My health journey started back in 2016 a year before I started OTR, I was twenty-one and weighed in at 480lbs. Working out wasn’t new to me, as I participated in multiple sports throughout high school, but working out while maintaining healthy eating habits was a foreign concept.
2016 started like any other yearly physical, but this time instead of the doc telling me about my weight, he simply asked me if I wanted to live to see thirty. It was the wakeup call I needed. Combined with the advice of my doctor and a nutritionist we set out a plan to cut the weight. It was a combination of lean protein, low carb, healthy fats and lots of cardio. The first year was difficult to get started, but simple because I always had regular access to a gym and grocery store.
From 2016 to the start of OTR driving I was able to lose 200lbs. Then the game changed. Trucking definitely tossed my original health plan out the window, but I wanted to find ways to stay healthy and keep losing a few more pounds. At first it was a struggle to find consistency, but through trial and error, and the help of the driver health and fitness program I’ve been able to not only keep the weight off but lose another 40lbs since I started trucking, bringing my total lost weight to 240lbs.
For food on the road I try and stop at a grocery store every couple of weeks. The biggest thing for me is staying out of those truck stop isles as much as possible. My biggest concern when it came to working out was time, back home I would find myself in 1-2 hour sessions, but on the road as y’all know we don’t always have 1-2 hours. I’ve started focusing on 5-10 minute sessions 4-5 times a day. Anything from Cardio to body weight exercises, time is very important to us truck drivers but if you want to make health a priority in your life you’ve got to set aside some time to exercise. That’s why I prefer the 5-10 minute sessions; you can fit them in almost anywhere at any time. From unloading and loading at a shipper or receiver, a 10 hour break for solo drivers, or 30 minute break for team drivers.
The biggest thing for me and my motivation to keep going is understanding it’s a lifestyle change not just a diet. I’ve really been enjoying the journey and rewarding myself along the way. I love to travel so I’ll set a goal and when I hit that goal I'll take a trip. My first milestone I decided to go skydiving in Colorado and last year I took a trip to Guadalupe Island to go diving with great white sharks.
For any driver looking to make a health change I would say it’s not only physical test but also a mental challenge. If you want to meet your health goals you’ve got to make it a priority. It’s easy to let our crazy schedules get in the way so you’ve got to commit time to it daily and stay consistent. Also consider finding someone to keep you accountable, whether it’s the Driver Health and Fitness group or someone you know. Having that accountability really helps keep on track.