I began a my own personal transformation on February 6, 2012 and my results thus far are better than I could have expected, so I decided to share my story with you. I was 215 pounds on the day I began. And as of today Sunday March 4, I am 199.5 pounds. I’m down 4 belt loops and I have more energy than I’ve had in a long… long time. My goal is 180-185, a weight I maintained for years.
So what got me started on this journey and what makes this time different than the many, many times I’d tried and failed before? After all, I had all the diet and strategies available at my fingertips. I’ve interviewed dozens and dozens of Champion bodybuilders, fitness models and transformation champions. I’ve trained with top Amateur and Pro bodybuilders and I’d been in great shape in my past. So why did I fail before and what was I going to do to make this time different with all these role models at my disposal?
Step 1 for me was associating MASSIVE pain to staying the way I was. Oh that opportunity came strongly and swiftly with three events. The first was seeing the pictures of myself interviewing Iron Man magazine publisher John Balik for the 75th anniversary issue. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I thought, “Is that really me” the guy who many come to for training advice?
Worse yet, I had to appear in the Iron Man booth at the Fit Expo. Frankly, I didn’t want to show up because I was frustrated with my condition… and to make matters worse, I was representing Iron Man? Ugh! Then, a true friend, Randy Crist, who I met online at the iron-age-classic-bodybuilding.com provided the push I needed. Randy walked up to me at the Fit Expo pointed at my stomach and said “What happened to you”? Randy was dead on balls accurate. That was it. The gauntlet had been thrown down and I vowed it will NEVER happen again… never.
Step 2 can be summed up with one word… DECISION. Once and for all I made the decision. That’s what had been a key strategy for me in the past and it’s also what I had forgotten to do the times I failed. I was reminded of this when I interviewed one of our bloggers, Jon Benson, a guy who made his own transformation at 40 plus and who’s been inspiring others for years now.
I embraced Jon’s definition of decision: the moment where you declare separation from any other outcome than the one you desire the most. As Jon explains, making this distinction is critical. The power of true decision can move mountains. I made a conscious choice to proceed with my fitness goals, come what may. No other possibility exists.
Step 3 was to choose one plan. I began looking at all the nutritional plans and training routines I had followed in the past, all the people I had interviewed and chose just one. I settled on a plan that closely resembles a Paleo nutritional plan with my calories pretty low––in the 1,200 to 1,400 range.
How would I maintain or even gain muscle with my calories that low? Remember this is a transformation plan so body composition is more important than weight loss. I looked at all the area’s where I had been taking in far too many calories. I found I had been ingesting 300 to 500 calories a day just from condiments and food additives (coffee creamers, ketchup etc.). Another 300 to 500 in bad snack foods such as crackers, raisins, sugar free pudding. I guess I had convinced myself that they were ‘healthy’ snacks. There is no way those calories where contributing to gaining or maintaining muscle. I also realized another 300 to 500 had been going into larger than needed portions of clean food. I replaced 1 of my protein shakes with BCAA & Glutamine so there is another 220 calories less.
So my strategy has been: reduced calories, a gallon of water a day, weight training 4 days a week and a daily trade between high intensity interval cardio and low intensity long duration cardio. I kept the junk food in plain view and have labeled it POISON with a red marker for a little subconscious reprogramming and an old belt from when I was in shape hangs visibly outside my closet.
Stay tuned… I’ll be posting pictures, diet recipes, and training strategies. Check out our other bloggers at:
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