Address: Exeter Township
When and why you began to exercise: In May 2010, I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was constantly drinking and constantly having to go to the bathroom, which prompted me to go to the doctor. At that point my blood sugar was so ridiculously high, my doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital. He said you have to radically change your diet, which I did. I cut out the sugars for the most part, and I lost 35 to 40 pounds that way until it got to the point where I wasn’t losing anymore. Charlie Sarti, who works in the same studio where my kids take karate and dance class, challenged me and asked me if I’d like to come in and do a class for free at his studio, 3rd Element, in October 2010. I started taking a class with him once a week.
Type you do: He wanted to start working with me one on one, so I started with him in August. He set my diet straight and had me track my calories, and from that point on I basically fine-tuned my own diet with his guidance. I went from working out one day a week to four or five times a week. I take classes, and then I have a personal training session with him once a week in addition to walking and basic free weights at home.
Hardest hurdle to overcome: The biggest challenge is mentally talking yourself into it. Charlie had faith in me that I didn’t have in myself. It’s easy to talk yourself out of something. Getting over the mental hurdles and believing you can achieve it was the biggest hurdle for me.
Biggest exercise achievement: As of Jan. 30, I had lost 110.5 pounds since May. I lost about 76 of that since August. I am stronger and healthier now than I’ve ever been in my life. Charlie challenges you to up your weights, and I’ve surprised myself with the amount of weight I’m able to use with relative ease. My final goal would be to weigh 250 pounds, so I’m about 76 from my goal.
How exercise helps you: The biggest thing that keeps me going is all of the positive feedback from the people around me. All of these people have been so supportive. The biggest thing I could ever do to destroy that in my mind is to gain this weight back. Being motivated by the people that I’m motivating keeps me in check. There isn’t an aspect of my life that hasn’t been better because of it. I’m accomplishing more than I have ever because I have more energy. I’m not as tired, and on another aspect, my wife, Jennifer, changed her diet with me as well, and by changing her diet along with me she has started to lose weight. My kids, Claudia and Harrison, are seeing me do this, and my daughter is now starting to work out. I feel better than I ever have. I feel stronger, more awake, more alive, more motivated. I’m willing to go out and challenge myself. I’m more of a people person. I used to run from a camera, and now I’m the first one there. I don’t see any limits to what’s possible with this.