Meet Carl Passante! :)

Hi guys! Hope you are all doing well! :)
Grimmway Farms and I had the opportunity to interview yet ANOTHER awesome guy who has made a complete life change and lost some MAJOR weight!! And let me tell you…he GETS it! Read his story & see if any of his struggles and triumphs are things you can relate to! Carl…you are AWESOME!!!! :)
Courtney: When did you start your weight loss journey?
Carl:  I yo-yo dieted for my entire teen years.  I would lose weight, gain all of it plus more back over and over.  When it finally clicked, it was April 3rd, 2012.  I’ve been going for nearly 11 months strong, and never looked back.
Courtney: What was the first step you took to begin? Do you remember the specific moment that it clicked for you, or was it more of a gradual process?
Carl: When I realized I had a serious problem I knew I needed to surround myself with support.  I was living three hours away from home and knew it would be best to move back home with my parents to push me when I needed it.  I moved home April and from that point on I kind of just hit the ground running.  It definitely clicked fast because I just knew in my head and heart that I had to do this no matter what.  I gained more and more momentum as time went on, but I always remained focused.
Courtney: Did/do you have a personal trainer or did you do it on your own?
Carl: From April 2012 – November 2012 I did it on my own and was down about 105 pounds.  I knew I had to eventually get a trainer to really sculpt and tone my body how I wanted it because I was clueless when it came to strength training/toning.  I got a trainer mid-November and since then she has helped me lose 15 more pounds and more then 25 inches from my body!  A trainer is great for accountability and support.
Courtney: How often did you workout when you were losing weight? How often do you workout now?
Carl: When I was losing I would workout six days a week for about two hours.  It was all cardio because I wanted to get the majority of fat off me before I started strength training and such.  These days I work out five days a week.  Three days a week with my trainer working with me with strength/toning, and my other two days are strictly running because I’m training for a marathon in June, 2013!  Very excited about that and was always a goal for me.
Courtney: Can you lay out what a day of workouts/activities might look for you? Is what you do now to maintain similar to what you did to lose weight?
Carl: When I was losing weight it was a gradual incline of movements/exercises.  I initially started out just by walking one hour a day.  Once I lost about 30 pounds I started running everyday (from 1 mile – 3 miles) and did mostly cardio.  By the time I lost 100 pounds I was able to run a half marathon, it felt amazing!  To maintain I do a lot of work with TRX and kettlebells for strength/toning/core work, and lots and lots of miles of running for cardio and marathon training.  I like to merge the two styles of exercise together for a total body workout and to keep the heart rate up as long as possible.
Courtney: What types of foods did you eat while losing weight? Are there one or two foods that are “staples” in your refrigerator?
Carl: This is where I changed the most!  I always tell people you lose weight in the kitchen, not the gym.  I cut out a lot of things completely (mostly red meat, soda, and fast food) I switched to ground turkey for my meat, a lot of chicken, and I tried to make the typical “unhealthy” foods into a “healthy” version.  I researched recipes for healthy pizza, tacos, Italian food, etc. so that way I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself too much.  A few staples would be lean ground turkey always, hummus, and dark chocolate covered blue berries (they’re good for you I promise!) just for when I needed something sweet.
Courtney: What keeps you motivated and accountable?
Carl: Several things keep me motivated.  I put my before and after picture next to my bed on my wall so I wake up to it every day.  That’s a great reminder to never go back.  I also made my journey very public with my blog/facebook so all of my friends and family know about my journey that way if I ever slip they can be there to catch me.  I also always make physical goals for myself of some sort so I have something to train for that way it stays in the back of my head.  Whether it’s a 5k, a tough mudder, or the marathon I’ll be running in 4 months.  It’s just a good way to get to that gym and workout.
Courtney: What is your number 1 piece of advice for people out there who are just starting on their weight loss journeys? 
Carl: This is so hard because I feel like I could literally write a book on weight loss advice, there’s just so much!  The best piece of advice is this:
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.  It might seem weak but it is honestly very brave and will keep you accountable and motivated to achieve all of your weight loss goals, or any goal you have in life.
Courtney: Anything else you’d like to add?
Carl: I had a lot to say in the best piece of advice question, so I’ll say the other pieces of advice here since there is so much to say.
Weight loss is nearly 100% mental.  Anybody can count calories, and go to a gym and lose weight.  The reason why so many people struggle with their weight is they’re not figuring out why they’re over weight in the first place.  Once you really get to know yourself and mentally tell yourself you’re able to do this, that is when the “weight loss magic” starts happening.  You need to love yourself at your highest weight, in order to love yourself at your lowest weight; and just because you’re now down to your goal weight does not mean the journey is over.
One last thing, weight loss is also a lot about balance.  You must balance your life inside and outside of your weight loss.  It can’t completely dictate your life, but you also can’t completely forget about it either.  Just know that you’re worth the life you’ve always wanted to live and never give up on yourself.  You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you try.
I must say, I LOVE Carl’s lookout on this whole journey! It IS 100% mental and it IS all about balance! These are things that I talk about every single day to people I encounter who are trying to start! All of Carl’s words are so right on point…and I am SO very proud of him! 
Carl, thank you for taking control of your own life and thank you for sharing it with all of us!!! I am inspired and motivated by YOU!
If you would like to submit a weight loss success story…whether that’s 5 pounds or 300 pounds…PLEASE visit for all of the details on how to submit your story!!! :)

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