November 30, 2015

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545am CD Fit Silver Spring Class
Instructor: Darren Jones
He dropped 30 lbs and 3 pants sizes, and he set PR's in 2 races this year!

"CD FIT has been a life changing experience for me, not only physically but mentally. It was more than a lifestyle change for was about a forming a new mindset through dedication, discipline and hard work. I started the program at 200 pounds and I was afraid if I didn’t do something I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps and become severely overweight. I think I had been “skinny fat” for the previous five years, but the “skinny fat” was now just plain old fat.

In the past I tried running the pounds away, but I never could get myself into a routine and often ended up injuring myself. When I signed up for CD FIT I figured with the GroupOn 2 Month Trial if I went one time it wouldn’t be a waste of money. I started in the Chevy Chase class with Ramsey Christian in August of 2014 and was one of five people for the first two months before the class was folded into Silver Spring AM class with Darren Jones. My first two weeks with Ramsey were brutal. I remember dreading my alarm going off and the long walk (a mere 50 feet) carrying what seemed impossibly heavy dumbbells (15 pounds) for the first two weeks. I was about to quit and then I somehow convinced my neighbor John to join (who still is a member and doing well himself) and battled it out for the next month until it became routine.

I don’t think I lost a pound for the first 3 months, but I could tell my body was changing as I was getting stronger and went up to 20 pound weights. I also began to notice on our “fun” runs that I was getting faster and my core seemed to be getting stronger. Darren and Ramsey both preached diet and then I decided to start listening to them and started looking at food as the fuel source for my body. The first thing I did was stop going to lunch with my co-workers and just eating a salad with varied proteins and almost no dressing. The second and what I think really helped me was I started eating two eggs or two egg whites after I worked out and made an effort to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day.

Then something just clicked in my body, it was like my metabolism woke up or my new found muscle just started cleaning house. At one point I thought something was wrong with me as I kept shedding weight. I was consistent with my attendance with class, I think I went three months straight without missing a single class. Like I said it is a mindset. It didn’t matter if I went to bed at 9PM or 2AM sober or not so sober, I was at class the next day. It was just as routine as brushing my teeth or getting dressed for work. I quickly started progressing through weights and I’m now using 30’s (I need to go heavier on leg days) and even wear a weight vest I purchased (haven’t done that lately).

I also noticed that the “fun” runs were actually fun at times so I decided to go run a 10K that I last ran back in 2007 when I thought I was in pretty good running shape. I hadn’t run much outside of boot camp from August of 2014 until that race in April of this year. I was just going to go run the race for “fun” to see how much slower I had gotten in eight years. I had a goal of running 9 minute miles, as I last ran it at an 8:34 minute mile pace. This year when I crossed the finish l was thinking, “Man, I could have done that faster.” To my surprise I set a “PR” (personal record) with a 7:49 pace, nearly seven minutes faster than what I did in 2007.

After that I started running a little more outside of class but not much. One weekend I ran 9 miles at around a 9:30 minute pace and felt good enough to go run a ½ marathon the next weekend. The ½ I did is called Riley’s Rumble and it is literally all hills and is located all the way out in Boyds Maryland. I ran it twice before in years past and the first time I ran it in 2008 I walked A LOT. I was just going to complete it and had no specific time in mind. The hills were relentless and I wanted to walk, but I kept saying to myself “this is why you do all those squats, box jumps and jump squats for!” My previous best time in that course was 2:07:48 at a 9:45 pace in 2009, this year I did it in 1:53:21 at a 8:41 minute pace and no, I didn’t finish thinking “man, I could have done that faster.” I’ve run four other races since that race including another ½ and set PRs in all of them, most of them by a good bit. I have three more races on the calendar for this year and expect similar results and I don’t consider myself a runner. I don’t train like I runner, I just do boot camp with CD Fit: High Performance Training.

At one point I was down to 169 pounds, but football season had gotten me back up to 175, I’m a sucker for beer and wings, but I’ve already gotten myself back down to 173. My pant size went from wearing 36/37s to 31/32s, I had to buy an entire new wardrobe (Clarence does not reimburse you I used to wear a 16 ½ dress shirt, but now I wear a 15 or 15 ½ slim or extra slim. I can’t even wear large shirts anymore, I feel like a clown when I wear them. My gut is gone, my man boobs are gone and I actually have decent definition and shirts fit me well up top and fall flat on my midsection and I don’t have to “suck it in”. My cholesterol went from 172 to 131, with my good cholesterol going up 11 pts. I used to have heart palpitations, they are gone. I don’t take the elevator anymore and I work on the top floor of my building. I park at the lowest level and walk up the stairs, it is 231 steps and I do it with my laptop bag most days.

When I crossed the 170 mark on my way down to 169 I looked at and picked up a five pound tub of butter and was like “man, I can’t believe I lost six of these things in terms of weight.” It was a great feeling and that was when I decided I was never going to go back to where I came from weight wise. 2015 has been a tough year for me personally, but boot camp with CD Fit and the success that has come from it has played a much bigger role in my life besides the weight loss. It has kept me positive about myself and my future despite any challenges that I face, hills or otherwise.

I recently had to switch classes to accommodate a change in my schedule and now will be attending the Georgetown AM and some Georgetown PM classes. You get very attached to your crew and your instructor. I know I put in the work to get the results, but I owe so much to Darren Jones and the CD Fit Silver Spring 545am class for pushing me and letting me push them. Darren asked me to lead the “fit for life” cheer at the end of my last class there (for now). I won’t lie, it was a little emotional for me, but I kept it together. Thank you Darren, I consider you a good friend and I look forward to returning to the Silver Spring class on a regular basis one day. To all my friends at the 5:45am class, John, Sarah, Linda, Mary, Trent, Shauna, Becky and everyone else who I didn’t mention (I think there is a word limit to these things), thank you and don’t be surprised when I show up every once and a while.

For those of you on trial or have been at it for a while and haven’t seen drastic results yet, stay with the program, it works, I’m proof of it and get heavier weights! (Clarence made me say that). I’m not done yet, I want to get to 165 and reduce my body fat. I want to run sub seven minute 5Ks and a sub eight minute ½ marathon. I look forward to making some new friends in the Georgetown class, hopefully I can keep up with some of those speed demons." 

- Andrew Ventura 

Click Here for Andy's Race Results 


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