Not the end Just starting another chapter

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The time has come for this part of my journey to end. I’ve learned so much in this program. I’ve gained skills and knowledge that will last lifetime. I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me and just encouraged me to keep going. I needed it. You will never know how much it really ment to me. Thank you H-E-B and staff for not teaching us an easy way out, for not throwing no carb diets and diet pills in our faces…… but actually taking the time out to show us and teach us how to eat, how to excersize but most importantly helping us find ourselves again. This has been one of the best experiences in my life Thank you  me letting me be apart of the H-E-B SLIMDOWN SHOW DOWN 2014

I cant wait to loose the first pound when its all over because my journey continues a new chapter of success will be written.

My current status with my future goal!!!!!

So this has been an incredible journey that I have found myself on!! I would do it again in a heartbeat and my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. I am in no means dwelling on it, I’m thankful for it and reminded of the fact that this could have happened sooner!! Things happen for a reason when they do and that time is now!!! Believe me my friends and family when I say this, this is the tip of the iceberg!!! This is the first door that I am walking through and not only did I walk through it, I busted down the damn door and ran as fast as I could!!! All of our sponsors have been great and Golds Gym has been simply amazing to and for me!!! Yes theres alternatives and plenty of them, but again, it was me taking full advantage of a gift that was given to me!!!! I had to familiarize myself with a gym again because its been almost 2 decades since I’ve last been. Totally kicking myself on that one but hey, I’m here now and I’m totally kicking tail now!!! To have this momentum moving forward is great. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what kind of routine is good for me and I am tearing it up full force!!! As long as there is metal in my ears and its on!!!! So I share with you, I started at 353 when I walked into Fit Camp. Tonight after the gym, did my routine and weighed in at 301. Man this has been an incredible ride!!! And in the past 3 months, I have poured tons of healthyness into my body!!! It feels great but like I said, this isn’t over yet. Ultimately I have 120 more pound’s to go and then its maintain once goal is aachieved. How long will it take?? No earthly but I will keep fighting and clawing until I do!! I will not give up, I will not give in, I will not quit, nor will I fail!!!! I’m 36 now will be 37 in December of this year. I want to be at my goal weight before I hit 40yrs old!! There is my goal, that is the plan so I hope you all hold me to it!!!!

A LITTLE SPRING IN MY STEP

We are just a little over a week away from the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown and I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! In the past few months I have experienced the full gambit of obstacles that life can throw at you and I am happy to say I have come out the other side stronger for it. Nothing worth having is ever obtained easily. I look at every experience as something to learn and grow from. Everything from positive achievements, non-numeric victories, just feeling better overall to those times where maybe I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped to be or wasn’t as disciplined as I could have been. Nothing can stop you from moving forward but YOU! If you have a few stumbling blocks along the way at least you are still stumbling FORWARD! For those of you following along with my fellow contestants and me, I hope that we were able to give you the inspiration and push you may have needed to make some changes in your own life. I hope that our examples show that nobody is perfect and that we all need support from time to time. Don’t keep your struggles or your goals a secret. Don’t let being afraid of “failure” the thing that keeps you from even trying at all. Believe in yourself and you can do anything you set your mind to. This is a marathon journey and not a sprint, we didn’t get unhealthy overnight so don’t expect to push a button or take a magic pill to miraculously be healthy.

Keep On Keeping On,
Daniel

Riding off into the Sunset

As I’ve previously mentioned blogging has been one of my favorite features of the H-E-B Slim Down ShowDown (SDSD). I’ve been able to share my thoughts on a public platform and that has been empowering, scary, pleasurable, and intimidating at times (needless to say it has given me a range of emotions). But overall it has re-ignited my passion for writing so much so that I’ve decided to continue blogging via another outlet.

As I write this final post as part of SDSD tears are forming in my eyes as I look back over where I started and how far I have come on my wellness journey. I TRULY, SINCERELY, AND TO THE DEPTHS OF MY HEART APPRECIATE EVERYONE WHO HAS READ, COMMENTED, LIKED, SHARED, AND TAKEN ANY LITTLE TID BITS from my blog posts. Your comments have helped in ways I can never truly convey in words…suffice to say they have propelled me forward on days I wanted to slack off and/or quit. Thank you to the sponsors of SDSD. And thank you to the staff and everyone who makes SDSD such a wonderful, life changing experience. Thank you somehow doesn’t seem adequate so here’s a giant virtual hug.

Image courtesy of: www.hillingdonac.co.uk

Image courtesy of: www.hillingdonac.co.uk

So perhaps you are curious what lies ahead for me after the competition is over. Well, I’m very excited to strut my stuff on the runway at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX on Saturday, April 12, 2014. I mean how many opportunities does a non-model have to walk a runway all dolled up…ummm….that answer is like never and I’m going to enjoy this moment to the fullest. I will continue this wellness journey until I reach my goal weight (150-140lbs) which would mean a total 50-60lb weightloss for me. Exercise is just a normal part of my days now and eating nutritious,
healthy foods has nearly become second nature so I’m confident I will continue
with my lifestyle changes. This is my new normal. I think my previous
weightloss efforts were unsuccessful in the long run because I lacked the
knowledge to make it sustainable. SDSD has given me the resources I need to recognize if I’m veering off course and then take the necessary steps to get back in
line. I’ve continually referred to my health changes as a wellness journey
because I see it as such; it’s a lengthy process and I’mm prepared to forge ahead and continually make my health a priority. One major reason for wanting to participate in SDSD was to set a better example for my 2yr. old son and my family (where obesity is rampant). My lifestyle changes have been contagious and the ripple effect it has had on my family and beyond lets me know that in time we can reclaim our health and change our lives for the better.

Image courtesy of: born-to-fly-BlogSpot.com

Image courtesy of: born-to-fly-BlogSpot.com

So as I proverbially ride off into the sunset, I encourage all of you to live life likes it’s GOLDEN and BE WELL!

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!

I want to say thank you to everyone that has been involved during my journey on the Slim Down Showdown.

To the sponsors, without you, none of this would have been possible.  Your generosity has been greatly appreciated.

To the staff, your support and guidance has not only changed my life, but the people around me as well.  Because of you, I have the tools and knowledge to change my life for the better, and my friends and family as well.  You’re support has helped me through all the hard times, and I know when the competition is over, you all will still be there to help me reach my ongoing goals.

Last, I want to say thank you to my wife and daughters, yall are the most important things in my life.  Yall are the ones that make me want to be a better man.  Yall are the driving force behind everything I do.  Without my girls, I wouldn’t be where I am at today.

This has been a journey of a lifetime that I will never forget, and will go down as one of the best times of my life, and the greatest part, is that it’s just the beginning.  I can’t wait to go to the finale to see all of my friends that have taken the path of happiness and healthiness with me, and I hope that when this is all over, we all can continue to stay in touch and be able to see how much we are all going to change from this experience.

THANK YOU!!!

Now for my last favorite quote:

Around here however, we don’t look backwards very long.  We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.  -Walt Disney

 

The last post… for now.

thanks!

Well, here we are – the last official blog post. I have enjoyed writing these posts way more than I expected, and I plan to continue chronicling my journey on my personal website after the contest ends. You will be able to find me  at www.chris-gates.com beginning on April 14th.

I am amazed at the changes I have experienced and the things which have become habits that were completely foreign a mere 90 days ago. The first days of the challenge were not pretty for me, as some of my fellow contestants can attest. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the Showdown, but I experiences a tremendous amount of resistance and anger the first few days of Fit Camp. I was praying and meditating my ass off, and on the third morning something shifted and I was able to completely surrender to the process. I think it might have been the completely absurd water zumba class at 6am in an outdoor pool in 40 degree weather.  I almost didn’t participate, and for the first 15 minutes I was alternating between anger and frustration. Eventually I had had all of that I could take, so I decided that I was going to find a way to decide to have fun with it no matter how stupid it was. I think it was that decision and the action I took based on it that cracked me open and let me really connect and participate for the remainder of the time at Fit Camp.

Once I returned home, I started blogging, logging my food in MyFitnessPal and trying to figure out a workable gym schedule. By the second week I had installed a stand up desk at work, I was taking a break and walking a mile every morning at 10am, and hitting the gym at lunch every day. My employer has been amazingly supportive through this, allowing me to take a 90 minute lunch so that I can get in a good workout, and then staying 30 minutes late to make up the time. Now my entire work day is centered around health and wellness. I have put a system in place that will continue indefinitely which allows me to get all of my work AND my workouts done by 4pm every day. That works out perfectly, because I always have a ton of stuff to do after work, which is why trying to maintain a workout a schedule has been difficult in the past.

I began preparing meals twice a week so that I would never be presented with a situation where I was stuck choosing between bad and worse meal choices. The advice about eating a bigger breakfast really helped with my late night cravings… so much so that I really can’t remember the last time I felt the compulsion to eat something inappropriate late at night. You have NO idea how huge that is for me. In the past it was like I let a tiger into my house every evening around 6pm, and it was my job not to let it get me between 5 and bedtime. That is not a fight you can win every single day. So to have the problem removed… just GONE… is truly a gift. Thanks Keily. That may be the single biggest factor in my ongoing success.

So now the diet, logging my food, working out, knowing when to hit it hard and when I need a rest day… all of these have become just a part of how I live my life. No struggle. No desire to stop. Hell, my only frustration these days it’s that it’s taking longer than I would like to lose the weight,. This in spite of the fact that I am actually AHEAD of schedule.  That’s what we call “High class problems” around here. Please God, let me continue to face the problems that I have.

final-pictures---frontfinal-pictures--sideI have lost 30 pounds so far. 8 inches around my belly and 7 around my waist. The only “before” picture I could find is from November 2013, and unfortunately it is shirtless… I think I took it in an attempt to shame myself into action.. cause THAT works… I took matching shots this afternoon. Progress has been made and there is still a ways to go before I hit my goal. The cool thing is, I actually believe that I will get there this time.

Join us !!!!

Join us !!!!

I am eternally grateful to all the folks at HEB for letting me be a part of this, and I hope I can come back next year to help the 2015 contestants with their journey. The finale is Saturday, April 12th at the Hyatt Grand in San Antonio and it is open to the public. Here is the flyer for it. If you are thinking about coming drop me an email or send me a message on Facebook. I may have a couple of extra VIP tickets…

 

 

 

 

Lastly, I want to thank all of you guys for all the support. Your comments have helped me through some rocky spots along the way, and they remind me that I am part of a great community of people who all want me to succeed. I forget that sometimes, and all of your support has really brought it home.

See you in the funny papers!

My last blog!

Join us !

Join us !

This is the last blog and the last week of the slim down show down before the finale. It has been an amazing journey that has changed my life forever. I’m reflecting on the past weeks. I can’t believe how far I have come physically and mentally. It really was a struggle to get here. I would like to thank Pete and Bella for being understanding and very supportive. I also would like to Say to some very special people that I’m grateful and thankful for all time and support y’all have given me. The countless hours of working out and all the pep talks. Y’all have been awesome through this and all I can simply say is thank you very much. Dan and Victoria,Kristy, Kathy, Lorrain, Jennifer, Angela and Sara. You all have been an outstanding support system and I’m forever grateful.
I would also like to thank H.E.B and the slim down showdown staff none of this would be Possible without them. Thank you for all your time and support. See you next week.

The beginning of this journey has been amazing.

The beginning of this journey has been amazing.  I am doing things I didn’t think I could.  I feel like the luckiest person to be picked for the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown!   I learned a lot about myself.The first few weeks, I was frustrated.  I was overwhelmed by all the restrictions.  I felt like I giving up all the things I love.  I couldn’t imagine doing that for the rest of my life.  Only 10 weeks later; I’ve learned that I love feeling better on a daily basis and I enjoy new things.  I can’t imagine going back to the way my life was before.

I am so fortunate to have friends and family who support me.  My co-workers will ask me on a daily basis how things are going.  Everyone I met has been willing to give me advice, motivation, or compliments. More than anything, I appreciate the support I have from my best friend and partner, Jason.  He’s been my rock throughout this.  He is there when I got frustrated and held me through the terrible charlie horses in the early morning.  He’s also there for my successes and lets me shine. I appreciate him more than ever. I hope to see everyone at the finale!

 

Join us !!!!

Join us !!!!

Feels So Good

So this is my last post and there is so much I want to say. This has been more challenging than I ever imagined. I’ve pushed myself harder and learned more about me than I ever thought possible.

I wanna start with telling yall my biggest struggle and that’s been not living up to what I set as my expectations and what I think other people thought I was capable of.  I spent a lot of time looking at everything I’ve done as a waste of time because I wasn’t losing anywhere close to the weight that the other contestants were losing. And I still haven’t.  So why keep going? I’ve felt like a failure and am so embarrassed. I’ve feared walking down the runway and having my old and new weights flash and there not being a significant difference and people thinking I haven’t been trying, even though I have been.

But, out of this fourteen weeks there have been so many more positive outcomes than worrying about the weight I’ve lost.  First and foremost the amount of bad I’ve taken out of my life and replaced with good and healthy is awesome! I learned about so many foods that I love and are good for me and can make good healthy choices now. I’ve also worked out more and stayed more active than I have in what feels like years. I’ve invested time in a personal trainer which is something I would have never thought about doing before. And most importantly I FEEL better than I have in a very very long time. Ive never had so many people tell me how happy I looked and thats because I feel so fresh and revived. I really wish that we could be judged on this criteria , because there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have won!

With all that being said I have been able to push my first fear out of my mind and realize that no matter what the scale says, I’ve won. The good outweighs the bad here in so many ways and I absolutely could not have done it without the help from H-E-B and the Slim Down Showdown. The amount of knowledge this has given me can not be measured but this group of people went above and beyond that and gave me so much love, support, and encouragement. I never would have found the courage to do this on my own and can’t thank these people enough.

I also could not have done this without you guys. You have seen me through all my ups and downs and have shown me so much love that I can’t thank you all enough.

This has truly been one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I just hope that I can help even just one person as much as I’ve been helped through this!

 

Thank you again! I love you all!

 

 

 

Only the Beginning of the Rest of My Life

Well family, friends, partners this is my final blog. I will admit I will miss everyones comments and getting the encouragement and positive thoughts from my blogs but I know that life will go on and I will continue to succeed.

First off I would like to congratulate all 29 other participants in this Slim Down Showdown. I would like to extend my deepest respect and utmost admiration for each and every one of you. Our lives will always be intertwined with this journey. I wish you all nothing but continued happiness and success.

I would like to thank all of the wonderful H-E-B staff for all of their had work and dedication to the Slim Down Showdown. Each and everyone of you have been so helpful and supportive. This is a side of H-E-B that I had never seen but all involved with this program is just as classy and dedicated to people as those in store operations. Thank you so much for everything.

Thank you to all of the sponsors. Dole, Nestle, Yopait, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, Gold’s Gym, La Cantera, Jimmy Dean Delights, watermelon.org, Uncle Sam, Egg Lands Best, NadaMoo!, ogx, Asus, TrestleTree, The Union and Fleet Feet Sports. Each and every sponsor was so huge in putting this together. Of course THE GREATEST RETAILING COMPANY H-E-B!! Thank you!

Special thank you to my dietician Kathy Duran-Thal, my Gold’s Gym trainer Katie Dupont, my TrestleTree coach Lisa, my H-E-B SDSD coach Miguel Caranza. Each of you have helped me change my life for the better. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me to be the best I can be.

To my friend Jacque. Thanks for going on this ride with me. Wish you the best! You are a great person with a wonderful personality. Continued success my friend…cheers!

To each and every family member, friend, partner, total stranger, H-E-B customer THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for commenting on my blog, sharing it to Facebook, liking the blog. Each and every comment means the world to me and helped me get through tough times. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! Special props to my 554 store team! Each and every one of my partners there have been so positive and supportive! Thank you all! Everyone in the Mighty Gulf Coast for your support I Thank You!

Thank you to my family! My wife Jennifer and Connor you have been so great through this start of our new life and it can only get better from here. My Mom and Dad, I hope I have made you proud. My brother Mike and Kristy and baby Grayson, thank you for your support! I think this journey has made us all stronger.

Thank You to everyone I may have missed.

Well folks life is just beginning. Food no longer controls my life and that excites me about my future. I love working out. I love talking health and wellness. I am secure in who I am and where I am going. I am happy to taking people on this ride with me.

Life will be forever changed after the start of this journey and I am so excited to move forward.

Thanks to all,

Jason A. Brown

Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late and Wear Green!

Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late and Wear Green!