85MPH Accident that Created a Champion
By, Frank Budelewski
“If you go to my website… ask-bigfrank.com my story is there, but in a nutshell, I had a scholarship to play football but was in a car accident at 85mph that should have taken my life. I couldn’t move for 6 years and went through many operations. Determined to get my life back, I defied doctors and lost 130lbs. Then my next goal was to rebuild my muscle and compete. People laughed and made fun of me. Said it was impossible. Even my own family but I was determined. In 2001 I showed up at the Mr. Buffalo and when I weighed in you could hear a pin drop. I beat everyone who made fun of me and won that show. I continued to improve and kept competing and winning. In 2009 I achieved pro status with the WBFF which of course shocked the world. I was supposed to do the worlds that year but wound up tearing my knee at work. I was of course counted out, BUT lol as I have proved nothing keeps me down, SO I lost 100lbs in 24 weeks and competed in the worlds in 2010 taking 6th in the world out of 35 different countries and then again I competed in 2012 by getting shredded to the bone and doing the muscle model division to help build it’s popularity since I have a really strong following and write for 4 magazines. That year I was named ambassador of the federation. In January of this year Bodybuilding.com named me man of the year for 2013 and a bunch of magazines have shared my story. Now lol at 42, I am again doing what people claim I can’t… and that is leaving one sport as a pro, to be an amateur in another. Being inspired by the Game of Arms tv show, I am training with Team Erie and training for arm wrestling. I just did my first meet and pulled off a win against a seasoned puller. I also helped NVIE to sponsor Mike Ayello from the show and we are going to bringing in a few others so that we can capitalize off the show and also help to reach the mainstream and bring attention to the sport AND NVIE! SO very exciting stuff. My mission in life is to try to prove Gods decision to spare my life. Many people feel I should have died in that crash. I didn’t, however in a short time I DID lose 4 of my best friends all due to drugs and alcohol, so I have dedicated my life to helping others. Whether it be by getting them healthy, OR speaking to students about the dangers of drinking and driving. I believe I ws given my strength, size and determination, because maybe some kids out there may be more captivated by me than their teachers, TV, or even parents. When I speak, students tend to listen, and even if I only get through to a few, those could be a few fatalities I may have prevented. I use the motto… Better to scare straight than be too late! In 14 years many supplement companies approached me to represent them because I have a strong following due to my blunt honesty. I refused to join any company until NVIE came along because they were able to PROVE to me that what was on the label, was in the product, and I use their products exclusively. With 3rd party quality assurance testing with raw materials and finished products, consumers can be assured that NVIE is the purest and most potent products on the market!”
Big Franks FULL Biography:
In 1991, I was in a severe car accident that ended my football career and left me partially immobile for nearly six years. After the accident, many at the impound yard believed that the passenger must have died. When they were told that I had survived the crash and was in the hospital, the guard said, “The only person that could live through a crash like that would be SUPERMAN.” A title I felt he would have to work for to accept. Doctors told me I would never walk right, couldn’t run, and would never train again. I became self-destructive and dysmorphic. Although I was more than 300 pounds, I saw myself as small. Even on the hottest summer days, I put on cotton armor; three T-shirts, a few cut sweatshirts, a giant T-shirt to hold it all in, and an enormous 5-6X button down. My metabolism shut down and the only way for me to feel big was to gorge myself on food.
I’ve written many articles on body dysmorphic disorder. Think of it as reverse anorexia. I went through many years of therapy to start wearing less clothing and decided to change my life no matter how much pain it caused. I wound up losing 130 pounds and started rebuilding myself. I told people that my dream was to compete. They either laughed at me or appeased me by saying, “Oh, that’s nice.”
Nobody took me seriously until I stepped on the Mr. Buffalo stage in 2001. When I took off my layers of clothing, you could hear a pin drop backstage. My radical transformation is still talked about at the annual show. I took first place at that show, continued competing, and did extremely well in every competition, which earned me a pro card in the WBFF, a dream I had for years.
Unfortunately, once I got where I wanted to be, I was involved in an accident at work and couldn’t train for months. That led to my recent transformation. Although I competed for years, I still got big during the off-season and didn’t notice because of the dysmorphic disorder. I was extremely strong, but out of breath when tying my shoes.
When it was time for pre-contest, I lost 50-60 pounds. After my injury, I couldn’t work out, do cardio, and thought my competition days were over. To finally achieve what people thought I never could and then lose it … that was hard to accept. I slid back into my self-destructive ways: binge drinking, stuffing my face with fast food, and wearing layers of clothing.
The years I spent making something of myself started to disappear and I looked similar to when I first started, which did some major mental damage. I was extremely frustrated with my body and how I felt. It was even more frustrating that I was still afflicted with a disorder that lasted nearly 20 years. I couldn’t let my reputation and integrity be ruined, so I decided to transform my body and mind and rid myself of this terrible disorder that destroys lives.
Since I had a problem being small, instead of competing in the bodybuilding division, I dieted hard to compete in the pro muscle model division at the 2012 WBFF World Championships. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I did the opposite of what I did before and what many tell you to do. I took down the posters, put the videos away, and didn’t look at magazines. I trained, worked, and raised my children (two sets of twins). I didn’t want to talk about it, hear about it, or tell people about it. In other words, I decided to balance my life. This sport and industry is fun and amazing, but if it’s all you do, you’re missing out. I finally learned to live.
Days, weeks, and months went by, and before I knew it, I lost exactly 100 pounds in 24 weeks. I walked onto the WBFF stage and shocked the world as a muscle model instead of a bodybuilder. But something funny happened. I still outweighed the closest competitor by 40 pounds. Then it hit me—I’m a pretty big guy. I achieved my best conditioning ever.
This physical and mental change gave me an entirely new set of tools to help others. Instead of just relating to clients and giving them diets and programs to follow, I can help them unlock their mind, find the root of their food addictions, conquer them, and create permanent change. Now, at age 41, I’m healthier mentally and physically than ever before. When people ask how I did it, I simply smile and say, “I just did it.”
How I Accomplished My Goals
Being body dysmorphic, I have a tough time making weekly changes by looking in the mirror, so I used a camera. I took weekly pictures and cropped my head out. I sent them to my email, just like clients would, and looked at the pictures like I was looking at someone else. That allowed me to make the weekly changes necessary to achieve my goal.
What Aspect Challenged Me the Most
The biggest challenge was my own mind. Being dysmorphic, seeing myself smaller in the mirror than others do, and hearing ridiculous comments from people who know nothing about this sport is hard to block out. People don’t know the mental damage they inflict with words.
My Future Fitness Plans
I’m taking transformation coaching to the next level and accepting clients from around the world who had fantastic results under the name Ask Big Frank Transformations. I have also started a competitive team… Big Frank’s Supergirls. A group of exceptional women who not only do incredible onstage, but also (and more importantly) inspire OFF the stage!
Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers
For people attempting to transform my advice is to not look at pictures in magazines and online. Don’t study them. Don’t look at Mr. Olympia or a world champion and say that’s what you’re going to look like. Take down the posters and limit your time online staring at industry professionals.
Be inspired for sure, but don’t say you won’t be happy until you look like them. We all have different bodies; different structures. Be the best you can be. Make changes to your body. If you want to study pictures, study your own. Take them every week. Keep a gym and nutrition log.
Be happy and proud of your results. This sport takes time. Instead of being discouraged because you aren’t where you want to be, be proud of the strides you make.
I may be a professional athlete with a monthly columns, but I’m just a regular guy who wakes up every day, raises his kids, supports his family, and helps as many people as possible.
“He turns his injuries into strengths. That which does not kill him makes him stronger. He IS SUPERMAN.” -nietzsche