This is the 11th installment of my Real Life Biggest Loser series. In this installment, I interview B.J. Little who went from college football player to teacher, to a lean mean personal trainer. He impresses upon us the importance of “the team.” He’s so right. To successfully lose weight you really do need a team– one or more people who can keep you accountable, cheer you on, brainstorm through the challenges, pick you up when you fall down, celebrate your successes, and keep you company in the trenches. If you need some teammates, I highly recommend you follow BJ and the other Real Life Biggest Losers who show us everyday how to get the job done.
Occupation: Was a teacher, now a Personal Trainer/ Group Fitness Instructor
All time high weight: 270lbs
Current weight: 207lbs
Total weight loss: 63lbs (I had lost 70 but decided to bulk up a little bit)
How long have you kept it off? 5 ½ years
When did you begin your weight loss journey? Fall of 2006
What motivated you to lose weight? Did you have an A-HA moment?
I was a college football player and had always been in pretty decent shape. After football I kept the appetite but I stopped moving. I developed what I believed to be sleep apnea and I saw that one of my favorite performers died from it. My A-HA was when I was heading toward wearing that sleep mask. I was not going to sleep with that thing on my face. So I did some research and I saw weight loss could cure sleep apnea so I decided to give it a try.
To what extent had your weight affected your physical health?
I had sleep apnea and I was just not a happy person. I hated to see stairs. I could not climb very many without being completely out of breath. Also tying my shoes had become a chore, leaning over with my big gut! Lol!
How did you lose the weight? Tell us about your diet and exercise regimen.
I lost my weight by lifting weights and taking spin classes. I also changed my eating habits by adopting the Body for Life principles. I also began to cut out fast foods and sweet drinks. Now I am somewhat of a vegetarian, occasionally I will eat fish. I also try to eat real foods and less processed food thingy’s. Now I lift religiously and teach a kickboxing class, a weight training class, and a core class.
Who was the most influential person/people to you during the process of losing weight?
The people at the club where I work are my biggest influences. They stand behind me and push to heights that I could not even imagine that I could go.
Yes I have! The first time I was about 250 and dropped down to about 235 and relaxed. I thought once I did that the weight game was easy, and then lo and behold I woke up and I was 270!!! This time is different because now it is a way of life and not just a fad for me.
It’s easy to let your diet drift or slowly stop exercising. What do you find to be the key to STICKING TO IT?
For me the key is finding an accountability partner. Whether it is a good workout partner that shares the same kind of goals and desires that you do or a trainer. Also find a class or a bootcamp to keep you motivated. Some people are self-motivated and that’s fine but a lot of us are not so we need a team to keep us going.
What was the single hardest moment in your weight loss journey?
It was when I was teaching school and coaching. I thought that I could not plan my meals and I was the only doing it. Everyone thought that I was just doing a fad diet thing. Then once I lost weight people would tell me that I was losing too much and was wondering was anything wrong with me.
It took me about 3 months to notice then I decided to become a personal trainer so that I could make it not only a way of life but also a career. Once I started training I knew that this is where I belong.
If you could tell your former self anything, knowing what you know now, what would you say?
Get that Double Whopper or that Double Quarter Pounder out of your mouth! You are killing yourself. Get some cardio in or something!! No more Taco Bell either!
Do you worry about gaining weight back? How do you prevent yourself from gaining it back?
No, I no longer worry about gaining my weight back, well, perhaps sometimes, but I try to keep a fresh set of fitness goals on the agenda. One day I may compete in body building or take my fitness classes on the road. I can’t go backwards!
What is different (if anything) about your life now that you have lost weight?
I am a more positive, energetic, and driven person. I don’t feel as sorry for myself as I once did. We all battle our ups and downs but I have a lot more ups than downs these days.
Can you tell us how participation in social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs (reading them and writing your own) has impacted your weight loss journey?
Social media is awesome. I had been Facebooking for a while, but a friend of mine turn me on to Twitter and I have met some of the most interesting, inspirational, and beautiful people in the world. I can safely say I have a lot of people that drive me everyday just by what the tweet about on a daily basis. When I don’t feel like moving, I turn on my Twitter and I usually find 8 or 9 people that is pushing it to the limit. Then I can’t help but get fired up!
If we want to follow you, where do we find you?
You can follow me on Twitter @bjlittle38, Facebook me at B.J. Little, Like my trainer page on Facebook B.J. Little (Personal Trainer) and on my website www.bjlittle.com
BJ lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina with his wife, Bridget and their dog, Winston. To request an appointment for BJ’s personal training services, visit his website at www.BJLittle.com.
Click here to read about all 11 Real Life Biggest Losers.
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