Employee Story: Ilya Kulabukhov, Magna Russia
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Ilya's Metamorphosis

Ilya Kulabukhov, born and raised in Kaluga, Russia, has been with Magna for four years. The Transport & Customs Division Trainee enjoys his job, and is especially grateful that his position provides him satisfaction and a sense of self-motivation.

Initially, Ilya had great difficulty finding motivation to lose weight because he had convinced himself that he didn’t have a weight problem.

At 6’2” and over 220 lbs (100kg), the 22 year-old came to the realization that he needed to make some changes. “You can’t just turn a blind eye to it,” he explains. “I think that everybody, sooner or later, starts realistically viewing the facts of life and understanding their own problems.”

He knew what he wanted to do, how he wanted to change his body, and he set his mind to the task. “I immediately decided that no one should have to ‘pull’ me and I had to deal with this problem head-on.”

Aside from his brother, Ilya didn’t share his plans with anyone. “If you have no goal, there is nothing to strive for,” Ilya’s older brother told him. His brother proved to be a great source of motivation and encouragement throughout Ilya’s weight loss.

Ilya set himself a challenging goal of reaching 178 lbs (81kg). As a Teachers College graduate that specialized in Physical Training, Ilya used his acquired skills to develop a training schedule. He took his plan to the gym and worked out three times a week. As his fitness improved, he joined Cross Fit and that’s when he really started seeing results. “The first month was the most difficult,” he says, but Ilya knew he had to stay motivated and consistent.

His biggest challenge was food. “You will fail without proper nutrition. There is a lot of literature available, a different nutrition program for everyone, and I found mine.” The first thing he did was reject sweets, including all added sugar. He also made himself a food plan that included five meals per day. “I excluded bad fatty foods and increased protein consumption, like fish, cheese, and poultry.” Ilya says one of the hardest things was to start having breakfast, because it never used to be part of his routine. “Now I cannot start the day without having a good breakfast.”

“The first feeling of lost weight came when I put on my watch and it began to fall from my hand.” Ilya was halfway to his goal weight at the time, and the results motivated him to keep pushing forward. “Everything happened very quickly, I did not even have time to wear some of the new clothes I bought.”

Ilya, now 23 years old, surpassed his goal. Weighing in at 172 lbs (78kg), he continues to train and set new goals for himself. “I have become use to proper nutrition to such an extent that now I do not understand how it was possible for me to eat so poorly before. During these six months, I acquired the thing I dreamed of for a long time: the optimal health that each person needs and the confidence required to achieve your goals.” Now that he’s found the ‘huge world of sports’ Ilya has no intention of giving up. “Good luck to all of you,” he encourages. “To achieve a dream, you just have to convert it into a goal and start to implement it step by step.”


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