Meet Eric Kardaras, an 18-year-old living proof that genetics can be overcome by dedication and persistence at any given age. Only one year ago, Eric was a 120-pound distance runner who was heavily addicted to gaming and didn’t care too much about fitness, nutrition and health in general. Then, he took control of his life and completely turned it around. Now he weighs 170 pounds, sports a well-defined, athletic body and aims to become a physical therapist or a personal trainer.
Eric’s inspiring transformation story begins with his life-consuming obsession with Clash of Clans. He used to spend a lot of his time and money on the strategy video game. But one day as he was watching some Clash of Clans videos, he stumbled upon the video of Max Chewning’s 10,000 Calorie Challenge and clicked it. Watching Max deadlift 500 pounds, he felt the urge to challenge himself to do something he always thought he couldn’t. Although he was never teased for his small frame and delicate composition nor pushed to change by anyone around him, he had already noticed long ago that his arms size equals the one of his female friends and now he finally decided to do something about it.
At first, was too embarrassed by his tiny frame and lack of knowledge to sign up for a gym. Feeling completely clueless, he took all of his questions to the internet and spent many hours watching YouTube videos in an attempt to educate himself about the basics of fitness and bodybuilding. At the same time, the teen set up a gym in his basement, where he could try things for the first time without anybody looking. “I had a couple twenty pound dumbbells and ten pound dumbbells and a makeshift bench in my basement. For the first three months I was honestly too scared to sign up for a gym. I thought people would judge me. But I still wanted to just get going and do something”, explains Eric. “So I did the same workout routine every single day. I think it was some dumbbell presses and curls every single day with some pushups. I don’t know how because I was doing the same routine every day, but I actually saw a lot of progress.”
Next came the diet. Until then, Eric’s diet was terrible and largely consisting of fried junk food and salty snacks. With relative ease, he eliminated all bad food choices and replaced them with whole, quality food. And after three months of working out in his basement he finally mustered the courage to join a local gym, where he was one of the youngest members. Surprisingly for him, nobody judged him or joked at his routine – in fact, he felt equal and accepted. As time went by and his progress increased, he truly fell in love with his new lifestyle, especially weightlifting. “It’s done things for me that I wouldn’t have imagined. My self-confidence has been boosted immensely, I look better, I feel better and I’m able to help my friends out”, he says with obvious pride. Eric got accepted to Rutgers University to major in Exercise Science and he’s very excited about his future. Now that he discovered fitness and exercise as his main passions, he feels like he has a clear purpose in life and would like to help inspire others to take better care of their health and fitness. “Honestly, the thing that I’ve come to realize is that you have to stop caring what other people think of you. That’s what held me back and that’s what holds a lot of people back. I see it in my school every day. People will congratulate me on my hard work but then say they’re too fat or too skinny or too embarrassed to do the same thing. I say the same thing to every one of them you just need to start”, adds Eric.
Check out the video of Eric’s epic transformation below:
Every new beginning is scary and full of uncertainties, but as long as you stick to your goal and don’t let early fails disappoint you, results will follow. According to Eric’s clever conclusion, undergoing a successful transformation is 33% willpower, 33% body conditioning and 33% nutrition. And every drop of sweat you’ll excrete during your hardest moments at the gym is absolutely worth it. So take this 18-year-old weightlifter’s advice and begin the road to a better, stronger and healthier you!