David Duong, R.T.
Commit to fitness
When his dad had a quadruple bypass, David Duong got serious about working out.
As he sat in the intensive care unit at his father’s bedside, David Duong made a pledge to turn over a new leaf. He cut out fast-food and taught himself to cook healthy dishes. Hard work has helped him gain the strength and confidence to compete in bodybuilding competitions. But what really makes him happy is that he’s inspired his mother and father to make healthier choices, too.
What can you tell us about your experience in the hospital?
Two years ago, my dad had a quadruple bypass and was in the ICU for a week. I was very overweight and ate a lot of junk food and told myself I didn’t want to be where my dad was. I had to change.
What did you do?
I had worked out for several years, but then I got serious. I hired a trainer and started competing in bodybuilding. I also got serious about nutrition.
What were some of the changes you made?
Good health starts in the kitchen. So, I started cooking at home every night. No fast food, things like grilled chicken breasts, lean beef and clean white fish with lots of veggies. I didn’t know how to cook, but watched a lot of videos and collected recipes.
Did your trainer give you diet tips?
When you do bodybuilding, you have to eat a certain way. The trainer put me on a strict nutrition plan that specified what I can and can’t eat and when. My diet is 60 percent protein, 30 percent carbs and 10 fats. It helped me to break it down that way. I eat six to seven small meals daily because I want to always be feeding my body.
How would you describe your diet?
I meal prep on Sunday so everything is ready to go for the week. My coworkers tease me about eating at my desk every day.
Breakfast is 1-1/2 cup egg white, 1-1/2 cup oatmeal and vitamins. Or it may be a protein shake and small muffin. Lunch is veggies, 1-1/2 cup carbs and protein. That may be a side salad, 6 ounces meat and a protein shake. Dinner is something like a 7-ounce flank steak and a small potato.
What is your workout routine?
My trainer put me on a strict five-day schedule, and he helps keep me accountable. One day I do free weights, alternating body parts, and the next day I do cardio. My gym is on my way home from work, so I stop by there for a couple of hours after work. It helps me miss rush hour, too.
You’ve lost 60 pounds over the past two years. What other positive things have happened?
I’ve inspired my whole family to get healthier. Even my parents are going to the gym, cooking at home and making healthier choices.
What are you working toward?
I’ve competed in bodybuilding competitions around Texas, but my goal is to go to a national competition. I like competitions because of the camaraderie, atmosphere, and the chance to meet great people. And after a competition you can pig out!
Do you have some pointers for others wanting to get into shape?
It all starts in the kitchen. Pay attention to whatever you put into your mouth. Ask yourself, “Is it really worth eating that?” Have a plan and know what you want your results to be. I think everyone knows what to do, but you just have to do it.