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September 2009 TSM: Flex

Discussion in 'Transformation Spotlights' started by John Stone, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
    Staff Member Owner

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    For the September 2009 TSM I've selected forum member Flex (Stephen). After spending most of his life obese, out of shape and unhappy, Stephen decided that he'd finally had enough. While his first attempt to transform was not successful, he did not give up. After stumbling across the JSF web site, Stephen finally saw what he needed to see: an average guy who made a real transformation. While I'm flattered that Stephen connected with my story, he deserves 100% of the credit. His hard work and determination are an inspiration to us all!

    Unfortunately Stephen lost most of his pictures to a hard drive crash. Thankfully he made the following video before that happened!


    Flex's Transformation video



    NOTE: “THEN” applies to when I first started my transformation and the “NOW” applies to how I am doing things different while I continue my transformation.

    Why did you decide to make a transformation?
    All throughout grade school and high school I was overweight, because of this I was often picked on and what I felt to be ostracized from everyone else. I had to change because I felt like crap and my social skills were lacking. I never really talked to anyone, went out, or did anything. I played World of Warcraft most of the time, because in that game I was everything I wanted to be the real world: big, strong, powerful, important, fast. Plus I didn’t feel like I looked very attractive, and though it is not a main reason, studies show that fit people do look better! So, one day I just woke up and said “I’m not living like this anymore”, I assume the same thing happened to John S. when he hit his all time low….and so just like him, my transformation began.


    What sort of planning did you do before you started?
    THEN: I really did not have any planning when I first started. The only thing I had was a spreadsheet with my weight and how many miles I ran that day. Not planning is planning to fail, and in my first round of trying to get in shape I did. I would often look at these pictures of huge people like Ronnie Coleman, Arnold, Jay Cutler, etc and it would just make me feel small and puny. This feeling transferred over to negative motivation and I stopped working out because I thought it was useless. What I needed was someone REAL, someone who was like me, some fatso loser who turned his lift around (haha sorry John). That is when I stumbled on this website, JohnStoneFitness.com! This was the real inspiration and motivation that I needed to really get things moving. While I look up to the big body builders for their dedication & motivation, I look at their body as a piece of artwork, not something that I am aiming to copy. Why? Because it just is not possible! It would be like me trying to draw the Mona Lisa, I could try and try but would eventually give up because I know I can come nowhere close. I believe this happens to a lot of people, they try to copy these geared up pros they see in muscle mags and stop working out after a while because they look in the mirror and are not seeing the guy they saw in the magazine (a lot of my friends have this problem).

    NOW: Today I plan ambitious yet attainable goals for each week, month, year, and 5 year. I keep an eye on my diet, track my workouts, and try to take pictures when I can. This fall I am going to start documenting what I am doing with a lot more pictures and videos.


    What were your initial goals?
    THEN: To lose weight as fast as possible. That is all I really cared about, getting the number on the scale to go down as fast as possible. The number sure did drop fast, but also I lost an enormous amount of strength during the process.

    NOW: My goal today is to be bigger than I was yesterday. I hardly use the scale now, but rather the mirror because it tells you what you really look like.


    What was your diet and supplement intake like?
    THEN: Just like any young 15 year old starting out I thought that supplements were the key to losing weight and getting bigger. I would go to GNC and buy all kinds of ridiculous crap thinking that it was all magic powder that would get you jacked. I laugh looking back on the days when I was so excited when I bought a product that said “New Legal Formula!” “Muscle Gainer 2000” etc. I would eat a pretty low amount of calories, around 2,200 per day, which was VERY low for my age and what I was doing.

    NOW: Today being a student at the University of Cincinnati going into Dietetics and beyond I have a never ending thirst for learning about what is in food, and what it does when it goes inside your body. Understanding how supplements work on a micro level opens your eyes to what these products are REALLY doing both good and bad. For supplements I only take whey protein, creatine, multi-v, HMB, ZMA. I eat around 4,500 calories a day, mostly clean food.


    What was your training like?
    THEN: My training used to be awful. I would do the same lifts everyday and do way too much cardio on the same day. The fat was dropping off fast, but so was my muscle. I would typically lift for 1.5 hours then run about 4 miles. I was doing way too much. I thought doing more is better. I was 15, I was doing a lot of things wrong!

    NOW: I do a 14 day split rotation covering a different group combination of body parts each day. I actually first learned about the idea of splitting up body parts on different days from this website.


    What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
    Last year was probably my biggest obstacle. I joined a fraternity at my college so I was obviously surrounded by a lot of drinking. It was fun, but I did it too much. I was sleeping in until 3PM and feeling really weak and worn out. I was slowing turning back into the person that I once was. During this “catabolic time of mine” I lost a lot of muscle mass. This became very depressing for me (I assume the alcohol made the depression feelings feel worse) and I stopped lifting for a while.

    It wasn’t until this summer that I started lifting hard again and now in the best shape of my life. My last summers PR deadlift is now what I do 6x, I love it. I have learned SO much from reading and my classes during my time off that I am progressing a lot faster. When I go back to school here in the fall I am learning from my mistakes and doing things totally different. I have founded a lifting club at my University to get people together to talk about the sport and keep each other motivated. I will also not drink as much – I will still go out and party - but not every night like I was doing.


    How has your life changed?
    My life has changed in so many ways it hard to even begin to describe. Fit has a feeling, and I am definitely feeling it. You have so much more energy, can help carry heavy objects, and look a lot better. Also you are more mentally healthy when you are physically healthy.


    How did JSF and the JSF Forums help you?
    I randomly stumbled onto the JSF website a few years back when I was browsing through google. We all have our role models, and I wanted someone real. John Stone was that real person that I needed to really get things going. Being able to ask questions and get real unbiased, unmarketed replies is awesome too. People often speak from real life experiences, which is really useful.


    What advice would you offer to others?
    Question everything you read. Don’t give up. Stay consistent. Eat big, lift hard, rest long. Results come in time! Don’t expect to reach your goal in a few months or year. Ask questions!!!


    What are your future plans?
    I am becoming a big fan of powerlifting. I am currently working on reach my all time goal of 600 deadlift.


    Any closing thoughts?
    Thank you John & all the members at JSF. You guys are awesome. Don’t quit.

    Any specific questions about my transformation please ask! I didn’t really know what to focus on and probably left some stuff out & didn’t want to bore everyone with a 8 page essay.

    5771_1127253227570_1414350131_30415796_7768531_n.jpg

    Thanks for your time, Stephen! Congratulations!
     
  2. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    Great job, Flex! Congrats!!
    :tu:
     
  3. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Great Job Flex!! :tu::bb:
     
  4. Jaer

    Jaer Well-Known Member

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    Way to go, Flex! College can make moderation hard, especially when it catches you by surprise. Good job realizing the downward spiral and putting a stop to it. Keep up the great work.
     
  5. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    Congratulations Flex, you've made a tremendous change!
     
  6. euan

    euan Active Member

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    Awesome transformation; congrats Flex!
     
  7. dejavued

    dejavued Senior Member

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    amazing change. :tucool::tucool:
     
  8. henderjr

    henderjr Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! Well done flex!
     
  9. Will13

    Will13 Active Member

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    incredible change, you're looking awesome but most impressive for me is the balance you've achieved between training hard, learning and still having a fun college experience. I enjoy learning from your comments throughout the JSF. :claplow:
     
  10. acousticblinding

    acousticblinding Active Member

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    Bro..that's an insane transformation. Nice!
     
  11. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Well-Known Member

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    Good work dude. :tu:
     
  12. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Member

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    :) I enjoyed your YouTube……….(at my age pictures are good for keeping me ‘on task’………wink) AND your words. Your ‘morph’ has been significant and impressive to say the least but the thing I thought as interesting as anything else is your attitude/insight. It doesn’t seem to be ‘all or nothing at all’ but more measured and practical………..doable if you will. Perhaps I was mistaken but I felt you were indicating (when referencing ‘some of ‘ your friends) that having ‘expectations’ can often time be quite negative………as opposed to say…………possessing a ‘burning desire’ and dedication to work, (and working consistently) perhaps augmented by a sharing of purpose an intent with another but always being prepared to 'accept' what ever comes of that best honest effort.

    Fortunately for all of us we have had benefit of this marvelous resource………JSFF and seeing and reading of you’re ‘process’ is incredibly reaffirming…………Congratulations on your success thus far :claplow: ; how lucky we will be to have the opportunity to watch you continue to grow and grow.
     
  13. tensdanny

    tensdanny Well-Known Member

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    You are the f'in man dude. Sweet tranny.
     
  14. Paddy

    Paddy Well-Known Member

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    stephen, you're a beast.
    [​IMG]

    its great that you found your focus at an early age. best wishes to you and great video and its really great that you connected with jsf and the simple real-ness of his site and the many people that are part of it. i wish i found your focus at an earlier age. :tucool:
     
  15. TheRyanator

    TheRyanator Well-Known Member

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    Wow! You really did some work! Thanks for sharing man. Good luck knocking out the 600 lb. DB. Perhaps a good candidate for your videos you are going to start taking! :tucool:
     
  16. Phoenix

    Phoenix Active Member

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    Doing that while at college is a great feat, so many bad influences but you conquered them. Glad you were able to adorn the blinkers and make a +ve change.
     
  17. john_e_turner_ii

    john_e_turner_ii Active Member

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    You look really good. The biggest part of your advice for me is patience. Very inspiring.
     
  18. Sharv

    Sharv Active Member

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    Congratulations on staying dedicated through the long haul and getting to where you are today! Looking awesome and inspiring to everyone in their own journeys to a fitter self. Way to go and great vid too. :tu:
     
  19. George

    George Senior Member

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    Congratulations. Looking forward to that 600lb deadlift. :)
     
  20. AmazonRunner

    AmazonRunner Active Member

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    Congrats

    What an inspiring story! Too bad you lost the pics but the video was great! Awesome!
     

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