How My Workout Journey Transformed My Life

Autistic karate student develops healthy lifestyle

Disabilities, whether physical, learning or otherwise, are just hurdles in life. With determination and perseverance, you can improve your health and well being through being more active and eating healthy foods.

I’d like you to meet Jimmy

I first met Jimmy in a blogging group. He had started crazyfitnessguy.com to help promote fitness and healthy living through autistic eyes. Jimmy was recently nominated for the Encouraging Blogger Award, which is very well deserved.

Like Pink Ribbon Runner, Jimmy believes the path to health and well-being is through exercise and clean eating. His blog focuses on motivation for those with learning disabilities, as well as others. And his story is truly inspirational.

Jimmy has made it through much adversity in his young life. He was diagnosed with Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, otherwise known as Autism. His biggest hurdle was not the disability itself, but how others viewed him. But he eventually found both physical and mental strength in fitness and karate.

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Here is Jimmy’s story…

Jimmy Clare of CrazyFitnessGuy

It was 10 years ago when I started my fitness journey.  I haven’t stopped and I will not stop working out because I like the way I feel.  This is a story about how I started my workout journey.  I hope my story helps to inspire you. 

My Journey To Getting Fit

When I was growing up I was not fit, I was fluffy with fat on my body.  I ate everything that I really wasn’t supposed to. But what did I know back then? I was just a kid.  Some of the unhealthy food that I use to eat back then was pizza, soda, dessert, Kraft macaroni ‘n’ cheese, and lots of pasta.

I just ate what my parents served me. Perhaps they didn’t know how to eat a balanced diet back then either?  I am just giving them the benefit of the doubt. This continued on and on for multiple years.  When I got into middle school, I was nearly overweight for my age group.

My mom packed me lunches to help me start eating healthier. But I was so obsessed with junk food, I just threw my bag lunch in my locker and forgot about it.  I did this over and over again just so I could buy my lunch at school. 

The sad part about this was that the food at school wasn’t really that tasty anyway.  The pizza tasted like a sponge, the fries were soggy, and the only edible thing that really tasted great was the pop tarts.

A Lack of Fitness Left Me Vulnerable to Bullying

Unfortunately, by eating all this unhealthy junk nonstop, stockpiling my tray full of stuff, I got noticed by bullies.  They picked on me, calling me Jimmy Neutron because my head was big. Back then I hadn’t grow into my body yet.  I should have taken that as a compliment, but at the time I took offense. I didn’t really like the attention it gave me.

If anyone doesn’t know, Jimmy Neutron was a boy genius who excelled in everything that he did in school.  He was a character in a show on Nickelodeon. 

The bullies also made fun of me because I am on the Autistic Spectrum. From then on, I was made fun of every day.  

I had Enough of the Bullying

Fast forward to my high school years. I still continued to get bullied and I had enough of it.  I had one bully expelled, while others got detention. 

One day, while my dad and I were watching TV, we saw this commercial for P90X which is a workout program done for 90 days in a row with only one day off.

My dad was trying to lose weight as well. Nothing had worked for us in the past, but he went ahead to order the DVDs. 

After making a lot of progress in P90X, I lost 30 pounds and gained lean muscle.  Seeing that muscle made me gained confidence. 

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The next day in math class, I yelled in the bullies’ faces to get them to stop picking on me and my friends. I caused a huge scene in the class which made them uncomfortable.  I didn’t just yell at the bullies across from the room, I went up to their desks that were connected side by side.  They were scared when I looked them dead in the eye. They backed off.

What Was The Main Reason Why I Wanted To Lose Weight?

There were a lot of reasons why I wanted to lose weight, but the main reason was because of the bullies. They made fun of me every day for 5 years.  I could have given in and let them win, but I didn’t. There is one thing you should know about me, I don’t back down because something is difficult. I work through it. I am very persistent.

What Motivated Me To Start Working Out On A Regular Basis?

There were some days when I didn’t want to work out because I was sore, tired, feeling lazy, etc.  But once I saw the results, I wanted even more results.  Eventually, I got so used to working out on a daily basis. It became my morning routine, like some people who need their morning cup of coffee.

Working out has become my cup of coffee in the morning.  Without working out I feel tired and then my day becomes irritating.

How Did I Stay Motivated To Workout Even With Results?

Some people think that once they get results, they can eat whatever they want all the time.  This might come as a shock to everyone, but here’s the thing… Everyone has to eat food, drink water, and breathe air to live right?

Well, my sensei in karate said to us “if you want to eat every day then you need to work out every day.” But you are allowed to have one day off with one cheat meal, just not for every meal on your day of rest.

if you want to eat every day, then you need to work out every day.

What keeps me motivated to keep working out is joining karate again.  My mindset has changed a lot with karate.  There is always something I can improve and tweak to gain even more results for a healthier life.

Why Did I Start Karate Again? 

The reason I started karate again was to build my mind tougher and stronger. I wanted to get more results and get in even better shape than I was after finishing other workout programs. I also wanted to be with like-minded people.

Why Did I Quit Karate Before?

I had quit karate 10 years earlier due to spinal stenosis in my neck.  I still have it, but at the time, I had to do grappling in order to continue.  So, I couldn’t continue karate then.  For those who don’t know, grappling is a type of wrestling.

Luckily, when I returned to karate in 2017, I had the same sensei that taught me years ago.  

I Dreamed About Going Back to Karate

Missing karate, after being gone from it for such a long time, I had this reoccurring dream over and over again.  I was testing for my black belt in front of my sensei. In the dream, I did everything that he told me to. But he didn’t tell me if I passed or failed.

The next day, in the dream, I heard from him and he told me I passed. But I had to give a speech to over 300 people in front of a room full of my peers.  Then, when I woke up, I was disappointed it wasn’t real. 

After having that dream for the 50th time, I had to go back because I was only two belts away from my black belt.

It pained me to realize that I left with only two belts to go.  When I went back in 2017, I had to start all over again at a white belt.  Now I am almost at my high yellow belt. I am 10 belts away to making my dreams come true to become a black belt.  It won’t be easy, but when is anything in life ever easy?

How had Karate Impacted My Life?

Karate has impacted me physically and mentally.  My sensei and others have taught me the importance of eating a well-balanced diet.  They also taught me how to not give up, even when I am tired and sore.

Staying mentally strong off the mat has helped me to continue strong on my website, crazyfitnessguy.com, and other aspects of my life.  Karate has become my second home where I can let off steam from the day. It really has helped a lot.

10 years ago, I started my fitness journey and I haven’t stopped. I am not going to stop.  I hope this post motivates you to start or keep working out and living a healthy lifestyle. 

Want more motivation? Check out the Inspiration Archives here at Pink Ribbon Runner. And be sure to sign up for my emails to get more inspiring articles right to your inbox.



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