I’m am going to start by saying, I am currently healthier and happier now than I’ve been in a long time. But let's be honest, it took some hard work and determination to get to where I am today.

When I was a teenager I was that naturally skinny kid with next to zero muscle. I was fairly athletic and played a lot of sports, but I never really wanted to be that skinny kid my whole life. Going to the gym when I was younger just wasn’t in the cards mentally for me unfortunately. I had a mental wall that held me back as I was born with Poland Syndrome. What’s Poland Syndrome you ask? Well, I am completely missing my left pectoral major muscle. As a teenager, and most of my adult life I had no idea why I looked the way I did, or what it was called. I went to see multiple doctors to try and figure it out but they all came up empty handed. One time the a doctor I was sent to stepped out into the hallway and shouted down the hall to come check me out as he had never seen anything like this. Awkward.......so onward I continued to live my life constantly hiding my chest anyway I could. In the summer months I would hang anything like my beach towel or T-shirt over my left shoulder just to hide my chest so I didn’t have to hear “What the hell is wrong with your chest?” or "What the???" Something I heard often from my peers. It wasn't until I was 40yrs old that I realized what Poland Syndrome was and thats what I was born with. More on that later. 

Then I turned 31yrs old and all of the sudden that good old reliable male metabolism just decided to shut down. Trina and I were now married and had been floundering around with life. We didn't really know where we wanted to go. So we ate and drank, then we and ate and drank some more. At 32 years young, Trina and I went to Mexico for a vacation. I had no idea how bad I had let myself go until I got home and popped the SD card into the computer. I was shocked. I was clearly in the worst shape of my life and I didn't even realize it (Pic on the left). It was also around this time that I decided to get my lower back looked at due to countless days off from work not being able to stand up straight. It turned out I had a slightly herniated disc in my back. The Doctor said I had two choices. #1 - Lose some weight and get in shape to strengthen my core so I don't fully herniate it. Which would lead to surgery. Or #2 - Just keep living my life the same way and likely end up fully herniating my back and the having surgery to fix it. Of course naturally I choose to get healthy. We started to change our habits and I lost 10lbs, but that was as far as I would go at the time. I suppose I just wasn't ready to commit. So onward I struggled with a sore back for another 8yrs.

It wasn’t until I was 40yrs old (Middle Pic) that I really started to give a damn about my health. My lower back was still an ongoing issue that wasn't getting any better, and ironically through an obscure conversation with my mom around my 40th birthday, I finally realized that it was Poland Syndrome I was born with and through searching it on social media, there is a community of people out there I was connecting with around the world, and within the province with Poland Syndrome as well. I was also now married to my beautiful wife and we have two beautiful little girls. I realized I owed it to the three of them to get myself back to where I belonged with my health and fitness.

My wife has been working out for years now getting back in shape after having our girls and it was starting to rub off on me. She had also decided to join Beachbody as a coach and I honestly think it was like a calling for her. I've never seen her so happy before with anything that I would consider a "job". Later that same year she dragged me down to Nashville for the annual Beachbody Summit. I had decided to go with her to be the supportive husband and that was about it. I didn't plan on attending any of the events really as it was just a vacation away for me. But something happened those 4 days. I suppose when your surrounded by 25,000 people with the same goals and dreams it has a tendency to rub off on you. Here are all these happy people, very, very happy people, looking to make positive changes in not only their life, but the life of others as well. So upon returning home from that trip I decided that it was time to take things seriously about my health & wellness. I decided to join her with working out daily and I broke down and started to drink her damn Shakeology to the point were I was taking it to work up north in camp. I would even get her to ship it to me if I forgot it, or didn't have enough to cover my whole shift. And this is from a guy who originally told her "I don't want your Ducking shake!!! Quit asking me every damn day!" But the truth be told she was only looking out for my health and well being as she does with everyone she meets.

If your looking to make some of these same changes in your life, there is no better time than today. If you are the type of person to wait for "this" or "that" to be perfectly aligned, its not going to happen. Things are never perfect....... you just have to jump in. 

Jeff