WDAY.com |

North Dakota's #1 news website 10,650,498 page views — March 2014

Published May 03, 2012, 11:30 PM

Fargo man transforms himself into bodybuilder

Eric “Little E” O’Meara used to cry after school because he was picked on for his weight. Now the Fargo man emanates health and happiness. Oh yeah, and he’s an amateur bodybuilder.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

Eric “Little E” O’Meara used to cry after school because he was picked on for his weight.

Now the Fargo man emanates health and happiness. Oh yeah, and he’s an amateur bodybuilder.

With the encouragement of a friend and co-worker, O’Meara, 24, joined a gym after he graduated from Wahpeton (N.D.) High School.

“I was just sick and tired of people making fun of me,” he says.

O’Meara dropped 30-some pounds the summer before he went to North Dakota State College of Science.

By the end of his first year in the school’s culinary arts program, he had lost a total of 70 pounds and reduced his body fat to 17 percent.

A self-described emotional eater, the chef regained 30 pounds during the first semester of his second year of college.

He resisted buying bigger pants when he noticed they no longer fit. “I was ashamed,” he says.

When he moved to Fargo in 2008, O’Meara joined Anytime Fitness and reconnected with longtime friend and off-and-on trainer Ricky Trappen.

O’Meara credits Trappen, a seven-year bodybuilder himself, for much of his success.

“Ricky Trappen is the best in the business,” he says. “He’s taken a scared, overweight white boy and made him an amateur bodybuilder.”

The Ultra Body Fitness district manager helped O’Meara recommit to his fitness goals and find the drive and determination that landed him a second-place finish at last month’s NPC Upper Midwest Bodybuilding, Physique, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championship at North Dakota State University.

“He knows I want this with a passion, he’s seen my transformations, and he knows how dedicated I am,” O’Meara says.

O’Meara, “Little E” to his friends, works out whenever he can and follows a strict high-protein diet.

He consumes as many whole foods as possible but allows himself a couple “dirty days” each week when he’ll enjoy Chinese food or frozen yogurt with his girlfriend.

“It’s a date night; you still have to live your life,” he says.

O’Meara struggles with cravings (chocolate!) and portion sizes, but he’s not letting that get in his way. “I still crave the exact same thing that I used to,” he says.

The drastic change in O’Meara’s appearance has taken some getting used to, and he gets emotional when he looks at his “after” pictures.

His friends and family hesitated to accept the measures he took to achieve a competition physique, but ultimately they stood behind him.

“As soon as they saw me on stage, they saw my smile, they found out I won second place, it clicked,” he says.

O’Meara competed at 150 pounds and 3 percent body fat.

He’s proud of his accomplishment but knows it’s not healthy or realistic to maintain those numbers. “I can’t look like that all the time,” he says.

Instead, he’d like to stay in the 170-to-180-pound range. “I’m going to get bigger, but I want to get bigger the healthy way,” he says.

Through his journey, O’Meara has gained self-worth, self-love and confidence, which he says he never had as a kid.

“As long as you love yourself, you’re going to go far,” he says.

Do you have a weight-loss story to tell? Email me at mholt@forumcomm.com. Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590

Tags: