Less than two years ago I was standing on a golf course working on my swing. While practicing, I decided to video tape my swing to see if I could make some improvements. After taking one look at the video I realized my swing sucked and that I was fat. Yes, you heard me, FAT. I looked and felt like a beached whale. At first I tried to deny it, but then I realized I had been denying it for years. It started when I graduated high school (around 165lbs graduation day) and went to college. I was a typical case study: student, eat bad, play hard, computer geek = sedentary job, get fat. Over the years I ballooned from a lean 165 to a walrus sized 245.
After seeing myself on video that fateful day I made a decision…. It was time to lose the weight. I wish I could say my reasons were altruistic; they weren’t. It wasn’t because I was scared I wouldn’t be around for my son, or because I was worried about my health, or because I didn’t feel good about myself. Simply, I didn’t want to look fat any longer. Is this vain, yes, did it motivate me, yes.
Since that time I have dropped to 175 lbs and am in the best shape of my life. I have had numerous friends and acquaintances ask “how did you do it”. After answering that question more times than I can count (and still happy to answer), I figured I would write it out.
Before I start please let me make a couple of statements. 1. I am not a medical expert, fitness expert or expert of any sort, this worked for me it may not for you, consult someone who knows what they are talking about. 2. Even though I say I was fat, I am not making a judgement on others, be comfortable with who you are.
Phase I: Where to start?
After having this great realization that I am fat, I had no idea where to start. Do I eat less? Do I exercise? Do I take drugs? What do I do? I decided to start simple. There were a few things I did to get the ball rolling:
Over the following couple of months I started to see changes, started dropping pounds and feeling better. This made me more interested in learning about calories and good vs. bad food. I started tracking what I ate and trying to be a bit more … consistent with how I managed my diet.
Then the day came that I wanted more. I was really starting to see results (the first place I noticed was my face), and decided I wanted to start lifting weights and getting more serious about exercise. The problem, I didn’t have a clue what to do. I played sports in school, but had never been on a “program”. Then a friend posted on his blog that he was starting a program called p90x. I didn’t know what this was. I saw that they sold it on TV and immediately thought CRAP. Wow, I was VERY VERY VERY wrong. This program would single handedly change my life.
Phase II: P90x, What the He** is that?
I would love to say that I immediately realized p90x would work and be great for me, but I can’t. I honestly thought it was BS and that only a moron would buy an infomercial product to get in shape. I had dreams of being the dork using the ab-belt to get in shape. Then I did the first workout.
It was amazingly simple, no gimmicks, just work your tail off hard. The first workout (lots of pushups and pullups) made me sore for days. The more I started researching the product (I did the first workout with a friend before I bought the product) the more I realized there was nothing special about it. It is “normal” workout routines (cardio and weight lifting) with nothing more than a pullup bar and dumbbells…. oh and a crazy guy, Tony Horton, leading via a video. What p90x provided was structure and direction. It took the guess work out of things and made the program easy to follow.
When I started p90x I was at about 210 pound, by the end of the first round I was at 185 lbs and my body fat was sub-15%. I went all in, I did the eating plan, I did the weights, I worked hard. My wife definitely liked the transition and I felt great. I am not a p90x salesman, but I 100% believe in the product and feel it changed my life. When I started, I only cared about getting a better look in the mirror, now I care about living a healthy, long life.
Do I think other programs can work, can lifting on your own without p90x work? YES! If you commit to a program or a workout routine and stick with it, it can work. P90X worked for me, and in turn has worked for friends after seeing my results.
By this time I had started watching closely what I ate (I use LiveStrong.com to track all of my food), I was doing p90x every day, I was seeing real results, and then I stalled. I didn’t gain weight, but I stopped losing (which is actually ok). I wanted to get ripped and was close, but couldn’t seem to cover that last mile. I tried adjusting a few things and tweaking this and that, but it wasn’t really working as I hoped. Then I met Wayne Wyatt of TeamRipped (Yes the name is a bit goofy :-), and everything changed again.
Phase III: Demented
Wayne is a beach body coach (the makers of p90x). I stumbled on his site, saw his CRAZY amazing results and decided to reach out. I wanted to know how to change it up a bit and get where he was. I expected to have to pay him, not get an answer, or just get lost in email. He responded that day! He was nice, accommodating and VERY helpful. He didn’t charge a penny. The only thing he asked is that if I purchase something else from Beach Body that I use his site (which I do and will always do). He was and is great. Every time I have a question, he answers, he is always up-beat (kind of reminds me of Tony in that way) and ALWAYS helpful.
Based on his recommendation I changed things up a bit. Instead of purely p90x, I ordered Insanity. I have replaced my Cardio days with Insanity and still do p90x for my lifting days. I have tweaked my diet to be closer to the slow carb diet and now have my body fat hovering just around 10% with my weight at 175 pounds.
I feel AMAZING and it worked!
Has it always been easy? Am I now a perfect exerciser and dieter? NO!
I have days that I screw up eating, or miss a workout, but they are the exception not the rule. I still have a sweet tooth and love ice cream (trying to get better coach, I promise), but overall I stay solid.
I have gone down a rather extreme path to VERY specific goals I want. Not everyone desires or needs this. But, you can lose weight, you can get in better shape and you can not only look better but feel better. Since I started many friends have lost weight, and I proudly tell anyone who asks how I have changed.
I started day 1 wanting to look better in the mirror, I go through year 2 wanting to live a long and healthy life, and I happen to look better in a mirror. It is a good place to be.
Feel free to ask questions.
NOTE: I am writing this on an airplane. I am going to upload pictures, and add links to any of the areas linkable.