Wow! Can’t believe its already been a year since the original story was shared! When we first got this rolling I was so new to health and fitness. Now its officially become the absolute force that drives me.
Since the airing of my story my dedication and desire to become better has been fueled by continuous results. I’ve been blessed to have regained my physical well being and have been able to use that to help motivate and inspire so many people. I’ve put together several workout and meal plans for friends and family. All of whom have used them to better themselves. That of itself is a huge reward. I’m still working construction from April til December so needless to say when I’m not working out…I’m still working out. Doing interlock brick for a living has definitely become easier with my new found addiction to fitness. It was a long summer last year juggling 12 hour days lugging and laying bricks and coming home and getting my workouts in however, I managed to stay on track and remain focused on my goals. No excuses. Training is a part of my everyday routine now.
Growing up I was always active, I just simply couldn’t sit still. Played both soccer and baseball as a youngster and when that wasn’t happening you could always find me on a basketball court or on the streets playing endless hours of road hockey. If I had stayed involved with sports and stuck by my friends who shared those interests with me, it’s safe to say I would never have let myself get to a point where I was disgusted by my body.
It was after I turned about 18 that things really went downhill for me. I had stopped hanging out with the guys I had grown up with who were all into sports and working out. Instead I chose to let myself turn into what most would consider to be a party animal. My entire 20’s was pretty much a write off. Really can’t think of very much during that time that I am actually proud of. Cared more about partying and having a good time, than I did about being a good person, a good friend or even a good son. I made so many poor decisions regarding my physical well being that in all seriousness I consider myself lucky to be alive.
It wasn’t until April 2011 that I actually looked at pictures of myself and realized how much I had let myself go. What I saw was nothing that anyone would want to be. At 267 lbs with a ridiculously high body fat % I had become a complete disaster in terms of health. I had myself convinced that my extremely physical and heavy job was keeping me in shape. Sadly this couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was probably eating upwards of 5000 calories a day most of which came from processed foods saturated in trans fats and I was a sugar drink addict as well as thousands of empty calories from consuming far too much alcohol. Looking back it blows my mind to think how long I lived my life like this. Thankfully sometimes all it takes is seeing a picture of yourself to make you realize you aren’t happy with how you look and it forces you to do everything in your power to change it.
Since I made the choice to change my entire lifestyle I’ve had such great motivation from just simply watching my body change right before my eyes. Realizing how blessed I am, I have become a much more spiritual person. I’m more caring, more willing to help others. I really feel as though I have not only changed the person I am physically, but also emotionally. I’m so much more at peace with myself. I have a passion burning inside of me that never in my wildest dreams would I ever had thought existed. It goes without saying that I am a much better all around person since I’ve turned my life around through fitness.
My family and friends have all been amazing throughout this journey. So very supportive. Always complimenting me and motivating me to be a better person every day. Friends who I grew up with who were always in better shape than me are actually now asking me for advice in training and diet. That right there assures me I’m doing something right. My relationship became strained from my dedication to this fitness game and eventually it ended. However I have been lucky enough for God to have brought someone so very special into my life who truly understands and supports everything I’m trying to achieve. She is my biggest supporter and understands where I’m coming from, as she too went through the process of losing weight and changing her life. She has even turned me into quite the cook. We enjoy making new clean eating dishes together and she has shown me how great cooking at home can really be. Having someone by your side who has gone through the same thing and understands the level of commitment required to achieve all your goals is a blessing. With her in my life I feel like nothing can hold me back. She makes me want to be better and that’s the kind of person we all need when you’re going through a major change in your lifestyle.
One of my biggest obstacles has been eating enough to grow. After being fat for so long I am always worried about eating too many calories. I’ve really had to overcome that in order to put on size. When I dropped to 177 lbs I felt great but since that original weight loss I’ve fought tooth and nail to get where I am now. I currently weigh 215 lbs with 17% body fat. Everyday I eat as clean as possible and work as hard as I can to become better in every way. I’ve even been lucky enough to have my transformation photos shared on a few other sites. So crazy to think that this one time fat guy could be responsible for motivating so many people.
My training since the last story has changed quite a bit. I was doing an upper/lower split but changed last Spring to more of a bodybuilding style split. Still trained at home all last summer but in December I made the switch to a local gym and I gotta say I’ve truly embraced the atmosphere. I love being around others who are training. I love being one of the bigger guys in there who people come to for advice or for workout programs. Little do they know my results are only from just over a year of training. I usually train 6 days a week because rest days just make me feel lazy. I am so addicted to lifting now that I embrace the pain that comes along with it. My split is generally Chest/Biceps, Shoulders/Triceps, Back/Traps and Legs/Abs but it’s always changing. No more cardio through the streets, I’ve now discovered the joys of treadmills and stationary bikes. While I was bulking for a while I did very little cardio but now as summer is approaching you better believe I’m all about that cardio again. I’m very cerebral when I train. I use many variations of exercises and hit muscle groups from multiple angles. My workouts are constantly evolving. Rarely will I do the same routine 2 weeks in a row. I love keeping my body guessing. Muscle confusion is critical when you are trying to gain size. Nothing becomes stale in my routine because of this constant change. This summer I used a mass gainer to help add some size but over the last 5 months the only supplements I use are Omega 3 Fish Oils, MultiVitamins, Whey Protein, Creatine and Glutamine. I try to use food as much as possible as my main source of supplements. Sometimes I need a shake to get my protein up or boost my calories but I’m not completely dependent on supplements for results.
My meal plan is probably considered extremely boring to the average person but since my transformation I’ve learned to eat for function rather than flavor. I’ve learned to incorporate a variety of spices in order to make my meals taste great while also being great for you. Cinnamon is one the greatest spices you can find! The fact that it also aids in fat burning is a huge bonus. Every morning I either have oats or egg whites. The rest of my meals throughout the day include lots of green vegetables and lean meats which are high in protein. No more saturated fats or sugars unless they are from natural sources. I only eat fruit before or immediately after a workout. I try to keep my carbs moderate but my protein intake is always high. I aim for a minimum of 220 grams of protein daily and rarely do I not reach this number. Generally one cheat meal per week is all I allow myself. Training days I will boost my caloric intake a little bit depending on the intensity of the workout. I still keep an eye on my calories and always monitor my macros. I feel that constantly tracking my food intake makes it impossible for me to fall back into old eating habits. If you see me in the grocery store its always going to be a cart full of vegetables, egg whites, chicken breast, ground chicken or turkey, talapia, tuna fish, and cottage cheese. Simple but effective.
I feel like since my weight loss I’ve come a long way putting on the size I desired. I now feel big but this time around its not because I’m fat. I’m currently working towards 10% body fat and am not trying to lose too much weight or muscle in my pursuit of this goal. Ultimately I would love to be around 210 lbs with that body fat %, so safe to say I will still be working as hard as ever to make this a reality. The great thing about training is it allows you to constantly push yourself and adjust your goals along the way. Keep in mind my original goal was to be skinny when this all started. Didn’t take long being skinny for me to realize how badly I really wanted to be muscular. Skinny really isn’t a great look. I’m currently in the midst of a slow cut because this year is all about definition. Really can’t wait to see what I look like by the end of the year. With my goals and desires always changing this truly helps to keep me focused on the task at hand. Its amazing what we can do with our bodies when we put our minds to it.
I feel that its important for anyone who is serious about changing their life, that they need to realize I didn’t do anything special. There was no fad diet, no magic pills, no starving myself. I lost 90 lbs in 95 days because I did what was necessary to achieve my goal. Nothing comes without hard work. You cannot look at other peoples bodies and say “I want that” or “I wish I looked like that”. You have to do it for yourself. Throughout the process you need to appreciate what you’re doing, and embrace the challenge. Its not easy. You will doubt yourself. There will be setbacks. But that’s what makes it so much more amazing when you reach your goal. Don’t be too reliant on a scale. Its only numbers. The mirror will tell you how great you’re doing. The most important thing is to remember its not a race. This is your life you’re trying to take back. Do it for all the people who said you couldn’t. Enjoy the journey. Remember no one on this earth is going to do it for you. Dig deep, stick with it, the results will come. And when they do, be prepared to feel things you have never felt before. This could be your last chance, so please don’t wait til tomorrow. Decide today to change your life forever.
I just want to say that what I’ve gone through in the past 2 years has been absolutely incredible. The opportunity to share my story and inspire others has really changed me as a person. Our minds are such a powerful tool. Once your mind is in the right place, there really is nothing that can hold you back. Don’t forget I started this journey with a new diet and a resistance band. Changing your life forever doesn’t have to cost you a bunch of money. All you need is the desire to achieve a goal and the willpower to follow through with it. Anyone who’s reading this and is thinking that they can’t do it, I just want to tell you that YES YOU CAN! Our obesity rates are far too high and if I can even help motivate one person to change this trend then I feel as though this has all been worth it. Please just watch what you feed your children and yourself for that matter. Lets take back our lives. Lets all fight together to create a healthier environment for those we love. Lets set goals and not stop til we reach them. Lets change the way we eat. Lets change the way we live. Lets change the way we love. We’re all in this together. Lets all remember why we started and rejoice at the finish.
Most importantly, let us all become SOCIALLY FIT!!!
Thank you for taking the time to read my follow up story. With any luck I will have inspired some of you and it will be your story that I’m reading next!
You can find me on Twitter @G_FiT_ToRoNTo_ I’m always willing to answer questions or offer advice or workout programs.