Empower Magazine welcomes new fitness contributor, DeLano Daniels as a regular fitness columnist on our online website. We invite you to tune in to his weekly column, Getting Pin Fit, as he shares a wealth of fitness, nutrition and health tips to keep you on the path to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Daniels, now 32, lost his child, his marriage and his job in a seven month span in 2010 and spiraled into a severe bout of depression, despair and destructive choices. He shares how a local fitness trainer and friend helped him adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle that put him on the path to a new life.
In 2007 I was introduced to my friend and trainer Charles Anderson of A-Team Fitness. At this point I was only into health and fitness because it was something to do. Upon getting my measurements, I thought it would be a good idea to try to change my lifestyle.
My trainer presented a meal plan and nutrition guide for me to follow. After 2 years of working with Charles, I had gotten into (then) the best shape of my life and really had no interest in taking my fitness journey any further than where I was.
While trying to maintain the new body I had worked hard for, I had found the love of my life and decided to get married. Exactly 31 days later, we found out that we were expecting our first child.
My daughter, Laila Ni’Chelle Daniels was born April 26, 2010. Nineteen days later on May 15, 2010 she was taken from me due to a metabolic disorder, CPT2.
Trying to hold things together within my household and marriage, I was laid off from my job on September 27, 2010 putting more stress on an already strained marriage.
Shortly after the loss of my daughter and job, my wife decided that what we were facing was too hard and packed her things and left on my 30th birthday, November 9, 2010.
I fell into a very deep depression, letting everything go by the wayside and gained more than 50 pounds from drinking and making bad choices.
A year later, something clicked and I knew I needed to change. I knew that the route I was on was going to lead to a very serious drinking problem and an even deeper depression.
I reached out to Charles Anderson for help to get back on to my fitness journey or a least help me get healthy again. He encouraged me to finish grad school (I had dropped out after the loss of my daughter), get my PT certification and train for my very first fitness show, all while working two jobs that he set me up with. I credit Charles with saving my life.
While training for my first show. Seeing those gains and having the support of someone who truly believed in me helped me regain confidence, take control of my life, and eventually beat depression.
For my very first show I placed fifth in the lightweight novice BB division in a small Musclemania show and, after doing so, continued with the health and fitness industry by becoming a CPT and dotFIT certified. I am now a sponsored athlete of the supplement company dotFIT.
As of June of this year, I’ve made the most of the opportunity in health and fitness. I’ve gone from placing fifth in a small regional show to placing fifth in the Musclemania – Fitness Universe Weekend of over 500 natural competitors.
The Chance to Help Others
I’ve also helped change lives by helping people realize that health, fitness, and nutrition should be a way of life and not just a fad.
I recently had one of my clients text me to let me know that she’s moving better and that her 5 year old son can even see a difference because mommy can get down on the floor and play with him now.
I’ve also had another client of mine state that since changing her eating habits that her mother who lives with her has also benefited. By simply changing the types of food that was brought into the house, the mother had no choice but to consume a healthier diet; 3 months later the mother lost over 11 pounds and was taken off her blood pressure medication. Those are the types of things that continue to motivate me to be a spokesperson of turning lives around.
I typically don’t share my story, but if it is able to help motivate one person to change their life than it was well worth it.
About DeLano Daniels