Customer Success Stories - Rocky Araujo
Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to make a change to your health?
Hi! My name is Rocky Araujo and I am 20 years old. I have just wrapped up my sophomore year at the University of Southern California where I am studying business at USC’s Marshall School of Business. I decided to make a change in my health and nutrition because I simply became unhappy with how I looked and felt on a daily basis. I would often binge eat at night, mainly out of pure boredom, and then fell groggy, tired, and heavy the next morning. It wasn’t until I got to college where I truly understood the immense value and role that nutrition plays in not only one’s health, but one’s appearance as well. From my freshman year of college and onward, I promised myself to make a change. I knew I was only given one life. One body. One chance to take advantage of every opportunity given to me. Of course eating a greasy and fatty meal tastes good at the moment, but that moment passes quickly. Your health, body, and nutrition on the other hand- that stays with you until you die. From that moment on, I decided to make a change in my nutrition and general lifestyle.
Tell us how you discovered Devotion Nutrition and how it has helped you stay Devoted to your goals.
I discovered Devotion Nutrition through my mother. In fact, my mom told me that she personally trained the owner of Devotion Nutrition’s mom in the gym on a daily basis! And that was back in the 80’s! Her daughter Dana, who is the founder of Devotion, would often come to the gym and watch her mom workout. When I first started lifting, I began to try Devotion Nutrition’s protein powder. I instantly remember falling in love with the “Brownie Batter” flavor as I’m a HUGE chocolate lover! From that point on, it was the only brand of protein powder in our household. I credit a ton of my fitness journey results to the likes of Devotion Nutrition. The versatility and adaptability of the protein is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’ve tried countless protein brands- Optimum Nutrition, RedCon, Dymatize, ISOPURE, Innosupps, and so on. I can say with undoubted confidence that NONE of them come close to the mixing and flavor ability of Devotion Nutrition. I now use Devotion Nutrition protein powder and flex flavors in my oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice, greek yogurt, and even with just straight up water to create a FANTASTIC “pudding” dessert. I can’t reiterate enough how crucial Devotion has been in helping me stay devoted to my goals by making bland, healthy foods taste PHENOMENAL!
What are your favorite Devotion products? Do you have a favorite Devotion recipe?
My favorite Devotion Product is the Devotion Protein, “Brownie Batter” flavor! Of course the taste is fantastic, but as mentioned earlier, the mixing ability of the protein is what really stands out to me. Being able to simply take a scoop of Devotion Protein Powder, add it to a bowl, and then JUST add water to create a pudding is life changing. I don’t know anywhere else where someone can find a 110 calorie pudding that has 20+grams of protein in it as well!!
My favorite Devotion recipe is implementing it into EVERY pre-workout meal I consume. I’ve found that consuming complex carbs (in the form of oats, cream of rice and cream of wheat) and protein before my workout, gives me an incredible pump and boost in the gym. My recipe for my pre-workout meal is as follows: 80g of oats/cream of wheat/cream of rice, 1 scoop of Devotion protein powder, and 1 pinch of salt!
What goals did you achieve this past year?
Going into this year, one of my BIGGEST goals was to be able to stay devoted and committed to my fitness and nutrition lifestyle. However, a big challenge presented itself… Due to the University of Southern California still being 100% online, my college friends and I decided to rent an extended AirBnB in Utah for the entire semester. This obviously presented a huge change of pace to my normal, everyday routine. I was now going to be living with 4 other college roommates whose nutrition, health, and lifestyle choices were polar opposites of mine. Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong about how they live their lives, however, it took an immense mindset to not conform to eating pizza at midnight with them, or not drinking alcohol with them on a daily basis. Yet, I was able to still remain devoted to my future aspirations. I joined the local gym in Utah, I did all my personal food shopping, I cooked every meal myself, and was never afraid to say no. I was able to continue this lifestyle the entire duration that I stayed in Utah. I was extremely proud of myself for being able to stick to and achieve the goal I had going into the semester.
When it comes to eating well, what are your top 3 recommendations if someone doesn’t know where to start?
1. Eating healthy does NOT have to be boring! Spices and zero calorie sauces are your BEST FRIEND. Personally, I love Frank’s Red Hot! I will literally put the sauce on EVERYTHING- Chicken, Tuna, Salads, Fish, Veggies, Rice, and especially Potatoes! Experiment with your taste buds! Find out what you enjoy and implement that into your daily nutrition.
2. Eating healthy with the intention to lean out or lose weight DOES NOT mean starve yourself! I see this happen time and time again. Individuals will try to shed some pounds and immediately start to be fearful of food. I’m here to tell you otherwise! Think of your body as a car and food as the gas. A car simply CANNOT run without gas, just like your body cannot run without food. Now, instead of being scared of food, I recommend tracking your food. Avoid binge eating. Once a car’s gas tank is filled, it’s done until it needs be refueled again. The body works the same way!
3. MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE AND COMMIT. Eating healthy is not a fad. Eating healthy is not a trend. Eating healthy needs to become a way of life! Once you are able to make that mindset change, it becomes second nature.
How did you manage to alter your eating patterns and accommodate the rest of your family?
I’m extremely fortunate that the rest of my family’s values on health and nutrition are in line with mine. However, I’ll talk about my college life here. This past semester, I lived in Utah with 4 other college friends. They ate like every other college kid would. Cereal, pizza, frozen burritos, and quesadillas were staples of the household. However, it never bothered me. My mindset was so focused on achieving my dreams and desires that seeing them eat the way they did had legitimate zero impact on me. I realized that if I truly want to achieve my dream body. If I truly want to become the person I picture. Then I cannot cave to temptation. Interestingly enough, that temptation disappears after a while. I no longer crave junk food. I have ZERO desire to eat fat and greasy foods. The smell of Dominoes actually almost makes me nauseous. If you are devoted, you will notice your taste buds change over time!
What is your favorite form of exercise to do and why.
Besides just lifting weights, I LOVE to implement athletic and explosive movements into my workout. The purpose of my lifestyle is to not simply become a bodybuilder. I have no intention to become the biggest, nor strongest human on the planet. I workout to feel good, feel strong, feel athletic, and feel explosive. Because of this, I like to split up my workout week into two sections. The first section of the week places a heavy emphasis on muscle building and hypertrophy. The second portion of the week, I focus on body control, explosiveness, and fast-twitch muscle ability! I feel much more well-rounded with this routine and I thoroughly enjoy it!
What is your favorite form of cardiovascular exercise to do and why?
My favorite form of cardio to do is the stationary spin bike! In the summer months especially, when I’m trying to shed those last few stubborn pounds, cardio becomes an essential part of my routine. The spin bike provides me with a low stress exercise that really makes me feel like I’m working. Additionally, I absolutely love the heavy leg workout it provides. I’ll often ride the bike for 15 minutes as a warmup before I lift. And then follow my lifting session with another 15-20 minutes on the bike as well.
What is your favorite healthy food to eat? What is the recipe?
My favorite healthy food to eat has to be my Kodiak Protein Cakes before bed! Even on a low calorie diet, I eat these pancakes almost religiously as my last meal of the day. I take 1 serving (53g) of Kodiak Cake Mix, 1 scoop of Devotion Protein, 1 egg, and a couple of grams of xantham gum. I put all those ingredients into a measuring cup and then proceed to mix them all together! I get about 5-6 medium sized pancakes that have UNBELIEVABLE taste for about 400 calories that is mainly protein and carbohydrates. Not only are the pancakes a great tasting meal, but I also find it pretty filling and it surely satisfies my taste buds before bed!
What is your least favorite healthy food to eat?
In complete honesty, I don’t have an answer to this question. I TRULY love and look forward to EVERY meal I consume throughout the day. Not a day goes by where I find myself struggling to eat my food and dreading the taste of it. This is what I mean by creating a lifestyle out of it!
What is your favorite cheat meal?
I very RARELY eat cheat meals because, as stated before, I LOVE THE WAY I EAT! However, if I do decide to have a cheat meal, my favorite food is really anything that has cheese on it! I’m a HUGE cheese lover, and it’s probably the one thing I miss most about my new lifestyle. I decided to eliminate almost all dairy, with the exception of 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, as I’ve noticed it improves my skin quality and acne. However, I’m at the point where I’m no longer craving cheese or longing for it. BUT, if the opportunity does present itself, I will GLADLY help myself to any cheesy dish!
What is your best piece of advice for those just starting to exercise?
My first piece of advice would be to find YOUR purpose. When you have an inner drive and a true purpose in doing something, it makes it ALL the world easier to do on a daily basis! Your purpose can be anything. It can be for your own health. It can be to lose weight. It could be to feel better. Whatever it is, make sure it is meaningful and purposeful to you!
Another piece of advice I want to give is to not over do it right off the bat. I see it happen time and time again where an individual wants to get into working out and does the “all or nothing approach”. That will never work. It’s not sustainable and you will burn yourself out and lose the motivation that caused you to start in the first place. Treat it as your new lifestyle. Implement exercise into your daily routine. Look FORWARD to working out!
What is your goal for this year?
I actually have very recently started my own fitness Instagram (@rockyaraujofitness) and I plan to pursue getting my personal training certificate as well this summer. My goal for this year is to use my own personal journey and story in order to help, motivate, and inspire others all around that they can do it too! I want to prove that every single individual out there has the power and control in their life to make ANY change they desire! I absolutely love to help others, and never find constant questions bothersome! By the end of this year, if I am able to grow my fitness page and start personal training, and truly impact the lives of others, then I would consider it a success!
How do you continue to stay devoted with this lifestyle?
I attribute my devotion and commitment towards this lifestyle 100% solely due to my purpose. I truly look at life as a precious, singular opportunity that we were all given. There’s nothing more saddening and heart-wrenching to me than not using every day as a chance to better myself and the people around me. Every day I wake up, I’m excited to get to the gym and eat my meals. To me, it feels good being able to go to bed every day knowing I accomplished my daily goals, stayed committed to my plan, and bettered myself through my actions. However, I wasn’t always like this. As I’m sure you can see in the pictures, I used to be extremely overweight and unhealthy. The mindset change that I decided to make in my life has been one of the greatest things that’s happened to me, and I can say with confidence that I’ve never felt better physically and mentally than I do now!
I must also point out that NOT everyday will be easy. To be 100% blatant and truthful, there will be days where you question why you are doing this. Why am I so committed to exercising? Why am I so committed to eating right? Why am I pushing so hard just to look the same the next day? It’s through these difficult and tough times that YOUR purpose and motivation for doing it will prevail. REMEMBER why you started in the first place. REMEMBER what caused you to make the change in your life. REMEMBER that it’s a lifestyle! Nothing worthwhile in this world comes without a struggle. Do NOT be afraid to face that struggle when it comes, because I will guarantee that it does. However, there will never be growth unless there is struggle. Once you push past that struggle and still go to the gym even when you don’t feel like it, once you still eat that healthy meal even when you don’t want to, there is no better feeling than knowing YOU have the mental toughness to stick to something you COMMITTED to! And remember to always keep smiling!