If you're looking for some inspiration to get into shape in the new year, look no further thanthis month's Transformation Spotlight, forum member "T-1 Sella" (James)! A devastating series of personal and financial events led to James' rock bottom. As many of us tend to do when we're miserable, James initially blamed others for his problems and allowed himself to slide further and further away from the person he once was. One day James woke up, looked in the mirror and said, "NO MORE!" He sure meant it. That fateful day was the start of a whole new James... BEFORE (235 pounds / 34% body fat / 38 inch waist): DURING: CURRENT (172 pounds / less than 11% body fat / 31 inch waist): Why did you decide to make a transformation? I am a firm believer that Rock Bottom will usually allow you the opportunity to see how truly bad your life has become. I was always a very outgoing successful, athletic, individual. A set of unfortunate events, both financial and personal, cost me everything that I had worked for as a Stockbroker for 10 years, led to a career change and nearly cost me my marriage. I had become nasty, lazy and blamed my misfortune on others while refusing to look in the mirror. What sort of planning did you do before you started? Not much, really. One day I woke up and said, "That's it! This is not me, I am better than this!" I had a treadmill that was disguising itself as a clothes rack for quite a while, and figured that was a good start. 6 days per week with the thought to always do more than the last day and never look back. From a diet standpoint I knew that all the bread, cookies, pizza and the 2 liters of Diet coke every day had to go, and I made a commitment to cut out all the "crap"; this was especially difficult, as I was a candy addict… What were your initial goals? It’s pretty funny when I look back at it now, but I think it is the limitation of my state of mind at the time. My original goal was to get down to 210lbs by August 3rd. It would give me a full 5 months to lose 25llbs. I thought that was going to be impossible. But the limitations I had in my mind were quickly gone as had lost 30lbs in 30days. By the August 3 date I was down to 165. I had lost 70lbs. What was your diet and supplement intake like? My wife called me militant, gone were the wasted carbs, the soda, the candy. If it wasn’t clean it wasn’t going in. In the beginning I stuck to egg whites in the morning, protein shakes mid-morning and mid-afternoon and chicken breasts sliced into a salad for lunch and dinner. My diet has changed quite a bit since signing up with Mastover. Water is all I drank and water is all I continue to drink. There is rarely a day that I don’t consume at least a gallon of water. Every once and a while I will throw in some fish oil pills and a multi-vitamin, but that is pretty much it. What was your training like? In the beginning it was treadmill only. I laugh at my first day now, a fat out of shape guy on the treadmill for the first time. I did half a mile, alternating between running and walking. I was literally bent over spitting and gasping for air. It was a real eye opener as to how out of shape I had become. But by the end of 30 days I was doing over 5 miles. I think the weight flying off was a wonderful motivator and it pushed me to go even further. However, a day at the beach (picture above) about 3 weeks into my change made me realize that although the weight was coming off, there was no muscle tone. I had always seen the commercials for p90x and said, "Yeah I would do that if I ever lost some weight..." Since I did lose some weight and I needed another goal (and some muscle tone) I did 3 rounds of p90x and got into great shape. I even entered into the beachbody MDB contest hoping to win the cash and get on the commercials. But the biggest change came when started weight training with Mastover. My body has taken on the shape that I had wanted all along. I would not be where I am today without his help and his willingness to answer all my emails and settle me down while helping me step out of my comfort zone. I only wish I would have been more forward in asking for his help sooner. What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them? Me, me, me!! I am the type of person that needs to know everything and thinks he knows everything. My lack of knowledge when it comes to training and nutrition has always bothered me. I wanted everything right away. Although the initial weight loss came easy, the sculpting of the body takes time, discipline and dedication that is extremely difficult to maintain. I know it sounds crazy but what has motivated me to push past this is my fear. My fear of returning to that fat guy shown in the first picture, that picture reminds me of all that I lost, almost lost and all that was wrong in my life. That picture is a symbol of my rock bottom and is a motivator for me to remember ALWAYS when I think I can’t... I can! How has your life changed? I am BACK!!! My whole lifestyle has changed. I look at life through different eyes. Gone are the “I wish I could do that” days... I now believe that I can do anything that I make the decision to do. Anyone can, you just have to decide to do it. I have become a top ten sales rep for an 8 billion dollar company and I believe this is directly related to my transformation. I believe that the right foods fueling my body and mind give me a distinct advantage over my competition. My body fat has gone from 34% to 11% (maybe less). My cholesterol level has gone from 275 to 151, and my overall weight from 235 pounds down to 172 pounds. My waist has gone from a 38 inches down to 31 inches. How did John Stone Fitness and/or the JSF Forums help you? I'd seen this site long before I started my own change and have been “lurking” for a while, and have always been absolutely amazed at the transformations that some of the members have undergone. It has motivated me on days when I am not all there. But the biggest influence has been meeting Mastover. Mastover has slowly taught me about the diet aspect of what I do is just as important, if not more important, than the actual workouts. I joke that he’s an “internet bully”, as he has crafted some unreal workouts that absolutely kick my butt and left me cursing him for sure! What advice would you offer to others? Your body is an absolutely wonderful machine and you can accomplish everything and anything you want to if you give it the right fuel. Don’t let others steer you off the path. Set goals for yourself. Give yourself something to shoot for. What are your future plans? Getting Ripped and a Six Pack!!! I am going to keep on keepin' on, but my goal is to get rid of the remaining stubborn belly fat, get a 6 pack and add some muscle as I am still not where I want to be. Learning more about the nutritional aspect of training and perhaps down the road, train for a show. Any closing thoughts? Thank you to John, had it not been for this site and seeing your transformation I may not have met Aram who I would also like to thank, for all of your time and effort in helping me get closer to my goal!!! Congratulations, James! You've done a fantastic job!