Previous Testimony Next Testimony

Ben Laudenbach

1. What was the reason for starting? 

When it comes to working out and making a lifestyle change, people have different life experiences that motivate them to do it. I knew I was getting in bad shape. My work clothes were not fitting right; I couldn’t wear my polo shirts. I was eating pizza all the time, going to Burger King or McDonald’s because it was quick and easy. The start was when I saw the ‘before’ pictures of New Year’s Eve. I hated the way I looked, I hated the way I felt, but the real breaking point was going to the doctor’s office. I was told to step on the scale and weighed in at 211 lbs. That was the most that I’d ever weighed in my life. I was depressed, didn’t realize how unhappy I was at the time, and unmotivated to do anything. It affected work and most of all my relationships. Not long after that, I was going through a bad breakup with someone I had been with for years. I learned that you can’t take care of everyone else if don’t take care of yourself first. I was done making the excuses we all make when we’re out of shape. I WANTED to get better. I set a goal to lose 40 lbs., which would put me at my target weight of 170.

2. What are some of the positive changes that you’ve seen in yourself?
I was using an inhaler, more than usual, beforehand, due to mild asthma. Since changing my lifestyle, I haven’t had one issue with it. I also was using sinus medications to help with my breathing — I don’t use those either anymore. I feel more energetic then I used to, I’m more outgoing, and I’m breathing much better. I also developed a lot more self-confidence, knowing I could achieve the goal I wanted to achieve, and people gave me lots of compliments, which made it worth it in the end. I now also have a much happier outlook on my life.

3. How has your body changed?
I achieved my goal of 170 lbs. in a little over 2.5 months. I completely stopped eating bad food. Instead, I went to Subway if I was having a craving for fast food. I cut out regular soda for diet soda, and I cut out candy. This was not an easy thing to do! (The place I work gives away candy ALL THE TIME!) It took a little while, but I also shaved off another 10 lbs., reaching 160 lbs. All together, I lost more than 50 lbs. I was determined to lose weight as quickly as I could. However, the weight really started to come off in the second and third month. You just have to push through it.

4. What are you doing to stay fit?
When I was just getting started, I talked with my sister about which type of cardio I should do. From there, she sent me accountability text messages at the end of the day to see how I was doing. Every day I would go on the elliptical and do at least a mile, but more often than not, I did two or three miles. I also would go for walks during the summer. My sister, Dayna, and her husband would give me fit tips and acted as life coaches to me as the new me was starting to take shape. I realized that working out and staying fit is not just the work that you put into it, it’s also the mindset that goes along with it. Some days were good and some days I really needed that extra push from someone to get me going. I would get advice on healthy eating and workouts along with different types of cardio programs. After the initial weight loss, my next goal was to add muscle. So up until the start of February, I was weight training every other day. I would go to Snap Fitness and lift with the tips and workout plan my sister gave me. Between those days, I would still do the elliptical. I know I’ve added more muscle, and these days, I stay around 165 lbs. This last month I did the TNT Determinite Challenge through my sister’s website, and it pushed me a lot farther then I’ve been pushed in a while. My goal now is to get abs, and I don’t plan on stopping until I have them. I still watch what I eat, concentrating now on when I should be eating it, and I will always continue that.

5. Do you have advice for others?
You have to want the change. Everyone can do it. But you have to really want to change your body. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a lifestyle change. As much as it is about working out, it’s also about eating healthy. You find afterwards though that you’d rather have Subway then McDonald’s  You can taste the quality of the food, how it makes you feel. It brings you back to how you felt before. It isn’t easy, but you have to think of working out in a different way. It’s no longer a casual, when you can fit it in type of deal. You have to treat it like school or like work. You have to show up every time and get it done. There are days you don’t want to go into work, but you still have to. It’s the same with working out. Go to work!