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Success Story: Getting Back in Competition Shape

When his Olympic dreams were dashed, he let depression take over fitness.

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JEFFRY CLAYTON WOODS
Hometown: Valencia, California
Age: 43
Height: 5'11"
Occupation: Senior Consultant / Training and Development
Weight Before: 245 Pounds
Weight After: 185 Pounds
Duration: 12 Months

Jeffry Woods was an athlete, and a good one at that. He was a track-and-field star with dreams of competing in the Olympics. When he collapsed during a casual flag football game, however, he knew that something was wrong. Woods spent a month in the hospital, eventually getting diagnosed with Cardiac Sarcidosis, a condition that causes chronic inflammatory nodes to form as nodules in multiple organs, including the lungs. 98% of cases are determined post mortem—the only thing that kept Woods from being just another statistic was the fact that he was in such incredible shape to begin with. After his diagnosis, Woods began to pack on the pounds. His poor diet and lack of physical activity, coupled with ongoing bouts with depression, saw him pack on over 50 pounds of flab, and his waist went from 32 to 38 inches. "I felt so bad about my image, I missed the opportunity to take my daughter to the public pools."

JEFFRY'S ADVICE
Apply Fitness to Your Entire Life

“I have a tattoo which I got after I achieved my fitness goal. It is called 'Ichi-go Ichi-e' and is used in Japanese tea ceremonies to symbolize enjoying every encounter life presents. This is my mantra now to maximize my life and it starts with being physically, mentally and spiritually fit.”

He was out of shape, and he knew it. “I was tired of having to wear the loose clothing, the un-tucked shirts. I wanted to look good,” Woods explains. “My wife gave me a really nice shirt, and when I put it on, it looked horrible! I felt so bad, because I knew it was expensive. She offered to take it back but I said no. I hung the shirt up in my closet, and wearing it in public became part of my motivation to get back in shape.” Woods picked up the INSANITY program and started banging out five of their workouts per week. He ran 13 miles each Saturday, and took a “casual” 40-mile bike ride on Sundays. He also cleaned up his diet. “This is key,” he explains. “If you have a limited amount of time to exercise, watch the processed foods and calories. Our bodies need the right fuel in order to enjoy life.”

It worked. Over the course of 12 months, Woods dropped 60 pounds and whipped his body back into shape. Now, he sticks to a strict fitness regimen to maintain his physique. "Typically I do my weights two days a week and supplement my strength training with push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. In addition, I use workouts in Men's Fitness magazine, which provide diversity in my exercise routine." He’s challenging himself again, too. “Prior to my illness I had completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:28,” Woods says. “Fast forward over 15 years, and at noon today, in celebration of my fitness accomplishments, I am again registering for the Marine Corps Marathon.” He’s hoping to finish in under 4:28. Something tells us he’ll do it. GOT SUCCESS? Show us. E-mail your story, your contact info, and any pictures that help illustrate your progress to successstories@mensfitness.com. You’ll be considered for both the online and print edition!

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