Shortly after Damian posted the story you're about to read people took notice and blew up the comments section with love and support. Later that day I spoke to him on the phone and he thanked me for asking him to do this. He called it his aha moment. Damians aha moment came unexpectedly. I asked him for a simple update and if he felt comfortable a before picture comparing himself to his now picture.
When I asked Damian to do this it was out of pure curiosity. I heard from other people in our community how good he is looking and I wanted to see it. I'm really grateful that he went all in and painted the full picture for me. I was in tears after reading it. So without further ado let's get to Damians aha moment.
The rest of the words in this post are in Damian's own words:
Damians Aha Moment
I was asked a couple days ago by Jed Kobernusz if I would be willing to give an update on my weight loss progress. I am not real big on doing things like this, but I told him I would. Hang with me as I start from the beginning.
I have always been a good size person. 200+ throughout high school. I suppose like most others, I started to gain weight when I went to college and started to get less active. Also, I don't know exactly how big I was when I took a new job in 2011, but I was big.
I lost weight during training for my new job, but it didn't stay off. Fast forward to June 2017. At a minimum, I weighed 350 plus. I would bet money on it that I was 360 or better, but at some point, I quit weighing myself. I was wearing a 3xl shirt, that I would stretch to try and make it fit better, but it didn't. Wearing pants in a 48-inch waist. But I still didn't see it.
Maybe I didn't want to see it. I had tried different workout things throughout the years but had never stuck with any of them. Some of it I blamed on dropping smokeless tobacco a year or so earlier, but I know now I was only making excuses for myself. People would say things in passing, but I laughed it off. Then came the day I saw it. It was a picture. A picture was taken during our Fire Department open house June 2017. It was on the front of our family calendar that we get every year.
I still get those same feelings to this day that I got when I saw it for the first time. Disgust, Anger, Sadness, Confusion, Shame. Name a negative feeling and I was probably feeling it. I was feeling bad for myself. Of course, that doesn't get me anywhere either.
October of 2017 is when it started. As if almost on cue, I came across Dr. Karlie Moore and Fit For Duty Consulting on Instagram. She specializes in helping firefighters get in shape. $40 later I had access to her 60 Day Slim Down Challenge program. Circuit workouts, food options, and online lessons. I set goals for myself. Workout every other day. No stopping because it was the weekend. Every-Other-Day is what it had to be. I needed the consistency. I took her recommendations for food. Did the workouts religiously. The first 3 weeks were a nightmare.
Sore doesn't even begin to describe how I felt, but I pushed through. Not for anyone else…for me. I truly believe now that if you really want to accomplish something, you have to allow yourself to be selfish. The people around you will get the benefits of your hard work, but you have to do it for yourself first. When I got past the first month or so, it started to become a habit. I was feeling better and started to see results.
It wasn't anything crazy, but it was something. Something positive. I had started to look at what I had been eating. 1000 calories for a snack was nothing. Eat a full frozen pizza…easy. Footlong sub with a little of everything and a ton of calories…give me two. Soda. Chips. Eat…eat…eat…eat. With this program, I changed that. Lean meats. Whole Wheat. Fruits. Veggies. All of which I still eat to this day.
It is a few days before January 1st, 2018. Going strong. Still working out every other day. The 60 Day Slim Down Challenge had already ended but I had continued doing the workouts. Seeing results that were getting me excited. Still nowhere near happy, but moving in the right direction.
Welcome to the party, John Larson. John texted a group of 6 of us and thought it was a good idea for us to partake in the Pushup Challenge. 100 pushups a day, every day for a year. I had been working out, so I didn't think it could be that big of a deal. Boy, I was wrong. I struggled with this on a daily basis for 3 months. I stayed with it, made what I thought was a sensible modification to the rules, but soon realized I was only cheating myself.
So I had to catch back up. 130 a day for a month. I learned my lesson. I was doing 10 sets of 10 every day. It is now broken up into three equal sets these days and I am happy to say I am still on track to finish the challenge at the end of December.
Welcome to March 2018 and the beginning of the Jed Kobernusz era. I was introduced to Jed by my uncle Craig Mcmillin. Craig had started his own personal journey. I was still doing my workouts from before and the pushup challenge but felt like something was missing. Jed's Workouts of the Day (WOD's) were the missing piece. His program is free. His workouts are bodyweight workouts. No equipment needed. Modifications are ok, just make sure you do the workout. The only thing he wants is to be tagged when you're done with a workout. Make sure you're doing it. Staying committed to yourself. Staying committed to #KoberNation.
He is changing lives with his program. My weight loss has accelerated with his program. My strength and flexibility are better than it has ever been. I look forward to seeing what the next workout is going to be. Jed is one of the most dedicated guys I know. Never quits. Always there, always willing to help, and always encouraging me (and everyone else) to keep going. To get the workouts done. His positivity and passion are infectious. I have only made one face to face class with him, but I am telling you it was phenomenal.
That is definitely going to be the next step for me. Find him on Facebook. Talk to him and see what he and his program is all about. It will be one of the best decisions you make. I know I am extremely grateful to Craig for reaching out to me. I finished WOD #62 of 365 today. 60-day challenge workouts every other day, WOD's on the off days, and the pushup challenge every day. Sounds like a lot, but it is a habit now.
The workouts I do take me 30 minutes or less per day. I own 2 sets of dumbbells and an exercise ball, that's it. Anyone can do it…no lie. If you feel the way I felt, do it. Do it for yourself. You won't regret it. I promise.
So where am I today? July 27th, 2018.
Pants size is at a 40 and could maybe get into a 38 (depending on the brand). Finally able to zip a 2XL jacket and wear a 2XL sweatshirt. I've quit worrying so much about weight, but the last I weighed myself was 250 lbs. Also, I have seen the 240's on the scale, but I know my weight fluctuates a few pounds depending on the day. I eat way better than I used to, but still, have days when my choices suck. I refuse to let those days derail my progress.
Honestly, I would have never guessed when I started this last October that I would ever say I have lost 100 lbs. But I have. I did. I am not done. My goals have changed and now it is about seeing what I can achieve. Be the change you want to see. Do the work. Love the process and you will see the results.
You have the drive, you just have to unleash it. Don't let yourself get discouraged. Love the soreness and know it means progress. Don't quit, no matter how much you want to. In the words of Jed…”if you are willing to change from the neck up, you WILL change from the neck down”. #ygt #ygtfitness #kobernation
I don't have many pictures but the left picture is me June of 2017 and the right picture is June of 2018. Long ways to go, but headed in the right direction! Tomorrow's workouts are only a few short hours away and I can't wait!
Thank you for reading about Damians Aha Moment.
How Do You Tag Jed On Facebook?
Complete each WOD for 365 days in a row and let me know by tagging me on social media. That will get you the free WOD finisher Hoodie. I'll even pay for shipping. Be the first 365 WOD Journey Finisher for the WOD Finisher hoodie. Katie and I are on that journey right now and I'm pretty sure she'll get it, but you never know stranger things have happened. Therefore, it's anyone's game, for now. Damians aha moment brings new light to the WOD Finisher hoodie. I'm So grateful for his courage to share this with the world.
For more details Watch this:
You Got This!
PS: Want more motivation? Tired of the same old crummy routine of life? Rather then going to another newsletter you won’t ACTUALLY read, hop on mine to get your weekly dose: JedKobernusz.com/Newsletter
PSS: If you found this post about Damians Aha Moment and if it brought you value, consider making a contribution to the gym fund. Becuase then I can keep helping you out. Go Here To Contribute. Thank you for your time, attention and generosity.
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Jed Kobernusz – ACSM-EPC, EMT, CEAS-I, FMS
Certified Exercise Physiologist
Body Weight Movement Coach
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