellness but life in general. How has your dedication to improving your body, mind, and spirit effected those decisions?
A: Goals for the future, I want to be a health and wellness coach and continue to be an influence in people’s lives. One thing I have come to realize is that if I can lift heavy things and accomplish what I feel are great things with my puny muscles :), then whats going to happen when I tap into my brain and begin to exercise it more than 10% of the time. My next step in life is to begin my own health/wellness coaching practice along with building my fathers painting business. One of the best things I’ve learned from being dedicated is gaining strong commitment and challenging myself. I have learned that I love to challenge myself. I really enjoy it.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
Q: Favorite workout song? oh man…theres never just one! Dig by Incubus, Katy Perry has a few good ones (note form Justin: Really J… Katy Perry 😀 ), Pete Murray’s album see the sun, efy, home by Marc Broussard just to name a few haha.
Q: Favorite healthy recipe. I love to wrap any meat in romaine lettuce. MMMMM yum!
Q: Favorite exercise. hang clean followed by push ups and pull ups
Q: Favorite “PLAYTIME” activity ice hockey/wakeboarding
Success! Lets review
Why did Jason succeed?
- He simplified and took the guess work out of what he was suppose to do. He established clear cut rules by eating more real food. Protein, veggies, and healthy fats. He avoided over complicating things by searching for hard to prepare recipes that take to much time and create massive clean-up.
- He committed to exercise first thing in the morning. He was working two jobs and has a wife and kids. He gained self awareness and realized that evenings was going to be time with his family. If he did not get his exercise in early he might not have the motivation or willpower to get it in later in the day. He went to the gym with a plan in place and executed it.
- Jason found motivation outside himself. It’s easy to let ourselves down but often difficult to let others down. He has a daughter that battles food intolerances and allergies and decided to support her by eating similar foods (awesome J!!). He wants to inspire others to live a healthier and more active lifestyle and to do this he understood that he needed to set a better example.
- Jason let the results do the talking. He understood that there are more to results than the scale, six-pack abs, or lean muscles. He eliminated digestive issues, body rashes, and body aches and pains that he had been dealing with for years.
Looking for more success stories? Look no further than here.
Do you have a success story health, career, or lifestyle related? I’d love to hear about it and share it with our community of Limitless crazies.
Justin & Jason