Dunbar Student Gets Fit

Senior Staff Reporter Mike Rosen tells his inspirational tale of the classic “get fit” New Year’s resolution, and how to truly succeed in it.


Courtesy of Mike Rosen

Mike Rosen: Before and After

Over the winter break, people tend to eat copious amounts of food (influenced by grandma), spend time playing their new games which require no physical activity and overall get nothing done, putting them at one of their laziest points of the year. Resulting from this America-wide norm is the famous resolution people tend to turn to for motivation: “I want to get fit.”

The Beginning

Until the new year going into 2015, every day of my life was one of those Christmas-eating downfalls. Meal after meal, I stuffed my face with whatever I could find. After every meal, I would exercise my fingers on my XBOX, and this cycle continued for most of my life. Sitting at 5’7 and 225 pounds, I was at a point in my life where I knew it was time for change. At my lowest of lows, ironically at the same time the New Year started, I began my journey to becoming successful at fitness.

Healthy Diet

The first move I made was changing my diet completely. Days filled with food at every hour were switched to a diet that included only eating small amounts of incredibly healthy food. I knew the first step would be learning how to eat healthy but because I had no clue of what I was doing, I subscribed to many different nutrition and fitness blogs. My go-to website for everything fitness is bodybuilding.com. It’s basically an encyclopedia filled with everything you could ever need to know about fitness. MyFitnessPal is also a perfect blog to start off on as it provides many delicious, healthy recipes.

I learned how to eat healthy but I made the mistake of getting mad at myself if I ever went off diet or ate something even remotely unhealthy. It was incredibly difficult to stay on track and motivated at first but eventually disregarding unhealthy foods became a habit.  

Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts but it helped me to think that in the end it would all be worth it.”

— Mike Rosen


Nutrition’s partner is exercise and, unlike nutrition, exercise was actually very enjoyable and stress-relieving. I found myself at the gym every day doing cardio for over an hour. On the days when exercise became hard, I would have a recurring image in my mind of the possibility of what I could look like if I keep pushing. It’s never going to be easy to exercise day after day but all it takes is a good playlist and the motivation to push as hard as you possibly can.

In the weight-loss process, people tend to hit plateaus and the weight gets harder to come off. My problem was that, because I was only focusing on cardio, I was neglecting my other muscles. I knew I needed to start training my other muscles if I wanted to get through the plateau so I picked up weightlifting that year and ended up loving it after the first workout.

Lifting is so intriguing because you have to test your boundaries and it builds a strong work ethic as well as muscle. It was never easy while I was in the gym but leaving after completing a workout is one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt.

“Lifting is probably as addictive as drugs, but rather than ruining your body, it gets you more likes on your Instagram pictures”- Mike Rosen, lifting genius.

Courtesy of Mike Rosen


In the beginning of the summer going into my sophomore year, I had changed my lifestyle completely and lost 60 pounds. I finally defeated childhood obesity but now I began to dream of more. On Instagram, I was led to accounts of muscular bodybuilders, which motivated me to look like them. I started my fitness journey with a friend, which I highly recommend, and it helped us both to stay motivated to work out.


In the end, I felt stronger mentally as well as physically. Losing weight and getting a better appearance helped me in becoming more confident and to care less about other people’s opinions of me.  Through the hard workouts and healthy diet, I gained a hard-working mentality and strong self-discipline. There have been many ups and downs throughout the past two years, and I can’t even remember all of the times that I felt discouraged. Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts but it helped me to think that in the end it would all be worth it.

Two years later, I have never been more thankful for sticking with my fitness resolution. To anyone even considering setting their resolution to becoming fit, I highly encourage it. Nothing bad can come out of getting fit so there is nothing to lose. Plus, by getting more fit, walking up the steps of Dunbar without having to catch your breath at the top won’t be a problem anymore.