When Weight Loss Leads to Winning

Get Fit Challenge before and after imagesMaybe you’ve watched some of the weight loss and fitness makeover shows on TV, and wondered how much of the participants’ progress is actually achievable, for YOU.

We can’t speak for television’s biggest losers, but there are many success stories among our XSport Fitness members. Like our latest Get Fit Challenge Grand Prize winner, Troy!

In June, Troy I. from our Fairfax, VA club, learned that he was the winner of the grand prize in our national contest that challenges XSport Members to “Get Fit for Life.”

As we gear up for the next Get Fit Challenge, we asked Troy to share his experiences and advice with all who would like to transform their body and health in 2015 and beyond. We’re pleased to present some of his amazing answers from our interview:

TXL: Tell us about your background leading up to when you made the decision to enter the challenge. What was the state of your body, mind, and lifestyle in general?
TROY: I had been a member at XSport for about a year, and while I really liked the club and the people there, I only had sporadic attendance at best. A routine was hard to come by for me. Work would get in the way. Though I had been into sports most of my life, and I even played football in college, as the years went by, my body saw the results of “weight creep.” Every year, another three or four pounds, until I found myself very overweight and out of shape.

TXL: You signed up for the Get Fit Challenge at the urging of your fiancé, who believed in your ability to lose the weight and win the contest so you could meet the gap in your daughter’s newly raised college tuition. Aside from the body weight you’ve lost and the prize money you’ve won, what were your biggest takeaways from participating?
TROY: Well, your whole life changes. I have an amazing energy level now. I feel rewarded in knowing everyday that hard work really does pay off. And the knowledge I’ve gained has changed my body and eating habits and health, for the better, forever. One example is my research on what is in our food, and how it is processed, and how our bodies handle it. I now need organic, non-GMO foods, and plenty of healthy fats, so I’m not hungry. Without all the chemicals and sugars I once ate, the improved health of my liver functions and lypo system help regulate my insulin and helped the fat melt off my body. And I can eat! Several small meals a day, without counting calories.

I learned fitness and nutrition cannot only prolong your life, but improve your life.

TXL: What was the hardest part of the challenge—did you have any obstacles or setbacks?
TROY: I had several! Like, about a month into the contest, I decided to basically create my own workout plan and go beyond what my amazing XSport trainer John had already wisely advised me to do. I pushed too hard and injured myself. It was a pretty bad groin pull, which meant my workouts would have to be modified while it healed. No squats, no treadmill. But John helped me through it.

He also helped me when I strained my shoulder doing dips while doing another “non-John” workout on my own. The pain of these injuries could have compromised my ability to achieve what I did, but I kept thinking: it could be worse. I thought of all those serving in the armed forces, and what they go through each day, to earn far less than what I won in this contest. That was how I got through the difficulties. That, and keeping my eyes on the main prize, which for me was my promise that I would take care of my beautiful daughter’s college tuition needs.

TXL: It sounds like John was instrumental in your success. How did you go about choosing a personal trainer and what are the highlights of your work with him?
TROY: I knew my trainer was going to have to be a certain kind of person to work with me, and I did my research to find exactly the right one in John Hastings. First, I wanted to find someone a little older—I’m 51 and I wanted a trainer close to my age who understood my experience level, motivations, and who could share life wisdom.

I also need someone with the right brain, and personality. As I looked into all the talented trainers, I just knew I wanted John. He was a strength coach for several NFL teams and I liked that body of knowledge. Plus I knew I didn’t need a cheerleader type personality. I had decided “I am going to win this,” and I wanted someone to push and teach me, with patience not with a big ego. He had no openings at first, but I was determined and said I would get to him whenever he could fit me in. I got special permission to leave my work early so I could train with John and it was a great match. And he’s still my trainer.

TXL: Aside from your workout routine and dedication, you mentioned improved nutrition. Can you outline that for us, and did you use any supplements?
TROY: When I was working out really hard several weeks into the contest, sometimes burning 2000 – 3000 calories in a single session, I still was not seeing the weight come off as I expected. I was encouraged to speak to a nutrition expert at XSport—Akia Jenkins—and she created a nutrition plan for me that changed everything. I learned I wasn’t drinking enough water for my body and my activity levels. I began to drink 1.5 gallons a day. She also advised me to eat more often to increase my metabolic rate. So I began to eat four to six small meals per day. I still follow her plan. And it led me to take a look at supplements with Brian Stone, the Operations Manager at XSport. With this level of work, I need the extra help from a solid multivitamin, and I also supplement with protein powder. I’m feeling great and having excellent results inside and out since making these changes.

TXL: What do you recommend to others that are participating in the Get Fit Challenge, or just trying to make a major change in their physical fitness?
TROY: I recommend that they make a commitment. Step on to this road and keep going forward. Realize it’s your life you’re talking about, not just your fitness, so you can tell yourself, even when it gets really hard, “I need to be here for my family, I must take care of myself if I want to have a good life in my 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.”

NO EXCUSES. Don’t compare with others. Someone always has it better than you. You just have to power through. That’s what I was raised to know and have told my daughter. If you are serious about it, you WILL get it done. XSport Fitness clubs are more than gyms, they are life centers. I realized this while working out and looking around me: “If you go here, you won’t go to the hospital.”

That’s why I want to thank XSport for this challenge and this opportunity. It saves lives. It has added 10 years on to my life.

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