A True Passion for FitnessForty-seven year-old George Petrovich weighs very close to what he weighed in high school. He can fit into his military college uniform. He is currently training for a triathlon, after which he says he will find another physical challenge. He does resistance training four times a week, often riding his bike to and from the gym. He swims regularly, and squeezes in cardio workouts whenever possible. He methodically plans each day’s meals ahead of time, balancing out perfect ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Although his job forces him to visit restaurants on a regular basis, he never eats fast food, and has eliminated salt and processed foods from his diet. He cooks with herbs from his own garden, and bakes his own bread. “I don’t avoid any particular foods or deny myself,” explains George, “I just eat intelligently. Unless I can make a dish myself, the healthy way, I usually don’t eat it.”
George’s healthy lifestyle and approach to eating is close to perfect - the envy of all of us who strive for physical excellence. Yet, it wasn’t always that way. Two years ago George walked into Passion for Fitness weighing 520 pounds. “Before I came here, I was on the verge of death,” he explains, “I was functionally overweight, actively working 12 to 13 hours a day, but falling asleep every day after lunch. If I was not going to kill myself with poor nutrition, I would probably have killed myself while driving. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen.”
George knew he wanted to get healthy, not only for himself, but for his nieces and nephews, several of whom are his godchildren. He wanted to be an active part of their lives and live a full life himself. One day, he picked up a coupon for a free consultation at Passion for Fitness, made an appointment to come in and meet with owner Joe Ransom, and never once looked back.
“I met with Joe and he immediately threw me into his program,” notes George, “He put me on a schedule to come into the gym three times that same week, and got me going on his food program, which is a tremendous tool. Joe started off at 100 miles an hour and I never even had a chance to reconsider my decision to start a weight loss program. After only a few weeks, I started to see results, then my own personal motivation kicked in. I have been blessed with a lot of great trainers here at Passion for Fitness, who really helped me make the most of my workouts and stick with the plan.”
Within a year, George lost the bulk of his weight (two-thirds of his total weight loss goal of 300 pounds). Currently weighing in at 249 pounds, George admits the challenges are getting harder, but he’s not about to give up. “A few months ago my mentality shifted from being on a ‘weight loss’ program to being on a ‘fitness program,” says George. “The weight loss has become secondary to fitness and a healthy lifestyle.” As he meticulously keeps track of his nutrition, he is as efficient as possible when it comes to his workouts and meals. Self-motivated and structured by nature, George plans out each and every meal on a daily basis. He carefully considers his ratios (protein/carbs/fats) when making decisions about what to eat. If he knows he will be dining out, he logs on to the restaurant website and chooses everything ahead of time, customizing his orders to eliminate sauces, high-fat seasonings, or butter. “I usually cut my portions in half immediately and make a dogie-bag before I even start my meal,” he notes, “It makes a great lunch for the next day.” I feel like I can handle going out to any restaurant. It’s amazing what you can do to cut calories, if you just think about it first.”
“The success is in the planning,” asserts George, “It’s all about making weight loss and fitness a priority, and planning around it.” Another nutritional tip George includes in his regimen is what he calls the “food challenge.” “I take a decadent dish and make it healthy,” he explains, “I get creative and substitute fattening ingredients with healthy choices. I never eat processed food, but I never deny myself any particular foods.”
At one point, George hit a plateau. Despite exercising regularly and following a calorie-controlled eating regime, he wasn’t losing an average of six pounds a week, as he had previously experienced for many months. He sat down with Joe and they re-evaluated his plan. As a result, George realized he actually had to increase his daily caloric intake to accommodate his increased metabolic rate. “The challenges continue to change, and I have to constantly stay on top of my weight-loss efforts, but there has definitely been a shift in my the way I look at things now,” he says, “It’s all about being physically fit and embracing a healthy lifestyle.”
George also notes that his diet is just a part of his overall success. In two years, there has not been a day when he skipped a work-out or didn’t engage in some type of physical activity. Now 271 pounds less than the man he was two years ago (that’s two whole people!), George is off all medication, physically strong, and lives a much more vibrant, active life. His food choices and fitness activities are now part of his lifestyle, not simply components of a weight-loss plan.
As far as rewarding himself for all that he has accomplished, George certainly doesn’t think about splurging on a decadent dessert. “My personal reward system has undergone a complete shift,” he notes, “In the past, when I would accomplish something at work or want to celebrate a birthday, I would go out to dinner. Now, I treat myself with fitness.”
“This is truly an example of what I want my clients to experience,” says Joe, “Of course I want them to reach their weight-loss goals, but most of all I want people to embrace the full benefits of a healthy lifestyle, where they are not just thin, but healthy, happy, successful individuals in all areas of life. When clients follow my plan for eating right and exercising, they soon realize that it’s not a program, it’s a lifestyle.”
Change your life today. Call or visit Passion for Fitness and experience the outstanding benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Joe Ransom is a certified level 1 and 2 FMS Expert!
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