(Last month member Quentin Turner wrote to us to share his experience that led to his making a lifestyle change and making Pinamonti Wellness Center a part of it. We liked his letter so much that we made it this month’s blog piece and Quentin our Featured Member of the Month. Way to go Quentin!)

I’m a police officer and to be effective in my work I have to be in great shape. Throughout my career I have always maintained my health. At least I thought I did.

Evidently there was a stretch where I ate poorly, and didn’t exercise much – okay, I didn’t exercise at all – and I gained weight. I didn’t realize how much weight I gained, or that I had let myself get out of shape. For most of my life I was in great shape and in my mind I still was. Reality however proved otherwise.

It was 2012. A call for service required I walk up a steep flight of stairs. Once I reached the top I was exhausted. Bent over with my hands on my knees and struggling to breath I got the first inkling that something wasn’t right. Why had I physically felt so bad? Maybe (and I was stressing maybe because I was in complete denial) I had gained a little weight.

Gain weight? Me? No way! I’ve played football all of my life. I was an elite sprinter in Oklahoma. There is no way I was overweight! And to prove it, I weighed myself.

It was one of those electronic scales and clearly it wasn’t working properly. There is no way the number displaying in the readout was correct. I took the batteries out and replaced them. Surely that would re-set the computer and give me my correct weight.

When I stepped on the scale again and saw the display I came to the realization that either A: I had two sets of bad batteries or B: I actually weighed 215 pounds – 35 pounds more than I should have weighed. I could have changed the batteries again, but I’m pretty sure Duracell made a good product which meant I was overweight.

As a result, I do what a lot of people who have gained weight do. I joined a gym! And just joining a gym, with no real plan, or goal, or anything resembling discipline … well, certainly that would guarantee I reach my ideal weight. Right?

I went through the motions and started seeing results. This meant it was working! Which meant I could continue with my poor eating habits because I was seeing results. I did weigh-ins. Down another pound! Awesome! I would have a burger and a Pepsi to celebrate that, and it wouldn’t matter that I was still eating poorly because I would work it all off in the gym in no time at all!

Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly the way it worked out becasue a year went by and I had lost a grand total of … 10 pounds. What the??? … I should have been down more than 10 pounds after a year because I was working out! So I did what a lot of people do when they think they should be losing weight at a faster pace than they are. I upped the ante with diet pills … because … well, actually, there is no excuse for that nonsense and I’m not going to try to justify it, but it’s what I did.

So what did diet pills do for me? Well, other than wire me out I did lose 5 pounds. WooHoo!!! 200 pounds!!!! I’m getting there!!!! Only 20 more pounds to lose!!!!! Notice all those exclamation points???!!!??? Diet pills will do that to you!!!!!

Now, since I was seeing a little more progress, if you can call it that, I figured what harm can there be in exercising a little less, maybe 2 or 3 days a week. And surely skipping a week or two now and then won’t matter, because I was going to the gym, working out, AND taking diet pills! I felt great! I was sure I was losing weight. The only problem was I was gaining weight. The scale said 205.

Now what? I decided to try dieting! I’ll go on one of those diets you see on TV. Walmart carries all that stuff like the protein-shake-made-only-with-bio-neutrino-whole-natural-bark-from-California-Eucalyptus-Trees-certified-by-the-save-the-panda-foundation. Or the Organic-seaweed-juice-extract-something-or-other diet. As I was trying to make sense of all the options on the shelves I noticed one thing … this diet stuff is super expensive!!!!

Forget it, I’ll just cook healthy for myself. I like to cook. Once I start eating healthy I’ll lose the rest of the weight. And you know what? I did cook healthy. I was quite strict about my diet and over a 3 or 4 month period I had some weight loss. And, true to form, since I was succeeding in one area I lessened my commitment in others. Since eating healthy was clearly working that meant I could work out less because, as we all know – success minus proven positive results equals more success.

You know what … that doesn’t look right. And it doesn’t look right for a reason. Because it isn’t.

And it was then, after three years of trying disparate bits and pieces but never creating a complete plan for myself that I realized that …

I had to stop dabbling in fitness and commit to a complete lifestyle change.

I became a member at Pinamonti Fitness Center. I committed to make being healthy a lifestyle and not just focusing on bits and pieces, or “dabbling” as Brian Pinamonti calls it. I now work out 6 days a week, sometimes 7. I don’t necessarily recommend that regimen for everybody, but it works for me. After four years of seeing what has and has not worked, I know my body. It’s the level at which I have to work out for me to have reached my goal and maintain where I need to be. In addition, I not only just work out, I have integrated all the elements necessary to achieve wellness. Exercise, diet, consistency, all of it. I am putting in the work across the board. I have also learned not to rest on my laurels. A little success is not the end. I have been learning all that I can about health and wellness. I have gained a great deal of knowledge from the Pinamonti trainers and integrate it in my workouts. I have been researching fitness and healthy eating and realized that the journey is just as important as the goal. And that’s really what it’s all about.

You have to make YOU a priority and learn to make maintaining your health a part of your lifestyle.

I have, and now I can say HELLO 180!