When his health took a scary turn, Johnathan Fuller needed motivation to get to the gym. His brother was there to provide it.
I was always heavy but don’t really think it was overeating; just the wrong foods. Breakfast was decent (eggs and oatmeal) but for the rest of the day, I’d down a bunch of carbs. Even all of my proteins were breaded and fried.
At work I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I never saw a doctor, but that feeling scared me enough to move me to change. Right after that, I started pursuing healthier habits and got my eating on the right track.
First I cut soda out completely. I also started planning and prepping four meals a day and keeping track of my macros with an online calculator. I made sure I was taking in healthy amounts of protein, carbs, and fats.
Even though I still dined in restaurants, I started scanning the menu for healthier options, such as salmon or baked chicken with sweet potato, vegetables, or jasmine rice on the side.
I worked with a trainer for my first three or four weeks, just to learn my way around the gym. After that, I had enough of the basics figured out to work out on my own—though I still had help from my brother and the Bodybuilding.com website.
The hardest part of my transformation was hitting the gym all the days I was supposed to, because I’d go 100% and push the limit a little too much and then burn out. On those days, my brother would call me and say: “Let’s go to the gym. You have to keep at it!”
Even though my brother and I ate the same unhealthy foods, he was active and played basketball in school, and he went to the gym before I started going. I can’t say I was ever jealous of my brother, but seeing how fit he was drove home that I wasn’t ever happy with what I saw in the mirror.
As soon as I landed on the Bodybuilding.com homepage and I was hooked. I’ve been able to pick up tips and tricks like carb cycling, which helped me get back to losing weight when I plateaued.
I am currently pursuing CrossFit. I enjoy it, even though it kicks my butt. I love the atmosphere of everyone cheering each other on—there’s a lot of positive energy in the air. I plan on training for a CrossFit competition very soon.
My advice to others? For newbies: You do not have to be the best at it; you just have to start. Not next weekend or tomorrow, but today. You can start right now and forever change your life. It is well worth the effort.
Johnathan’s morning meals
Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, 1 cup spinach, ½ cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp almonds.
Meal 2: 6oz chicken, 1 cup jasmine rice.
Meal 3: 1 cup grapes, 1 apple, 60g protein powder.
Meal 4: 6oz cod, 1 baked potato, 1 cup green beans.
Meal 5: ¾ cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup strawberries.
Meal 6: 3oz spinach, ¼ cup carrots, 1/8 cup red onion, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 6oz salmon.
Johnathan’s workout breakdown
Day 1: Legs/ abs
Day 2: Chest/ shoulders
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Back/ hamstrings, biceps
Day 5: Metabolic conditioning
Day 6: Fat burning circuit
Day 7: Rest
Before: Age: 24, Height: 5ft 6in, weight: 260lb, body fat: 50%
After: Age: 27, Height: 5ft 6in, weight: 175lb, body fat: 11%