When a person loses a significant amount of weight, many of those transformations have one thing in common: they came to a decision to change. Something in them clicked and they made a conscious decision to take charge of their health once and for all. For Rashard Keen, it was his actual reflection that lead him down the path to transforming his body.
“It was literally one day I looked in a mirror and enough was enough,” Keen said to Fox 9.
“I had always been active in high school and college sports,” Keen says. “But later, I let myself go. I got comfortable, I didn’t have a clean diet. I gained a lot of weight. I realized I needed to make a change: I didn’t want to be the overweight father who couldn’t do activities with his kids. I needed to lose weight and lead a healthier life.
It was like a switch that went off in his head that not only told him that he could do this, but that light also gave him the vision to tackle it from the inside out.
“I started researching diet plans for the best way to attack this problem,” Keen adds. “When I decide to do something, I just dive in. I decided to do a body-building show. I had never done a show. A friend of mine got me in contact with a professional bodybuilder (Keith Williams). We met to discuss my current diet and goals. He had my back from day one.”
“My diet totally changed: I had to start eating six meals a day, every two to three hours. It focused on macro (tracking protein, carbs and fats) and calories. For my workout plan, I had the unique opportunity to work out with a pro bodybuilder six days a week — lifting and cardio,” he shares.
It was tough at first — especially the diet: egg whites, oatmeal, chicken breast, a lot of fish, rice, sweet potatoes, ground turkey, lots of green vegetables …
“I wasn’t used to eating so much,” he says. “By the time my third meal came around, I was still full. My body wasn’t used to it. Two or three months later, though, I was always hungry because my metabolism was firing on all cylinders.”
It was a system that worked.
“I wanted to prove to my son that anything is possible. As I got further along and started seeing results, I had the great opportunity to be told that I was influencing and inspiring countless people,” Keen adds. “That alone was so powerful to me, and made me realize I wasn’t the only person benefiting from this journey.”
“That first year, I lost 150 pounds,” he says.
Soon, he faced another turning point.
“After my first show, I looked back on my journey,” he says. “I realized that when it came to losing weight, the hardest part was the diet — planning, buying and prepping the food. In my case, my wife (Coreisi Keen) helped me. I wondered: Is there a way we could help others on their journey?”
RELATED: 3 Steps to Easy Meal Planning
This is how the family’s company, Empower Meals, was born.
Empower Meals preps the meals in the kitchen space at Midtown Global Market. Meals are delivered to people’s doorsteps.
“We are local and we deliver fresh, ready-to-eat meals to your door,” he says. “All they have to do is buy it and cook it. It takes away the excuses.”
It’s a service that is severely needed and wanted in a growing market. With meal prep and meal delivery services popping up online like Plated, Blue Apron and others, Empower Meals is positioned in the right space.
“We’re more than just a meal prep company. We’re linked up with gyms, partnered with trainers; we have supplement avenues; we want to start a nonprofit for the youth, we want to get into schools and youth programs,” Keen adds. “Our target market is everyday people who want to lose weight or just be healthy and might not know where to start. We want to have the whole package, not just meals.”
When Keen looks in the mirror now, he can only see the exterior part of his transformation. But everything has changed.
“I’m feeling really good,” he says, “but above and beyond that, it feels good to help other people out, to change the lives of others.”