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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...


"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. 


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.


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!"




When it comes to motivation to workout, we all need a little something to get us going. HEAT family member, Kaitlin, found motivation in challenging herself to do things she had never done before. Here's her story, full of positivity and motivation.

"Determination, perseverance, and a positive attitude can completely change your mindset in any situation. In my case, I found that the struggle was not real enough when I was working out. I went through the motions during workouts, but was not giving it 110%. When trainers would turn their backs, I would catch myself taking a little break (whoops). I never really pushed myself to my limit. Thankfully, I realized something needed to change. I wanted to push myself mentally and physically, and I decided an obstacle course race was the perfect target; so I set my goal: Spartan Sprint- May 21, 2017. This gave me three months to get myself back into the groove of things. I didn't care about the time I got, I didn't care about how many penalties I had to do for skipping an obstacle, all that mattered to me was that I gave it my all and made it to the finish line. 

My favorite book, Above the Line by Urban Meyer talks about his 10-80-10 rule. Ten percent of people strive to go above and beyond all the time, whereas eighty percent of people do good work, are reliable, but do not put in the extra effort. Then there is the last ten percent that represents people who do not try and there is no hope to improving their work ethic. Throughout my entire journey, this rule kept resonating in my mind, “I’m tired of being in the eighty percent, I want to be in the top ten.”

This is really when my mindset changed. I worked hard to better myself for the race. I started training two to three times a day, six days a week. Everyone at Heat has been so supportive! I feel like I make new friends every time I go to class. Each day I would come in, work my butt off, and leave feeling accomplished. As the sign in the gym says, “Wake up, kick ass, repeat.” Whether my goal was to push through the full twenty seconds of Tabata, add more weight to the barbell, or run around the block without stopping, I just kept pushing myself. I struggled to get over the 6 foot wall on my own, but I never gave up. I would run hard, try to do taller boxer jumps, work on my grip strength, all with the hopes of reaching my goal and making it over the wall. This past Friday, I was able to get over not only the 6 foot wall, but also the 8 foot wall. It may have taken me five months, but the feeling of accomplishment was well worth it in the end. Throughout my journey, my only goal has been to better myself. 

As my strength and endurance improved, so did my positivity. I was more apt to eat an apple over ice cream (my weakness) and I started becoming more organized in life in altogether. All of these positive notions came from a little voice in my head telling me to set a fitness goal. I am so glad that I listened because I have met some incredible people on my journey and love the person I have become.

I did complete the Spartan Sprint and the Bonefrog Challenge. I love the mental and physical toughness it takes to train and to make it to the end of the race. Trust me, there are times where I am cussing at myself going, “Why did I sign up for this?” However, once I make it to the finish line, I am ready to do it all over again. Even though I reached my goal, I still have my eye on the prize. I have learned that it is important to set goals because it creates accountability and helps you visualize your success. The best part is, these goals don’t have to be fitness related, they can literally be anything! 

I can’t thank everyone enough from Heat, as well as others I have met on my journey, for all of their support and encouragement along the way. I challenge you to create a goal of your own and I will cheer you on the whole way! Anything is possible if you are willing to give it your all!"