First off, thank for visiting my 1st ever blog. I’ve never had the urge to write one before, however recently I have been asked by many people in the gym, facebook and twitter how have I managed to go from 18 Stone to my current weight. Many have told me that I’ve inspired them to do the same. I’ve feel total overwhelmed by this as I have never been an inspiration to anyone in my life.
Just to give you a little background about me. I’ve always been a well-built guy and always carried my weight well. Throughout my 20’s I keep telling myself this and never saw myself getting bigger (who does as it a slow process). I remember when I was working in retail in my early 20’s my manager was always telling me that I will regret all the crap I’m eating and by the time I hit my 30’s I will notice it. I hate to say that going from being on my feet 9 hours a day in retail to sitting on my fat arse driving trains, she was right.
Here is the proof, these picture were taken days before my 30th birthday out in Jamaica in November 2012
So what started my Journey I hear you ask!
Was it that I was fed up of being fat? No I didn’t really think like that.
Was it for health reason? No
Was it because I caught the Norovirus NYE 2012? Yes
I know it’s a strange thing to say but it’s true. I was unlucky to come down with it on NYE and I didn’t recover from it for over 2 weeks. During that time I lost a stone in weight and I’m not going to lie, It felt good looking at the scales think yeah i’ve lost a stone, but it was cheats way of losing weight.
Once I was fully recovered I decided hit Nutfield Priory Gym I was already a member at. I hated (and still to this day still do) doing cardio in the gym. I can’t think of anything worse than getting on a treadmill, bike or crosstrainier. They are the most boring bits of gym kit going. Instead I do spin and circuit classes.I love these classes as I feel that I’ve done a proper workout as I’m dripping after 45-60mins. I knew I needed to do something more if I was to shift more the pounds, So I decided to get one of the gym instructors to make me up one of them programs. David made me up a weight program and told me that by following it I will start losing weight. Yes I was the same as everyone else and stuck to for about a week or two. I didn’t see any change as the fat was hiding what was going on under the surface and thought that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
Over the next 6 months it was very much a mental battle. I was going to the gym one week and not the next. I was only doing spin classes (about 3 or 4 a week) and I was slowly losing weight. I had also slowly being changing what I ate. I use to love my fast food, all that easy processed food you find down the aisle of the supermarket. I never used to eat any of that healthy stuff like salad or veg. But now I was starting to enjoy salads but haven’t started on the veg side of things. I had also started calorie counting by using My Fitness Pal app again. This was great to keep track of everything from how many calories I was burning to how many I was putting in my body and how many I was burning off.. I also invested in a heart rate monitor (HRM). I found this very helpful while training as I push myself to raise my HR and burn more calories. I found the Polar watch a great HRM to start with as you can sync it online and see some great data like this
By August 2013 I weighted 15st 11lbs. At this point decided to set a goal. Which was 14st I knew that to achieve this I needed to up my game and start toning up. So once again I decided to go get one of them ‘dreaded’ programs made up again. I booked one in and turned up a few days later. I was waiting in the gym and Ortis Deley (Yes the one off the TV) walks in. He had recently become a personal trainer and was working at my gym. Over a few days he made me up a Resistance (weight) Training program and also said to me that 70- 80% of what I do in the gym starts in the kitchen.
I knew that if I wanted to see more change I needed to change my nutrition. So yes no more fast food, no more processed crap, all freshly cooked by myself so I knew what is going in my gob. I’m not sure this is because a ‘famous’ person has told me this or just because I actually wanted to do it now I was coping with the mental hurdle, I hope its the latter. The same also applies to the program he made me. I stuck to it for over a month.
Oh yeah I have also giving up smoking since October 2013. Who said you put on weight when you give up smoking.
At the beginning of November 2013 I was down to 14st 4lbs and needed a new gym routine. I had been reading lots of different stuff online regarding nutrition and resistance training. So instead of getting another program made up, I made up my own 12-week training program. I download the Jefit App, which allowed me to add and track all the reps, weights and rest time between exercises. It started off with just upper body and lower body for 2 weeks and moved on to Chest & Arms days, Back & shoulder and the ‘hated’ legs days as my body was able to handle more advanced exercises.
My nutrition also took on a new challenge. I decided that I was going to go on a low carb ‘diet’ which meant cutting out bread, rise, pasta, and potato’s but having to up my protein intake. I use the word diet very lightly as I REALLY don’t agree with the word. Diets are things so many people do to achieve their goal, stop, pile the pounds back on and then repeat the whole process for years on end. I prefer the term healthy eating or eating clean as it’s a total lifestyle change not a short term solution.
As I was doing resistance training 3 to 4 times a week with most sessions followed by a spin class, I was worried that without carbs I would struggle for energy. Oh I was so wrong. I was full of energy, I don’t know if this was because I wasn’t carrying around the 4stone I had previously lost. Whatever the reason I didn’t care as I love being trim.
My daily food intake was high about 2700 calories due to how much exercise I was doing. I used this site to work out my recommended daily calories. I was and still am eating every 2-3 hours; which is bloody brilliant, as I love eating clean healthy food now.
I shop in the around the outside aisles of a supermarket, where all the fresh food is. I also support my local businesses by buying eggs from a local ‘egg farm’ (You really don’t realise how egg should taste until you buy proper fresh eggs), I visit a local fish man & butchers. I don’t get buy any processed foods. I cook everything fresh that normally take 10-30 minutes to cook.
Before you say but it’s expensive buying locally, let me prove you are wrong. I buy 5kg of chicken for £30 from my local butchers, I get about 22-25 breasts weighting between 200-250g . Which works works out at £1.36 a breast. A 350g pack from Tesco’s costs £4. You do the maths! More importantly my breasts don’t shrink when cooked as they are not pumped full of water.
A general daily menu for me is:
Breakfast – 3 eggs (poached, omelette or scrambled) along with a mackerel fillet
Mid morning – A protein shake with flexseed to increase the calories
Lunch – Chicken, Meat or Fish with Salad
After gym– Protein shake with flexseed to increase the calories
Dinner – Chicken, meat or fish with loads of Veg (I’m now eating any and every type of veg)
Evening snack – 100g of almond nuts or Protein cooked goodies (see below)
Drink lots of water, no squash, black coffee without sugar and NO ALCOHOL I have only drunk alcohol on NYE 2013 and then not again till a night out in March. I have been out and had just as much fun if not more without drinking (and my mates love it as I always offer to drive)
For anyone that knows me my biggest struggle is my sweet tooth. I love my chocolate and I have slipped a few times. However recently I’ve found a great website that shows you how to make/cook/baked stuff with protein powders. My favourite at the moment has to be Protein fluff as it quick, easy can be made with lots of different frozen fruit and most of all kills my sweet tooth issues.
By March 2014 this is what had achieved
I have passed my target of 14st and now weighting at 13st 6lbs. I had also drop down from 42% body fat to 19.8% and now have a slight 6 pack. My goal now is to get rock hard abs and down to 15% body fat.
I’m playing squash with David (yes the one who’s program I thought wasn’t working), and over the last few months have learned alot from him and grown to be a good mate. I’m now going to start outdoor training for the summer to just keep it fresh and interesting. Come the winter I will be back in the gym finding a new challenge.
More important I’m the fittest i’ve ever been and I’ve signed up for Mud Runs with the 1st one being on Sunday 23rd of March. Eeeek that’s in 4 days time.
If I go a few days without training I get moody, where before I could take or leave training for weeks on end. I love the new me and enjoy sharing my story with everyone as i’m proof that you can go from Obese to Fit when you put your mind to it.
One thing to remember just like putting on weight, losing it is a slow process that requires a lot of determination, mental hurdles and a total nutritional change.
I hope this has inspired you and please feel free to contact me via twitter if you have any questions. Also I will in time be setting up a new and exciting website so watch this space