Danny has been with us for about 9months as of the time of writing this and in that time he has made one of the most impressive transformations I’ve witnessed. I give him all the credit, it was his work ethic and ability to listen to change which has allowed him to be dubbed the “incredible shrinking man”
I’m going to let HIM tell you HIS words and below I’ll explain what we’ve been doing with him and what we are planning on in the future 🙂
1. What was life like BEFORE you started to lose weight?
I was long used to being the fattest guy in the room…but simply didn’t think about it. Coming up out of poverty (pulled myself up by my bootlaces as it were) taught me early on that work, career, home life…all take precedence over paying any attention to myself and I just never got out of that habit.
I’d always worked like a horse and pushed my way past any pain, injury, or other issues. Any problems I noticed with my health I just chalked up to aging, old injuries, and a lifetime of hard work. A diabetes diagnoses after a severe injury infection, along with occasional high blood pressure and cholesterol problems didn’t phase me. No time to worry it. I had a job to get to.
One day in late 2013 I woke up and realized I couldn’t fasten a 60″ pair of jeans (!!). For some reason that was a surprise. I was carrying 427 pounds on my 6′ frame. This was when I finally understood I’d been selling my health to the job for 30+ years and had to do something.
2. What was life like BEFORE RTC?
On my own, I lost 100 pounds by late 2014 by severely restricting my diet. This took the weight off and made my doctor happy, but despite the weight loss I never seemed to have any energy or renewed stamina. Control of my diabetes was not great despite the diet and weight loss and my doc started increasing meds and various injections for my diabetes. Although this controlled my blood sugar reasonably well, I never felt like my old self. Chronic pain from old injuries and strains was increasingly problematic. My efforts flagged due to these factors and I stopped losing weight…claiming a victory only in that I kept it off through 2016. I still weighed 327 pounds.
In February 2017, after some soul-searching and several events that “instructed” me how stupid it was to continue to sell my health to the job (they weren’t keeping their end of the bargain), I realized I had to actively address my fitness. I also realized that diet alone wouldn’t’ do it. Again, for some reason, these “revelations” were a surprise.
I’d NEVER been in a formalized exercise environment. My high school reserved gym instruction for the football guys and the rest of us…literally…got to run around the track every day till the period ended (or we puked). NOT making this up. I actively dreaded physical education.
The thought of tackling a physical fitness regimen was frankly intimidating (to the 300+ pound biker!) and I wouldn’t know what to do if I just walked in a health club on my own. I knew I was going to tackle this, but I knew I needed some instruction.
A timely ad for RTC’s 6-week fitness challenge sealed the deal and I signed up. The small group/individualized instruction seemed like it would fit what I needed and wouldn’t break the bank. I attended my first session February 9th. When the 6 weeks was up I continued.
3. What is life like NOW?
As if this writing I am over 80 pounds down, this year alone. That’s 180 pounds off my peak. I am wearing a pair of 36″ jeans, and am fitter at this moment than I’ve been since high-school. I do things at RTC or DAILY on my own at the gym (yep, I joined one) that a couple years ago I’d have bet money I’d never do. I know the process and have the confidence that I will achieve my goals, which, with the progress, have become increasingly ambitious.
Today I’m stronger than I’ve been in decades and as a result, my chronic pain issues are completely gone. I have energy, stamina, and intensity. I am completely OFF diabetes meds (one of them cost $8000/yr!) and my blood sugars and other indicators are completely normal. I’ve beaten T2 diabetes.
Let me repeat that…I’ve beaten T2 diabetes.
I’m also enjoying the process, something I would not have thought possible. Transforming myself into an athletic 50(+) year old, accomplishing physical feats I’ve never before attempted, and making sure I’m able to continue my normal active life without pain, and WITH enthusiasm and energy, is something I can get behind.
4. What do you see continuing to change or improve going forward?
I have been surprised at how much of a head-game this process is and I continue to learn things about myself and my resolve. Achieving in this makes me stronger and more confident in ways other than physical fitness. I don’t think the importance and impact of this can be overstated.
I am also continually humbled by the skill, practice, and fitness required for seemingly simple exercises and I am working to improve in all these areas. Balance, strength, and stamina are key to these…and as it turns out…key to a long healthy life as well.
Shortly I will achieve my ideal body fat percentage. I will continue to get stronger and maintain that into my (even more) senior years.
I was frankly intimidated by the prospect of starting an exercise regimen. I had no knowledge of proper form (important), equipment usage, or how best to train. I was also worried about aggravating existing problems and simply couldn’t envision myself jumping up and down in time with 50 people in a large class. I also was, despite my usual bluster, not interested in dealing with the judgment and blame that usually accompanies any discussion of weight.
The trainers I’ve worked with at RTC addressed all these concerns. There was no judgment, they worked with me to evaluate my condition and determine a training program to help me meet my goals. They were competent and encouraging all the way.
It’s hard work, and takes dedication, motivation, and drive, but if you’re ready to make a change, RTC can help get you there. Take the first step. And the next. They get easier…and you’ll like where you end up.
What Danny Has Done
When Danny (Daniel) first came here he was, like most people that are starting their Body Transformation journey of just not knowing his body anymore, after losing 100lbs on his own (which is an AMAZING feat by anyone’s standard) he had to relearn HOW to properly move again. We’ve found that for every 50lbs, give or take, that someone loses they are having to spend a bit of time learning how their body is supposed to feel when they move due to less tissue ( a polite way of saying bodyfat) no longer getting in the way.
When we started working with him we just scratched everything off the table that he knew about diet and exercise so we could have a clean state, other words building him from the ground up. This was a long term project and he knew that.
For the first several months, we just focused on a high volume of bodyweight and lighter resistance movements. High reps (20+), timed work sets (45-90sec), and always combining these motions with some other exercise. Basically keeping him moving, not letting him rest much but not overtaxing him either.
An example of a circuit would be:
Bodyweight Squat x 45sec
DB Rows x 20reps/arm
Plank x 30sec
Rest 1min and complete 3-5 rounds
He would have about 3-5 circuits in any given workout for two to three times a week with us here at RTC then 2-3 times a week on his own depending on what he had access to.
We had found that in addition to relearning a new body that no one really ever taught him just HOW to move properly so we were also helping him learn how his body is supposed to feel during exercise stressing technique and form.
Side Note: When you have a person that has been inactive for the majority of their life joints tend to be tighter so injuries can occur easier, taking that into consideration form is a must to keep progress going without injury.
To see a video of Danny doing some work click to our Facebook Page HERE <===
In the beginning with diet, he had already proven that he understood the basics of eating by abstaining from sugar and processed foods focusing on lean protein and veggies. So, we just spent time educating him on more food idea, better choices, and better options for day to day life (what to eat when he goes out for example). In addition, this may sound crazy, but we have been getting him to eat MORE over time and finding balance.
As he stated above, when he came in he was on a very restrive diet eating few calories but he was feeling very run down because of it. So, we slowly helped him add more and more QUALITY calories, getting him up to 1800, all the while saying in a deficit for his body. This way he was still dropping weight, he had MORE energy for better workouts and better lifestyle. Living off 1200 calories a day just wasn’t healthy for his body (and most people that I meet).
The food increase was hard for him in the beginning because there was that fear that eating more meant weight gain so we took our time with the increase.
Danny has discovered an interest in strength training so we’ve been adding in more strength work to his workouts over the past 6 weeks. He’s now deadlifting 280-290lbs for sets and reps and has started adding muscle to his frame.
Also with, this we’ve added in conditioning workouts (think of timed weight training circuits) to really challenge his body and muscles, this is when we saw another fast drop his clothes and waistline. Next, since he has a good understanding of his body now we’ve been adding in ‘skill’ work (jump rope, footwork, rowing variations) to give his body a different challenge.
As of diet? We’ve now got him eating 2200 calories a day, again he will admit his hard for him to do because he is still scared of ending up back where he was at (this is very common for ANYONE who’s dropped quite a bit of weight) but his workouts have gone to another level and he is just dropping weight on a weekly basis.
Our goal is to bring him down to 15% body fat, he’s about 3-4 months away from that, then have him hoover there for about several months before deciding his next goal.
Danny is one of those rare people that has a workhorse mentality, he has no problem putting in the work, he just needed to be shown WHERE to put that work in and HOW to do it. Once he was given guidance and direction he just took off. It’s awesome working with people that have a burning desire to achieve goals and the closer he gets the more ramped up he becomes. He is now so motivated and focused that he is even adding in more work to the workouts we are giving him!
People like Danny we at RTC can’t take all the credit for their success, this guy would have gotten it done no matter what, but it’s awesome that he has allowed us to coach him throughout this process. He is truly one of those people that when you talk to and hear some of his stories you realize that you don’t have much of an excuse on not achieving anything in life, let alone a weight loss goal.
If you want to read more about Danny’s story click HERE <===
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other cool letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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