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Shawn Sturwold

A death in the family made this JYM Army member commit 100% to training and eating healthy. In the process, he's battled mental health issues and come out on top.

Shawn Sturwold

Written by Shawn Sturwold

I want share my story of how and why I got here.

My uncle died on me at 43. He was my best friend. I was broken. Nobody could save me. It was a harsh reality. My back was against the wall; I had nowhere to run or hide.

It’s times like this when we find out what we're made of. My uncle and I had dabbled in lifting weights. We never made enough progress to speak of, but those will always be fond memories. We were getting ready to dabble in it again, but then he died suddenly.

I wanted to honor him. It had to be in a spectacular way. Lifting weights and changing my body felt like the best way to do it. I wanted to show him and everyone how much I loved him.

By the grace of god, I found Dr. Jim Stoppani and everything changed. He was so real and approachable. He had everything laid out for me. I just had to execute.

I’ve never done any programs but Jim’s. I’ve never used any supplements but his JYM products. The fitness industry is overwhelming, so I loved that Jim simplified it for an ordinary person like me. He truly is a one-stop shop.

For the last four years, I’ve done a dozen of Jim’s programs multiple times – Daily Grind, Shortcut to Shred, Full-Body Shortcut to Size, Down and Up Mass, Back and Fourth Training, and Shortcut to Size/Micro Muscle, to name just a few.

I love doing full-body programs, but I just go back and forth between those and normal splits. You don’t have to be talented or gifted to do this lifestyle. You just have to be committed.

Training the Body and the Mind

I know so many people like myself who are battling with mental-health issues. I still struggle with them daily. Exercise is how I cope. It’s how I kill all the bad feelings I feel.

I just need you to know that I know how you feel. I walk that walk, too.

I didn’t start out good at lifting. I didn’t start out eating perfectly. It’s really a marathon, not a sprint. Just build habits over time.

I’ve had bad eating days just like I’ve had bad workouts. Just keep it moving and don’t think too much.

God’s honest truth: When I see my transformation, the very first thing that comes to mind is “PAIN.” I have to wake up tomorrow and fight the pain all over again.

But it gives me a great sense of pride that all my pain was used on something constructive. Some days, my mental health has me in a chokehold and I can’t breathe. When I think about fitness, it brings me a joyous feeling.

We don’t control very much in life. But we can control what we eat and how we train. I’m grateful for that. Fitness keeps my mind occupied. I don’t stress about external stuff I don’t have control over.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How we use them is up to us.

Shawn's Path to Being a Better Man

The absolute best part of my fitness journey isn’t my body. It’s that I’m a better human being. I’m a better dad and husband.

I’m more disciplined, committed, and resilient. My wife and kids are into exercising and eating healthy. That in and of itself is so gratifying. I lead by example.

To say everything comes full circle through fitness is an understatement. I just committed to changing my lifestyle.

Nothing in the world is as powerful as the human mind. But it’s like a puppy — you have to train it daily. I still come home and stream Jim’s live exercise tutorials to my TV. I just want to keep learning and getting better.

Shawn's Advice for Others Wanting to Make a Change

I’ll sum this up by asking: “What do you have to lose?”

Time is going to pass either way. You’re going to waste your life away waiting on the “perfect time.” Make your time right NOW!

Jim gives you everything you need. I know you’re scared and unsure. You'll get knocked down. Just keep getting back up! Nothing like fighting someone who won’t quit!

If you change your thoughts, you’ll change your life! If I could ever be of help to anyone, don’t hesitate to ask — I know what it’s like. I’m just like you, trying to get better! #JYMPOWERED


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