William Lockley, all his life he was big so this is who he thought he was supposed to be. As a child, all he wanted to do was play sports with friends but, since he was overweight, he was restricted from playing with kids my age due to a fear of other parents that he would hurt their kids because of his size. Due to the constant repression and lack of results throughout childhood, he fell into the vicious cycle of “this is just who I am.”
It wasn’t until after he suffered a mild heart-attack at the age of 27 that he decided enough was enough and FOCUS was born. Within 9 months, he lost over 140+ pounds on the program. His ending weight was 162 pounds. It has become his personal mission to show others that they are not prisoners of their own circumstance and that they too can achieve the weight loss they always thought was impossible if they get out of their own way, give themselves a fighting chance and just FOCUS.
Throughout a majority of your life, you struggled with being overweight and suffered a mild heart attack at the age of 27. Can you share how you battled through these life events and your transformation journey?
Being “big-boned” is something I’ve been my whole life. While kids my age were playing pee-wee football, I had to play with the older boys because I was classified as “younger/heavier”. By the time I reached middle school, I was a genuine offensive lineman. After high school, I decided to try my hand at college football. Being a hard-headed child, telling me no or that I couldn’t do something due to physical limitations, I’d break my back to prove you wrong. Once my football career came to an end, sadly, my activity level also decreased greatly, but my eating habits did not. Carrying the mentality brought on from childhood of being big-boned caused my weight to spiral out of control. To supplement my athletic career, I began coaching and training high school athletes. Within a two year period, my weight was well over 300 pounds. No longer getting the attention from girls, not because of my weight necessarily, more so having to do with the self-esteem that disappeared over the years of weight gain, I turned to something that I’d be judged strictly on my ability to compete, video games. Working during the day, coaching mid-afternoon, and gaming at night was my daily routine. My diet consisted of two meals: one around 12 pm, the other around 10pm. Both meals consisted of fast food and both as large as the restaurant would supply.
March 28, 2008, I signed up at a local gym with David, a high school friend who partook in an active lifestyle. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for in trying to keep up with a much more in shape training partner, but I was sure willing to find out. To add to my competitiveness, another friend of mine, Gaby, began losing weight around the same time as myself. Gaby was always 10 pounds lighter than me during the process. No matter how hard I worked, how clean I ate, he was 10 pounds lighter. This helped my focus because it became a race to lose the weight and knowing the odds of catching him were stacked against me, it gave me something else to shoot for. My life consisted of 5 am workout, work, coaching high school athletes, and repeat. The seasons changed from summer to fall to winter and just as the seasons changed, so did my motivation. Having incentive is a great way to regain focus and push you towards your goal. My motivation came in the form of a wedding. A longtime friend of mine, Jason, was getting married in January and I was asked to be in his wedding. Not wanting to be the fat guy in the pictures that everyone will see years after when they look at the wedding pictures, I increased my intensity level and focus. Within a 9 month period, March to January, I lost roughly 140+ pounds. I say 140+ because I am not sure exactly how much over 300 I was because when I stepped on the scale, it hit the 300/0 mark. All I went by was the number I knew for sure, 300, and the final number I saw 162, bringing me to that total of weight loss.
When you first started out, were there any major obstacles or setbacks you had to overcome?
Yes. Weighing myself daily created much frustration because I didn’t understand weight fluctuations and how the body works. One week, I’d lose 4 pounds and the next none. After coming to the conclusion that daily weight monitoring was detrimental to my progress, I weighed myself once a week at most. I kept an end of the week target goal in mind and was steadfast on that mission. At one point, I lost track of why I started my journey, and began focusing on the compliments and feedback I was getting from people. My goal shifted from doing it for myself to doing it to hear the praise from others. As long as I was getting compliments, I was doing okay. I never really knew how dangerous a course I was on until one day it hit me. I went from one extreme of not working out and eating terribly to working out every day and dieting with the best of them, which caused me to over-exercise several times and outdo what my body was capable of doing.
After you started living a fit and healthy lifestyle, the birth of FOCUS was created. What prompted your decision to make this program come to life and can you tell us more about what services you provide and what FOCUS stands for as a whole?
What made me bring FOCUS to life was the simple fact that I wanted to lay a blueprint for others who are in the position I once was in…a hopeless, defeated state and show them that if I could do it, so could they. When I began my weight loss journey, there was really no one face to look to for motivation. It’s hard to take advice from someone who’s never known your pain…not a physical pain, but a mental pain from years of trying and failing. As a whole, FOCUS stands for hope…an unshakable mindset that you can make a change—that you don’t have to be a prisoner of your own circumstances anymore.
We recently had the opportunity to work together to create and launch a website for FOCUS. How would you describe your overall experience with Natalie Minh Interactive? Were there any key factors (career, business, fitness, etc.) you came out with during our time working together?
I must say that working with NMI has been a pleasure. Mitchie and Natalie, along with the others who worked on the site, were very thorough and brought up questions and ideas that I would’ve never thought about. There was a delay, but that was 100% on my side, and it was refreshing to have the staff basically say “We’re ready for the next step whenever you are”, instead of me having to stay on top of things.
Besides broadening one’s knowledge about FOCUS, what other functions does your website contain that our readers can use when visiting the site?
The website will also serve as a journal of thoughts and ideas that I’ve had about the industry. There will also be a little “broscience” debunking because I think a lot of “professionals” are full of it and latch on to the hottest trend and are doing serious damage to people at the expense of a few dollars. What makes my opinion any better? Nothing, really. All my opinion is is a perspective from someone who’s been on both extremes of fitness, obesity and borderline anorexia. Along with that opinion, are a few facts I’ve learned along the way during my research and testing.
What is your favorite function that was newly added to your website and why?
So far, I’d have to say my favorite thing about the website is the store option. I’ve been getting requests for FOCUS shirts for over a year and now I finally have an outlet to direct people to to be able to pick up a shirt or tank top.
With your career within fitness, you get to work with many clients. How has that been and have any of them influenced you in regards to your own health and fitness? Where does your motivation come from to stay consistent with your fitness and career and strive to assist others with theirs?
It’s funny because when I begin training someone new and talk about weight-loss, no one ever believes I was once extremely overweight; I take that as a great compliment. When they see my drivers license or a picture of how I used to look, they are always in disbelief, which I also take as a compliment. My motivation is very simple…from the day I started losing weight, I wanted to show others there is a hope and their current state doesn’t have to be their final state. Change is made because you’re ready to change. No one will change before that. That is why so many people fail…they simply weren’t ready. Also, I want to slow down childhood obesity. I know, I know…every trainer and their mother say that, but having been overweight as a child, I strongly believe the approach is so flawed and wrong that little will be done with the way things are. There is a way to slow it down, but it’s simply being approached very very wrong. My mission is to show how, when I was a child, I would’ve made a change and maybe wouldn’t have had to go through the hardships I did; then again, I don’t regret having been through it because I truly believed I was placed on this earth to change someone’s life for the better.
I’m a firm believer that those who are the most effective in changing, are those who’ve been in the other person’s shoes.
What advice would you give someone who has had similar struggles as you and wants to transition their life towards a more healthy and fit lifestyle, but don’t know where to start?
Although having a support system makes the process a lot easier because now you don’t have to be a closet dieter or hide your new-found passion for fitness, you MUST be your biggest and most supportive fan. Life takes on a new perspective. In addition, finding that healthy median is as important to beginning the actual process. If no median can be found, obsession kicks in which turns to depression once results are hindered. Finding a healthy median is essential to weight loss/maintenance or weight gain. Whatever the goal may be, balance is key.
As Henry David Thoreau said “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Being trapped in the mental state of “I’ve always been like this, I’ve dieted so many times to just gain the weight back plus more, it’s hopeless”, you have to realize that it’s a lifestyle change. Diets don’t fail, people fail, but when a lifestyle change occurs, once you are willing to give up the things that put you in the position of hopelessness before, a new life awaits, a healthy life. Supplements, faulty exercise equipment, exercise classes…none of this works unless you’re willing to give up what you know and buy into the only thing that really works; yourself. Frustration is usually a byproduct of stubbornness. Lao Tzu once said “When I let go of what I am, I’ll become what I might be.” Letting go, allowing yourself to enter a world unbeknownst to yourself is the only way to find control. It sounds strange and might not make sense at first, but in order to find yourself, you have to be willing to let go of all you thought you know because what you know hasn’t done much for you up to this point. In order to be successful in losing weight and maintaining the loss, you must change your lifestyle, but you also need to maintain a quality of life. One thing about losing weight and the journey is that no matter what you “plan” for, life has its own plan and you have to be able to adapt. “The only constant in life is change.” Find what works for your standard of living and attack it head on.
What is next for you in this new year? What are your future plans and goals?
As of now, my goal is to cut back on my in-person sessions and gear myself more toward online training and public speaking. My goal is to grow FOCUS into a recognized brand in the fitness industry, not only for weight-loss, but also an athletic based training (the method I currently follow) modal.
Lastly, where can we find you on the Internet?
You can find me at: