I knew in the flash of a moment that there was no way I'd abandon my wife and daughter for the tight icy clutch of an early grave, due to apathy, sloth, complacency, and the prison of "easy".
I'd wanted to shoot a quick vid about why the challenge groups I've been in & which I run became so vital to me, but an amazing long week on set in the control room at Sesame Street, creating a new show, makes it easier to write it. So on this Transformation Tuesday, I hope you'll bear with me, because this is no less than a critical story in my life.
I grew up as a lightning bolt of energy, metabolism of a Formula 1 race car. Grade school, high school, skinny as a rail. College— I became the quintessential "starving artist". Grad school? I came to NY & learned the fine art of working 8 part time jobs with full time school, on a $2/day budget of a bagel & a cup of coffee for the day's food. (Lot of great friends helped out HUGE in those days). I was rail thin.
I graduated, though, and started into both stable relationship & full-time job & for the first time in forever---- I ATE. Fuller-than-full meals, morning, noon & night. After so long frenzied w
To eat or not to eat— THAT was the question. But in the comfy couch of stable finances, short work days & full meals, having no thoughts at all considering nutrition OR fitness, I blew up, stacking close to 40 lbs on my 150 lb frame.
I proposed to Danna & decided I wanted to get in shape for the wedding. Whaddaya do when ya wanna get in shape? Ya go to the gym, right? I went down the block to the local gym---- but I KNEW that without structure, without a hook where it'd cost me something that would hurt if I didn't stick with it, I signed up with a personal trainer. 60 sessions of boxing training. Fifty bucks a pop. Yep: three grand, 4 sessions a week.
And it was awesome. Ripped me UP! Really strict nutrition regimen, & with the "stick" of losing $50 if I miss a session, I showed up.
Lost that 40 lbs, our awesome wedding came, then our honeymoon, & guess how many times I went to the gym after that— without the flag-pole goal established? Three. I went back to the gym 3 times. First time, I remembered most of what our routine had been, without the boxing. 2nd time, I remembered a little less. Third time, I did the lost guy dance, as all do, winding up on the treadmill for 20 minutes.
And then life resumed. A couple years flew by in a blur & I had a new job at an intense edit shop— long frantic hours with clients all too happy to shove greasy takeout in my gourd to keep me strapped to the edit chair.
We had a baby daughter who grew like a weed, and once again, as she grew and grew to be a toddler— I found I couldn't carry her for long stretches without my arms tiring. Couldn't chase her around without getting winded. With the long hours at work, and the bad mood from bad food, I didn't even realize the weight I was re-gaining. I felt awful, felt alien in my own skin, was exhausted all the time.
I started noticing clothes not fitting. Belts needing wider notches. On a whim, I checked a scale: 200 lbs. 50 lbs heavier than I had been at my wedding just a couple years before.
I knew I couldn't do the gym on my own, & did NOT have the dough for a personal trainer. A producer I was working with recommended P90X; a lot of her actor friends swore by it.
I grabbed it off eBay from a dude moving to Malaysia & looked at the discs. A calendar schedule of a WHOLE LOT of different routines that hit all parts of the body; strength, cardio, stretching, endurance--- full-rounded fitness, with a nutrition book guiding you in exactly what to eat.
But I again realized that without the hook of being "accountable" to someone else, something greater than me, I risked being someone that would wind up using the P90X DVD set as a fantastic dust-catcher. My goals were too important though.
If I continued on my present course, I risked declining health & I just loved my wife & daughter too much to fail like that.
I saw on the P90X DVD that the company, Beachbody, provides a coach to you for free— someone to be there to check in & support you, to inspire, motivate & help keep you on track. I emailed asking for one, & was teamed up with David Ingram as a coach--- in that moment, my life was to change course dramatically on an upward trajectory.
David brought me into his "challenge group"— a private Facebook group with all the people he was coaching, all over the country, each person with their own distinct lives, goals, struggles & situations— each of us together to lend strength & support to one another. Together, each of us stronger than we'd be on our own.
Throughout the course of my journey through P90X, the group was there, my coach was there. To keep me on track, to pick me up in the tough times— to help me find steel in my spine and firmness in my resolve. I finished P90X, & it was the most difficult thing I'd ever done. The feeling of victory was incomparable.
I needed to continue. Flowed right into my next program: Shaun-T's T-25, then P90X2.
I became s coach to get a discount on programs & Shakeology & I continued on with 21 Day Fix, Insanity, Insanity 2: The Asylum, 3 Day Reset, Les Mills Combat, P90X3, Insanity Max :30, Ultimate Reset, 10 Minute Trainer, the Master's Hammer & Chisel.
The whole while, I was a professional video editor working 40 - 100 hour weeks— and the fire of devotion I felt in those groups, inspiring, being inspired by, & helping other people strive toward their goals... I became a coach for real, more than just to get a discount on stuff.
& I get a serious sense of purpose leading the group's & continuing to be in them myself.
Now, I have a team of coaches— developing skills of leadership and helping develop the motivational leadership skills in others.
And we run 3 different types of groups each month:
• Quick 1 week fitness challenges— a private group for light, fun, usually-themed entry-level stuff.
• A 1 week intro to learning more about how easy (& delicious) it can be to learn how to improve your eating habits
• Our team's month-long groups— the things that really changed my life; for people with serious goals, who want a system of support to buttress amazing at-home fitness programs & training in how to approach food in a way that supports, not sabotages, a lifestyle change to better health.
Do any of the things that I faced sound familiar? If you're looking to make a change, fill out the application at the link– we can explore whether the challenges I run would be right for you, & to chart a personalized path for you to pursue your goals.
Fill out a quick Goals Form to start a conversation–– about your goals, about where you're at and where you want to go. I'll reach out & together we can plot a path to introduce you to the You that you could become.