Ben Sweeney is a man with a lofty goal, he wants to be a fitness trainer on the long-running NBC reality series, The Biggest Loser. As a personal fitness coach in New York City, Ben works with clients every day, motivating and helping them achieve their weight loss goals. However, not long ago there was a time when he was the one who needed coaching.
When Ben started college, he was a busy athlete. He knew what he had to eat to stay energized, particularly for the calorie-burn that comes with playing college baseball. Unfortunately, when his time on the field was over, he continued to eat like he was training for the next game. He also tried to tell himself that he could eat anything he wanted because he was trying to put on muscle, even though he stopped going to the gym and lifting weights.
By the time he graduated, Ben knew he had put on a few additional pounds but his close friends, including his girlfriend, hinted not-so-casually that he didn’t look the way he used to and even remarked, “You’ve let yourself go.” He could no longer deny his poor eating habits and total lack of exercise were taking a toll. Even he missed the old Ben, so he dusted off his college degree in Exercise Science. “I knew I had the tools, I just needed to implement them,” he said. “I then wrote out a diet and exercise plan for myself and followed it to a T.”
To get back on track, Ben cut out sugar, fat and junk food from his diet. He started eating meals that contained mostly lean meats and vegetables, even reserving fruit to a maximum of only two servings per day. He also changed the way he ate, commenting, ” I made sure that my meals were bigger in the morning and smaller in the evening so I could burn off all the calories I needed throughout the day.” With his eating plan mapped out, Ben knew it was time to get back to a familiar place, the gym.
Ben admits one of his biggest struggles was conquering his sweet tooth. “Once I found a protein shake that was healthy for my diet, and tasted good, it made things easier,” he explained. “I also made a snack with celery, almond butter, and 3 chocolate chips.” His biggest triumph was when he started to see definition return to his body. He credits his family and friends for the early wakeup call about his weight gain. Their brutal honesty, and willingness to encourage him in his weight loss, made all the difference in his mindset.
He wants other people who are struggling with their own journey to be as uplifted as he was, which is why he’s so passionate about being a personal fitness trainer. “I love using my knowledge and experience to help others reach their goals the same way I did.”