We are Shannon & Rob Yontz
“Great things never come from comfort zones”
At the age of 26, I became the youngest Director of Catering for a luxury hotel chain and had the honor of opening up their newest flagship hotel in Coronado, San Diego. About 9 months into the pre-opening I started getting pains running down my left arm it scared me so much so that I ended up in the Cardiologist office.
After going through the stress test along with a battery of other exams the diagnosis was that I was under an extreme amount of stress and I needed to immediately change my lifestyle unless I wanted to end up in the hospital.
What do you mean stress? It's what I eat for breakfast!!!
At first I didn't want to believe that it was stress but the symptoms don't lie. I could never get a good night sleep because I couldn't shut my brain off, my eyes had a constant twitch, and the palm of my hands even peeled several times!
Add to it, I was also about 50+ pounds overweight and my size 14 pants were getting extremely tight. I was working 14 to 16 hour days, ate poorly. never exercised, and while I was very successful professionally, it was become crystal clear that I was falling apart physically and emotionally.
I decided this wasn’t how I wanted to live or die for that matter!
I slowly starting to move my body, not much in the beginning, but I worked in daily walks and eventually hired a personal trainer and began strength training. I overhauled my nutrition and started to eat regular small meals, I shortened my work days, and started getting sleep.
Now this didn't happen all at once, I made small habit changes and little by little improved he quality of my life.
This was my wake up call and I am forever grateful for it.
Like most people, I never really thought about “stress” or “resilience” for most of my life. Nor did I really connect my current, or future, health to those things. Heck, before I was 35 I didn’t even think about that stuff. I mean, really, I was “young” and “able” and that is just part of life, right? In these aspects, and many others honestly, I operated on autopilot.
Unfortunately, these behaviors and beliefs create fundamental lifestyle habits which are hard to break and set up a flawed and, if not changed, very unhealthy physical condition and mindset.
Well even though I was supposedly pretty intelligent, I didn’t know what I didn’t know and consequently, I wasn’t open to hearing about it even if I had the chance of someone trying. I mean really, no one talks about this stuff. No one teaches us about it or its effects on our physical and mental self. When I was growing up, for a guy to talk about stress affecting you, your health, and needing a rest, was taboo… it meant that you are weak, soft, cant “man-up”.
I was taught that when (not if) you get knocked down, you suck it up, you get back up, you keep going and keep trying, period. Well, stress wears on your mental and physical health like the Colorado River wears on the ground in Arizona… you’ve heard of the Grand Canyon, right? It is a slow, eroding process that eventually wears you down and breaks you if you do not redirect it.
Fortunately for me, I learned how to direct and handle my stresses in time despite being taught and trained for years to take it on and continue to take action no matter what <the consequence to my health>. I learned my ways through 12 years of multi-sport competition, 16 years of academics, 6 years active duty military, and 10+ years of a quickly advancing professional corporate career in the petroleum and aluminum industries.
It all came crashing in on me in my late thirties. In prior years I had worked through many “opportunities” to handle and recover heavy stress loads. But in a period of a little more than 5 years I lived through a 6.7 earthquake, got married and was instantly stepdad to 2 young kids, bought a house, remodeled the house, had a daughter, my position at work phased out, found a position in another industry, sold my house, moved across country (with step family= HUGE legal issue!), bought a new home, started a new job, got divorced, lived as a single parent, had my position at the new company phased out, sold my house, found a new job in a new industry and moved back across country, started new job, lived as single parent.
Did you catch all that?
My potential breaking point was my separation and divorce. It could have gone either way. At this point I was very overweight (5’11’ and 230 pounds), hardly sleeping, distracted, no appetite, my pride and confidence had been stripped away.
In order to survive, I decided to control what I had control over, my thoughts and my actions. All I could do to save my identity was to be my true authentic self; that is ALL I control. I decided to act in a way that prioritized my daughter; I did whatever it took to be friendly during the separation, for the time being I cut out all alcohol, I got active and exercised every day, I ate better, I focused on time with my daughter, and I focused on my mental health by reading self-help and improvement books and going to counseling.
We are published authors!
We teamed up to put together a wonderful partner workout for Women's Health! It was published in the July/August 2011 edition.
In 2012 we joined a select group of the world’s leading health and fitness entrepreneurs to co-author a book titled, Results Fitness. Our goal along with other fit pro's has been to Change The Way Fitness Is Done! In our eternal quest for good health and fitness, we often wish for a magic potion or pill to make us fit and keep us in good health forever, but the magic pill doesn't exist.
Our chapter is titled: Mind Matters: The 10 Mental Keys to Finally achieve and Keep The Body you always Wanted.
We were really excited to see the book climb to the #1 selling slot on Amazon!
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