|Winning Ways (FYI):
Monday, February 10, 2003
By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Physical Fitness Advisor
All my life, I have been weight conscious. Unfortunately, my mother was over weight as a teen and was determined that neither my sister nor I would suffer from its affects the way she did. She was more conscious of my weight than I was. She limited my intake of goodies and had to repeatedly keep a watch on my scale hopping pre-teen figure. I simply loved food!
I managed somehow to maintain an average size most of my life through yo-yo dieting, skipping meals and taking diet pills. Though I was somewhat conscious about the types of foods that I took into my system, it was not until 1990 when some strange illness invaded my body that health became a major issue. I went from experiencing aching joints to severe swelling in my legs and ankles. The doctors could not detect any problems. One assumed that I was suffering from malnutrition because of my poor eating patterns, while another thought I was suffering from limes disease. It was not until I caught what appeared to be pneumonia, that they discovered that I had a lung disease called scarcodosis. The disease is thought to have moved from my kidneys to my lungs. While there is no cure for the disease, the body has the capacity to heal itself with the assistance of a drug called predinizone. A drug that the doctor guaranteed me would put a minimum of 25 pounds on my frame.
Already struggling to maintain 150lbs, I could not imagine my body packing on an extra 25 pounds. Due to the amount of my initial dosages, I suffered with a swollen stomach and what others termed as a moon face. My self-esteem took a nosedive; but for reasons I will never be able to explain, I was determined to fight the drugs affects and prevent as much weight gain as possible.
I joined a local health club and began to eat nutritious foods and snacks. I started off with just working on cardiovascular machinery and approximately two months later was inspired by a Personal Trainer named Nancy Lawrence at the facility who started me on weight training and eating a more healthy diet. While I still was puffy, I never gained the 25 pounds! My motivation did not end there. I began taking aerobic classes and have been teaching classes now for the past eight years.
In looking back, I realize that I have come a long way, but I still was not satisfied. It is discouraging when you work many years towards obtaining a fitness model figure and always seem to be off from obtaining that goal by 10 pounds of excess weight or too much body fat. My body had gotten to the point that no matter how many hours I spent, how strict my diet was, or how hard I worked; the scale would not budge and the muscles would not grow or become more defined. Then six months ago, I met a Strength Trainer named Gregory White, who has begun to change not only the outer me but has had a major impact on the inner me. He seemed to know what my mind and body needed to get the results that I have spent years trying to obtain.
His techniques are designed to build muscle, strength, balance, tone and definition. He taught me that it was not about "working hard, but working smart." "Graig" has been a great source of inspiration to me. He had confidence in me when I had lost my motivation to get to the next level. Because of his training and my newfound determination, I am in the best shape of my life. I look and feel better today at 38 than I did at 22. While how I look on the outside matters a great deal to me, I attribute my success to the inner strength that "Graig" has helped me achieve. I am a firm believer that how you feel on the inside is a reflection that shows up on the outside. While I am and will continue to be a work in progress, I see my value and realize that what everybody else thinks does not validate me, but what I think about me!