Interview with Jason Adams, Lakewood, Ohio
Jason and Sara Schumann
Q: When and why did you decide to start working out?
A: I really don't think there is one specific single answer to this. It is a collection of things. When I was young I always wanted to be like the huge bodybuilders but was in a weird way embarrassed to workout. Can't explain why. Then I got really out of shape and was even more embarrassed by that. I decided to change it a few years ago and joined a gym, but was clueless about how to properly train and gave up quick. Then I started my blog interviewing female competitors and got inspired. And said now is the time. I learned the right way to do it, and now I am on my way. I have a degenerative hip condition and been in pain basically my whole life. So another reason is to prove to anyone that it can be done.
Q: You have recently lost a lot of weight, tell us about that.
A: When I started my "journey" I was 292 pounds. Started trying to learn the diet and got some help with moderate success and dropped about 20 pounds. Then about 14 weeks ago I hired Danny J Johnson to do my diet and it took off. In about 14 weeks with her I have lost over 60 more pounds. As of today I currently weight 210 pounds. So I am down 82 pounds now. It is a combination of dieting and training. I have more to go and still consider myself overweight, but I know I will get there.
Q: How has all this strict working out and strict eating affected your social life?
A: Honestly I never really had much of a social life. But that was by choice. I am not a party person. If I go out, it is just to see a movie. I have more fun alone watching a sporting event or something than going out. That being said, it has changed some things. Really where it affects me is I am currently not working and instead of looking for a job I go to the gym. A friend gets fast food, I have to wait for my chicken in the microwave. But I like the affects it has had. The gym is where I am comfortable, it is where I like to be. So I really feel all effects it has had have been for the positive. Some people may be confused by that, but it is what works for me.
Q: How has this lifestyle change been on you?
A: 100% positive. Obviously I am much more healthy now. But I am mentally healthy as well. It has allowed me to learn a passion. I actually believe in myself, and that is something I struggled a long time with. I am going to tell you something very few know. I will tell you this because Danny J (my trainer) had the courage to reveal her story so I feel I can do the same. I was for a very long time what you would call suicidal. I thought daily about ending my life. Mainly because I considered myself a failure. I saw no way anything good could come of my life. But this new lifestyle has taught me that things to come of your life, you make things happen in your life. I am happy with who I am, I like the person I am, and the gym and what I am doing have been a big help in that.
Q: What has been the hardest thing to give up?
A: Most people would say the food or something like that. For me the hardest thing to give up has been negativity. I was just so used to being negative. You spend so much time being down on yourself and thinking you are nothing, then suddenly all this people are calling you inspiring and looking to you for inspiration. It is just weird. You feel you have to be positive. You have to because if someone actually does look up to you or is inspired by you, you feel you have to be positive for them. But even more you have to do it for yourself. Even a month ago if I had a day when my weight was up one pound I would get so upset. Now I can just say "that's fine, it will come back off" and I know it will. Yes I still have bad days, and yes I will still have them, but that are few and far between. I am positive now. So negativity and being down on myself was the hardest thing to give up.
Q: What is your favorite cheat meal?
A: This is the easiest question there is to answer. Meatball sub from Subway. I could live on those. Also my mom's potato salad is right up there to.
Q: How did you used to eat?
A: If I was hungry I ate. And usually it wasn't food that was good for me. If I was at the store buy some ice cream or chips. I worked at pizza shops for a long time and was always eating a lot of that food. I ate some healthy foods but that was in addition to eating a lot more unhealthy food.
Q: What does your diet consist of now.
A: Danny J designs my entire diet. I do not eat a thing without her approval. Right now I am eating 8 meals a day, three of which are protein shakes. Each meal has my protein, veggies, etc. Lots of chicken and veggies. Some people think it sounds boring, but you get used to it. I am going to let everyone in on a really big secret HEALTHY FOOD IS ACTUALLY GOOD TASTING. O.K., so that's not a big secret, but alot of people don't know that. They think healthy food means lots of salads, ad maybe some twigs.
Q: What has been the best thing to come out of this?
A: The answer everyone wants is that I am healthy. Well I have to disappoint everyone. That isn't the best thing that has come out of this. The best thing that has come out of this is my Hero Danny J Johnson. She is what I call the light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been my life. She is the most amazing and inspiring person I know. Having her in my life has made me a better person. I could not do what I am doing without her. As a guy I admit when I first saw her she was just some beautiful woman. But now everyone tells me she is beautiful, or hot, as they say. I simply say that I do not look at her like that. She has gone from some beautiful woman in the fitness industry to being everything to me. I look up to her, I admire her, I am inspired by her, and I am a better person because of her. Sh doesn't train me in just fitness, she trains me in life.
Jason and Jamie Eason
Q: You have a long term goal of competing in bodybuilding. When and where do you think that will be?
A: Actually me and Danny just decided to do the Emerald Cup in April 2012. That is a very big show and I have a long way to go to be ready for that. But I would rather do a big show and finish last than do Bob's Bodybuilding Championship in front of 16 fans and win the whole thing. This isn't about winning for me. It is about proving something. I am planning to at some point next year move to Las Vegas and train there and I know I will be ready. Several people have said that when I compete it will be this huge fitness industry all-star get together for people to support me. I don't know if that is true, but that would mean more to me than some trophy.
Q: You have had a lot of guidance along the way. Who has been the most important people to help you through all the hard work?
A: I want to point out a couple people:
Elise Firestone: Always been so encouraging. YOu are for sure doing my tan when I am on stage
Kayte Steenberg: Just an icnreidbly inspiring woman destined for great things
Terri Chadwick Edwards: Never allows me to get upset always has my back.
Mascha Tieken: Always a huge help to me
Gail Auerbach: Also so encouraging to me
Tisha Rodrigues: Twafy, you are the best and I owe you so much
Lisa Zisa: A great woman always encourages me. Lisa you rock
Ali Dies: Such an amazing woman and an honor to know her
Heather Kilgore: Someone I admire and respect so much
Zoa Linsey: Zoa told me if you act like a bodybuilder and train like you are a
bodybuilder, than you are a bodybuilder. Zoa I am a bodybuilder and thanks for making me
Tiffany Forni: Tiffany did what I am trying to do and has supported me the whole way.
Michelle Russell: The owner of my favorite arms in the sport. Always supports me. Love
Nicole Gray: Nicole has been so supportive of me, and reading her Facebook posts about
going to the gym always fires me up.
Kala Moak: We met under strange circumstances but she has become so important to me and
my BFF (inside joke). Nicest woman you will ever meet.
Shirley Madera: Just a class woman and so supportive of and helpful to me
Belinda Hope: When I am in need of a quick pick me up, I got to Belinda. She believes in
me as much as anyone.
Jill Crean: Amazing woman with an amazing story. I always say that when I grow up I want
to be Jill Crean. Just an incredible woman.
Sarah Kinney: My studdette. She offered to help me before anyone else and I will never
ever forget her for it.
Kortney Olson: Kortney has a special place in my heart and she knows why. Love ya K.O.
Allison Moyer: Allison is amazing. What I love most is she talked to me for awhile about
my own low self esteem before she even knew me and made me feel better. The world needs
more Allison Moyer's.
Sue Scheppele: Simply put, the reason I fell in love with bodybuilding.
Tonia Moore: Battling her disease and fighting hard to get back. Tonia, luv ya.
LeslieRae Newton: Always been behind me, and supporting me
Tonia Goodman: as inspiring a woman as you will ever meet.
Megan Melone: My pitbull. Always has my back and defends me
Colleen Tanner: A special friend and I hope she knows how good she can be.
Erika Shingary: Erika made me feel accepted and god about myself. Forever in debt.
Macey Leigh: Macey, you know I love you to death.
Vanessa Prebyl: Vanessa is amazing and I owe her more than she knows.
Angelique Kronebusch: Angelique you have supported me from the day we met and you are a
blessing to me.
Sara Schumann: My newest trainer and a special special woman. I have learned so much
from her. Sara thank you.
JT Wood: One of my trainers. JT is a bodybuilder, and didn't look at me as the fat guy
saying he wanted to be a bodybuilder. He saw me as the guy that can be one and made me
feel comfortable. Owe him a ton.
Danny J Johnson: Said so much about her already, but I hope she knows how important she
is to me. Danny when I am 80 years old I still want you handling my diet.
Please if I forgot you accept my apology. So hard to remember everyone. I know I forgot
Q: Do you think the obesity epidemic is out of control in your country?
A: Sure is. And it is easy to understand why. Every year there is a new amazing video game. Kids are not encouraged to play outside. They grow up on video games and therefore at a young age it starts with the lack of exercise, and like I said about my negativity, you get used to it. So these young people are growing up out of shape. It isn't the kids fault. They are doing what they are shown to do. Parents need to get their kids outside playing sports, eating better. Do I see it changing? Not at all. Because no one is out there trying to educate. That is why I felt I as hard as it is for me to accept it when someone calls me inspiring, I need to embrace it, and so do others because there are so many inspiring people. I asked one girl one simple diet question and she asked me to pay her for it. That scares people away. Let's get a Government funded program where they hire the Danny Johnson's, the Jaime Eason's, the Tiffany Forni's, formulate a plan with those great minds and see how we can better educate the country. Every street you see a McDonald's or a Taco Bell and that makes it hard to pass up food that does taste good and is easier than going home to make it. You have politicians trying to get rid of strip clubs and adult book stores because they pollute the mind or whatever, well why the hell aren't they doing anything to get rid of some of the fast food joints that pollute the body?
Q: Do you feel your story can help others reach their weight loss goals?
A: I struggled with this. For some reason people latch on to me and use me as inspiration. It feels weird and I feel I don't deserve it and there are better choices. But I think it is because I am so open about everything. Yeah, I guess it can help others and if it does, I am flattered and honored. This was always supposed to be my journey, my goal, all about me. It isn't anymore. I was never looking to inspire anyone, but apparently I do. And that's great because all those people who email me and ask for my help and tell me their amazing stories also inspire me.
Q: When you look at yourself, how do you feel:
A: Sometimes I look at myself and feel great about how far I have come and sometimes I feel I have so far to go. But Either way it is a good feeling because as far as I have to go, I will get there. I really feel so much better about the person I am becoming, mentally and physically. Wearing clothes that haven't fit for years is a tremendous feeling.
Q: Do you have any advice for our readers?
A: This journey for me is to get on stage. To have my moment. My moment on stage where I can say "I did this. I did what people said I couldn't do" That's what it is all about, my moment. Everyone deserves their moment. But it doesn't just happen. Make it happen. If someone says you cant do it, don't get upset, embrace it. Welcome those haters. Because those are the people who are going to look stupid when you prove them wrong. Don't expect changes overnight. It takes time, but that time it takes is what will make it so rewarding. There is a line in a song that I think of everyday it goes " I am stronger than they think, they can push me to the brink again, cause now I know I'll win". Let people tell you you can't do it, but NEVER let them actually convince you cant do it. You deserve your moment, you want it, go get it. And If you need someone to talk to someone to ask advice, or someone just to convince you you can do it, I am always an email away firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angelique, thank you for interviewing me, it is an honor, and thank you for being a friend, you are a special and important part of my life.