48 Years Old, Husband and Father, Type 1 Diabetic
Some key achievements so far:
I started CrossFit back in 2013. I was a 44 year old diabetic who’s doctor was putting him on cholesterol meds in addition to over 50 units of insulin I was taking every day.
I began to forge great friendships within my first 3 months of CrossFit. Paul and I hit it off from day one. He immediately took me under his wing and even invited me to join his team for the Civilian Military Combine race. I was nervous to say the least. Not only was I 44 years old, overweight and a diabetic but I had only been training for 3 months – how good could I be? Paul could easily finish among the top in our gym, I didn’t want to hold him back. What if I couldn’t finish the obstacles and few miles of running? I almost wasn’t going to sign up, until Paul assured me that he would stay with me from start to finish. He even said he would carry me on his back if he had to – but that we would finish.
Lucky for me, he kept his word! About half way through the race we approached an obstacle that we had to climb up and over, about 10 feet high. As I swung my leg over the top I lost footing and actually fell backwards from the top. Paul was standing right there just as he promised and actually caught me! (he didn’t have much of a choice as I kind of landed on his head… thanks bro!)
I could have been seriously banged up, who knows how I would have landed, and I’m pretty sure Paul actually got it worse than I did because I actually gave him a nice black eye with one of my swinging elbows as I was falling. (Don’t worry I made up for it with a nice dinner at Peter Lugers for our wives and us– how could I not)
The CMC was my first competitive event and I couldn’t have had a better experience thanks to Paul. Since then Paul and I have become very close. We often train together 5+ times per week. He is always looking out for me. He knows when I need a good push and he also knows when I need to be told to back off a little (whether it means lifting less weight, or simply taking a rest day). He’s made himself available to help me on off hours with things like using my breathing to control my heart rate and how to think and approach different workouts.
I can talk for days about what Paul has done for me. It truly has all been a great experience, but none of it compares to how Paul has helped since the beginning of this year (Jan 2015). I was actually diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 40 years old. It’ something that we always talked about, even back to the 1st CMC race when Paul looked into bringing sugar packets with him on the run in case I had any flare ups.
I don’t want to get into the long term complications of diabetes. Most of us know how terrible they are. Paul would always ask about my levels and how I was doing. When I told him some of those numbers above he offered to sit with me right away and get a plan started. Within a week Paul had a packet of information put together. He had his own research on my type of diabetes and followed it with research on 3 different types of nutrition plans that he took bits and pieces from to build and recommend one that was right for me. Not only did he present it to me, but also to my wife and made himself available to explain and answer any questions at all.
Paul saved my life plain and simple. I can’t say how grateful my wife and 6 year old daughter are to Paul for everything. You can’t find many coaches or human beings in the world that would make that type of investment in another person. All I can say is a huge THANK YOU! You won’t find a better human being in my book then Paul. I strongly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to work with him and train with him to do so.
What’s next for Marlon?
34 Years Old. Husband & Father of 2
Some key achievements so far:
My story began probably much like many other people’s – a lot of ups and downs and a lot of frustration. But Paul has not only helped me to reach some major weight loss and personal performance goals, but he has helped me to better learn about myself and understand how to create a plan that my body responds to and that is simple enough for me to maintain and keep up rather than fads or crazy diets that would drive you crazy trying to sustain for any amount of time.
Growing up, I was never the most athletic in the bunch. I spent time working out during my college years, but never found the right thing that stuck for me. Shortly after college, I got married at 26 and my focus turned toward starting a family, having our first of 2 children when I was 28. I became less and less concerned with hitting the gym. I’m 5’11’’ and a half (don’t forget the half!!) and in just a few short years I found myself upwards of 290 pounds, the biggest I had ever been! My clothes never fit right. I’d wear tight undershirts with loose clothes over it to mask the weight and it worked for awhile except for the double chin action I had going on. I’d wear t-shirts to the pool (which you know is super embarrassing if you’ve ever had to do that). I constantly had to overcome being self conscious before doing anything or going anywhere – all the time! My confidence was at an all time low, and frustration at an all time high.
My breaking point came back in September, 2013. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was getting ready for a wedding and couldn’t find a suit in my closet that fit. I was forced to wear pants and a jacket that didn’t match. I couldn’t even look at the pictures the next day. IT WAS TIME FOR A CHANGE.
I tried a few things different things starting with some time at Jjenny Craig. I later started CrossFit training which was quite a shock to my system since I had not really worked out in years. I was seeing nice progress and even lost almost 50 pounds at one point. I felt great and loved the compliments of what I had achieved so far. However, one day I began slowly putting all the weight back on even though I was still training CrossFit 5 to 6 days every week. By October, 2015 I had crept all the way back up to 265 lbs and climbing!
I met Paul through CrossFit and we became friends often training together in the same class. Paul was always one of the better athletes in the gym and it was pretty well known that he followed nutrition to best compliment his training. One night we were talking and I mentioned the challenges I was having. “If you want, I’ll help you build a plan that’s right for you – just tell me when”. That’s all I needed to hear. I immediately agreed and assured Paul I would do whatever it takes to get on the right track and stay there.
The point the Paul always stressed the most is that I shouldn’t think of it as a diet. It’s a lifestyle choice. Diets are short term and that’s how long they work (which I’ve witnessed firsthand many times before). Paul helped me build a plan that could seamlessly fit into my life. Before diving into nutritional details, Paul helped me analyze my daily schedule and responsibilities because those are fixed and wouldn’t be changing for the most part. We identified some things I was already doing were great and, of course, others needed a minor tweak (or major overhaul☺). Paul always provided information so that I could understand how to implement and use myself forever.
Was it hard? Yes, absolutely, but anything worth doing usually is. I did have to give up certain foods and eating habits that have been second nature to me for years. But when I started working with Paul, I was 265 lbs and within 60 days I was down to 225 lbs, and we did between November 1st and January 1st and I’m sure I don’t have to say how hard it is just to maintain, let alone lose, weight during those holidays. IT FEELS FANTASTIC! I can now string together sets of pull-ups for the first time in my life (10+ in sets) and even completed FRAN Rx for the first time in my life with real pull-ups! Burpees don’t suck as much (although they always will) and I am generally feeling better throughout WODs.
It is now March, two months later, and I have managed to maintain keeping under that 225 lbs mark. I understand it’s a part of my lifestyle now. It’s not hard for me to follow at all and I couldn’t be more excited!
In closing, I have many more goals on my short and long term list. I know it won’t be easy to get there, but I know I will! And with a guy like Paul around to keep me on track, I have no doubt we will smash all of those goals and more.
What’s next for Louis?
33 Years Old. Husband & Father of 4
A letter from Chris:
Words can’t express how grateful I am to you for helping me plan, create, and start my weight loss journey. Not only are you a dear friend but you have become a mentor for me throughout this process and, for that, I will be forever grateful.
I think it goes without saying how important this journey is for me and my family. A lot of people tell me how difficult a decision it is to donate an organ to someone else, well in my case, that was the easy choice. The more difficult fear to face was knowing that if I didn’t do something about my weight and overall way of life from activity to diet, that I wouldn’t be able to make good on my promise to my daughter. Having to tell her that I failed is a fear I cannot afford to accept.
In actuality, that was only half the battle. The other half was putting together a game plan and seeing it through. This is where you have made the biggest impact on my life. Without you providing me with a clear plan, instruction and most importantly taking the time to go through each step with me, my accomplishments up to this point would not have been possible. Because of you I have crushed my short term goal of losing 35lbs in 90 days, and now I’m well on my way to 50lbs+ and that 215 goal by May 15th. I certainly look forward to writing you again once I’ve hit, and no doubt exceed my end goal.
Although I have not been able to train regularly at Crossfit Steed with you, you’ve never treated me differently and, in fact, have put together an amazing plan of things I can effectively do in my spare time at home. your box is awesome and I can’t wait till I can begin my post surgery rehab plan with you. I wish you, Vinny and the entire CrossFit Steed family all the success in the world.
32 Years old, Husband
I truly believe I found CrossFit at just the right time in my life. I played organized sports throughout most of my life. I was lucky enough that I never really had to worry about my diet or watching what I ate. I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t have to worry about gaining weight or my performance changing. However, I know now that while it isn’t that uncommon for young athletes to have this same experience…. It doesn’t last forever!
It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I learned this lesson (the hard way). It was 2012, 5 years after I had graduated, and I wasn’t playing much of any sports anymore, unless you count weekend bar league softball and the occasional round of golf. Gym time meant the infamous Back & Bis, chest & tris routines that we all know so well growing up in Brooklyn (don’t worry I never skipped leg day). As for diet, a half pound of pasta with a loaf of Italian bread and a bottle of wine was typically 2 and 3 times per week and some other kind of take out on most other nights. Breakfast generally meant something that included at least 1 bagel, if not more.
I was letting myself go and falling pretty fast. I found myself at 225 pounds, wearing size 38 pants, and not because ‘baggy was in’! I also just got engaged and had to start thinking about the years ahead with my future family. (Forget about wanting to start trying on tuxes) I needed a change.
I found CrossFit in early 2012. I took it slow for a couple of weeks while I learned what CrossFit training was all about. It certainly didn’t look easy, but it was the first gym I had ever been to where most of the people there were fit! I soon decided to give it 2 months all in. At first I was training 3-4 times per week. Within a month it was more like 4-5 days. I followed a strict paleo diet during those same 2 months as well, and what I experienced completely shocked me… it really wasn’t that difficult and it got easier every day, It was like I was re-programming my body.
Within 60 days, I lost 20 pounds and shed 2 inches off my waist!
I felt amazing! My energy was up and my performance in workouts was sky rocketing. I was hooked. My wedding was coming up in just 2 short months and I was determined to get that ‘James Bond look’ for my tux!
I kept focused and I was down another 10 lbs, to 195 lbs, by the big day.
Even better, I dropped 2 more pants sizes and was fitted for a size 34 slim for my tux.
Over the next few months I adopted more of an 80/20 lifestyle with the overall goal being long term maintenance I could keep up forever. I ended up at 185 lbs, when I was my lightest, with a size 32 waist that I still maintain today (2 full years later). In total, I lost 40 lbs and cut 6 inches lost off my waist in less than one year.
You will always hear me talk to our athletes about re-analyzing their goals. How has your goal changed in the last month, in the last 6 months, or in the last year? Once I got down to my lightest, I was in the position to adjust my goals. It was time to get stronger and to start competing. I added a good 10 pounds of muscle through training and took my performance to another level. I’m now hitting numbers now that I would have never thought possible when I first walked into CrossFit.
CrossFit obviously had an immediate impact on my life with some pretty drastic changes out of the gate. However, if you ask me what part of the story I am most happy about, what I consider the most successful… It was finding a lifestyle that I could sustain long term and hardwire into how my family lives our lives.
It took hard work and dedication for a short period of time, but has likely added years and quality onto my life, and most importantly, invaluable time I will be able to spend with my wife and future children and family.
Returned to CrossFit after being out for about four months with a lower back injury. So, glad to have found CrossFit Steed. Vinny and Paul are the most super caring coaches I have ever met. They kept checking on me every WOD I would do, which is about two weeks since I returned. The workouts are badass and straight to the point. I have been gaining my strength super quickly and the people here are super cool. Can’t wait to start hitting PRs at this Box.
Great place, amazing energy, and knowledgeable coaches. The team became my family. Lost 25lb in a matter of four months. Improved all aspects of my life and recently had my 6-month anniversary. Looking forward to years of sweat, hard WOD, and fun.
Can’t say enough great things about CrossFit Steed! Knowledgeable and attentive coaches, well-rounded warmups and workouts, friendly and fun atmosphere. The coaches and staff treat you like family. I was new to CrossFit and a little hesitant to try but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Love the workouts and love CrossFit Steed!
Everything you have done for me is beyond words. From gym work to conversations. Your all genuine. And from what I can see you guys are your own critics. You make changes and additions before anyone would even have a suggestion. You are family. Have everyone’s interest at heart. You are above and beyond.