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Our inspirational Transformations Series recognizes individuals that have changed their lifestyles through fitness, dieting, and perseverance and shares their stories with the rest of the world. In today's feature we'll introduce you to Jesse Roder, a father of two who works as a paramedic/firefighter in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Jesse's fitness transformation began on February 9th, 2014, when a powerful combination of influences began to fuel his desire to change his life for the better.

The first source of motivation for Jesse was his grandmother, whose health was starting to decline as a result of her ongoing battle with cancer. Jesse's grandmother always wanted him to lose weight and nothing made her prouder of him than when he started to drop weight and improve his health. To this day, Jesse continues to push towards his fitness goals in order to fulfill the last wish of his Grandma Poppy.

Working at the fire station, Jesse constantly had to bend over to try and roll up hoses. He found himself having a hard time moving around, easily becoming winded, and realized it was due to his excess weight. This was an especially worrisome warning sign for Jesse, as heart attacks are the leading cause of death for firefighters. Jesse knew that he needed to make a change ASAP.

The final source of motivation was the fact that if Jesse continued down his current path, he would soon be over 400 pounds. Jesse knew that if he didn't change his eating habits, he would eat himself into an early grave, and he couldn't bear the thought of leaving his family like that.

“I have a wife and two kids that depend on me and I can't let them down."

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At 375 lbs with 40% body fat, Jesse began working hard to develop a healthier, more active lifestyle. Making his weight loss struggle even more challenging was the fact that Jesse decided to stop smoking at the same time. While overhauling both aspects of his lifestyle at once was rough at first, the decision to stop smoking saved Jesse enough money that he was able to hire a personal trainer.

To completely crush his fitness goals, however, Jesse knew his diet would need some serious overhauling as well. Working on an ambulance and at the fire station heavily influenced Jesse's poor eating habits since he was always on the run and never knew when he might have to go on a call. In order to facilitate his hectic work schedule, Jesse's diet consisted of a lot of unhealthy fast food.

“I never had a problem with lifting and working out in the past. It was always the diet I had issues with, but I was able to overcome that with the help of my 6 Pack bag which makes it easier to stay on track."

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Working 24 hour shifts, Jesse needed a gym bag that would not only help him keep his workout clothes handy, but also help him manage his meals throughout the day. Enter the 6 Pack Beast Duffle, a no-nonsense duffle bag designed to help you reach your fitness goals and ensure that you always travel fit.

Prior to purchasing his Beast Duffle, Jesse needed to pack one bag with his shower and gym stuff, another bag with the other items he needed throughout the day such as his Kindle, and a cooler for his food. Now Jesse fits all this and more into one gym bag, allowing him to spend less time worrying about getting ready and more time focusing on each rep.

All that extra focus has paid off, as Jesse has lost 84 lbs since February and now weighs in at 291 lbs with 31% body fat. Jesse still has a way to go before reaching his goal of 230 lbs with around 12% body fat, but the progress he's made so far speaks tremendously to his hard work and dedication.

“I now have enough room in my pants to fit my wife in them with me!"

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With the continued support of his wife/training partner Jennifer Roder and trainer Andrew Noorman, we're sure that Jesse's fitness transformation will end with him not only meeting his goals, but exceeding them as well! Jesse recognized that being overweight not only put him at risk for serious diseases but could also negatively impact his wife and kids. He decided that he needed to make a change, and now Jesse is well on his way to living a happier, healthier, fitter life.

We recognize Jesse's perseverance and hope that others will find his story inspirational and seek to make a similar change in their own lives.

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