It’s easy to remember who you used to be. That 20-plus pounds lighter, active individual who used to fit into those smaller sized jeans and be able to button that collared shirt. But then something happened.
Maybe it was a new job or moving to a new city or grad school, or maybe it was coping with a loss or an accident or an injury. And suddenly your life changed: You stopped playing sports, the activities slowed down until eventually you weren’t doing much at all, and the weight started coming on. Before you knew it, your favorite clothes stopped fitting and your reflection started to change. But it’s been years now and while that person in the mirror is familiar, it’s not you. Going to the gym feels embarrassing because you’re so far from where you used to be. So what do you do? How do you start over again? The answer: with a program called True Beginner.
Will Clifton: A True Beginner
A Life of Service
Will Clifton joined the Air Force when he was 17 years old. He was used to being active, whether it was wrestling as a kid, or trying Tai Kwon Do in his teens. While he never had a consistent workout routine, he also grew up playing golf (he is a scratch golfer at his home club), and always enjoyed a good hike. But he also enjoyed eating.
In 1992, Will left the Air Force and joined the Marine Corps at the age of 23. And while he wasn’t in bad shape, he was packing on a few extra pounds. “When I shipped to bootcamp I weighed 203 pounds and was told I had to drop eight pounds,” he remembers. “I went to the physical conditioning platoon [PCP] and dropped it quick — I lost a ton of weight.” Will got down to 179 pounds and with more training started putting on bulk until he was a solid 195 pounds of almost all muscle. “I was in the best shape of my life,” he says.
He was also the life of the party. In January of 1995 when Will was 25, his buddies talked him into going to a comedy club in La Jolla, California and getting on stage. “I put together three minutes of horrible jokes, but the adrenaline rush was awesome,” says Will. He started doing more shows on base and traveling back up to California, particularly LA, to spend more time on stage.
A New Career
Will eventually decided he wanted to go even bigger with his comedy routine. In 2002, after he’d joined the Army, he called up a comedy club in West Virginia and managed to land himself a gig. The act was a hit and Will realized he could make a career of it, which was good because he continued to put on pounds.
In his new life as a comic on the road, his routine became to hit Denny’s or a drive-through on the way home from a show, get to bed by 3:00 a.m., wake up at 6 a.m. and drink a pot of coffee to do radio shows. He’d eat a big breakfast, then go back to sleep for a few hours before waking up to prep for the nightly performance. “I was about 220 pounds at this point,” says Will. “I couldn’t make weight anymore for the Army.” So he dropped out and pursued comedy full-time.
A Life-Changing Tragedy
On May 16, 2011, while his wife and kids were safe at home, Will’s life was turned upside down. He got into a horrible automobile accident — a woman T-boned his car so hard that she sent it spinning. Will was rushed to the hospital but because of the nerve damage done to his spine, the doctors said there wasn’t much they could do. At 40 years old, he was told he was paralyzed. “I was rolled out to my car and instant devastation and depression set in,” he remembers. “I basically saw my life go downhill at that moment.” How could he be a comedian in a wheel chair? He had on a neck brace, was on painkillers and couldn’t even bathe himself. So Will planted himself in front of the TV and ate and ate and ate until he topped the scales at 318 pounds.
Luckily, Will’s wife had not given up hope. With two daughters who needed to be walked down the aisle by their father later in their lives, she began to look for a new neurosurgeon willing to meet her husband. “Dr. Leary told me nothing that had happened to me was permanent,” says Will. “He said he could scrape off the bone that was falling off my spine, replace the C3, C4 and C5 bones, repair the rotator cuff in my right shoulder, put a titanium cup in my throat and lower back to protect my spine.” After a long surgery that December, followed by rigorous physical therapy, by July 2012 — just seven months post-surgery — Will began to get the feeling back in his legs and was eventually walking again. “They were saying it was a miracle,” he says.
Getting Back to Basics
Now that he'd been walking again for about a year, Will knew it was time for him to do something about his weight. He came across a casting call to be a part of a fitness video series for people who were starting out with exercise, or starting over. Will knew this program was just what he needed. He landed the role, along with seven others, and began his weight loss journey the following week. The program, now available to anyone struggling to get started, is DailyBurn True Beginner.
Home Workouts with DailyBurn True Beginner
If you’re trying to take the first steps into exercise or are ready to finally push past an injury or obstacle that’s been holding you back, True Beginner is the program for you. The goal is to jump-start your weight loss and ease back into fitness, focusing on strength, stamina and stability over four weeks.
“It’s amazing to me the strength and balance I’ve gained from doing DailyBurn True Beginner,” says Will. “It’s been eight months and I’m already down to 239 pounds — I lost 30 pounds!” And he’s not alone.
Thanks to the personalized approach that DailyBurn trainer Justin Rubin takes with True Beginner, each participant is encouraged to make progress at their own pace, without ever feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable. And while you may have given up on programs in the past, expect this time to be different. “Justin is so motivating and actually cares about us and notices our changes even when the cameras aren’t rolling,” says Will. “When I started doing True Beginner I had to use a chair to modify every move. Now it’s nice to have the chair, but I don’t need it. I can do push-ups and sit-ups and my strength is back.”
If you’re tired of hiding behind your weight or the fear of failure, give True Beginner a try. All of the exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home or on-the-go if you’re traveling. And with Justin, Will, Sharon, and others just like you, it’s a program you can do on your own — without feeling like you’re alone.
“Everybody has a starting point and I’m that,” says Will. “I’m the runner’s gun and while I’m not at the finish line yet, I’m a quarter of the way around the track and I’m coming at you in the lead.”
To get started with True Beginner, head to DailyBurn.com/TrueBeginner to sign up today, free for 30 days.
Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. For those seeking to lose weight, keep in mind that extreme weight loss can be harmful to your health if done improperly or too suddenly. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program. DailyBurn users who do five or more 30-minute workouts weekly for 60 to 90 consecutive days report an average weight loss of about one pound per week.
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