It all started for me on September 23, 2013– well actually long before that. Seven years ago I joined the United States Air Force, and after 6 ½ weeks of intense basic military training, I graduated in August 2008 in some of the best shape of my life. Shortly after graduation I was assigned to Cannon AFB where I was pretty active. I maintained a decent PT regiment, and all was well for about 2 years. Then, in June of 2010, I suffered a pretty nasty injury while playing softball. I dislocated my ankle, tore my deltoid ligament, and fractured my lower tibia, which required me to have surgery. The surgery would realign my ankle; insert a plate with 6 screws to help heal my tibia fracture, and permanent stitches to hold my deltoid ligament together. I still carry all of that extra hardware with me today, proudly!
After my surgery and the healing process, things never quite returned to normal. I found myself becoming very lazy and didn’t feel the need or the drive to be active anymore. I held on to my injury for as long as I could, to stop me from having to do my required physical training, it was my “crutch” and honestly, at the time, I didn’t feel bad for it at all. Not to mention, during all of this my eating habits were absolutely horrible; couple that with the lack of physical activity, and before I knew it, I was well over 260 pounds! That was the biggest I had ever been in my entire life and I was doing nothing to change that. My clothes didn’t fit anymore, but that didn’t bother me, I could just buy new ones. I had become comfortable, this was now the norm. Then, suddenly it clicked!
During my PT test in 2012 it took me 13:03 seconds to complete my 1 ½ mile run, the maximum time before the test is considered a failure is 13:36. I had just passed my test with :33 seconds to spare. That, to me, was my wakeup call! I started to become active again–I was running, playing sports, cautiously, and on my way back to normal. But, at the time the most important thing that was lacking was my diet and eating habits– but, as long as I was active, it was ok. I could just continue eating whatever I wanted and everything would be just fine and I would be losing weight in no time, at least that’s what I thought. Shortly after getting started I became frustrated with the lack of progression in my weight loss journey and I was starting to fall back into old habits. To speed up the process and get the results I wanted a little faster, I tried all of the fad diets, a few of the weight loss companies and although I saw some progress, I found myself quickly becoming tired of them. And before I knew it, my old ways had caught up to me again. The few pounds I had lost were back, plus more, and I was back to weighing around 265 pounds.
After my failed attempts at dieting and money wasted on weight loss items that were never used, my best friend, Thomas Canada, took me under his wing and promised me he would get me back to where I wanted to be. While deployed in late 2012 he created a group called Warrior Fitness, his motto was “Fight for your Life”. About every three months he would select 5 individuals to compete in a 90-day challenge and at the end, the winner was awarded with a prize– but everyone is rewarded with their health. The number of people he’s affected and helped to take control over their lives and health is truly amazing and is what really motivated me to get up and take control of my life again! So, by his next 90-day challenge, I was ready to fight for my life, and boom before I knew it September 23, 2013 was here and that is a day I will never forget.
Weighing in at 260+ pounds and looking at my before pictures was pretty discouraging, however this time I refused to let that get in the way of my goal and bring me down. I continued to push harder and harder each day, the old fashioned way, eating healthy and consistently working out 6 days a week. One of the main things that kept me going was Thomas and his work ethic and dedication. During the time he started this particular challenge, he was only a few weeks away from competing in his first ever bodybuilding show. But, no matter what I came to him with, he always had time and patience to answer my questions or show me how to do a certain workout. Not only would he tell me, but he would take time from his own workouts to demonstrate and even help me along the way. His selflessness and dedication to me in the midst of his own training is what inspired me to never give up. No matter how hard it was, no matter how tired I got I refused to give up and he was a large part of that, and I could never thank him enough for always believing in me.
My days turned into weeks, and eventually into months and by the end of my 90-day challenge, I went from weighing 260+ pounds to 205 pounds. I had lost over 55lbs! But, after all of that, I was still hungry for more! I had to give myself a new goal, and Thomas just happened to be prepping for another show that would take place in April. That’s when I told him I wanted to compete and keep pushing myself towards bigger and better things, and without hesitation, he said let’s do it!
Once again, in the middle of his own training, here he was taking me along the way and constantly pushing me to reach my highest potential. Never in my wildest dreams would I have seen myself doing something like this but by the time I stepped on stage in May of 2014, I was weighing in at 190 pounds with a total loss of 70+ pounds and competing in my first ever bodybuilding show.
I could have continued to sleep with my dreams, but I chose to wake up and chase them and fight for my life! As of now, I have competed in 2 fitness shows. I am the Musclemania Model New Mexico Champion and I am still going strong chasing my dreams one day at a time.
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