Your latest HEAT member spotlight is here! HEAT family, meet Desmond. Desmond has been hard at work this last year, and we think you'll find his story quite inspiring...

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"Last year, during the holiday season, I reflected on the past year and realized that I needed a change in my life. I struggled tremendously to find the motivation to work out consistently, only going to the gym once or twice a week. Although I would prep most of my meals, coworkers and friends easily persuaded me to skip eating them in lieu of various unhealthy options.  I gained a great deal of weight during the latter half of 2016, and I struggled with various body image issues.  One of my biggest difficulties had always been emotional eating. Whenever I was under a lot of stress or anxiety, I used food to suppress my negative emotions. It would make me feel relieved for the short term, but I always felt exceedingly guilty about overeating as time passed. I knew that I needed to find a better, healthier outlet for my negative emotions. My mother and younger sister were going through similar situations, and we decided together to set a New Year’s resolution to get leaner and fit. We are all extremely competitive people, so to help motivate us throughout the year, we initiated a familial competition to see who could have the best overall body transformation by the end of the year. 

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On June 2nd, I joined HEAT, and I was extremely excited about my first class. In the past, I enjoyed the few HIIT style workouts that I had attended via my apartment gym, and was ecstatic about joining a boot camp. I relish in-group exercises because of the accountability that accompanies these type of workouts. I tend to not push myself as hard whenever I work out alone, as I struggled to force myself past the fatigue and not end the workout early. Like most attendees, I was extremely sore during that first week, not used to all of the new and creative exercises that the coaches concoct each week, and my body had to acclimate to its first real leg’s focused workout since I played sports in high school. While playing football, I broke my tibia bone and had a grade III tear of my MCL, so I tended to stay away from anything close to a leg day.
The changes extended to my diet as well, as I dedicated each Sunday to preparing all my meals in bulk for the week. I researched various creative healthy recipes to spice up my meals in order to combat the temptation to eat out with my coworkers for lunch. I set my macros for the week at 40% for carbs, 35% for protein, and 25% for fat.  Staying consistent to my diet had the biggest impact to meeting my goal.

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I have always been a goal-oriented person, so to help motivate and push me throughout the year; I set mini goals for each quarter of the year. A good example was my first goal, which was to lose 20 pounds by the time I went on a vacation to Costa Rica with one of my best friends in March. I kept that goal in my head during the vigor of boot camps, constantly reminding myself whenever I was tempted to go outside of my meal plans during the week. I was successful in accomplishing that goal and continued to set new fitness goals for each quarter, discovering that working out is an incredible way to deal with negative emotions, especially stress. HEAT helped to improve my mood, and I feel much more confident in my body, which in terms has helped me to regain the self-esteem that I had lost with my weight gain. It has become an established routine, and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year, and next have in store for me!"
 

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