Kevin Smith's fitness transformation is not your ordinary story. He is a young man who willed himself right out of a wheelchair. Kevin's seemingly miraculous ability to overcome multiple sclerosis proves that with faith, hope and willpower, anything is truly possible. At the age of 22, Kevin, who lives in Texas, was like most other college kids: all he wanted to do was drink, party, and meet girls. One summer night, he went to bed late after spending the night hanging out with some friends, unaware that his world was about to turn upside down. The next day, he woke up disoriented. His balance was off and his vision was blurred. He panicked and rushed to the emergency room. After a battery of tests and being poked with numerous needles, the multiple sclerosis diagnosis arrived. Kevin simply didn't know how to comprehend the terrible news. Doctors told him he would no longer be able to work on cars or stay out in the heat.
All his dreams and goals seemed to evaporate into thin air at once. This was not the life he had once envisioned himself living. He was given medication after medication, but nothing helped. With every passing day, his conditioned worsened. He grew depressed watching his old classmates starting their careers, a world that now seemed completely closed off to him. Everything changed when his younger brother Jeff, a football player at Oklahoma Baptist University, came to visit him. He accompanied Kevin to one of his many doctor's visits about the constant pain in his legs. As Kevin questioned his doctor, Jeff watched him search the Internet for another medication for Kevin to try.
"I thought I had just been given a death sentence."
Jeff's own exercise regiment was intense and structured thanks to his football training, so Kevin had a strong source of information and support to begin his fitness transformation. When he got home from the doctor's office that day, Kevin got rid of his medication and signed up for his first gym membership. He spent hours studying workouts and nutrition.
When they left, Jeff let Kevin know what he had witnessed. Then he said, "That's it. Let's do it my way now."
Nevertheless, having MS was a constant roadblock. Kevin often battled fatigue and leg pain. In addition to the initial MS symptoms, family and doctors repeatedly told him that working out so hard could actually worsen his MS. Those types of comments were very frustrating at the beginning of Kevin's fitness transformation, but he quickly learned to block them out, put his headphones on, and just lift.
"I was hooked - the iron bug had bitten me."
Now, Kevin's workout consists of rotating all muscle groups every week. If he does legs and abs on Monday, the next Monday he'll do back and shoulders. He works out fast, with 30-40 seconds of rest between each set, and keeps his reps at 12-15 while making sure to hit the certain muscle group for that day 3-4 times. Kevin eats a lot of fruits and vegetables. An important dietary change he made in his fitness transformation was to cut back on beef and stop eating pork altogether. Chicken and fish are now his main source of meat protein. Before he became sick with MS, his diet was quite poor. The majority of his meals were fast food or junk food. Now he makes sure to eat 5-6 clean meals a day. After he began his journey into the fitness world, he started following a lot of professional bodybuilders on Instagram and Facebook. He saw many of them posting about 6 Pack Bags and had to get one himself, which has helped his dedication to clean eating. In addition to working out, Kevin is extremely passionate about motivational speaking. He spends a lot of time traveling to different colleges and telling his story, while also explaining what MS is and what it can do to a person.
"Within months of working out and eating healthy, I regained full function of my body with no pain. I have been symptom-free for five years, and I feel better than I ever have in my life."
Throughout his fitness transformation, Kevin has become a wiser person. He learned there is always a way out of a bad situation if you refuse to give up. He is now in the best shape of his life. 6-7 years ago, he would have laughed in your face if you told him this is what his life would become. Kevin's advice to anyone else looking to make their own fitness transformation is straightforward, but honest: don't give up. Kevin strongly believes that change doesn't happen over night, so keep your eyes on the prize and push yourself to achieve the goals you have set. Quite simply, his story is not your average fitness transformation. Kevin's story is about the value of perseverance, and what it means to pick yourself back up when you feel like the world has quit on you. He does not feel sick or like he has restrictions. He can enjoy life just like everyone else, and he intends to live his to the fullest every single day.
"My 6 Pack Bag has helped me stick with my diet and avoid eating outside of my meal plan when I travel to speak. I'm able to load the bag up with my great food."
Kevin's incredible fitness transformation, not to mention his humble expression of his impressive achievements, is truly awe-inspiring. We're thrilled that 6 Pack Bags has been able to play a role in his success and wish Kevin the best in all his future endeavors. Although with his indomitable drive and determination, we have a feeling he'll do just fine. Explore even more motivational life journeys in our Fitness Transformation Series. To find the right 6 Pack Bag for you, browse our meal management bags, gym backpacks, sports duffle bags, and gym totes.
"It's like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could finally see things clearly."