Building confidence is what Kevin DeLoach does, one rep and burpee blast at a time. So we asked this muscled gay Atlanta man to share his fitness secrets.
Sure, DeLoach enjoys his cuddle time on the couch and looks forward to his cheat meal of the week. Even a cocktail.
"I enjoy weekend trips to the beach where I love to wake up to the roar of the ocean, going for a run on the beach, then spending the rest of my day poolside, just sitting and soaking up the sun while drinking a ridiculously fattening cocktail. It's worth every calorie," DeLoach says.
But when it's time to hit the gym, this 42-year-old Brookhaven guy gets serious. Not just for his own workouts, but for his business: DeLoach owns Fit Studio, a personal training facility in Midtown. So when it comes to fitness and building a healthier you, he knows his craft and enjoys seeing the results of his fitness passion.
"While owning my own business can be stressful, the best part of my job is how I get to help people build confidence within themselves, then watch how that confidence changes them for the better in every area of their lives," DeLoach says.
What got you so focused on fitness?
To be honest I have never loved working out. Trust me, I feel better about myself because I do, but I am not the guy who loves to go to the gym. What got me so focused on fitness was a roommate in college who was morbidly obese. I saw the pain and struggle she experienced on a daily basis and I wanted to help her feel better about herself. So, I first started going to the gym in an effort to help her. In the process, I saw what being healthy did for me as well.
The diet: Dedication with a cheat
Like everyone, diet is my biggest struggle. I often joke that I can just look at a piece of cake and gain 5 pounds. Comfort foods are my weakness, and I mean all of them! Although I had to accept that I gain weight easily, and when I eat those comfort foods that I love so much, the taste is great and it even feels great in the short term, but what happens every time is I start making poor choices. Then I find myself making poor choices most meals. Then 20 pounds later I am sitting on the couch stuffing my face with even more food because I have lost control over making the right food choices. For me, the Whole 30 plan works best. It helps me determine how my body reacts to certain food groups. What I've learned is my body does not react well to grains and processed sugar. So, I stay away from them the best I can.
Also, restaurant menus are a setup for disaster for me. To counter balance this "setup," I plan what I am going to eat before I arrive and never open the menu while I am there. At home, routine is key. I usually eat the same meal 3-4 times per week, which consist of half all-white chicken with a plain baked sweet potato and a small salad with Balsamic dressing. Then, once a week I allow myself to eat anything I want. Like I mentioned before, it's always some form of comfort food -- homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes or pizza and ice cream). If I deny myself those foods completely, I will only crave them even more.
The workout: Burpee blasts
Normally I work out 4-5 days per week, and I never spend more than 45 minutes at the gym. My goal is to do the work needed in the least amount of time. A long time ago I learned that if I do cardio blasts (burpees, jumping lunges, jump rope, etc.) between my reps then I get my cardio burn during my muscle training, so I do not have to go near the treadmills or elliptical, which bore the hell out of me. Also, I practice what I preach! Two to maybe three times a week I see my own personal trainer, Henrietta Stephenson. I firmly believe that having someone push me outside my comfort zone, which is what I do for my clients, is when I reach my goals and see the most gains.
Biggest challenge: Don't be a Body Nazi
I want to say diet because that's the comfortable answer for me. But to be completely open, my biggest challenge is not getting caught up in my outward appearance. It is a tricky thing being a personal trainer, my body has to look good. It is part of my job. However, if I am not careful I can let how I look on the outside begin to define who I am on the inside, and when that happens I am no longer living an authentic life. I strive to work just as hard on my inner self as I do the outer self, so I can truly connect with others.
Final thoughts: Embrace your body
The only other thought is to encourage everyone to embrace the body they have been given. I meet so many clients who have wasted their lives chasing an unrealistic image of what they want to look like. For example, if you have a wide rib cage, and naturally wide shoulders, then stop coveting the swimmers build. Start working on building thick solid muscle for your frame. If you are the naturally thin runner then stop wanting to be the big muscle guy at the gym. Embrace your body, your self and what you were born with, then focus on getting fit and developing your body to be it's personal best. Accepting the body type you have, will make you happier inside, and you will get you better results on the outside.
Photos courtesy Philip Bonneau