Fitness is a means to an end for gay Atlanta guy Jamie Gatlin. So the 37-year-old hits it hard at the gym to build that bulging body. But better yet, he uses fitness to build a healthier life.

But don't be fooled. The project manager isn't all gym, all the time. He enjoys his time outdoors, traveling and even some downtime with a good movie. We chatted with Gatlin to get him to share some of his keys to fitness success.

What got you so focused on fitness?

One word: change. The goal was to see what transformation could take place. A few years ago the focus became very intense in the gym and results started to show. There were times when frustration would set in but there was no choice but to push through. Learning and discovering what worked, how to transform my body and the nutrition aspect was key. I just recently received my personal training certification so I am ready to begin helping others with their lifestyle changes.

The diet: Bland with a purpose

My partner laughs all the time because I hear how "bland" I eat. Now, that is true to an extent, but I look at food different than many. Food is a source of energy and nutrition to help reach my goals and keep my metabolism high and healthy. Though food can taste good, it has its purpose. When you eat five to six times a day you just want to get it in quickly!

The workout: Burn, baby, burn

Strength training with both low intensity and high intensity workouts. High intensity is great because you move quickly, burn calories and don't have to do extra cardio for those workouts. I do more low intensity cardio to help burn fat calories, but also enjoy high-intensity interval training. HIIT is great because these sessions only last 20 minutes. In and out and you're done.

Biggest challenge: Avoid the blah

The biggest challenge is cardio and eating out. As mentioned earlier, pushing weight is awesome but the cardio end is blah for me so I have to constantly change it up or I get bored easily. Finding restaurants that serve healthy dishes can be quite difficult. Sure, there are restaurants out there but you do get tired of the same ones over and over. You have to allow yourself to splurge and enjoy from time to time. A cheat meal is one that you savor every bite.

Your motivation: Want it

Before you even start to hit the gym and change your eating habits you have to want it. I can sit here all day and tell you what foods to eat, why you should eat them, when and break you down in a serious workout. But all that doesn't matter if you don't want to see and feel change. In simplest terms, you need to work to have money, right? So you need to move, workout and eat healthy to stay healthy. You have to find what you enjoy doing. For beginners, just start moving and exercising. Learn along the way and always be open to new challenges, keep it fun and interesting.

Final fitness thoughts: Patience and perseverance

Shout out to my trainer, Carmella Cureton at Gravity Fitness. Stay encouraged, set realistic goals and be consistent. Change doesn't happen in an hour, it takes time. Don't just get on a cardio machine and get frustrated or stay bored, challenge yourself. If it's a personal trainer you need, then I'm here to help advise and motivate both nutritionally and in the gym.