In our Transformations Series, we're showing the world how anyone can achieve the fittest body of their life, one day at a time. Throughout July, we gathered lifestyle and fitness transformation story submissions from tons of our awesome fans in the spirit of motivation and inspiration. (And, of course, the chance for one lucky fitness freak to win their very own 6 Pack Fitness gym bag.) Today we meet Shaun O'Day, who was able to turn his life around with a newfound commitment to fitness and the meal prep help provided by his 6 Pack bag. Shaun's fitness transformation began two years ago when he made plans to work out with an old friend from high school, Phillip. Phillip was about the same height as Shaun, 5'9", and weighed 218 pounds. At this point in his life, Shaun weighed roughly 330 pounds and it had been 4 years or so since he had even seen the inside of a weight room. Shaun figured that Phillip would be stronger, but he had no idea what he was really in for. In Shaun's words: "Phillip embarrassed me from the moment we entered the gym and continued to do so for the entire two hours we were in there. Hobbling home sore and missing my man card, I vowed the usual: I would get in shape and get strong again." This time was a little different, though. His poor performance at the gym really bore down on him. As Shaun reflected on the day, it occurred to him that he had to accept the truth: he was no longer just overweight. He was on his way to becoming dangerously obese. "I can remember staring into the mirror and just being ashamed. I couldn't believe the mess I had become. I had clearly lost all discipline and was going to die at a young age if I didn't get it together," Shaun said. About a week later, Shaun's fitness transformation really started to come together. He was able to start working out with a group of friends, one of which was finishing up his physical therapy license. Having a regular group of people to work out with really helped Shaun get acclimated to his new fitness routine. Not only did the presence of friends add a competitive edge, but seeing their struggles really helped Shaun come to terms with the fact that everyone struggles. What's important is not to let those challenges define you, but rather to use them to better yourself.
"I remember not even really realizing I had lost much weight until the magic day I dropped under 300 pounds. I felt like I had conquered the world and I wanted more!"What began as a much-needed kick in the butt turned into Shaun's new obsession. At this point in his fitness transformation, he had branched out into training on his own and was desperately searching for bigger and more intense challenges. He was also working with a nutrition coach and eating 8 meals a day. This was one of his biggest hurdles so far: how to handle meal prep. At one point, he even almost lost his job because he was constantly late or leaving early to get his meals in. A regular lunch box was just too small and created a huge mess trying to get the shaker and all the containers in there without spilling. "Heaven forbid you put them in in the wrong order. Good luck fishing that out!" Shaun recalls. Yet it was incredibly important to Shaun to have his meals, and have them on time. A stroke of luck arrived when Shaun's brother texted him asking if he had seen any of the new 6 Pack Bags. "Immediately upon seeing the Innovator series, I knew these were the answer to the question I wasn't even asking yet," Shaun said. "Once I got my 500, so much fell into place. I could now prep and carry everything with me at all times! Shakers for protein, containers for up to 6 whole meals, and a container for supplements all in the same bag! It is the best quality bag I have ever owned. It has already been over a year and it still looks brand new." Food prep was and still is the corner stone of everything Shaun has been able to accomplish. "Every time I eat, I stop and think, 'How will this help me perform next time I work out?'" Shaun has the Innovator 500, which he explains "definitely changed the game. I was instantly able to prep and have everything from a nutritional standpoint with me at all times. Even better, it [kept everything] organized! My Innovator is perfect and I don't know what I'd do without it." (Although he's quick to add that the Beast Duffle is the next gym bag he has his eye on.) Shaun had the right mental attitude and a quality gym bag. Now all he needed was the right fitness environment to devote himself to, and he finally found it in Crossfit. "I instantly knew it was what I had been searching for," he explained. "It incorporated everything I wanted out of my training and more. I found a few local Crossfit gyms, and after a little research, I decided to check out Crossfit Rutherford. As soon as I finished the first class workout, I knew I was home. The owners Chris and Jennifer Haynes were great, the environment was perfect, and the athletes were all very talented." Shaun has not looked back ever since that fateful day when he went to the gym with Phillip. At one point, his weight dropped all the way down to 198, with over 130 pounds lost. He is now up to 215 and the fittest he has ever been. He competes mostly in Crossfit competitions, but he's branching out into Iron Man and Crucible events this year. He also hopes to compete in regionals next year. "I could never maintain my balance for the daily grind without my Innovator 500 and my Crossfit gym." The first step in any fitness transformation is making the decision to change. Shaun found this to be true, and so can you! With the right attitude in the right environment, combined with the ability to keep all your daily meals easily on hand in your gym bag, you can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to.