If you don’t remember this gem of a guy from Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition season 1 (yes, this was the previous title of our show!), then you should DEFINITELY get to know him now!! The one and only Alex Respess, aka A-train, was one of the first transformations Chris and I got to work on with the show. Over the course of our action-packed year with A-train, he not only lost a heckuva lotta weight and inspired millions, but he also became one of our nearest and dearest friends. We are SO lucky to have this man and his beautiful GF, Courtney Crozier (from Biggest Loser), as a part of our family forever. Now…if he would only pop the question, get married and have some babies…(No pressure, Alex. Courtney, you can thank me later ;).)
Almost 3 1/2 years after his transformation was completed, Alex and Courtney still maintain a healthy lifestyle. This, my friends, is the HARDEST part!! Time to chat with Alex to see how he does it.
Q. So Alex, what have you been up to the last few years?
A. Since my episode aired I have had a lot going on! I met the love of my life, Courtney Crozier, during finales for the show and have since moved to Indiana to help her run her business. I walked in my college graduation on May 16th with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Sports Management. I was lucky enough to appear in two fitness DVDs with Chris and Heidi, and on my birthday I’ll be participating in my first mud run. I stay active and am restarting my athletic career—slow pitch softball—but hey, you have to start somewhere, right?!
Q. What are your favorite workouts? Do you have a favorite piece of workout equipment?
A. I have developed a love for CrossFit! The intensity and camaraderie is second to none in the workout space. But I also still enjoy doing my running intervals because it allows time to gather my thoughts, and I feel that’s when I’m most creative. I think a tip that has served me well is to find a workout partner. Even if you don’t work out together everyday, you will still want to push each other to achieve the best you have within you!
I discovered the Expresso Bike a couple of years ago, and it combines two of my favorite things: exercise and video games! It’s interactive fitness and far more fun than a regular old bike at the gym.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’d give to those who are beginning their transformation journeys?
A. The most important piece of advice is to just get up and start! Go for a walk around the neighborhood, down the street, to the mailbox. Do what you’re capable of and do a little more. You’ll never know your limits until you push yourself! I know from firsthand experience that the hardest part of losing weight is getting started, and there are a million reasons to put it off, but there is one very important reason to get started immediately and that is YOU!
Q. How do you keep yourself motivated?
A. It’s easy to lose motivation and I have certainly had my ups and downs, but you have to remember how good the successes feel. The victories feel so good, so you have to hold onto those feelings and keep fighting for them!
Q. Do you have a favorite quote that helps you stay on track?
A. I actually have two favorite quotes! The first comes courtesy of Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” There will be ups and downs, highs and lows during any journey. Whatever the case, keep fighting for what you want!
My other favorite quote is, “Action Conquers Fear.” Chris Powell told me that one. I am currently selling a design I collaborated on with Courtney’s cousin that will be benefiting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (panCAN). My Mom passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2006, and I thought this was a way that I could help fight this awful disease.
Q. What is your favorite food to enjoy on a reward/cheat day?
A. My favorite cheat food is a good ol’ piece of Americana—burger and fries! A local restaurant called Stacks has spoiled me rotten on cheat day!
Q. What is your favorite on-the-go healthy snack?
A. Quest Bars are my go-to for healthy snacks! Yes, they are good for you, but even better—they taste good! They have so many varieties that you won’t get bored and you’ll think you’re cheating even though you aren’t!
Q. Do you have any mealtime tips you’d like to share?
A. Do not, under any circumstance, allow yourself to get too hungry! That almost allows leads to poor decision making at mealtime or snack time. Eat every three hours and keep that machine fueled!
Q. Any favorite memories from your year of transformation?
There are so many favorite memories! Chris showing up unannounced to check on me straight off a red-eye flight. Heidi and I hiking and talking about anything and everything under the sun. Taking Chris to a Braves game and then him reciprocating. Chris being my personal barber for the year—he cuts a mean Mohawk! Heidi and I indulging our slight Starbucks obsession daily. Meeting Heidi’s family and having her Dad be an ear whenever we needed one. Spending time with the whole Powell Pack! Matix and Marley provided ample laughs during my time on the show, and I know Cash and Ruby are doing the same for this season! There are so many memories with Chris and Heidi that I could never pick just one!
Did you miss Alex’s episode? Watch it now on YouTube!
Want to connect with Alex? Find and follow him here: