The out-of-shape Airman was overweight, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart issues and couldn’t run farther than 100 yards without passing out. He never thought that just a few years later he would be a competitive natural body builder, personal trainer and nutritionist.
Senior Master Sgt. Dave DeRemer, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs superintendent, found a healthy way to take his mind off the stress of his 2013 divorce.
“I just threw myself into the gym to take my mind off it all,” he said. “During that time I lost a lot of weight, started getting into shape and my body started transforming like I had never imagined.”
Since the beginning of his transformation, DeRemer has gone from 205 pounds and 39 percent body fat to 154 pounds and 3.8 percent body fat, a percent he maintains while preparing for competition.
“Never in a million years did I think I’d compete, let alone be a six-time top five finisher and two-time men’s physique champion,” he said. “Life just turned around for me in all those ‘pillars’ the Air Force talks about. Being fit and healthy impacts the mental, spiritual and social pillars as much as the physical. I’m so thankful I chose to go down this road.”
With a new-found love of fitness, DeRemer began his business, Bodies By Dave Elite Fitness, in which he helps people reach their goals in a healthy way.
“The things I learned and experimented with on my own body to compete allowed me to fully understand the science behind how the body functions and that, in turn, has really allowed me to earn credibility with my clients,” he said.
Not even three years removed from beginning his fitness journey, DeRemer is now certified as a personal trainer as well as in nutrition and exercise therapy.
“My kids and my clients motivate me,” he said. “I have three daughters to watch grow up, and I honestly think if I hadn’t changed my life I wouldn’t have been around to see that happen.”
The journey DeRemer began to escape the pain of divorce has turned into something he is passionate about and uses to help others.
“People often fail to meet their fitness goals on their own because they lack the education to do things right,” he said. “When you don’t understand it, things can get frustrating, and it’s easy to quit.”
That is where DeRemer steps in for his clients.
“That’s what they hire me for – to educate, motivate and inspire them to keep going,” he said. “We have three phases at Team BBD: frazzled, frustrated and fun. At first people get worked up about learning how to read nutrition labels and understand nutrition. Then they get frustrated with trying to eat the right foods. Then, ultimately, it gets fun because they get past those two phases, figure things out and start seeing results. All my clients have been through it.”
The future is bright for DeRemer, who will be competing Aug. 2 in Missouri where he will be attempting to gain professional status, something he says is within everyone’s reach with hard work and dedication.
“The first step is to find someone you trust with a nutrition and training education or certification, and learn how to eat right and exercise properly,” he said. “If you don’t want or can’t afford to hire a trainer, educate yourself on those things from reputable sources, read labels and really try to set a goal and meet it.”
DeRemer practices what he preaches, hiring personal trainer John Gorman, owner of Team Gorman, to take him to the next level in his own career. Team Gorman is a national bodybuilding team that has won 16 overall titles, six team awards, five professional cards and a world championship title in 2013.
“Dave came to me after doing a few shows on his own and wanted to learn more about nutrition, supplementation and working out,” Gorman said. “We’ve been working together since the fall of 2013. The one thing that sticks out about him is his level of dedication.”
DeRemer attributes much of his success in changing his life, and the lives of his clients, to his trainer and coach.
“Even trainers and coaches need trainers and coaches,” he said. “John is one of the best prep coaches in the nation and has taken me to a level I couldn’t have reached on my own. Not only is he helping me change my life, he’s teaching me how to help others change. That’s what Team Gorman and John are all about.”
After getting in shape, DeRemer’s issues with high blood pressure and cholesterol were gone.
“Nothing is impossible,” he said. “I’m a living breathing testament to that. I’m almost 40 years old and in the best shape of my life doing things I never thought possible. It’s the most amazing feeling to make your ‘impossibles’ possible.”