My name is Lenny and I wanted to take a moment to share with you how I became involved in health and fitness. I grew up in a lifestyle that did not value health and fitness at all. I was never taught or encouraged to eat healthy or to be active. I was always the “fat kid” in class and by the time I graduated high school, I weighed three-hundred and fifteen pounds and had a fifty-four inch waist. I started shopping out of catalogues at the age of twelve because I could no longer fit into the clothes at department stores. I learned at a very young age to take comfort in and find enjoyment through eating. Even though my parents didn’t teach me to be healthy, they did teach me to be kind, compassionate and caring. I found that helping people with their problems brought a great sense of accomplishment to my life and I decided to become a registered nurse, not only to help other people, but to also learn how to help myself. It didn’t take long for the stress and frustration of work to take its toll, and for alcohol to become my coping mechanism. My lifestyle consisted of going to work, going out to drink with co-workers; passing-out and then waking up to do it all over again. My health, marriage and life were all spinning out of control until one night when I hit rock bottom. In that moment, I knew something drastically needed to change. I stumbled across health coaching and immediately knew that I had found the answer. Over the next two years I slowly made little changes in my diet and activity level. Over time, these small changes accumulated, and ultimately produced the long term goal I had wanted. An active healthy lifestyle that was not dependent on finding happiness through food or alcohol. Today, I am in the maintenance phase of my journey and yes, I am still tempted on a daily basis. The journey has been long and very difficult at times and no, I have not been perfect throughout. I still stumble and have my “cheat” days when I need them. The difference now, is how and where I cheat and how I respond to those times I may stumble and fall. I hope that I have given you some hope that life lasting change can happen, if you follow the right steps. I am not some muscle head that is going to get you injured instead of getting results. I have been down that road before, and having to take three months off from working out to rehab a shoulder injury was the biggest and most difficult event that happened to me while trying to change my life. Slow and steady wins the race, period! Small, simple changes that you can live with are the key. If you try to change too fast or take on too much at one time, you will fail, become discouraged, and revert back to the behaviors that you are trying to change, that is human nature! The good news is the more you fail, the closer you are to success. I have been where you are, I have walked in your shoes, I know the commitment it takes to produce life lasting change. You can fail many times along the way, but you are not a failure until you give up.