1. When was that starting point, and what “triggered” that decision?
I began to start making changes in my day-to-day habits and routine
beginning the Fall 2012 semester here at CIU.
For one, I did not like what I was seeing in the mirror, and I
knew that if change was going to take place I had to take responsibility for my
body. I also have several family members who are sick, or who have died,
due to various illnesses that could have been avoided with something as simple
as a proper diet.
I remember telling myself, "Do not try and do too much.
Let’s start with the right choices. This is not about losing weight,
but this is about living a healthy lifestyle."
has changed in eating? What have you changed in exercise? What or
where did you find the motivation to keep on going?
As far as changes in my eating, Ashley Dannelly (my immediate
boss), simplified it for me. She said, "Eugene, honestly, just up
your vegetables and your fruit intake to start off." As a good
patient would do, I listened. I am surprised Ashley did not tell me to
stop asking her questions, because I had questions for her every day.
It was also through her that I discovered the LoseIt! App. that
CHANGED MY LIFE! Through that app. (on my phone) I could plan how I
would reach my goal through the proper diet. I would recommend that app.
When it comes to exercising I just wanted to have fun. I tried to
go to the gym with some of my "in-shape" friends, but I HATED GOING
TO THE GYM WITH THEM! Those that have been in this position
understand what I am saying. These friends always had me doing
something that I hated, and they had NO IDEA what it felt like to be me.
"No, I do not want to do a thousand crunches followed by 2,000
lunches and one million squats while at the same time running a
marathon!" I learned that I enjoyed running and I stuck with
that. The bulk of my weight has come off due to running and
exercise. I am now enjoying weightlifting. Now, I run
about 15 miles a week on the elliptical in gym on level 14. I remember
when level 5 for 20 minutes made me feel like I was going die from
ALL OF THIS was reinforced every day by Ashley Dannelly, Jason
Koshy, Sarah Cramer and Rob McDole (basically, the entire CEID
Department on the campus of CIU where I am employed as a student
worker). From the first pound that I lost to the 104th pound that I lost
they celebrated with me every step of the way. I would not have been
able to accomplish these goals without them encouraging me. It was
through their continuous support and genuine excitement that kept me
motivated. Columbia International University was (and has been)
the perfect place for me to transform, because the people that I have
encountered here have supported me from day one.
has surprised (positively) you the most during this journey?
What has surprised me
the most during this journey is how active I am! I LOVE being active (such as running) and other activities. I remember when Ashley and Sarah
would be in the office discussing rock climbing, running or other fun things
that I could not physically do, and I would feel embarrassed. They did
not know that I felt this way because I learned the art of masking how I really
felt about my outward appearance. Now, I am active and having SO MUCH FUN! I am enjoying activities that once made me feel shame because of my
has been the reward?
What has been the reward? The reward is to
be healthy! It is to be healthy and like what I see irror. The
reward is being able to climb that hill from the Pineview Apartments to the
campus without breathing as if I just climbed Mount Everest in 10
minutes. Do you know how many times I had to take a break after climbing
that hill? Also, as a singer my breath support is better and I am able to
give more vocally.
5. What advice would you give to others who are
considering making a change in their life to live more healthy?
The advice that I
would give to others who are considering making a change in their life to live
more healthy would be to win the battle mentally. I had to ask myself the
question, "Why are you slowly committing suicide?" Dr. Myles Munroe
stated once during a message, "Once you get a glimpse of what God wants to
do with your life you will take care of your body, because you need your body
to take you to the places He wants to take you." I would say to sit
down with yourself (and maybe even a good friend), if you are serious about
changing to a more healthy lifestyle, and ask yourself those hard
ACCOUNTABILITY! As I have shown in this interview, it is important to
have people around you that root you on towards health.
time. Do not try and lose 100 pounds in 3 months (as an example). I
remember wanting to lose an enormous amount of weight (which is not bad), but I
wanted to do it in an impossible amount of time. When the weight did not
come off the way that I wanted it to come off then I would give up and
quit. This is no longer an option once I decided to be on the journey for
the long-run and not just a season of life. If you are doing this for a
season then be prepared to go back to your old ways, but if it is for a healthy
lifestyle for the rest of your life here on this earth then you will make it.
IF I CAN DO IT YOU CAN
DO IT! I know that is cliché but it is true.
trying to over-spiritualize…but have you found a parallel in your discipline of
body with your discipline in your walk with the Lord?
I found a parallel in my discipline of body with my discipline in my walk
with the Lord? YES! I remember when I would hear someone
quote scriptures as easy as I repeat the days of the week, and then I
would go and try to memorize as many scriptures as possible to do the
same, but then I would always quit. It was me, again, trying to
"lose an enormous amount of weight in an impossible amount of
time"! Those same questions that I asked myself to begin this
journey to physical health has had to be asked in regards to my spiritual
well-being. With that said, in the same way that it
takes time towards a goal (as fitness), it is the same
with "spiritual fitness".
It is my prayer
that people will read this article and find hope.
not go another day being in the same place! You have dreams and goals and
I want to see you accomplish them. I want to read your success story of
how The Lord has brought about transformation so that the encouragement will
continue to flow on to others. My journey has taken about 16 to 17
months and I am still pushing towards my goal. I hope that you will
decide to go towards your goal(s) after reading this interview. May
God bless you in your endeavors.