I think what makes Rebel mean so much to me is that it has healed so many wounds created throughout my life. It all started when I was 7 and wanted to be like my dad, who said he was 100 pounds by the age of 7 (mind you he had no clue hahah). So I made an active effort to gain weight and hit that 100 pound mark.Ecstatic at first, I soon realized that it wasn't what I thought it would be. Turns out kids are ruthless and I had been bullied about my weight for most of my life before college. Tubby, fatty, big boy, all those names stuck with me and damaged my self-esteem to the point that I struggle with it to this very day. Ever since that point, I have dealt with extreme yo-yo dieting and extreme body dysmorphia. Even after playing 4 sports in high school, I couldn't get past hating my body and always trying to "fix" it. The struggle continued in college with the Freshman 15, yo-yo dieting to try and get healthy again. It felt that I would only eat healthy and lose weight to "fix" myself even when I went into a major that educated me on the matter. Unfortunately, I created a toxic success through the use of extreme calorie cutting and basketball. Even with all of that success though, I couldn't shake the self-loathing and thinking of myself as fat.
Fast forward to the pandemic. Everything shut down so my one way to be active (basketball) wasn't an option and my unhealthy relationship with food reared its ugly head. I probably gained roughly 40-50 pounds over a 5 month period, had barely been exercising and frankly used the pandemic closing basketball as my excuse not to exercise. To say the least, it was one of the lowest moments of my life where I physically was in a horrible place while emotionally and mentally broken with all of the hate pointed towards my body. I could barely look at myself in the mirror, feeling sad when I did do so.
Then one day about a year ago, a fellow graduate student posted an ad on Facebook for Rebel Fitness/Title Boxing and decided to give it a go. That is the day my life changed for the better. Physically I thrived, crushing every fitness goal and challenge group, and was able to lose 50 pounds and roughly 20% body fat (250 lbs to 200 lbs). Sadly, even at that my physical peak, I felt that I was still fat and "wasn't doing enough". Then Rebel worked its magic. Slowly I became more and more comfortable with my body, not in a constant state of "fix" and working out to enjoy myself. I fixed my eating style and I am able to eat in an enjoyable way while still maintaining my health. The secret sauce wasn't any magic pill, or super special workout groups (even though their challenge groups gave insane results!!) but a CULTURE that was supportive and full of endless fun. They helped teach me to love my body and to listen to my body. For YEARS, I couldn't look myself in the mirror because I was so disgusted with myself and only saw fat Isiah. And although I still have to undo a lot of damage from that ruthless bullying, I have gotten to a point where I don't despise taking that shirt off, even when changing by myself.
This battle with body dysmorphia is something I am proud of because it is something not only harms girls, but guys as well. I bring it up because it shows that no matter who you are and how much you self-loathe over your body, Rebel will help with that healing process. I will forever be thankful for everything Rebel Fitness has done for me and for allowing me to change my LIFESTYLE with its caring, loving culture. If you want to get rid of fad/yo-yo dieting, workout because you love it and become comfortable with your body, I GUARANTEE joining the Rebel Fitness family is for you.