Firefighter, husband, father, First In Family: Lester Packard Jr.
Stop selling yourself short and quit wasting time. Get a coach. Someone who will work with you and help you find a plan that fits your life. If you're looking for a FAMILY to help and support you along the way, come join the First In Family...”
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I am 40 years old and live in Lakeland, Florida.
I am a Firefighter/Paramedic and have been for the last 17 years.
I’m married and the father of one human boy and one furry pitbull.
What brought you to the First In Family initially?
My best friend, godfather to my son, and former firefighter Jonathan had recently started First In Nutrition.
Reaching out to him, learning the process, and doing what they suggested was all it took.
Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.
I didn’t really feel heavy and thought I was in relatively decent shape, but as life got busier, my activity level decreased, stress increased and food became my release.
I didn’t realize how much so until I saw 298 on the scale and I started really looking at myself.
I had somehow managed to gain 50+ lbs over a 7 year span.
What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?
I was thinking of how scared I was to be a new father and what kind of a father I wanted to be. This brought up memories of playing sports with my dad. No matter how tired he was or what was going on, if I asked to practice soccer with him, we went.
I knew in my heart and mind that this was something I would not be able to do for my new son in the condition I was in, so I knew something had to change.
What was the journey like and what changes did you make?
I still have at least one day a week where I down a large pizza, but I measure and manage the rest of the food for that day to account for it.
Off the scale and outside of the mirror my blood pressure went down, resting heart rate went down. Some issues that I had in my blood work prior to the program cleared up. I sleep better. I have more energy to play with my son and enjoy being active with the family.
How do you feel after making those changes?
I am the leanest I’ve ever been.
I lost 30 lbs in the first 6 months. Currently, I am down over 75 lbs and have been following my First In Nutrition Plan for 1.5 years.
What did your friends/family think of your transformation?
They were all very supportive and they think my transformation was amazing.
Were you active or did you workout during your journey?
As I became more comfortable with fatherhood and with my son’s schedule, my coach recommended that I start to add in some body weight exercises (pushups, sit-ups and squats) to compliment the results that I was already seeing.
What does being First In mean to you?
Being able to answer a question in the group or comment on ways to help planning food in order to increase the quality of life we get to live is awesome.
I try to be First In everyday by being active, for not just my health, but also to keep improving on my body composition to look and feel better than I did the day or month or year before.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?
The support and guidance from the First In Nutrition Family was instrumental in my transformation because it was one-part learning resource and another part support group.
This is a group that I went to for anything food related (and then some).
If I needed tips about how to plan my food for a 24 hour shift at a busy station, or a road trip with a toddler, or maybe just someone to hold me accountable, I knew I could count on the First In Family.
What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future?
Not only that, but also having made these changes with the the support of this Family makes me want to help other first responders.
A big part of the reason for this is because the life expectancy for the first responder community is getting worse due to PTSD, cancer, heart problems, and suicide.
If I can help a fellow first responder improve their overall health and outlook on life, I feel like that’s the true meaning of brotherhood. After all, that is the foundation of all first responder jobs: Fire service, military, law enforcement, etc.
What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?
2- Stop putting foods in classes like diet food or bad foods or good foods it is food. How much or how little you eat is what affects you.
3- Be open. Ask/ Tell your coach everything and then some. They can tell you if it is info they don’t need but if you don’t Ask/Tell then they don’t know and can’t help you plan for it.
4- Slow and Steady Wins the Race. It is not the answer anyone wants to hear, but that is how a lasting life style change can be maintained.
any advice for someone thinking about getting started?
If you’re looking for a FAMILY to help and support you along the way, come join the First In Family…
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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.