How Quitting Processed Food Helped Totally Transform My Body

Quitting processed food isn't easy, but it made a big difference for Philly fitness instructor Gerald Munson.

quitting processed food

Quitting processed food helped Gerald Munson on his journey to transform his health. Photographs courtesy Gerald Munson.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email

Who: Gerald N. Munson II (@mrmunson_aap), 38, a personal training and group fitness instructor at Flywheel and Unite Fitness, from West Philly

Why I wanted to make a change: “When I was 26, my father passed away. When he was 35 the doctor told him he was having kidney failure and would have to go on dialysis. I told myself that when I turned 35, I was going to be in the best shape I could be in.”

Height: 6’4″

Starting weight: 265

Current weight: 194

What changed: “Since taking my fitness seriously, I’ve becoming much stronger, flexible, and overall I have way more energy.”

“I told myself that when I turned 35, I was going to be in the best shape I could be in.”

How I changed my diet: “My diet is where the real transformation happened. I stopped eating processed food and started eating more whole food. I also stopped eating out and started cooking my own meals. Before, I would eat to satisfy my tongue, not my body. Mornings, I’d grab a breakfast sandwich or pastries. Now, I consume oatmeal or egg whites, or if I’m on the go, a protein shake. Lunch was pizza or a burger. Now, I’m eating salads with some form of protein (chicken, turkey, tofu). Dinner has been the biggest change. Before the shift, I would eat fried foods with a dessert. Now, I look more to greens — broccoli, kale, and any veggies — with salmon or baked chicken. ”

How I changed my exercise plan: “I work out every day in some way, from strength training to cardio. I do my heavy lifting Sundays and Mondays. I also take classes at both Flywheel and Unite Fitness, and I just recently add SLT to my routine.”

The hardest part: “The hardest part is staying committed to yourself while everyday life goes on. We spend so much time working for others and doing things for others that we rarely take time or even make time for ourselves.”

What I’m most proud of: “My transformation has inspired other to pursue their goals and have their own transformations.”

What I want everyone to know: “That if I can do it, they definitely can do it. And to not measure your success by anyone else. Your only competitor is yourself.”

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