Jason's Personal Story
Hey Everyone it’s Jason here, cofounder of HeatUps. I wanted to share a bit of my personal backstory through weight-loss, fitness and how we got where we are today.
My entire life I have struggled with self image, weight fluctuations and over all not feeling good about who I am. For me personally, it began in the later stages of childhood and carried on into adulthood. My relationship with food was never that great and I realized I used food to comfort me during times of stress, depression or even in social settings as my social anxiety was always high.
When I became a dad my eating habits became more acceptable to me because I felt I could use the excuse that I just eat whatever the kids eat. Looking back on that now, I can see how that mentality was not only hurtful to me but for my kids as well.
Fast forward to 2017, I had a huge wake up call. I was at my heaviest ( pushing 300 lbs ) and had a regular checkup with my doctor. I want to point out that at this point in my life, I was suffering with severe anxiety which actually caused me to visit the emergency room multiple times. When these attacks would happen I thought I was having a heart attack, a stroke or that I was simply about to die, I was terrified.
I had a regular checkup with our family doctor who we have been seeing since we were kids, she even delivered our two youngest children. I remember her taking my blood pressure, looking at me and saying If I don’t make a change soon a major cardiovascular event would most certainly be in my near future. At this point my blood pressure was almost consistently averaging 150/110 and that was at my calmest. I refused to take medication but always promised in the past I would make changes. Here’s where it hit home, her telling me if I wanted to see my youngest walk down the aisle I had better do something now.
I’m not perfect and most certainly not the perfect dad, but in my kids eyes I could do no wrong. If I wasn’t there for major milestones due to my own negligence to my health, well, I couldn’t even imagine what that would do to them. The time to make a change is now and I knew it. That night I went home and Amy and I started researching ways to eat healthier, this is when we discovered meal prepping. Not only did it seem like the best way to portion and control what we had available to us to eat but it also made life easy.
In 2017 we still owned our carpet cleaning business, Intersteam which we started in 2015. Being self employed we had little to no extra time to spend on meal prepping but we made it work. In the first 3 months I was able to loose 30 lbs and I felt great! At this three month mark I had another checkup with our doctor and I was very excited for this one so she could see my progress and the promise I kept. She took one look at me and was shocked! 30 lbs made a huge difference in my appearance but that wasn’t even the best part. My blood pressure had returned to normal with no medication and at this time we weren’t even working out. My diet alone almost immediately started making a positive impact on my cardiovascular health and my anxiety had also started to take a backseat. Little did I know the domino effect my eating habits had caused, my high blood pressure lead to the constant feeling of anxiety which lead to a poor quality of life at the time.
Now it was time to start tightening up! My diet was on point but I wanted to take it further. We started a gym membership with Trufit, at the time it was Aerofit for those of you who may be familiar. It was the most intimidating thing ever, not knowing how to use the machines and being afraid I would look “weak” compared to everyone else. Let me tell you, when people say no one is paying attention to you, it’s so true! I especially see that now being a regular at the gym and in the best shape of my life.
In 2018 our friends and family really started to notice our progress. They began asking us to meal prep for them, we were obliged! It turned into a weekly side gig that we were so passionate about. We wanted to take our passion to the next level! Towards the end of 2019 we listed our carpet cleaning business for sale and closed the deal in December. This was all in preparation for what was to come!
Regardless of what the next two years would bring despite the pandemic, we would eventually come out victorious. This was thanks to some really awesome people we had in our corner and our greatest preponderant, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know not all of our followers or customers are religious people but in our household, our faith in God and having that solid foundation to stand on when all else seemed to be destroyed kept us going during our toughest times.
We have most certainly had our share of ups and downs and still fluctuate but learning how to become disciplined has taught us not to always give in but most importantly, never to beat ourselves up when we do. We all stumble, but what’s important is that we continue on the path that’s been set ahead. I always remind myself that getting healthy was not only for me but also for everyone around that loves me and needs me here, that’s my motivation.
The story continues and we are excited to see where it takes us next. We are thankful and grateful to everyone who has continued to support us, our passion and our dream.