I have spent pretty much my entire life battling with my weight. I am pretty sure I was born with a slice of pizza in one hand and a Mountain Dew in the other. When I was younger I was pretty active and played sports through high school so that helped me from being a total slug. Then in my early 30's I started working a lot of long hours which led to bad eating habits and no working out at all. I slowly started to gain more and more weight.
I tried so many diets that never worked including a 13 day detox before my wedding that had me eating things called flaxy crackers. Needless to say that was not a long term answer. I joined Planet Fitness, again eventually stopped going. As I got heavier than I had ever been I got depressed, and stressed with work and thus would eat more and do even less.
I was getting ready to turn 40, was a slave to my job, sleeping 4 or 5 hours a night max. Walking upstairs made me feel like I had just run 3 miles. My wife started trying to get me to look to hire a trainer. I always said "I know how to lift weights and work out, I just need to get the time to go." Well I would find out how wrong I was. That Christmas my wife reached out to a friend of mine who had worked with Sean. She went into 212 and met Kerry and came away from that feeling great about the gym and what they were about. She got me a 3 month membership with one on one personal training with Sean. Next to my mini KISS pinball machine as a kid this would end up being the best Christmas gift ever, ok well maybe it was better than the pinball machine.
My visual of a personal trainer was this big muscular guy yelling at me to TRY HARDER (visualize the coach in Bevis and Butthead) and the idea of going to a gym and working out again was scary. My initial meeting with Sean was great. He made me feel very comfortable. One thing that was evident right away is that the atmosphere at 212 is unlike any other gym I had been to. The people who work there truly take an interest in all of their members. They go out of their way to introduce you to other members and it is just an incredibly supportive atmosphere.
The first year I was just doing one on one's and I struggled off and on with minor injuries and having to travel for work. I would have periods where I would get in consistently once a week to see Sean but then if I was banged up or traveling and did not get in for a couple weeks and slack off I would get a text from Sean. It was never a judging text telling me I needed to get back in, it was just a "how you doing dude," or "when do you think you can get back at it?" I would immediately feel bad for not getting in and it would get my butt back in the gym. If I was having some pain Sean would always tailor the workout around it so I could still get a workout in. I 100% believe at any other gym I would have given up going like every other time, but I truly enjoyed my time with Sean no matter how hard it was. He made it fun to come in and work hard.
That first year and a half my insecurities were still limiting me. Sean kept telling me I could take classes and I kept saying ok and then would never come in because I saw the classes and I did not want to try them and not be able to finish them or look stupid. Then in late May I went to the doctors and I realized that although I was in better shape than I was when I joined I was still holding myself back. I still weighed almost 400lbs and now I had been diagnosed with diabetes with an alarmingly high sugar number. I finally realized that I needed to start putting my health first above my job.
Then it happened. The Superhero Challenge was announced. I read it and it sounded great but I figured that this was for people in much better shape than me. As usual Sean was trying to convince me to sign up and said I could do it. Finally I listened to him and signed up. It was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. The support from everyone at 212 was amazing. Whether it was from Sean and Tony especially early on when I was really struggling, the nutrition plan that Alicia set up that was easy tow work with, the information and help from Heather during the program to just having Colin and Kerry ask me how I was doing when I would see them in the gym. It all just helped me get through something that was very hard mentally and physically. Also, I had noticed from the beginning at 212 the other members in the group were incredibly supportive and it was truly like a team atmosphere and everyone picked everyone else up.
After the 10 week program I went back to the doctors, hoping he would be happy with my weight loss. I was even more surprised that he said that since I had last been there my sugar was normal which he described as remarkable. I feel better today than I have in probably almost 20 years and I feel like I am working on getting my life back and I owe much of this to the staff at 212, my fellow superheroes and especially to Sean who had more confidence in me than I did. He never gave up on me when I struggled through the first year plus before I "GOT IT." 212 provides all the tools and support that will help anyone achieve any goal they want, you just have to buy in, listen, and put in the work.
I want to thank Kerry for selecting me to talk about my journey even if this may be the most long winded post ever.