|Robert Richardson II shares his weight loss story with Fitness Food And Style|
How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date?
My whole life I was known as "Big Guy" or "Big Boy" because I was always the oversized kid in school and in my family. Everyone thought I needed double portions of food because of my size, which would have been okay if it was veggies and not doughnuts.
In high school, my best friend (now fiancé), would push me to cut back and to slow down on the fast food and my unhealthy eating. I would try to stop myself from going to all-you-can-eat wing night at my favorite restaurant every week, but I loved the image of being "Big Rob" in high school and with my friends.
Once high school football was over, I received a scholarship to play football for Morgan State University, where I played offensive tackle at a weight of 360 pounds. I didn't just gain the Freshman 15, I ended up gaining 60 pounds, thanks to late-night orders of fried chicken and fries. My fitness journey began when i was 22 years old when i was 470 and now i am 26 lost 185 Lbs and still working on myself. This demonstrates patients but also discipline, those two things will help you blow past ever challenge that is in front of you.
What types of foods did you used to eat as a kid and young adult? What's changed since then?
My eating habits as a kid and young adult was terrible. Going to all you can eat wing night every monday, late night taco bell ordering six burritos or soft tacos for myself. Thinking that steak and egg cheese bagels were healthy to eat after my morning work and eating two or three of them at a time. Eating pancakes after practice or every other day. My favorite were pop tarts and i would eat one box every three days. Since then, i cook all my meals, bake chicken, fish, steak, and eat a lot of veggies. I don't touch any processed food, i only drink water, eat fruit and greek yogurt for snacks. Cleaning eating use to be difficult, but now its just a habit that i am glad to have. One advice i can give is hang with friends that are honest with you and don't influence or boost your bad eating habits because they know for you always being the "Big" person in the group. Find people who are trying to change their lives and i will guarantee you will change for the better as well.
Do you play any sports or what sports do you like watching?
I played basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and even tried swimming, but at that size couldn't hang with the fitter swimmers. I am a athlete, even when i was big, i was known for my foot work and speed and athleticism.
What are your interests, passion and what makes you smile?
My passions are to mentor children in to becoming great role models in the future and also fitness and football. Football has always been my passion and fitness as well, but i just didn't have the proper guidance as a kid on how important fitness and being healthy is in life.
What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change?
My first wake-up call was when my headaches and chest pain were so bad during my junior season of college football that I had to go to the emergency room. In the emergency room, my blood pressure was 160/120, and the nurse was surprised that I hadn't had a stroke. She rushed to give me medicine through an IV to get my blood pressure down.
Then, when I was visiting my then-girlfriend's mother for the first time in El Paso, Texas, I became lightheaded and weak while walking up and down the hills, and my vision became blurry. My girlfriend and her mother rushed me to the ER and my blood pressure was up to 170/110. I was at risk for a heart attack, so they admitted me for the night and prescribed me blood pressure medicine. My father has high blood pressure and is diabetic. That same year he had slipped into a coma because he wasn't taking his health seriously. I realized my weight was holding me back from living my dream of one day playing in the NFL. I decided to make a change once I step foot off the plane.
What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?
The next 12 months I plan starting my new career and also starting my personal fitness business. I have some many things going on now because of my weight loss journey, that I hope to complete my goals, but lately everything has been pleasantly unexpected.
What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation?
To change your life, you have to step out your comfort zone. Don't let your environment, people, or other influences keep you in a box because if you stay in that box, you will miss out on all of your blessings that are waiting for you. Make eating healthy a habit and don't call it a diet, a diet is a temporary fix. Last tip, when facing adversity, no matter how many doors close on you, their is one door that is waiting for you to open and breakthrough adversity, in saying that, don't let past failures stain your legacy, create your legacy to be remember as a fighter and a leader.
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Thank you once again Robert for sharing your amazing "new" lifestyle journey with us. For those that wish to follow Robert you can find him on Facebook by typing in his name, his personal Instagram page @Br_Fitness75 and his fitness page @Transformationfitnation. Robert has also recently featured on the Huffington Post health and fitness section.
Keep up the great work Robert!