From Bootcamp to Rock Body Bootcamp: THIS is Nate's Story

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My story starts like many of yours. I was a former high school athlete that lettered in three sports. I was a veteran with multiple deployment. I had spent a year on special duty with the Honor Guard. I was a poster child for recruiting.

The Twist

In 2003, I felt my heart race and blacked out. I spent the next 18 months in and out of hospitals trying to figure out what was going on. I was in my early twenties and going through cardiac testing to find an arrhythmia combined with a sleep disorder that was made worse by the dark winters of Alaska. I was placed on a fitness waiver and told that I couldn’t work out. The Air Force decided to discharge me six months before my enlistment was scheduled to end. It left me feeling alone, not valued, and not needed. I began to eat to fill the void. The eating, of course, made the existing medical conditions worse and added new ones like severe sleep apnea. I spent the next ten years of my life riding a roller coaster of weight loss and gain.

The Need for Change

Over the 10 years following my military service, I focused on my career. I had climbed the ladder very quickly at a large corporate bank, but it came at a cost. I was so dialed in at work that I had no time or energy for anything else. I was drinking between 10-12 diet sodas or energy drinks a day, just to stay awake. (That’s about a gallon a day). I would come home exhausted from the day, and unable to concentrate on my family. I was so upset with myself for neglecting my family that I became depressed. The fact that I couldn’t be around my family without anti-depressants should have been a sign that something was wrong. However, it wasn’t until August, 2014 that I would get that wake up call. I had surgery to repair the functionality of my jaw. When the doctors tried to wake me after surgery, it took them much longer than it should have. My doctor came to my hospital room the next morning and gave me “the come to Jesus” talk. She said, “Nate, if you don’t change your lifestyle, you will be dead by 50 if you are lucky-but more than likely, 40.” The lightbulb came on-something needed to change. I just wasn’t sure how. The great thing about jaw surgery is you can’t eat so that helps. The downside is it’s only temporary. I was back on the roller coaster.

Getting off the Roller Coaster

I needed to do something, but I “didn’t have time”. Jane, my wife, would just look at me and say maybe it’s time to look at a new job. This was a hot button for me- I had sacrificed my relationship with my family to make this career, and I wasn’t going to just give it up. My boys came to me one Saturday and asked me to play baseball with them. I told them I don’t have time I need to go to work. They said “you are always at work, why don't you ever have time for us?” I cried on the way to work that day and started looking for new jobs. I found a job for a company that put employees as a priority. I was home more but there was still something missing. In January of 2015, I took a look at myself in the family Christmas photos and saw “me.” I saw me without the tint of the past. I had been in denial about letting myself go. At my heaviest, I was over 310 pounds, but this was the first time that I didn’t see the 220 lb airman in the frame. I accepted that I wasn’t who I thought I was and nothing close to what I wanted to be.

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The Change

I hired a personal trainer and downloaded the MyFitnessPal application. I started to train and see results. However, most of my results were based on the scale. I did little to fix my eating habits. Instead I just cut the calories that were going into my body. It was working. I reduced my weight to 240lbs by controlling my calories and working out like “crazy.” It wasn’t until I made a bucket list that I realized something else needed to change. The first thing on that list was run a half-marathon.

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Enter Get Fit

Jane had seen the Rock Body Boot Camp coming up, and said she would like to do it but was a little scared to do it. I told her if she wanted that I would do it with her to make “meal prep” easier and keep her motivated. I didn’t really know what “meal prep” meant, but it was too late to turn back now. Our first homework assignment was the game changer that I needed. Hungry for Change gave me the insight I was looking for; Food was my issue. RBBC taught me how to eat for fuel and the rest is history. The number on the scale became less of a focus, and it was more about how I looked and felt. However, the funny thing was, the less the scale was a focus, the more body fat I lost. The workouts at Get Fit became more satisfying and my run times started to drop. I was breaking personal bests on a daily basis. Most importantly, I had the energy to give my wife and kids the husband and father they deserved. On the last day of boot camp, I fit into the suit that I hadn’t worn in 10 years, that I have been moving around saying, “I will get back into it one day,” and that same weekend I checked the half marathon off my list. I got my life back, and I was myself for the first time in a long time. You only live one life, so live.

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