As a kid, I was active and fit – I played sports and enjoyed being outdoors and playing outside. As I got older though, I became more interested in videos and video games, and less interested in going outside. Eventually my schoolwork became overwhelming, with long hours of sitting, studying, and practicing for my recitals. I gained weight, and became depressed due to my physique and the stress that school and work put on me. I got up to 220 lbs., possibly more, since after a certain point I just stopped weighing myself. I was disgusted by my weight, and felt that there was no hope for me - and I was just too far-gone.
But eventually, I found my motivation. I wanted to join the Air Force, but would have to lose a significant amount of weight to do so. According to their standards, I wasn’t supposed to weigh more than 175 lbs, meaning I had to lose at least 50 pounds just to qualify.
It was hard to get started, since I was afraid to go to the gym and afraid of being made fun of. So I made my backyard and neighborhood my own personal gym. I started a walk/run program, eventually building up to a steady 20 minute jog. After that I started to work on speed and distance, and then added in push-ups and sit-up as well - barely able to eek out 10 in the beginning. Eventually I tried pull ups; I couldn’t do one by myself, but with the help of a chair I could do about three.
Day after day, and rep after rep, I started to improve, and I remember stepping on the scale for the first time in a while and seeing it hit 210 - it was the first time I was under 220 in a long time, and I was excited about that.
I continued working at it and started feeling better and more confident which helped me in my work and school. I felt I had a goal and a purpose to exercise, and eventually I got up the courage to actually go to a gym. I was nervous, and scared of embarrassing myself, but felt like it was something I needed to do.
To my surprise, I received support from several of the other people there - people I had never met were friendly and helpful with workout advice. And then someone told me something I'll never forget: “Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone has a journey and a challenge to overcome. Some are just further in their journey than others. You are in here for a reason. Don’t forget that.”
After a year I made it down to 165 and made it into the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, and later became a Pilot in the US Air Force. I continued my workout routine and got up to 175 lbs. of muscle - benching 255 lbs. for reps and being able to run a mile and a half in less than 10 minutes.
From that experience, I am still constantly trying to improve myself and help others do the same. Fitness is by nature a community builder. No one should be scared of fitness or scared of going to the gym. Everyone starts somewhere. How far you get on your journey depends on you and the work you put in. Don’t let anyone else take you down and away from that. Just take it one step at a time, one rep at a time, one exercise at a time. Anyone can reach their goals no matter how far out of reach it may seem. I am living proof of that.
Cameron's full line up of classes with start later this month but in the meantime we invite you to try his FREE Free Boot Camp offerings that started earlier this week:
Wed June 1st at 6pm: Conquer the Bar
Wed June 1st at 7pm: Team Calisthenics
Thurs June 2nd at 6am: Quadric Agility
Fri June 3rd at 6pm: Team Calisthenics
Mon June 6th at 6pm: Conquer the Bar
Tues June 7th at 6am: Quadric Agility
Do you fall asleep or wake up thinking about food? I know I do. But is that because we're food obsessed? Health conscious? Or both? (And yes, that's a thing.)
As someone who has been on both ends of the extreme (and you can read more about that here), it's a question that's been rattling around in my brain lately. When I was closing in on 300 pounds, all I thought about was the next Snickers bar, the next order of super nachos, or the next piece of cake. As a 160 pound marathoner, all I thought about was avoiding butter, not eating anything fatty, and how to get through the next family dinner without ordering any 'tainted' food, while gulping down endless glasses of water.
Neither of those options were ideal. They weren't healthy or optimal. But above all, they didn't make me happy.
The result of constantly overeating was being obese and overweight, and carrying around all that extra fat did not make me happy. On the other side of the equation, following such a restrictive diet kept me lean, but obsessing over every meal and morsel crushed my ability to completely engage in normal, everyday interactions, and that didn't make me happy either.
For a while, I bounced between the two extremes until I finally found something that works for me. Something simple and easy that helps keep me focused on the big picture and my long term goals. Something that's eradicated my food anxiety and brought me a lot more peace.
Simply put: I choose food that makes me happy and healthy.
And as easy as that sounds, it's been incredibly liberating in practice and something I don't think I've ever done before - as I was either too caught up in nutritional minutiae, or instant gratification.
But eating for happiness and long term health? Well, that's different. It opens the door to everything, and closes the door on nothing. And since I plan to pretty much live forever and be around for a very, very long time, it puts in perspective just how important those M&Ms are at any given moment.
It reminds me that I genuinely like to cook and eat real, organic, whole foods, as doing so makes me feel good and energized and connected to the world in a way that constantly consuming processed food does not.
So there it is: Happiness as a guiding principle to food choice. Happiness as the latest food trend, the newest food rule, the panacea for the masses.
I think I can live with that.
by: Tom Trevino
Tom Trevino is s personal trainer and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, multiple certifications from the Cooper Institute in Dallas, and is currently pursuing his Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He can be found at our Alamo Heights location, or aimlessly wandering the aisles of Central Market.
To correct the problem, try starting at the bottom of the movement with your chest to the floor, and keep your body straight as you push up. Aim to come back to the starting position on the floor for each rep. Once your form deteriorates, or you can't complete the motion all the way through, it's time to take a break and move on to another move. Done right (as shown in the video), pushups are great for the chest and triceps, and for overall core stability.
Since beginning training he has noticed improvement in proper alignment which helps him work harder and safer supporting his activities. He works effectively using his body as a whole, engaging muscles that are usually not targeted and has found he has increased his overall endurance.
Whether you're a mountain climber or just looking to get healthy, Pilates is right for you. It is not just for women or an older population; Pilates truly is for everyone. It will improve the way you move your body, prevent injuries down the line and can ultimately allow you to increase the intensity of your workouts. Through Pilates you will learn to use your body more effectively, build lean muscle mass, and carry your body in a safer more athletic way.
Regardless of your fitness goals, the experienced instructors at MBS Pilates can personalize your sessions to meet your specific needs. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit our website here or call us at 210-412-0398.