My fitness journey began three years ago when my wife and I had a baby. I worked as a graphic designer, a desk job where I sat all day, Monday through Friday, for 16 years. I also worked 2 part-time jobs and spent almost every evening sitting in front of the computer. I only got three to four hours of sleep a night. My physical activity was nonexistent aside from an occasional bike ride. I did little to be healthy. My diet was primarily restaurant food and fast food. My weight ballooned up to 275 lbs. My wife gained a lot of weight with the pregnancy of our baby and one day she decided to do something about it and started working out regularly. It was her enthusiasm that motivated me to make some changes in my own life. She had been running and one day I decided to go with her. I remember being able to run only one block before I got tired and had to walk. I kept at it and eventually I was able to go farther and farther each time. Within a year I had been making some good progress with eating better and running. I started working out over my lunch hour at the company gym: running, lifting weights and taking fitness classes. I read a lot of fitness-related information online trying to figure out the best approach to eating better and working out, but it was all so overwhelming. I stumbled upon one article that had a picture of a guy who was completely shredded and he was 44-years-old. I thought to myself, “I want to be shredded when I’m 44. I was 42 at the time and far from being shredded, but I decided that I would commit the next two years to getting shredded. I started using protein powder, tracking my calories on My Fitness Pal, and increasing my workouts from three to four a week to six times a week. I’d lost about 40 pounds and was feeling good about it when I received a direct mail postcard for last year’s Nutrishop 8-week body transformation challenge. I said to my wife, “We’re already losing weight and getting in better shape, let’s sign up.” I remember walking into Nutrishop carrying my direct mail card and being greeted kindly by Corey Young. He signed me up. I worked hard and won first place in my age group, which was a huge motivator for me to stay on my journey. Towards the end of 2014 Corey and his staff encouraged me to participate in “The Omaha Challenge.” My goal of being shredded at age 44 was still persistent in my mind, so I decided to go for it. The challenge had not yet begun, but I knew if I wanted to be shredded I needed to do something different. I was only eating about 1600 calories a day and exercising intensely and my results were stalling out. I started seeing Elicia at Nutrition Pros every week, and she helped me realize my huge calorie deficit was not working. She put me on a meal plan and gave me 800 more calories per day to eat. A few weeks after I started with Nutrition Pros, “The Omaha Challenge” kicked off. I signed up weighing in not far off from where I had ended with the previous Nutrishop body transformation challenge. During “The Omaha Challenge,” I started seeing my body change. Not only was I losing body fat, I was also gaining muscle. My stomach was getting smaller. I stuck with Elicia’s plan and throughout the course of “The Omaha Challenge,” I saw so many positive changes in my body. I realized that with this way of eating and exercising, I could soon achieve my goal of being shredded. As I took my final set of pictures, and saw my abs popping out in the photos, I had some revelations about how the challenge has transformed both my internal and external appearance. One of the guys I work out with at the gym always takes his shirt off when we go running outside. I always felt self-conscious about how my stomach looked and always kept my shirt on. Looking at myself on this last day of the competition, I realized I’m no longer embarrassed by the way my stomach looks–I have abs now! I plan on running on Monday without my shirt, proud and confident of my physical appearance. Transformed by “The Omaha Challenge,” I will continue my pursuit.