THE BACK STORY:
When I interview people for Dynamo, I consider it one of the most important things I do. I love to listen to the things they love, their challenges, their successes, and their goals. It makes me so grateful that I have a platform to share their stories with other people. Dean is one of those.
The last Dynamo, Kerri, and I tried to get together several times for her interview. One of those times she introduced me to one of her clients, Dean. He was reserved yet powerful. He looked successful, ready to help anyone with anything, and gave off the attitude of hard work and dedication. Kerri has been his personal trainer since last March and he has lost over 100 pounds since then. He was ready to change his attitude towards food, fitness, and his own perception of who and what he was.
I’m grateful for the chance I had to meet him, feel of his energetic spirit, and witness the sincere respect he had for Kerri while at the same time she had for him.
Dean is a Dynamo. He’s joining a community of people who inspire and empower those around them through healthy living. I believe in the good of every person and I believe that these stories can change our outlook, our personal dedication, and our perception of the people around us. These interviews are meant to capture the journey, where ever that is right now. Introducing our next Dynamo, Dean.
How has it been working with Kerri as a trainer?
She’s been great in influencing me in what to eat and what not to eat. She tried to get me to write everything down and I refused to because I know what I need to do. So to me writing everything down means that, for myself, I’m going to eat something I shouldn’t. I don’t live by that when I commit myself to it. It was just committing to “I’m going to get this done now.” It’s like a whole new life, a motivation every day.
Working out to me is not something that you dread, but that you look forward to. The only thing I’ll never tell her again is, “Is that all you got?”
Then you got it?
Yah, I did. I learned that pretty quick. Kerri’s great at influencing. And you know, you put that with motivation and commitment because there’s really no rocket science I don’t think to this. If you do the right things, good things will happen.
For me 2006 was the last time I was in shape. Then I stopped working out, went to eating once a day, usually at night.
Was there something that happened that made you stop?
Not really, went through a divorce, and all that. Just kinda bad habits.
Our office is right across the parking lot. When we moved here, we got here in February , I looked at this building [the gym] and said, “alright, now what’s your excuse.” It was too convienent. I belong to this and 24 hour fitness. I go there [24 hour fitness] on the weekends.
I’m 55, if I can do it, anybody can do it.
How did you feel before this?
I think for me it was a prison.
I come from a very large family, the best family on Earth as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t attend weddings, I didn’t want to be seen that way. And then the picture that I sent Kerri, that was my Dad’s 90th birthday party and I knew I couldn’t miss that.
[Kerri’s comment: I could tell you were hiding behind them.]
I would shop online, the XL store. I went from 3XLT’s and 54 inch relax fit to 38 inch now and I can shop at Nordstroms. I don’t have to go to the fat man’s store anymore. You get used to it I guess. You think you’re hiding it, hiding it from yourself anyway. I would wear these really large shirts and then you see a picture of yourself. For me socially, I would spend most of my time at home. Now it’s 360 opposite.
This change happened in 9 months, losing 100 lbs, what is different socially now?
Being around people, events. I can go to the Rose Bowl game with my brothers. I wouldn’t have done that had I not lost the weight. I didn’t plan on losing the 100 this fast. It’s a lot of fat that’s going to come off when you start doing the right things. I think the body responds the way it should when you’re doing the right things for it. And it responds the way it should when you do the wrong things for it. I don’t think there’s a lot of science to it.
(Dean with trainer Kerri and Kerri’s baby Lizzie)
What about food?
I don’t fear food. I don’t fear. I have no cravings for pizza, burgers, fries, pies. All that stuff came out of my freezer and I brought it to work. I had Costco lasagnas and said, “it’s going to spoil in my freezer if it stays any longer.” Now it’s salad, salmon, scallops. That’s pretty much what I’ll have on Christmas day [interview done before Christmas]. I don’t want to sit down and have 4000 calories at a meal.
I feel the energy I have now. I can bend over and actually clip my toenails, I don’t have to get a head start to put my socks on. I had so much weight. I think the reason it’s so many so fast is that is was a lot of fat.
How do you think of yourself now, is there a mind and soul connection with your body?
100% for me. I know some big people and they’re great people and they’re happy and they’re happy being just who they are. They can do things I couldn’t, social events you know. I didn’t want want to be around ladies looking like that. Where somebody would be like, “please, don’t walk over here.” That was my perception. Whether good or bad, that’s what I thought. People would tell me different, but when you’re living in your own body…
In 2006 when I got into such great shape, it was such a good feeling and this is double that now. It just feels like “let’s go.”
I can’t say enough about Kerri though, I was lucky to have her assigned to me.
What would you say about fear?
I think people fear, when they go [to the gym], that they want to look better. They think that the work is going to be somehow too tough and that’s just not the case. I own this machine [points to an elliptical on the workout floor]. That’s mine. Now I’ll do an hour on that. I’ll do hands behind my head. I’ll do 20/20, max it out. Then I’ll hit the stairs. Then once the mojo starts and the music comes, I’ll start dancing on the stairs and it takes your heart rate up. I think anybody can get to that point.
I do the easy stuff first, then the pain comes when I start working with her [Kerri]. She took me downstairs, and it was cruel, she hasn’t done it again since. You get into a plank form, and you take a weight that is sitting on a towel. You throw it through your legs and you backup all the way to it. I think I collapsed after the 3rd time. She thought I was going to make it down to the other side
The first couple weeks I remember getting changed and I thought, “it’s going to take me 15 minutes just to get changed!” I wore shoes that had the velcro straps instead of strings because it was a long way down there. Now that’s history. It just feels great. God’s been very good to me.