Father, first in family: ERIC HILLARD
First In means accountability, self respect, discipline and dedication. Its not about the tee shirts or the cool activities that we go to. It’s about freedom... and this freedom comes from how accountable you are to your plan, which in turn leads to you learning self-respect and forging discipline from your dedication to your self.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My names Eric, I’m from Vero Beach FL, and I work for a local engineering firm for the past 6 years so basically a desk jockey.
I’ve been a sports player all my life baseball, football, soccer and so forth. I played college football also for 2 years.
Now I have a wife to be and two kids along with a dog.
What brought you to the First In Family initially?
I was at a crossroad with my food and fitness; I was stressed out and tired of gimmick yo-yo dieting and weightlifting advice from my barber, mechanic, and bank teller.
I met Anne at the gym one day and she told me about their outlook on nutrition and a few weeks later I was a member.
Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.
I never knew I had a relationship with food I just ate like a “man”., loads of meats and sweets my coaches wanted me big and strong so I followed along. I was told to eat everything in sight during high school and college sports.
During my divorce I ate my feelings and destroyed my health to the point where I was on the verge of being diabetic and couldn’t find clothes even in the big and tall section.
Biggest contributor was low self-esteem, my emotions and a lack of discipline and dedication to myself and my goals.
What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?
My turning point was with my first son right after my divorce.
Being a single dad I want to be a good role model for my son. I never wanted to be the reason why we couldn’t do something like go to a water park, the beach, or be able to fit into a ride at an amusement park.
I realized I wasn’t doing this when my son was learning how to ride his bike. He was going too fast down the driveway and couldn’t stop. There was a car coming down the street and I could not get there in time to help him and he was less than 10 feet away from me.
I was so slow and out of breath, bent over and hobbling to where he jumped off his bike at the end of the drive way in the grass.
Luckily no one was hurt besides my pride. Especially after my son asked me why I was breathing so hard and red in the face, but that day I knew something had to change.
What was the journey like and what changes did you make?
When I first started on my weight loss journey I just cut everything that I was eating in half and starved myself while going to the gym every time I had the chance to. I followed that by falling into an MLM supplement trap and ended up just losing a bunch of money, getting poor advice, and not making any changes.
I was so confused at this point I quit for a couple months, gained back anything I had lost and fell back into my old emotional eating habits.
I felt like I had the dedication, but was lost looking for something that was sustainable.
Finding First In has shown me that there is something sustainable and enjoyable out there. Something I can do for the rest of my life and continue to make progress and get better.
My journey with First In is far from over and I’m happy to know that I will keep working every day to be a better version of myself.
How do you feel after making those changes?
The one thing I used to be good at was learning the hard way what not to do and I was feeling let down and used by all the programs I had used before. I was very hungry, confused and miserable. Even making small changes, there was nothing to write home about for consistency or substance of a better life.
Now that has all changed. I’ve found something I can stick to. A plan that fit my lifestyle and that pushed me to want to work for consistency and change.
What did your friends/family think of your transformation?
That’s my favorite thing to experience… When an old friend, family member or an old coworker see me now their jaws drop and are speechless. Then they ask me a thousand questions like did I have the gastric sleeve or what magic pill did I take and where can they get one.
There has always been resistance especially from family and close friends who don’t and won’t work on themselves and belittle others who what to do and be better. It’s been like that every step of the way for me, but fortunately I have my First In Family to keep me going..
Were you active or did you workout during your journey?
I was not super active and tried to work out but finding time as a single dad has been hard.
I still struggle with trying to find time to work out and exercise, but rather than get frustrated with not being able to train the way I want, my coach has helped me focus on doing the things I can do with the time I have and that has helped me a lot with stuff like pushups, squats, and runs at the house.
What does being First In mean to you?
Accountability, self respect, discipline and dedication.
Its not about the tee shirts or the cool activities that we go to.
It’s about freedom… and this freedom comes from how accountable you are to your plan, which in turn leads to you learning self-respect and forging discipline from your dedication to your self.
What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future?
With First In I finally met my goal weight and have maintained it for a very long time now.
This goal actually changed and shifted even before I hit that number goal as things were going better than I ever expected.
My next goal is to keep working on me physically and mentally trying to find activities and challenges to keep me in line with making me better every day.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?
Two of the biggest challenges were becoming structured and understanding how to be consistent every day, not wimp out or give in to peer pressure from friends and family.
The other biggest challenge was self-sabotage. For example I would have an argument with the ex-wife and run to McD’s and order 30 dollars in food for one meal and then wallow in regret and self-loathing kind of like Grinch, over eating at 6 to 8pm then regretting my life decisions from 8 to 12pm and so forth.
Weighing/measuring was easy albeit a big adjustment learning to read nutritional labels.
The first couple of weeks the tracking was an added step, remembering to look at my food for the day prior to making dinner plans. It took a while to find balance with changing my lifestyle from a spontaneous going out for dinner and drinks, to learning to balance my food budget, but it has absolutely been worth the effort.
What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?
1- Ask detailed questions.
2- Come in with an open mind on everything.
3- Be willing to fight for yourself.
4- Be ready for tough love.
5- And get ready to buy new clothes.
any advice for someone thinking about getting started?
First In is exactly what it says it is, a Family.
If you’re ready to level up with your goals and lifestyle, this is for you.
The coaches and family are here for you 100% of the time.
They all love what they do and are passionate about your individual success.
ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?
Contact us for more info:
ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?
Contact us for more info:
Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.