By Ryan Law
I knew I had to make a change. I returned from my first elk hunting trip of the year, and I was so ashamed of myself. I have always obsessed throughout the entire year about hunting, from watching videos on YouTube, to scouting, and shooting my bow. I had always been in decent shape, but the last few years had been rough to me. I ran into several work-related problems and to add icing to the cake, went through a divorce. I was in a very low place and had started drinking pretty heavily. It was such an issue that on opening morning of elk seas, I slept through my alarm and woke up to the clock reading 9 AM! I could not believe I had allowed that to happen.
When I returned home from the hunt, nothing changed, and I went right back to drinking. It wasn’t until I caught a YouTube video with two of my idols, Eric Chesser and Jordan Harbertson, talking about goals and positive mindset that this whole thing really clicked. I knew alcohol had to be the first thing to go and I quit cold turkey on September 7th 2019. When I began my health and weight loss journey I stood on the scale and watched the numbers climb up to read 240 lbs. I felt tired and unmotivated, and as a fulltime firefighter that is not a good thing. The first thing I changed was my diet, and with my work schedule and hunting season I knew it needed to be simple. I decided that until I hit my goal weight of 180 pounds that this would be my meal intake:
This plan was very simple, and easy to prep combinations that were incremental in my weigh loss success. Not long after making these changes I saw the weight begin to shed off, and I began to get compliments on my achievements. Even more than that, I just felt better in every way. I face several challenges that come with my job of being a firefighter such as; being at work for 48-72 hours straight, pressure from others to eat fast food, and long nights of no sleep that left me drained with very little motivation. These can add up quickly and the mental hurdle I was faced with made things difficult at times but nothing that can’t be overcome.
I started my transformation during hunting season and long hikes were giving me exercise over the traditional gym routine. I decided to start really hitting the gym as soon as the season was over though. I began with 30 minutes on the stair climber and lifting weights every day. I stayed away from the scale for the first few months before deciding to check the numbers again. I could not believe the number I was seeing and actually attempted to readjust the scale when I first read it. That day I stood on the scale at 170 pounds, and had just lost 70 pounds in 5 months. More importantly, I felt the best I have ever felt in my entire life! There is no doubt in my mind that my weight loss will help me with my hunting goals, being a better firefighter, and more importantly a better father.
**If you would like to foollow Ryan and watch his success through the year and how his hunting season plays out you can find his Instagram at: @lawdawg3132