“If I can do it, you can do it”, is the best adage there is for summoning the courage to get your ass in gear and make things happen.  When we see the proof; real people starting their personal fitness journeys and achieving great results, we learn we too can do it.  It shifts our paradigm from believing excuses to ‘hey maybe I can do this’.  There is no reason why you can’t have your own health and fitness transformation.  

Check out a piece of John’s story 

What got you started on your fitness journey?

Realization that I didn’t have to live with the pain that I was experiencing and that my years of living a sedentary lifestyle was not allowing me to be the man I wanted to be.

In what ways has your life changed since you made your fitness a priority?

Physically I feel the best that I have in a long time…..I was a sedentary kid that became a sedentary adult who was on roller coaster diets that weren’t sustainable for long-term weight management. The lack of strength in my upper body & lower back was creating back pain for basic things like driving; I was taking OTC pain meds (Advil) daily.

Mentally I am much more confident in my appearance and abilities.

What fitness accomplishments are you most proud of?

1. I’ve gone from a body fat level of almost 30% down to the 15% range (and I’m not done yet)….words can’t describe my feelings about this accomplishment – the ‘man boobs’ are gone and they’re never coming back!

2. The upper body strength to do pull-ups….I had mentally convinced myself at an early age that I could not do them and here I am at 45 finally doing them.

3. I’m less stressed mentally/emotionally…..nothing else in my life has changed – I have the same job, family responsibilities, etc but now that I feel better physically, I handle life’s stresses better – when I do find that I’m stressed and I can’t get it out of my head though, that’s a good time to take a walk, jump on a treadmill or go grab some dumbbells.

4. NO back pain.

What would you say to people with the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse?

You can’t view it as just another activity to add to your daily routine, you have to view it as a change in lifestyle that’s going to allow you to live a better life. If you get your head wrapped around feeling better, you’ll stick with it and make changes that are sustainable and not just short-term.

What are some of your current goals?

1. Continue to chip away at body fat especially in my mid-section…an overall 10-12% body fat level feels like the right number to continue to work towards.

2. Add muscle in my upper body especially in my arms and chest.

3. 50 pull-ups in a work out session.

4. Same level of proficiency with tricep push-ups as I have with regular push-ups.

What motivates you to keep going?

The progress that I’ve made so far….with how I feel and look after 8 months, I can’t wait to see where I am when I hit the 1 year mark, 18 months, etc.

The sign that you have posted in your gym….’When you think about quitting….remember why you started’….I have that burned into my mind.

What is one adversity you’ve had to overcome in your life (doesn’t have to be fitness) and how did you handle it?

Lack of self-confidence & that internal voice of doubt….constant work in process.

What would you say the biggest 3 keys have been to your success?

1. Desire to feel & look better.

2. Great coaching & guidance that I’ve received from you on diet, strength & conditioning….thanks for meeting me where I was but pushing me through the weekly plan.

3. Complete change in how I view food…specifically with how/what/when I eat.

What do you do with your free time?

I’m a proud dad to my two sons….keeping up with their activities and supporting them.

I enjoy working outside….with 6 acres to maintain, there’s always something to do.

KC sports….love watching and cheering for the hometown teams (Royals, Sporting KC & Chiefs)

Name one hidden talent you have.

I’m highly detailed & organized (some call it OCD)….I focus on looking out for things that can be problematic before they happen

Name one talent you wish you had.

Carpentry skills

What advice would you have for someone who is struggling to make the changes in their life that they want and need?

Be honest with yourself about why you aren’t making the changes on your own…..for me, I honestly didn’t know what to do even though I thought I did. I really didn’t know how to eat right or which exercises I needed to do – I also lacked patience to chip away at it on my own so I would get frustrated….it was easier to avoid it since that was the path of least resistance. Get a good coach to work with and keep you motivated. Remember, iron sharpens iron.

Be ok starting where you are….don’t judge yourself based on where others are, focus on where you want to be. If I can go from never doing a pull-up to now doing them – you can too.

I hope you have enjoyed this story.  Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or if I can help in any way, please let me know!