This is one of our best Motivational Mondays yet! Dustin is married to my cousin and in asking her about featuring her own weight loss story she also recommended her husband’s. Since that time I have been following Dustin on Facebook and have been so impressed with not only his achievements but his desire to encourage others to take charge of their health. Hope you’ll enjoy his story. – Allison
What was your health and life like last Spring?
I weighed 343 pounds and my health was deteriorating rapidly. I felt much older in age than I should have at 32. I had issues walking, joint pains, energy crashes, heart weakness, sleep apnea, loud snoring, trouble sleeping, and easily caught illnesses. I would eat sugars and carbs most of the day and would also drink a lot to make myself feel better. I found myself depressed most of the time and lacked self-esteem due to my condition. It was a miserable feeling and my life lacked motivation and determination.
What brought you to a point of change?
In April 2013 I was struck down with a bad flu and it took me a longer time than normal to recover from. During that time I was stuck in bed and reflecting on why I had been feeling miserable and the impact my health was having on me overall. I made a commitment to myself at that time to make things right and on April the 16th I started going to the gym. The first 4 – 6 weeks of my new lifestyle was absolutely brutal. I suffered from body aches, post-workout headaches and hunger due to my curbing of caloric intake. I felt absolutely horrible and reminded myself that I would feel better if I stuck with it and made it through the hard times. I was so right!
How is your health now?
During a 7 month period I dropped a total of 90LBs of fat, overall I believe I am closer to 115 or more due to my focus on weight training as well as cardio. My last official weight in had me at 253 LBs. I’m actively involved in CrossFit at Crossfit Forney and supplement my Crossfit routine with Gym time at L.A. Fitness.
“I feel like I am back in my early 20’s now and my energy levels are insane! I’m faster, stronger, more confident, flexible, mobile, and truly enjoying my life now.”
I recently completed my first 5k which was a big milestone for me and I can run a 8:14 mile. I also partake in olympic lifting and traditional muscle building workouts. My diet is mostly paleo and I have eliminated almost all processed sugar and GMO foods from my diet. The health issues I had prior to changing my lifestyle have all disappeared. No more snoring, sleep apnea issues, or aches and pains!
How has this changed impacted other areas of your life?
I get out more and find myself being less of a recluse. I am also more confident in approaching people and feel that people act different towards me in general based on my new appearance. I am happier and have a much higher sense of well being.
What are some tips and/or ideas you want to share to help others stay committed to their goals?
I am a huge believer that the only way to change your lifestyle in a major way and stick with it is to set up accountability and motivators. In order to find myself accountable I announced to all of my family, friends, and even on Facebook what I was planning on doing and what my goals were. With that alone I was forced to acknowledge the fact that if I failed everyone would know. That helped me a lot in the beginning because people were constantly asking “Did you go to the gym today?” or “How are you progressing?”. That kept it in my face all of the time. My motivators were feeling better, reclaiming my energy, living longer and healthier for my children, and being able to fully enjoy my life and live it to the fullest. With each victory I achieved in working out I further solidified these motivators as reasons to keep on track.
From a diet perspective, my advice would be to avoid complex carbohydrates and processed sugars as they are often the biggest barriers to achieving results. I have a very high protein diet and it has worked wonders in building lean muscle mass and eliminating fat.
My final tip would be tell everyone out there not to give up! You will run into challenges and sometimes you will fall, but learn from your failures, pick yourself up, and keep running strong. It only gets better if you stick with it!
What are some new goals that you have set for the future?
1. I am ultimately working towards a six pack and optimizing my overall BMI.
2. I’m working on having a more trim physique so that by July so I can walk on the beach shirtless and be even more confident.
3. I plan on completing a Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, and various other obstacle courses in the near future.
4. I will continue running 5k’s and work my way up from there.
5. My ultimate goal is to help others who were in the same condition as I was and possibly pursue a part time career as a personal trainer for those struggling with weight issues.