Antoine Jenkins dreamed of becoming a doctor ever since he was a kid. While studying in the pre-med program at Indiana University, his biochemistry courses ignited a passion for him to pursue a career in pharmacy. As he continued his studies, his “collegiate health habits” followed him: late night study sessions with pizza, burgers, limited sleep, and lots of caffeine in the form of coffee, Mountain Dew, and Coca-Cola.
Antoine was rewarded for his hard work as he went on to become a pharmacist in Memphis. He met his wife, they had a son, and life progressed. By the time Antoine reached age 40, his lifestyle caught up with him.
“I had always been a slim-bodied guy,” Antoine explained. “Next thing I know, I’m over 300 pounds and my doctor is telling me I’m borderline high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetic.”
This trifecta of serious health concerns, combined with Antoine’s pharmaceutical knowledge, was a huge wake up call. “I know the endgame of these conditions if I don’t get myself together quickly.”
Antoine took extreme measures to reclaim his health. He not only got a gym membership; he hired a personal trainer whom he met with three times per week. Antoine lost 50 pounds in the first six months of training.
“She was relentless in getting me back in shape,” Antoine said. “It wasn’t just about working out, either. We put together meal plans, rest schedules, the whole nine.”
After seeing the results, Antoine was motivated to go even further and pursue a 40+ bodybuilding journey. He went from being over 300 pounds to competing in bodybuilding competitions in less than two years.
“I stayed off of social media and it was just work, family, and gym,” Antoine explained. His dedication paid off as he began winning the competitions and being an inspiration to other middle-aged men who thought their days of body transformation were behind them.
“If I can do it, anyone can do it,” he said. “When you’re staring down the barrel of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes – you know you better do something because that is one of the deadliest combinations for black men. But it’s preventable. And I’m not saying you have to become a bodybuilder, but you don’t need to sit on the couch in defeat. Our bodies and our families are depending on us.”