Up until three months ago, the very last thing Jesus Saldana wanted to do was step foot in a gym. He had never been to a gym and had never been on a regular fitness regimen. Jesus had no idea how to properly fuel himself or what foods he should or shouldn’t be eating. He didn’t understand the importance of nutrition, which lead to years of eating out of convenience: fast food, processed foods, and alcohol – creating stress on his body and the burden of carrying around extra weight.
The breaking point came when Jesus went in for a routine doctor appointment. There he was told he was considered obese and his BMI was not in a healthy range. This bit of information hit hard and Jesus began thinking about his future and his overall livelihood. The potential for health problems, diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, regular medication, or even worse was not an acceptable path for him to travel down. At just 33 years old, he didn’t want to deal with those possibilities and especially didn’t want to be remembered or defined by others by his weight or health.
After doing a bit of research online about Xperience Fitness and all it has to offer, Jesus decided to take his life into his own hands and signed up for a membership. He had finally had enough of the life he was living when it came to his body, nutrition, and overall health. His family and friends, his dog – Jasmine, and his life were all too important to him to continue down this negative path. Jesus was going to make a change so he could continue to healthily do the things he loves, including spending time with loved ones, his pup, watching football and cheering on the Packers, being adventurous, traveling to different parts of the world, and enjoying the occasional cup of coffee while listening to some good music.
At a starting weight of 238 pounds, Jesus began working out regularly, 5 to 6 times per week. He was nervous to at first because his past behaviors showed that he would rarely start something and see if through to the end. Jesus didn’t know how well he would do, how hard it would be, if it would really pay off, or if he’d stick with it when he hit the roadblocks along the way. He knew it would be a challenge, but he was ready to commit and give it his all. “At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit a workout into an already busy schedule, but I’ve always heard we make time for what’s important to us – and this was going to be a new important to me,” says Jesus. “I knew I was going to have to sweat like I never have before, push, and mentally commit myself to do the work that was ahead of me.” Jesus admits there were days he would wake up tired and achy, craving that extra half hour of sleep, but he pulled himself up to get to the gym and says he always felt better after fitting in a workout.
Jesus hasn’t been on this journey alone. “The staff at Xperience Fitness is always friendly, always encouraging, and always willing to help,” says Jesus. Especially Adam. Jesus has worked with Adam since his very first week at Xperience Fitness, crediting his solid foundation of fitness to him. “Adam is the guy I love and hate, but in the end appreciate so much. He has taught me the importance of nutrition, specifically fueling myself with the right foods before and after workouts. I have learned about proper form and technique on the weight equipment and he always has my workout schedule ready, making sure I understand what I need to do,” he says.
Not only is the staff great, but Jesus enjoys frequenting the gym for the versatility to do any type of training. “I like that you can take a variety of classes from yoga to Insanity or there’s lots of machines to choose from,” says Jesus. “It’s a positive environment to want to workout in!”
Since starting his journey a few months ago, Jesus has stayed the course and hasn’t found himself wanting to quit. A big motivator to keep pushing forward is not only the support he gets from Adam and his family, but the feeling of NEVER wanting to go back to the old lifestyle he lived for so many years. “To be 33 years old and to look and feel the way I did for so many years made me feel uneasy – it was a part of my life that I don’t have use for anymore,” he says. Looking in the mirror each week and seeing his body transform has given Jesus the confidence he needs to continue his lifestyle change.
“I feel 100% more confident in myself and I finally feel like people see me for me – the positive, happy man I have transformed into. They don’t see or remember me for my weight. My weight and low self-esteem are no longer holding me back from enjoying life! I feel super confident when I leave the house. I enjoy being around others even more now. I no longer doubt myself and I have a much clearer mentality. I have never felt this way before and it feels great!” he says.
According to Jesus, he has never felt better about his health in his entire life. He had set a long-term goal of losing 50 pounds, making that number less daunting by setting smaller 5-10 pound weight loss goals along the way. He still has about 10 pounds to lose to reach that number, but he is determined. “I love the reaction I get from people I haven’t seen in a long time – between how people view me now and how I feel in my clothes – it’s fuel. Fuel to appreciate the hard work I’ve put in, but also a reminder that I still have work to do! Leading an overall better quality of life keeps me on the straight path to want to continue working hard and moving forward,” he says.
Once Jesus hits the remaining 10 pound mark, he plans to continue his strength training and wants to be able to comfortably lift his own body weight. His ultimate goal is to be a competitor on the popular television show American Ninja Warrior. Until then, Jesus will continue to live out his happy and healthy life – taking Jasmine for walks, discovering new music, catching a good movie, and spending time with family and friends.
When we asked Jesus to tell us about why Xperience Fitness is “his” gym, this is his response: “Xperience Fitness carries a good vibe within it’s walls. Everyone is laughing or has a smile on their face, always ready and willing to help out. The staff genuinely cares for your well-being and you’re treated like a friend, not just a customer. I feel like I belong and I am valued and that makes me want to continue to come, and to tell people about where and why I work out at Xperience Fitness. This is MY Xperience!”