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Mike Weleski’s body couldn’t keep up with his busy life when he decided to make some big changes in 2019. With his career as a municipal police officer, his family, and a budding woodworking business, his stress levels were at an all-time high—and so was his weight. He tried crash diets and exercise in the past, losing 20 or 30 pounds at a time, but he knew that he needed to come up with a serious regimen to truly transform his lifestyle.
Finally, Weleski evaluated his habits and made a plan. He was always strong and athletic despite his size and weight, but it was his approach to dieting that held him back for so long. Like many who diet to hit a goal weight, he would celebrate once he achieved it, typically by overindulging and taking breaks from the gym. But at the beginning of 2019, he set a lofty goal: lose 70 pounds by August. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution, but a decision he made with his long-term health in mind.
Weleski crushed his goals and then some. In less than six months, he lost 75 pounds. What’s more, he lost a total of 100 pounds by mid-December 2019. He credits consistency and changing his views on diet with the remarkable transformation he made.
“From the very start, I knew I had to fundamentally alter how I thought about and approached food,” Weleski wrote in a letter to Performance Inspired Nutrition, the supplement company he leaned on throughout his journey. “I needed to eat to live, not live to eat. I decided to steer clear of what I saw as fad diets and over-restrictive methods that would require me to exclude certain food groups.” Instead, he focused on being in a constant calorie deficit.
Another major change that helped Weleski along the way was tracking his nutrition, which led to a better understanding of macronutrients.
“I encourage anyone seeking to make a change in their fitness to put a calorie tracker on their phone and honestly evaluate what you’re eating,” he wrote. “It definitely changed how I looked at food. No longer do I look at foods as either good or bad, but I realize that some foods are less nutritious than others.”
After the first few months, going to the gym before work became a habit for Weleski thanks to his police department’s gym. He admits it was a challenge to hit the gym before every shift at first, but he was determined to make it happen. And it didn’t hurt that his department was also on board with Performance Inspired’s Police FIT Program, which involved voluntary fitness testing for officers. Positive results on the test encouraged Weleski to stay on track.
“I was blessed that my police department had partnered with Performance Inspired when they created our voluntary Police FIT Program several years before,” Weleski wrote. “So, from the beginning, I used top-grade products from PI that supported my fitness goals.” From pre-workouts to protein shakes, creatine, and even vitamins, he relied on the natural supplement brand to fuel his busy routine.
Now at a new phase in his journey, Weleski sees his progress as shifting gears, not crossing the finish line. That mentality keeps him grounded and prevents him from falling back into the old habit of splurging once his goals are met. He credits hard work, determination, a solid supplement stack, and consistency in the gym and the kitchen as the keys to his success.
From the start of his final transformation, Weleski documented his progress on Instagram (@bulldog_defined). Regularly updating the account and posting progress photos kept him motivated over the course of his own transformation, and now he hopes it’ll inspire others.
“Not only am I able to look back at where I’ve come from, but I am able to connect with others,” he wrote. “Most of all I hope to reach, encourage, and inspire people to get up, get moving, and get fit.”