Alan Stengel was an athlete growing up. So when he entered college at 245 pounds, he wasn’t really alarmed. But by the time he graduated he weighed 280 pounds.
After graduation, he moved back home and started to work for his church, doing production. “I was just working more and more and getting heavier and heavier,” he told us in an interview at Wodapalooza.
Then his dad, who had diabetes, passed away from lung disease.
Just six months later, his mother had a heart attack that required a bypass. But she was so out of shape that the doctors couldn’t perform one. “After that I thought, man I really need to re-evaluate my health here. This is serious,” he told us in an interview at Wodapalooza, where he was volunteering on the media team.
Alan had wanted to try CrossFit, but now at 320 pounds, he didn’t think he was fit enough. So he did it himself. “I cut out all starches, ate a ton of protein and vegetables, and read everything I could online.”
He lost 50 pounds on his own.
Then, in 2016 Alan was a groomsman in his friend’s wedding in Virginia. The groom wanted everyone to take a CrossFit class together at CrossFit Midlow. “I was crazy nervous, but excited. I had wanted to try it.”
A partner workout, Alan remembers that on the last round of box jumps, his partner got sick and went to the bathroom to puke. The rest of the class encouraged him just to finish the box jumps on his own. “I was the last one working on the floor, and the whole place was cheering me on. And I was just a stranger, I just dropped in,” Alan remembers.
Once Alan got home to Maryland, he dropped into a local box. “I quit my membership to the other gym right away,” he said. Now he trains at CrossFit 1214 in Middle River, MD and currently weighs in around 217 pounds, the lowest he can ever remember weighing.
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Transformation takes time. So many people become impatient/discouraged and quite because they “can’t see the results”. What I like in these photos is from week to week it is hard to see the results. However, when you put the 1st week photo next to the 6th week photo the results are more visible. Friends, I know it’s hard, but be patient with yourself, trust the work your putting in, and take photos and measurements to be the real measure of results. This photo shows 6 weeks of work and a 13lbs loss. #transformationtuesday #weightloss #beforeandafter #blackironnutrition #weightlossjourney #fitness #crossfit
CrossFit for the win.
Alan no longer worries about losing weight. But what he really hopes for is to continue to use his story to inspire people. “I looked to social media for accountability and for the community. When I posted that first photo, I was scared out of my mind. But once I did, it was real. I had to follow through now.”
Alan still documents his journey along the way, and he gets messages daily from people looking for support. “It’s really the community. I would never have been able to do this without CrossFit. I want to be able to give that back.”