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Fitness Success at GSU's Rec Center

By Anna Soloff
On November 18, 2013

The story of Eugene Best is a story of what can be accomplished with a strong resolve, a solid support system, and an excellent workout facility. Best has transformed his life from one of a disheartening medical diagnosis to a model of health and determination.   

      Best has been a part-time student at GSU since 2008, taking one to two classes at a time, while working full time as a Teamster truck driver. For years, Best has struggled with his weight. When Best walked into his doctor's office in 2011, he weighed 340 pounds, was on cholesterol medication, and was undergoing blood work every 90 days.  It was during this visit that his doctor told him he would develop diabetes within the year due to his weight, diet and inactive lifestyle. 

     Best became determined to change.  He had reached a point physically where he would get winded simply carrying items from his car to his work truck. He hadn't been physically active since his days playing high school basketball, and had fallen into the habit of eating whatever he craved.  Resolving to become healthy, Best joined GSU's Recreation and Fitness Center, where over the past two years he has undergone a total transformation.

     "I thank God that I decided to go to GSU that morning and it turns out that the fitness center was right on time.  Once I got there, the people I met were amazing at encouraging me to continue, continue, continue," said Best.

    Best's routine began with working from 9 pm to 6 am, followed by heading directly to the gym. Best started out with random routines of cardio, with weights mixed in. After a month, he hadn't lost any weight and was quite frustrated.  Acting upon advice from a workout buddy, Best changed his eating habits.  Due to a combination of healthier eating and working out five days a week, Best started losing three to four pounds a week. Best's routine included 30 minutes of cardio and lifting weights, a routine he was able to keep for six months. 

     Then, much to Best's dismay, his work schedule changed and he could not go to his morning workouts. Determined to continue on his journey, Best invested in home workout equipment, attending GSU's Recreation and Fitness Center when he had spare time. During this time, Best hit a plateau. He became stuck at 267 pounds for about three months. It was around this time Best learned he needed a more focused routine to get himself over the plateau. Thankfully, for Best, it was also around this time that he would meet the woman who would help him break through.

     Best met Wilesia Whitelaw, a personal trainer at GSU's Recreation and Fitness Center.  Under Whitelaw's guidance, Best has found the direction he needed to complete his goal of weighing 200 pounds. Since working with Whitelaw, Best has learned how to properly work out. Additionally, Whitelaw holds Best accountable for his diet and weight.

     Best is appreciative of all that Whitelaw has done for him, even if it leaves him sore afterwards. "She's like a godsend," said Best.

    Best credits his healthier body to Victor Griffin, Gym and Facilities Supervisor at GSU's Recreation and Fitness Center; Whitelaw; and all of the friends he has made at the Recreation and Fitness Center. However, none of his success would have been possible without the support of his wife, Rosalind Best.

     "She has encouraged me in every way, including eating what I eat, preparing my egg beaters and two pieces of bacon every morning, and so much more,"  said Best.

    Best is now 14 pounds away from his goal of 200 pounds. Upon reaching his goal, Best said, "I don't know what I'm going to feel or what I'm going to do.  I might just order a Beggars pizza or some fried chicken from Popeye's.  I haven't had that in two years!  But I'll probably just have an apple." 

     Best plans to maintain a weight ranging from 195-215.  He knows in order to do that he needs to keep up with his routine. 

     "It's a lifestyle," said Best. "I'm going to have to keep working out and watching my diet.  I can enjoy everything that everyone else does but I need to keep moving.  I'm at a place now where my body tells me when I need to move!"  

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