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Travis Oxenreider

This Pennsylvania native went from sedentary to shredded after a "rude awakening."

Travis Oxenreider

Written by Travis Oxenreider

My story is probably similar to many others out there. Growing up in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, there wasn’t much to do, since it’s such a rural area, but I was still pretty active as a child. Being the youngest of three (older brother and sister), my parents had their hands full with all of us being active in sports and school programs.

As I grew older and entered high school, I became less active. I picked up the guitar and fell in love with playing music and video games. I became a hermit. I only went out occasionally to play a pickup game of basketball or ride bikes with my friends. I recall my father working out pretty regularly in our basement. He would always ask me for a spot and we would end up talking about me joining him. That’s all it ever was for me: talking about doing it. Even though I wasn’t very active, I kept my weight under control and never had a gut.

When I turned 17, I met my future wife, Jessica. We were typical high-school sweethearts. We loved to sit around, watch movies and go out to dinner; we lived a pretty sedentary life. At college, the saying goes that you’ll gain the “Freshmen 15.” I gained way more than that.

Fast-forward a few years, where I now have a job as a designer at an engineering firm. I purchased a home, was planning our wedding and looking after two crazy dogs. I was living a pretty comfortable life, but my health was starting to suffer. Health problems run in my family – my father has diabetes – and I was starting to show early signs of blood-sugar issues. I needed to do something. I tried going to gyms with friends, but I would always find an excuse to get out of going. I didn’t want to put in the work, and kept saying that the lifestyle wasn’t for me.

I remember walking up the stairs at my job one...

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