In his own words...
Prior to me starting out at CKO Kickboxing - Miramar and having Joe and Trisha Virga as my trainers/motivators, I was working out at 24 Hour Fitness at least five days a week, and for a minimum of two hours per day. I was spending an hour and a half on a mixture of the elliptical, stair climber and treadmill machines, plus thirty to forty-five minutes of lifting weights. While I thought I had a good workout regime at 24 Hour Fitness and was making progress at losing weight by myself, I was not. I found myself putting on more weight. I was doing the same routine, day in and day out, and I kept increasing the amount of weights I was lifting and the amount of reps I was doing in my routine.
Around this time I had to go see a new doctor for a yearly checkup, and he informed me I weighed 310 lbs (the heaviest I had ever weighed) and he strongly suggested that I have bariatric surgery. I was embarrassed and also mad at myself for getting that heavy in the first place. I knew I had to do something different because the only time I was losing weight was when I did not go to the gym for a couple of days. I used to eat fast food, a couple of doors down from CKO Kickboxing and I kept thinking about checking it out and trying a free trial class. I finally decided to call, and I talked to Joe Virga (owner and one of the trainers at CKO Kickboxing - Miramar) about coming in and trying a class. To this day, I am so thankful for that decision.
My first class was on a Saturday. After the first thirty minutes of the hour long class, I fully realized that I was not as in shape as I thought I had been by working out at my old gym. Immediately after class, I knew I had to sign up as a member because I had never felt this fatigued in the two hours I would spend daily at 24 Hour Fitness. I think one of the traits of Joe and Trisha (and the entire CKO Miramar team; Shaun and Angie!) that stuck out to me that first day of class, was how sincere everybody was in helping me with my weight loss goals. I am not just another member or paying client. When I walk inside CKO Kickboxing to take a class, I feel like Norm from Cheers. Everyone's warm greeting immediately gets me pumped up for the hour workout I am about to endure. The instructors are motivators. When I feel I do not have anything left in me to keep me going for the rest of the hour, I hear them saying “I know you are tired and you don’t think you have anything left, but you are stronger than you think you are”. If that doesn't get me going, they will literally call me out to get my hands and feet moving faster. They don't let me give anything less than 100 percent.
When I told Joe Virga I was joining a weight-loss contest at work, he was intent on making sure I won the contest. Both Joe and Trisha gave me suggestions on what to change in my diet to help me lose weight, what to snack on to keep me going during the day, and during the workouts they would push me a little harder to make sure I gave it my all. I came in third place! However, I was going against people that were strictly dieting and starving themselves to lose weight. But even more importantly, during those six months, my family, friends and coworkers could see the dramatic change in my size. My clothes were looking looser to the point of looking way too big. My muscles were toning up and I was slimming down. I started getting compliments from everyone! I even had to add extra holes to my belt so that my pants wouldn't fall down while I was walking.