Andy, you’ve transformed your body in a major way through dedicated training. What flipped the switch for you to get in shape?
I honestly didn’t see how big I was till I stepped on the scale and seen 360lbs. I then took off my 4XL shirt I was wearing and laid it on the bed and seen how big it really was. Later that day I seen Uncle Boo at a cookout we had every weekend because Unc is family. I pulled Unc to the side and asked him if he would train me. I was so scared I had no idea what he was gonna say. Unc just has that look where he can bounce you off the ceiling with one hand but being the gentle giant he is; he yelled, “Yes Man!” Ha, ha! From there on out the journey began for me.
Sometimes it takes a wakeup call like that to get us going. How much weight have you lost?
I weigh 284.2lbs right now I weighed 360lbs I have lost 76lbs and still going.
Is the change in you easier to see on the scale or in how your clothes fit?
Really the change that’s easier for me to see is the clothes fitting me going from a pant size 44 to 38 and a shirt size 4XL to 3XL/2XL is easier to see then for me to look at the numbers on the scale.
You work in a profession where size can be a huge asset in keeping you safe but you can’t be big and unable to move at all. Muscle is obviously more intimidating that fat. How do the inmates look at you now after your weight loss?
I like to think that my size does keep me safe at work from inmates thinking about trying me. Some of the inmates that I see every day have apparently gave me the nickname roadblock and its spread around ill have inmates come up to me and say, “You the C. O. they call Roadblock? I see why!” and walk off ha ha!
On top of that a lot of big guys have to battle some serious mental issues as their clothes start to feel too baggy. How are you handling that mental challenge?
The clothes not fitting gets pretty annoying to wear cux it doesn’t fit right or like it should I cant tell you how many times ill change clothes till I get the ones that fit me. Like my pants my belt wont even keep my pants up anymore till I get the right pair.
One of the most impressive things about you is your dedication. You’re consistently walking with a weighted vest, hitting your training sessions and keeping the promise to yourself and you’ve been doing it for about a year. What’s your number one key to staying consistent?
My number one key to staying consistent is not falling back into the same slump I was in before I started working out. What I want more then anything is to look like I work out. I refuse to go back to my old self!
Let’s talk about PRs. You were challenged by some guys at work who didn’t believe that you had gotten stronger and you stepped up by visiting their gym where you pulled a deadlift PR. That had to be motivating for you! Did it change things at work when you stepped up to their challenge?
Oh man getting that deadlift PR at their gym in their town was one of the best moments! Proving that I can pull the weight I said I could and getting a PR— I have always had haters and at times things would get to me and get in my head Unc taught me to block it out and shut haters down to prove them all wrong.
You’re a comic book fan as I am. I know that seeing the muscles on the superheroes was always a huge motivator for me as a kid; I wanted to be built like the characters in the comic books I read. Do you have a mental image for how you want to look or are you just enjoying the journey?
I mostly just enjoy the journey. Batman has always been my favorite comic book to read he was always physically fit for whatever came his way. That’s what I want— to be physically fit to for whatever comes my way.
Do you plan to compete?
Yeah I would love to complete in the near future I wanna be able to bring home some medals for myself and P.A.T.— show my roots and show the name— so you know when we come to town, some weights is getting thrown around.
You’re a father. I don’t come from a family that greatly prized physical fitness and that’s something I wanted to change for my kids— I wanted them to grow up seeing exercise and health as normal. How does it feel to know that you’re doing the same thing and really building a legacy that will live on after you’re gone?
It feels great knowing my boys sit there and see me workout and working to be in shape and hope that they follow in my footsteps.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your fitness journey and give yourself some advice what would it be?
Not to ever give up and let people say junk and let it creep into your head. Work hard and never give up and break down every wall you come to.
Someone out there might be at the beginning of their fitness journey what would you tell them?
I know how it was at the start always wanting to give up feeling like you can’t do it. You can! Thankfully I had Unc to help drive me and show me just what I’m capable of!
How can people follow your training or reach out to you if they have questions?
They can follow me on Instagram @xmobystrong.