|Cary Castagna, left, celebrates his progress with World Health trainer Dennis Brent. |
This is just Chapter 1.
My personal trainer Dennis Brent reminds me of that as we chat about the dramatic physical transformation I’ve undergone over the past 42 days.
Sure, he’s genuinely impressed and pleased that I lost a whopping 38 pounds of flab (nearly 13% of my starting body weight) in the six-week 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge.
“Thirty-eight pounds in 42 days — that’s impressive. That’s actually my best result with a personal training client to date,” he tells me after Friday’s final weigh-in.
But Brent, the six-foot-five fitness manager at World Health Edmonton’s Mayfield Common location, is concerned.
And for good reason.
He knows that despite my stint as a competitive bodybuilder in 1992, I’ve waged a roller-coaster battle of the bulge for as long as I can remember.
He also knows that based on my history, I inevitably end up gaining back any weight I lose — and then some — because with me it has always been all-or-nothing.
But Brent’s determined to help me break that unhealthy cycle once and for all.
“Right now, we just completed Chapter 1 for you,” he says.
“Like I told you on Day 1, we have a long-term plan. I really want you to make this part of a lifestyle.”
And, of course, this isn’t just about me. This is about being a healthy role model for my wife and three kids (our third child was born eight days ago in Week 5 of the challenge), and continuing to inspire my Keeping Fit readers to, well, keep fit.
As for Chapter 1, it isn’t quite done just yet.
A winner still needs to be crowned in the 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge.
World Health officials will be poring over the results and choosing a champion from the field of 10 challengers — nine Edmonton radio personalities and yours truly — based on the following criteria: Total weight loss, best written testimonial, change in body composition, before and after photos, and changes in measurements.
Up for grabs, besides bragging rights, is $1,000 to be awarded to the winner’s charity of choice.
No matter what happens, I’m stoked to begin Chapter 2 — especially with Brent in my corner.
The guy believes in me.
“In our first meeting, Cary, I sat across from a man that I knew wanted this and needed it,” he recalls. “And each workout, seeing you get a little faster, get a little stronger, and seeing the confidence come up just a little bit more each day, inspired me to be a better trainer, to take it to the next level for myself and for my clientele.”
Most importantly, for the first time in a long time, I believe in me.
Visit the Keeping Fit blog to see my before and after photos.
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