A military brat who claims Tampa, in the great state of Florida as home, I am a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, currently serving overseas in South Korea. Known to my Airmen as El Tee, my first station was in Alaska, where I had the great privilege of working with over 400 of the finest men and women who protect our country on a daily basis. Today, I work for the three-star General as well as the Commander of the Installation. I have been in the Air Force almost four years, and have had nothing but great experiences up to this point. Family, is the most important thing to me in the entire world.
Almost 3 years ago I found out that I had a bone cyst in my left humerus and was told that an operation was needed to remove over 75% of the bone, and would be replaced with a cadaver. Expected recovery time is minimum of 8 months. After waiting 4 months to have my surgery, my recovery process would begin. But I would soon realize that it would be more than just a physical recovery. Before the my surgery, I began to fall into a depression where I turned to alcohol as a means to cope. Mixing the alcohol, terrible diet habits and the inability to exercise at all – the pounds began to build up. Before I knew it, I had gained nearly 20 pounds. One day, I was getting ready for the shower and looked at myself in the mirror, I could hardly recognize myself. I had ballooned into a 220 pound mess. It was at this moment I knew that a change needed to happen.
My driving factor, at first, was to ensure that I looked presentable in my uniform. How was I going to hold my Airmen to a standard when I was in no way, shape or form, to tell them that they needed to make changes in their habits when I myself was not presentable. I found a nutritionist who had been doing this for some time, one who had been recommended to me. I slowly began to drops the pounds, even without the ability to exercise at all. All by staying consistent, and as he likes to say “Trusting the Process.”
My full transformation started about 10 months after my surgery…..
I was FINALLY cleared to exercise and started lifting again. I knew that I had to take the standard Air Force Physical Fitness test within 3 months and I was NOT going to fail. After training for my test, I kept after the weight training. I started to see great results from following a consistent diet and workout routine. A friend of mine, who was at one point overweight, had just competed and won his first physique competition. And so, my journey began to compete in my first show.
My training includes weight lifting, high sets with high reps, cardio a minimum of three times a week, and core training a minimum of four (for competition prep). This combined with eating a healthy, portion controlled, diet plan – results were fast on the way.
The supplement list I use is not huge, in fact, some would call it basic, but it is what my trainer recommended to me and it has worked. I take, as prescribed: Multi-Vitamin, Glutamine, Joint Supplement (choose your favorite brand), T-Boost, Aminos, NO2 Hemodilator, Protein, and ZMA.
I have just finished my first competition prep, and will be competing this summer in my first competition. This is only the beginning for me. Fitness is a part of my life and daily routine now. Going to the gym is my “me time.” I can focus on myself and becoming better than I was yesterday. Therapy, if you will. I am not sure where the sport will take me, I am just enjoying the journey, and trying to learn as much as I can along the way.