Fitness is something that everyone can see as a good thing. But in a world consumed by instant gratification, impatience destroys the potential for progression. Not to mention it can be a confusing path navigating the right diet, or the right work-out plan. One Google search will lead you to hundreds of get-fit-quick schemes that promises everything you’re looking for. In reality, all you really need is dedication, discipline, and a sprinkle of motivation.
This is my story, this is my journey, and this is “Made to Conquer”.
I want to go back to July 17th, 2017. This date marks the first breaking point that started this journey. I had just been dumped by my girlfriend a week prior and I was looking at myself in the mirror. I did not like what I saw. So I took this picture –
Yes, very flattering I know. But I knew that I wasn’t going to be this big for the rest of my life… I just wouldn’t allow it. I got on the scale and I weighed 251.2 pounds. I decided to take this picture because it was to be the benchmark of my progress. You’ve seen the before and after pictures and have said to yourself “Wow, if they can do that then I can do that!”
With no real sense of direction other than to lose weight with a whole lot of motivation and momentum, I hit the gym. I was intimidated by lifting because I had never really learned how. So, I decided to stick with what I knew – Running.
I spent the next month running a mile and a half every day or jumping on the elliptical for 30 minutes watching whatever was on the History Channel or HGTV. Sometimes the 30 minutes would turn into an hour if “Fixer Upper” came on. Like I had stated, I didn’t really have a goal other than to just lose weight. And knowing what I know now, that’s not a good thing. Luckily for me, my sister Jen was getting married that November and the destination was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I now had a goal and a time-frame. Instead of running every day, I now had a semi-active job and was doing the “21-day fix” with my sister. It wasn’t extreme by any measure, but it was enjoyable and it wasn’t difficult giving up only 30 minutes of my day. There was a diet plan that accompanied the workout, in which my sister vehemently suggested I do as well. Like before, I didn’t really put any thought into my fitness goal. I just wanted to look good for the beach. In my mind, that meant getting ripped with my abs popping out and the muscles glistening in the sun. Unfortunately, I didn’t get ripped but I did have results that I was proud of.
In four months, I had lost 35 pounds. Not bad at all.
Puerto Vallarta was amazing. We were staying at an all-inclusive resort in which I discovered many new things. Things like all-day, every-day strawberry daiquiris, 2nd breakfasts, hamburger buffets, and my personal favorite of the trip….DESSERT PARTIES!!! (I will never forget those Dave!)
While in Mexico, I did not continue to work out even though there was a gym at the resort and a beach to run. I did not take the time to re-evaluate my goals. I’m sure you have guessed what happened to my fitness plan after getting back from the wedding. It’s what happens to most of us, if not all of us, when we no longer have a goal. I still tried to stick to a diet and exercise plan, but I had tasted the old life and the old life tasted goooooood. So, slowly but surely the “Body by Wendy’s” diet had taken full control of my life again. I had entered back into my old routine of eating fast food every day and doing nothing but playing video games in my off time. The only form of a diet I had going for me was the copious amounts of Sprite Zero that I drank every day.
I had lost my goal, I had lost my vision, and I had lost my motivation. Unhappiness, depression even, was right around the corner. It wasn’t until mid-May that I had hit my 2nd breaking point. I started listening to motivational videos on YouTube every day. With a background in Psychology, I knew there was something here that I could use to set the foundation for success.
I started listening to these videos more and more. I couldn’t get enough of them. Here are all of these successful people giving advice on how to change your life, and the best part of it was…it was all free. At first I had a bit of skepticism. But, I started realizing that all of these successful people had correlating thoughts and ideas. Success is NOT easy. Seems like an obvious statement. You have to be willing to put in the work. Again, seems like an obvious statement. But the reality is, that most of us either won’t acknowledge or refuse to acknowledge these things. There are a lot of other factors that go into chasing success, and I will cover them over time. But, for now let’s continue the journey.
May 28th, 2018 I decided to step on the scale again. I was at 225 and on my way back to the guy in the first picture. I did not want to go back to that.
I had the motivation to get back into the gym and this time I wanted something to keep me there. So I decided that shirts would be the constant reminder I needed to continue my journey. At the time of this post, I have lost 25 lbs. Just know that I am on this journey with you. It is a way of life. Although I have results that put a smile on my face, I still have so far to go. I will never stop. I will never settle.
The “Made to Conquer” clothing brand was an idea that I had flirted with a year prior. I had always wanted to make my own t-shirts. Now I had more reason than ever to start a business.
On June 11th, 2018 – Made to Conquer was born.
I chose “Made to Conquer” for a specific reason. There is greatness within each of us. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not. The great thing about fitness, is that just about every lesson can be applied to your life as well. You can chase your dreams, you can obtain your goals, and you can crush the obstacles in your way. You just have to understand that it will never be easy. You have control of what you do with your life. Stop giving out excuses because the most important person you hurt, is yourself. Own up to your actions and own up to your words. It is never too late to go after what you really want.
If you are committed to change, if you have the courage to try again, and if you have the persistence to keep moving forward, then let this be the motivation to stop giving out excuses and take responsibility. Rise up, renew the cycle. Make this your day, make this your year, and make this your decade. Rise up from the ashes of your former self. Rise up from those ashes and don’t look back…