Step by Step

Let me ask you all a question…did you take a step towards your goal of living a healthy life? They didn’t show it on my episode, but last year my first challenge was to run stadiums at Turner Field. I had to carry a bucket with 40 lbs of Coke up and down the field and terrace levels from the right field foul pole, behind home plate, and all the way to the left field foul pole. I honestly thought it was impossible. A third of the way around I thought I would never make it. Chris told me to not look at the whole challenge. Look only at the step in front of you and take it step by step. That is how you have to take all challenges in life…weight loss, school work, or any other thing that must be conquered.

If you want to start your weight loss journey then take the first step and CHOOSE to change. Then create a small attainable goal so that you don’t always look at the big end of the road goal. That can be a scary thing. I would sometimes look at the fact that I had 216 lbs to lose and I would be overwhelmed with analysis paralysis. Not a good feeling, I’ll be the first to tell you. I made sure to focus on the smaller, more manageable, easier on the brain goal. I know I didn’t hit the first couple of goals, but I put a solid dent in each of them and ultimately got to where I want to be.

So, if you have a goal to accomplish, be it a weight loss goal, a job goal, a school goal, or just a life goal then take it step by step. With each step you’ll make progress and your goal will be within reach before you know it.

A-Train

Weekend

Another Monday is here! That probably isn’t too exciting to most especially all the kids who had to go back to school today i.e. my little brothers, but you can’t hide from Monday’s so let’s all make the best of it!

I would like to take this opportunity to share with everyone the weekend I had. Saturday morning Courtney and I went to the Hard Rock in downtown Atlanta for the Biggest Loser Season 13 casting call. There were a bunch of people there! I would say it had to be upwards of a thousand peeps. We got to meet and talk to many of them and they couldn’t have been more sweet! Joel, Brian, Bert, Ciara, and Robin are just a few of the really cool peeps we got to talk to you. We actually had a few very special visitors come down to meet us who weren’t even trying out for the show. A very special shout out goes to Mary Hamilton, Dot Reilley, Kathy Lee, and her daughter Sarah for coming to say hey.

BL13 Casting Call with the ADORABLE Sarah

One thing everyone who tried out for it should know and remember is that it isn’t about a show. I know that is easy for me to say since I was on one, but not everyone who tries out can be picked so they MUST begin their journey at home. Don’t wait around for a show to pick you. CHOOSE to make the change for yourself and make it today! Your life is far too important to just let it slip away when the want to change is clearly there. Don’t wait until tomorrow…start TODAY!

Sunday morning I was invited to share my story at Crossroads Church in Douglasville, GA. It was such a great experience! I plan on posting the video when I get it, but in the meantime I can tell you what happened. Crossroads is clearly a 21st century church. They are very technological and I love it! My man Chris Thomas put together a video intro for me to come out to and then I got to chat with the pastor. They started a new series called “I Quit” and I went to share how I quit making excuses about losing weight and how I finally followed through and became a healthy me. It was such a cool experience and I thank them for having me. After each service I got to meet a bunch of the people in the congregation and they could not have been more kind! That is the way to start a Sunday! Courtney and I had lunch with our new friend Chris and Lauren Thomas afterwards and they are really great people. I just want to thank Chris, Lauren, Brian Preston, Travis Williams, Justin Owens, Pastor Greg and all the peeps at Crossroads for having me!

Fun Times at Crossroads

A-Train

Adversity

I learned there are troubles
Of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead
And some come from behind.

 But I’ve bought a big bat.
I’m all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
To have troubles with me!

-I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

Dr. Seuss really had a way with words, didn’t he? In this life we are all going to have troubles. It is a forgone conclusion. Some will have money troubles, some will have marital troubles, but for most of you reading this it is weight troubles that have to be dealt with. Dealing with weight troubles is not an easy task by any means, but it is something that you can do. You need the WANT to do it and the WILL to see it through. The WANT needs to come from within you for you because you can’t WANT to change yourself for someone else. That kind of thinking will take you off course very quickly. WANTing to change for yourself will more than likely keep you focused on the task at hand. I know from personal experience that it can get difficult day in and day out, but the WILL that you find within yourself can help you make it over those speed bumps in your journey.

So, I say to you…whether you are just starting out or maintaining your healthy lifestyle go grab your big bat and show your troubles what kind of a trouble you can be.

A-Train

Haters Welcome

“People only try to bring you down because you’re up so high they can’t see you.” – Rev. Run

No matter what you do in life you are going to have your detractors or, as I like to call them, haters. Why, you ask? Well, as far as I can tell that is just the way some people are. They say misery loves company and those miserable souls out there seem to not like it when someone is happy and trying to spread some positivity in the world. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Example 1:

Say you’re overweight and you go to the gym. You are clearly going there to better yourself and to become a healthier you, but the people in the gym stare and comment amongst themselves. That, for years, kept me away from the gym, but I finally realized one day that it doesn’t matter what they think or say because I am there to right my ship.

Example 2:

We’ve seen it in the movies a number of times…the dumb bully knocks the books out of a smart kids hands. It happens, but it shouldn’t. That kid has those books because he is trying to make something of himself. Just because you don’t want to study and don’t want to better yourself doesn’t mean that you have been given the right to make those that do suffer.

Example 3:

This is just a blog. I don’t claim to be a fitness expert or anything. I am simply a man who, through hard work and determination, lost 216 pounds in 1 year. All I want to do is to provide motivation and inspiration for those out there who need to lose weight like I did. I aim to share the knowledge I gained from Chris Powell and if I help one person then that knowledge was not passed on in vain. That’s all I am trying to do. I am no expert. I am just a man who went through the weight loss journey successfully and now it’s my turn to help others do the same.

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson

Recently I have acquired a new hater or two of my very own. This person, who is choosing to remain anonymous, is calling me a fraud. Their accusations are three-fold. They say that I starved myself all year, dehydrated myself all year, and that I am only dating Courtney because she is now skinny and famous. These accusations could not be farther from the truth. Let me take them one by one:

A) Starvation: During the year I ate five meals a day, one every three hours. Sometimes I even had to force myself to eat because I wasn’t hungry. I say that is far from starvation. I ate healthier this past year then I have in my entire life and I have the results to prove it.

B) Dehydration: I did not dehydrate myself. I drank two gallons of water a day. Even with as much working out as I was doing I would say that is more than enough water to stay hydrated.

C) Courtney: We have been great friends since the beginning of 2010 and now we are taking it to another level with dating. We both like one another very much and, to be perfectly honest, that is all that matters. Also, I know that I have had many questions regarding our relationship and that she has as well, but for the time being I think we will keep it just between the two of us. I am sure we will let the masses in on our private party in due time, but until that time…stay tuned.

I know I shouldn’t give these messages the time of day, but I read them and I think that it really is sad that someone feels it’s necessary to take time out of their life to TRY and bring someone down. I emphasize try because you’re not succeeding.

I’m flying too high for you to reach me.

A-Train

Integrity

Integrity – adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

Integrity, in my humble opinion, is a very important part of a person. Think about it…if your integrity is high you feel better about yourself. If your integrity is low, then odds are you aren’t feeling too great about yourself. You see, integrity and self-esteem are interconnected. How about an example?

Say you have dinner plans with a friend and you are going to meet at 7pm. You show up at 7:10. That 10 minutes damages your integrity and your self-esteem whether you realize it or not.

I know that’s a very generic example, but it’s one most of us can relate to. If you’ve ever been late before (you have, don’t lie), then you probably apologize for your tardiness upon arrival. That’s something we call clearing your integrity. We’ll get to that later.

During my year with Chris Powell on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition we spoke about integrity quite a bit. He is a big proponent of keeping your integrity high because if your integrity is high you can be more productive and accomplish more. There were times throughout the year when my integrity was low and so was my self-esteem. Story time:

During phase 2 (the second three months) my integrity and self-esteem were very low. Granted I had already lost 97 pounds, but that really didn’t matter. I was supposed to work out for 5 hours a day, 6 days a week. There were days where I just didn’t want to do it and I didn’t even though I said I would. I committed to Chris and myself that I would do 5 hours, 6 days. The fact that I said I would do it and then failed to do so damaged both my integrity and self-esteem.

Story #2: I didn’t bail on the 5 and 6 all the time obviously, but when I didn’t bail I had a difficult time getting my butt to the park on the schedule Chris and I created. Showing up 10, 20, 30 minutes after I said I would hurt my integrity and self-esteem. I wasn’t meeting anybody there. It was just me, myself, and I. So, I was only accountable to myself. By not getting there on time I wasn’t hurting anyone other than myself and doing so showed in the results I had in phase 2. They sucked.

Something Chris impressed upon me was to commit to what I would actually do. Don’t commit to 5 hours if you’re only going to finish 3. You’re only hurting yourself. Commit to 3 and finish those 3 and you’ll feel much better because you did what you said you were going to do. You kept your integrity intact. If you fail to follow through it could turn into a vicious cycle. One day turns into two. Two days turn into three. So on and so forth. So, if you have one bad integrity day don’t tell yourself you’ll do it again and just succumb. Make the next day better. Commit to something and follow through. That will raise your integrity and self-esteem and the feeling that brings will make you want to continue on that path.

Eventually I started feeling better about myself and committed to 5 hours and rocked 5 hours. It was a mental war I fought with myself. I may have lost a battle here and there, but I won the war. 216 pounds later I am committed to keeping my integrity and my self-esteem sky-high. Come join me up here the weather’s nice!

This is what happened when I took my integrity and self-esteem to new heights!

A-Train

First and Foremost

July 11, 2011

Well, I never envisioned myself writing a blog, but I feel like I have something to say and why not share it with all the peeps out there. Shall we start with introductions? I’m Alex. You may or may not have seen me on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition earlier this summer. I lost 216 pounds over the course of one year and plan on never going back to that old me again. This blog will be a source of inspiration, tips, and anything else I decide we should talk about in order to live a healthy lifestyle. I was given the gift of my life back by Chris Powell and this is one way I plan on paying it forward. I can’t keep what I have learned during my transformation to myself. That would be very selfish and I was not brought up that way. So if you have any suggestions on things you would like to talk about let me know. I am always open to ideas. Each and every Monday I will make a post of something I feel like talking about such as tips on getting fit, tips on healthy eating, or whatever tickles my fancy. Check back Wednesday and Friday to see what we’ve got going on those days. Let’s make this thing huge. Let’s start a revolution!

A-Train