Hunt For a Lifetime and More
by Jeremy Koerber, Fit2Hunt
One of our most underused mottos at Fit To Hunt is “We can help you prepare for the hunt of a lifetime or just hunt for a lifetime.” It signifies the concept that this is a lifestyle; both in the outdoors and with what you do in your daily life. Better yet, how you do what you do in your daily life. Nothing slaps an exclamation point on this concept any better than the story I am about to tell you and no matter where you are reading this today, it is proof that a strong why, a sustainable system and the right support can help you move mountains.
Early in the year I sat down and recorded an episode with The O2 Podcast (you can listen to the full episode here). That is where I met Paul Campbell, co-host of the show and development director for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). The whole point of the episode was to dive into Fit To Hunt and how we help outdoorsmen and women improve health and performance in the field, but I could tell we were striking a cord with Paul. The man plays many roles, has a stressful job and knew something needed to be done to improve his health. He just didn’t know exactly what or how until this conversation.
“10 years ago I was a smoker. I smoked over a pack a day and I knew that what I was doing was killing me” Campbell stated. “My bright idea was I was going to stop smoking and take up chewing tobacco because that made sense right?” Campbell made the switch and at one point, went through three cans of smokeless tobacco per day. “At the time I was a golf course superintendant and super stressed.” The pressure from his job and his level of unhappiness led him to use tobacco as way to cope with life but after some soul searching and watching his father pass away of a heart attack at age 54, Campbell saw the writing on the wall. “My dad had an initial heart surgery at 44 but never did the things necessary to get healthy even though his body was screaming at him to stop doing the things that ultimately led to his heart attack.”
18 months ago during the 2020 turkey season, Campbell decided he had enough of his lifestyle and needed to make a change. “My best friend Kenny had recently had gastric bypass. Kenny was 5’8 and 395lbs prior to the procedure, and for a decade I ran circles around him in the woods. I was the one who had to stop and wait for him but now the roles had been instantaneously reversed!” At this point, like many, Campbell started thinking through the process of a lifestyle change. “It took about a year and I was fighting myself mentally. I told myself to stop eating ice cream seven days a week, stop drinking pop, stop drinking eight beers on the weekend. I knew I was doing these things and it isn’t necessarily wrong but is also isn’t right. You know what you are doing to yourself and that you shouldn’t be doing it.”
Campbell struggled mentally for another year. “Now we are at turkey season 2021 and I am at MAX weight. I floated between 317 and 320 pounds. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was constantly tired. None of my clothes fit. In 2020 I had bought a pair of Ol’ Tom pants size 38 waist. In 2021, I had put on so much weight I could not zip them.” Post-turkey season Campbell did what a lot of people do. He went extreme with his diet.
“I did a very intense Keto diet and lost a ton of weight but I realized quickly, it was not sustainable. I failed at the lifestyle change and re-gained the weight.” Campbell was doing well. He had dropped 25 pounds and was working out regularly but then school started, the pressures of the job mounted and he found himself right back where he started. “I don’t want to make excuses but I was not able to handle all of the outside things that were creating barriers to eating healthy and working out.”
As Campbell reflected, he hit a key component of the Fit To Hunt program. “Looking back, I tried to do everything at one time vs. a few things really well.” On the night we recorded the podcast, Campbell purchased two Fit To Hunt D.I.Y. programs; The Strutter that is designed to focus on muscles used in the turkey woods and Base Conditioning, a program that helps build base levels of fitness. Since then, he has gone from a peak of 315 pounds down to 270 pounds. Better yet, he is continuing to lose weight because he is following a process.
“This time around, being mindful of the sugar I consume is my number one thing” Campbell stated. “Like the day I quit chewing tobacco, I made sugar my enemy.” Campbell continued, “Sugar should be a treat. A rare thing you enjoy once in a while. Not seven days a week. It should be something that I enjoy when I eat it and not just shove a half quart of ice cream down my throat.” As a coach, this statement was incredibly important because it showed Campbell was incorporating the 85% Rule which simply stated means you make healthy food choices the majority of the time allowing for your favorite treats once in a while. It is about moderation, not deprivation and once a person has that kind of power, losing weight and keeping it off becomes sustainable.
“Yesterday I picked my daughter up from school. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and we went for ice cream. Instead of getting the largest sundae I could get, I ordered the small and savored the entire thing. It was the first ice cream I had had since Christmas and it was delicious!”
“My mindset has also changed. I keep processed foods out of my diet. I love strawberries, blueberries and kiwi. I still enjoy delicious things but I keep them in moderation. There is no reason to be a slob about it” Campbell stated. “I check my weight daily and am losing about a pound a week. In a year, that is 52 total pounds and I feel I have galvanized my mindset in combination with a sustainable system of eating healthy and working out to accomplish this goal.”
There is one more thing Campbell has noticed. His performance this spring in the turkey woods has improved dramatically. “Earlier this spring I set up on a bird and had to make a quick move. In the past I would have to rock back and forth to get up but now, I just popped up and moved to the next location. The exercises in The Stutter program, while weird at first, really do help me perform better in the woods and I love it! This was a monumental occasion for me!”
Two days ago, Campbell bought a size 36 because the Ol’ Tom pants that at one time did not fit were now baggy! “Every time I step on the scale, it is always going down. It may only be 3/10th of a pound but it is going in the right direction.”
If you are sitting there today trying to figure out your next move, check out our menu of D.I.Y. programs at www.stayfittohunt.com. You can also use code: GoWild10 to get 10% off every program!
Questions? Message us at email@example.com or shoot us a DM through the GoWild app! We would love to connect with you in your journey to get and stay #FitToHunt!