Family, tears, sweat, pain and a dark past is what fuels my journey. Growing up, I was always overweight. From grade school until I started my journey 16 months ago, I was always the “fat kid” in class. I never was really picked on because I had a really big older brother. I grew up in a loving home with great parents who taught me to be grateful, humble and respectful. I was always brought up to embrace being big, because I am of Samoan decent. We are known to be big, but beautiful people. What I know now is that we can be big, healthy and fit.
On October 29, 2010, I received a phone call that forever changed my life. I found out that my brother Mikey had committed suicide. Growing up, Mikey was my role model, my super hero, and most of all my big brother. For me, I felt that my super hero was no longer here. My world turned black and I no longer cared for much. My weight started to increase, got into drugs and my drinking got heavy. I battled with depression and suicide for 2 years because the loss of my brother was just too deep. It came to the point where I was scaring my family because of how reckless I was living. It wasn’t until I had a failed suicide attempt when I woke up in a hospital bed with my dad right by my side. His words that morning hit me hard. He said, “Son you have to stop living like this. I lost one son and the last thing I want is to lose another one. Life shouldn’t be like this, a parent should never have to bury their own child.” Right then and there I knew I had to make a change. I knew I couldn’t put the same pain my brother did onto my parents. So, I decided to move out of California and make Las Vegas my new home.
In January of 2013, I met my girlfriend, Lisa. Even at my heaviest at 360lbs she loved me for who I was and not what I looked like. On November 23rd we had our first son Caleb. Becoming a father, I knew life was no longer about me and I knew I had to make a change if I wanted to grow old with my son. For the first 9 months of my son’s life I attempted to lose weight but failed miserably over and over again. It wasn’t until he was 10 months (old almost walking) and expecting another child on the way, that I had to make a change now. My second son Roman entered the world on December 17th and I knew this was it for me – the final attempt to really make the change for my kids. I remember telling myself that I’ve been through so much worse in life and my weight loss struggle will never be as hard as what I went through with the loss of my brother. I just started walking every morning for 60 minutes. Just a simple walk. I did this for 30 days, it wasn’t so much about losing weight but to build a habit of waking up every morning to go on my walk. Soon my walks to turn into jogs and my jogs turning into running. I also bought my first weight set and just fell in love with the iron. I started power lifting, I spent months running in the mornings and doing squats, bench and dead lifting in the evenings. As months went on I started to transform.
I didn’t know much about the fitness industry until I came across a post from 1stphorm on Instagram looking for their new 1stphorm Athlete a year ago. I decided to sign up. When I was reading what they were looking for it blew me away because they weren’t looking for the person with biggest biceps, best abs, they were just looking for people who wanted to motivate, inspire and change other peoples lives for the better. I learned 1stphorm isn’t just a company its a PHAMILY! After signing up I received a package from 1stphorm which was a shirt that I still wear till this day and a water bottle that I dented to hell but still use lol. Receiving that package meant so much to me because seriously what company does that? At the time I was still 300lbs+ and for me that goes to show 1stphorm is all about anyone and everyone! 1stphorm doesn’t bullshit either they tell you their supplements are a tool. Something to help you stay on track, help you lose weight, build muscle, get stronger and stay consistent. Its just the icing on the cake. That’s why I knew I wanted to become part of the legion of boom!
Now I’m 16 months into my journey – healthier, stronger (physically and mentally) for my family. 360lbs to 235lbs!! The journey still can be tough for me, but over the past year I’ve learned that if you really want something bad you have to work your ass off for it. Change doesn’t come easy, but it is possible. Never set limits because we are all limitless. Now I am getting ready to compete in my first power lifting competition in February. I never thought that I would be doing anything like this. It goes to show that a normal guy like me who decided to make a change is now doing things he never thought he could do. I am 1stphorm!!!