Back when we were teens and in high school being thin was not something we really had to work at. With metabolisms that functioned, seemingly in overdrive all of the time, we could pretty much eat what we wanted and it wasn’t usually an issue as far as weight and overall heath were concerned (not counting acne, but that’s not what this is about).

Then came the college years. We were a little older, our metabolism had started to ever so slightly slow down, and the effects of aging began to compound as our lifestyles began to change, often to a state of what could be considered unhealthy because … well, because it was college life.

Then came our “early adult” years after we graduated from university and joined the rest of the world working in stressful jobs, experiencing the stress of raising a family, and stressfully trying to cram 30 hours of existence each day into 24 which often meant no physical activity to speak of. This is also know as “real life”, and health-wise it usually proves to be a lifestyle that, at the very least, can be detrimental to one’s wellbeing.

Not immune to the challenges of real life, TJ Barnow experienced many of these circumstances.  After college, physical activity was not a problem however as he was a police officer, but stress … yeah, there was that.  But even with a career that promoted physical activity, time caught up with him as it does with all of us.

“ … as time and life progressed, my fitness slowly went out the window. About a year and half ago, I saw myself in the mirror and saw that I had gained a decent amount of weight, especially in my mid-section.  I told to myself it was time to change. I tried P90X before and went back to it, but I couldn’t keep the motivation or really find the consistent time for it. I then joined Pinamonti Fitness Center and MADE time.  A good part of my motivation comes from the friends I have made at Pinamonti who keep me motivated. I am very competitive so we often end up competing against each other and rooting each other on.”

Being around other members, people who were like-minded in their goals, and being in a facility that promotes wellness are indeed great motivators to reach one’s goal.  As for TJ’s goals…

“My original goal was to lose 40 lbs. When I joined, I weighed 223 lbs, so I wanted to get to 183-185. Currently I am at 173 and want to go lower to 165 range. For me now though, it’s not about weight loss anymore, its about building muscle and losing inches of fat. I want to transform my body from what it used to be into what it can be.”

As TJ got in better shape and grew stronger he joined our new Delta program which features a focus on nutrition and conditioning in an environment that promotes accountability and support through community.  It is an intensive curriculum that involves full body workouts 5 days a week.

And it is not just physicality that motivates TJ, it is also being healthy enough for his family.

“I would like to be around for the long haul, health wise, for my two children. These days you see a lot of people fall into the fast food and no exercise trap and the next thing you know they have diabetes or other health issues that limit their time with family and friends. I have done some dangerous things in my past, so I am thankful to still be around. I have two young children that I adore and love spending time with, so continuing to enjoy being a father to them is my greatest goal.”