Just Like You

I haven’t always looked like this, nor was I big athlete in high school or college. I started out just like you - with a little determination to lose some weight and a sincere curiosity to find a way. 

I remember it as if it was yesterday. I had spent 3 years in the Marine Corps and for the most of my enlistment, I was fine. But toward the end of it, it seemed as if something just hit me. I was barely 22 years old and it was like my metabolism just stopped. In a matter of months, I somehow managed to pack on a good 40lbs of fat and was constantly tired. It got so bad, I couldn’t even fit into my uniforms or pass the Marine Corps PT test (I got in a lot of trouble for that). I just couldn't understand what was happening to me!

I was running, lifting weights and for the most part, staying active. Well, what happened to me was my genetics and eating habits. After all, an easy gainer for muscle is also an easy gainer for fat, or so I've learned. Having a McDonalds right behind the barracks didn’t help either. I started to feel depressed about it all =/

I finally went to see my doctor to see if everything was OK. Surprisingly, everything came back fine (though he did diagnose me with depression). Eventually he put me on an anti-depressant which over time, made me gain even more weight as a side effect. Panicked, I knew something had to change.

Against my doctors advice, I quit the anti-depressant and decided to try a more natural route. Not sure where to start, I joined a gym and purchased a few fitness magazines to learn how to maximize my time there. The guys on the covers were lean...I mean really, really lean! They had to be doing something right. I HAD to know what it was! That was the start of an obsession to learn every technique, strategy and weight loss method I could find.

I read the magazines back to back, over and over until the edges wore down and the pages began to fall out. There was no article too outlandish; I had to know it all! I'd study it and follow it in its entirety to see it worked. Whatever the article told me to do, I would do! Perhaps I went overboard but I had found something I loved and quite frankly, was obsessed with.

Months went by as I trained hard and put the majority of my free time into reading everything I could get my hands on. What I learned was that 90% of the claims/supplements in the magazines were a total waste of time and money. They just didn't work! However, around 10% of them -DID work.

Within months, my obsession had turned into results and my friends wanted to know how I had done it. That's when I decided to invest my talent in a personal training career. Soon thereafter, I got a job at Ballys (which I ultimately outgrew). I now operate independently out of a private gym in DC and Mansion Fitness in LA. The rest my friend, is history.

- Derrick