Sat, Nov 12 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Nohely Mendoza
Travis Russell, 20, was flabby in high school, weighing in at 258 pounds.
The lack of a healthy diet, poor exercise habits and asthma contributed to his weight problem.
However, in a matter of four years he has transformed his body and is now a future body builder.
Back when he was a sophomore at Bonita Vista High School he tried out for football, but his massive weight would not allow him to make the team.
"I had a really bad case of asthma and taking the medication made me eat more, it disabled me from being active," Russell said. "I decided to stop taking the medication. My body went through withdrawals and it took a lot of mind power to not give up."
After refusing medication for his asthma, Russell began to use natural methods to make up for the lack of drugs.
"I would go to the bathroom and turn on the hot water so the room would steam up, the steam opened up my lungs and it would help. I don't believe in medicine, I use all natural things," he said.
Later that year Russell began running, which not only allowed him to lose weight but drastically improved his asthma.
"I really got into running, then I started reading kevinreport.com. He was a previous body builder who would write on his blog every day posting his diet and workout techniques, he really motivated me."
Motivation also arrived from a family member, his brother Derek Russell, 28.
"My brother started competing as a body builder back when he was 24 years old. I always needed to keep up with my brother when I saw him competing; it changed my perspective to what I could do from what I was," Russell said.
Russell changed his body image in a period of four years, reducing 258 pounds of body fat to 185 pounds of muscle.
"Me turning into something completely different gave me the best confidence to learn how to manipulate all aspect of life. I can now excel in the work area and in school," said Russell. "That feeling of being on top makes me feel rich and above others, not rich in the sense of making money, but rich as in having confidence and feeling better about myself."
Now Russell is preparing himself for a body building competition in March of 2012 where, if he wins, he will receive a statue and trophy.
Russell says he will still remain focused on his goals of becoming a computer engineer and developing programs.
"I'm still a nerd, I'm intelligent and look like a meat head," said Russell.
© 2009 The Star-News