Salem Chiropractor Guy Smith, 50, believed he had lost his credibility to instruct his patients in health care when he allowed his body to get out of shape.
In June 2001 he did an honest assessment of his physical appearance and realized he was overweight and out of shape. Smith said he used his age as an excuse for poor health until he had the opportunity to read stories and see pictures of ordinary people who had made physical and life changes after completing an international body transformation contest.
Becoming convinced that age is not a barrier, he entered the 2001 MaxFormation Quest in July. This became his motivation to regain his health and have control back in his life.
In July he began a 12-week program of weight training and cardiovascular exercises which included running three laps about five times per week in the Salem City Park. He limits his exercise to 45 minutes a day. He said the park is scenic, which was a great help to his emotions.
He altered his regular diet by adjusting it to include low carbohydrates, high protein, and moderate fat for three days. On the fourth day, his diet would include a high carbohydrate intake, low protein and moderate fat. He eats seven times a day which includes supplements from the program. He drinks one gallon of water a day and keeps protein in his system to give his body fuel, he said.
Through maintenance and hard work his body fat decreased from 16 percent to 6 percent.
On Jan. 9 he was notified by MaxFormation that he was selected as a January 2002 MaxFormation Fitness Quest Class Winner. He is now eligible as a finalist for the grand prize of $150,000 to be awarded in a few months.
He said he is pleased with his achievement and wants to use his accomplishments to assist others. He added that now he is living proof that unless an individual is in a coffin, it is never too late to begin a health improvement program.
He explained the Arkansas Department of Health noted in 1998 that Arkansas ranked 19th in the nation in percentage of overweight people. He also said it has been noted that if the trend continues, obesity will soon overtake smoking as the number one preventable killer.
Smith hopes his story of success to become healthy will serve as encouragement to others to take control of their lives and become healthy.
He said that anyone who participates in the program is a winner because it's a way to become healthier. He said his family was supportive of his goal and his wife is also in the program.
His advice is to start moving and get off the couch. "Activity is the fountain of youth," he claims. He said he would like to encourage everyone who desires better health to enter the fitness quest and use it to achieve better health, maybe even the best health ever.