Body Transformation: Man On Fire!

Mark redefined 'transformation' and sent a powerful message to the fitness world by losing 215 pounds in one year. Think he's satisfied? Guess again!
Name: Mark A Eisenhart
Email: impowermi@gmail.com
BodySpace: RattleTheCages

Mark A Eisenhart Mark A Eisenhart
AGE 40
HEIGHT
6'0"
WEIGHT
455 lbs
BODY FAT
45%
AGE 41
HEIGHT
6'0"
WEIGHT
240 lbs
BODY FAT
16%

Post To Fitboard
Why I Decided to Transform

I decided after my father's death to take personal responsibility for my health and wellbeing and to get my life back on track.

My lifestyle was killing me. I was depressed, abusing drugs and alcohol, overeating, binging, and even acting suicidal. I was already morbidly obese and struggling with an eating disorder. I was diabetic, full of anxiety, disabled (with 90 percent loss of feeling in both feet from neuropathy), and my hearing was impaired (25 percent loss in my left ear and a 15 percent loss in my right). I had hypertension, high cholesterol, was leading a dysfunctional life plagued by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and had OCD, sleep apnea, and many other co-morbid disorders. I was a freight train out of control, on the fast track to a heart attack or worse.

My dad died October 7, 2009, and following his death I made myself a promise. That man didn't let me down once in 40 years.

I vowed to restore myself to the kind of vibrant health I enjoyed during my prime and to not let him down ever again. No matter what the cost.

How I Accomplished My Goals

I went all in and created a full-time immersion program designed to get and keep me healthy permanently. I made it more important than anything. It became my highest priority and my full-time job. This consisted of lifestyle changes and meditation. I started a plant-based, whole foods diet, which eventually became a raw and vegan diet. I used positive affirmations, energy healing (like Reiki, for example), and a partial hospitalization program.

I transitioned from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle and adopted a warrior attitude. I drew from my previous experience as an athlete in high school and college and during my tenure in the fire service in my 20s. Before long, I was living it 24/7. It took lots of willpower, brute force determination, fortitude, courage, resolve, blood, sweat, tears, and a steep learning curve. There was also trial and error. I struggled at times and got frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged, but I pressed on. I kept thinking about not letting myself or my dad down.

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Supplements that Helped Me Through the Journey

Supplementation was in large part trial and error, and at various times mostly error. I wanted to get as much as I could from whole food. I filtered through a lot of disinformation and cultivated the ability to listen to my body. I experimented with many products and tried multiple brand names.

In the end, I decided to get away from conventional supplements as much as possible and see how far I could go with a super clean diet. Until I became vegan I also used fish oil.

With Meal 2 and 4
With Meal 5

Mark Eisenhart on The Doctors

Watch The Video - 01:28




Diet Plan that Guided My Transformation

I made incremental changes in my diet over time. When I was still eating meat, I opted for grass fed, free-range cuts. I chose wild-caught fish and cage-free or free-range eggs. The decision to eliminate processed foods was integral. Once I embraced a plant-based, whole-foods diet I experienced dramatic results. Then I took it up a notch by going raw.

The weight fell off of me at that point. In stages, I went from being a meat eater, to a pescatarian, to a vegetarian, to a vegan, to a high-raw vegan. I noticed drastic weight loss after my decision to go with a totally plant-based diet. In total, I dropped 215 pounds in one year without surgery. I ate every two hours for a total of 6-8 meals per day. Before long, my metabolism was ridiculous.

At one point, I drank 2-3 meals per day in the form of green smoothies mixed with protein powder. I also started making my own juice and did a cleanse, which made a huge difference. Bringing a Vitamix into the kitchen was crucial and I donated my microwave. I have no idea how many total calories I consumed then, but a typical day of eating consisted of many dark, leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, and mustard greens), all organic, root and cruciferous vegetables (beets, broccoli, sun chokes, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts), asparagus, green apples and berries, sweet potatoes and yams, quinoa, mung beans, or lentils.

If I ate cheese, it was goat cheese and I opted for whole eggs instead of just whites. I also ate raw, organic nut butters sparingly and eventually gave up bread altogether. Adding digestive enzymes really helped too.

Sample meal plan for the Ovo Lacto Pescatarian Diet:

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6
Training Regimen that Kept Me On Track

The key to my successful weight loss and transformation was variable stimuli on a variable schedule. At first, I could only manage brief periods of exertion and some bodyweight exercises with an active lifestyle. When I started dropping weight, I started hiking every day to accelerate my efforts and then spent lots of time on a recumbent bike.

When I made it to the gym, I started an immersion program. The core of it consisted of a combination of free-weight training, machine, or plate-loaded training, and alternated between cycling, swimming, hiking, and power walking. Later, I started integrating more functional movement training, boot camps, boxing, and HIIT when I was in good enough shape to do so.

The HIIT (sprint intervals, spinning, and lap swimming) jacked up my metabolism and reduced my body fat. I trained 4-6 times per week on a split routine that combined one major and two minor muscle groups with abdominals. For example, I hit chest, triceps, calves, and core on day one and back, biceps, forearms, and core on day two. There were days when I ended my workout with boxing drills and hit a heavy bag until I dropped. When I got down to "fighting weight" I did CrossFit for a while. It helped stimulate growth because it was different than what I did before. When I dropped weight, I started doing yoga a few times per week in addition to my other forms of exercise.

Day 1: Chest/Triceps/Calves/Core
Day 2: Back/Biceps/Forearms
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Shoulders/Traps/Core
Day 5: Legs/Core

What Aspect Challenged Me the Most

The hardest part, hands down, was what I call the "work of the interior," or the behavioral component. The subconscious mind is powerful and I had to learn how to master my thoughts and distill my ego. I believe that most of what I think about and believe to be my model of the world is actually a construct. When I learned to deconstruct it, I started to genuinely become healthy.

I have been an athlete my whole life and have been in great shape at different times in my life, so when I was light enough and had enough energy to get back into the gym it was like riding a bike. The challenge was to get started with the psychological and behavioral component. It became much easier as I went along.

My Future Fitness Plans

During the course of the next six months, I will drop down to around 210 pounds and shred to 7 percent body fat to advance my career as a Warrior Force sponsored athlete/ambassador, actor, and model. I will do all it drug free and on a plant-based, whole foods diet. I plan to compete and pursue my passion for sports, especially mountaineering. I will also be a fitness model and augment my physique transformation with gymnastics, parkour, martial arts, stunt work, and more. This is all part of a master plan designed to arm me with skills I need as an actor to be cast as an action hero.

I am or will be working with incredible people like former Mr. America and two-time Mr. Olympia contender Tom Terwilliger, Ironman Magazine cover model Eric Broser, national figure competitor Traci Lynn Cowan, functional nutritionist Andrea Nakayama, and peak performance specialist Dino Paris. They comprise the members of my team and contribute their own expertise to guarantee I accomplish my goals. This will be the hardest thing I have ever done, but I'm committed to the process 100 percent.

Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers

Do the "work of the interior." Get to the subconscious mind. No diet, exercise program, or supplement can replace getting to the root of the problem. Treat the underlying cause and everything will fall into place. They are all integral to success, but until you have processed the psychological and behavioral components, none of the other stuff matters. A healthy mind makes a healthy body possible.

How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals

Bodybuilding.com has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me as far back as I can remember. Being able to share my experience and be counted among the ranks of the people who are part of their community is a dream come true. It's a bit surreal. I have known my whole life that I was capable of so much more and looked at Bodybuilding.com athletes with profound admiration.

There has been a place in my heart and on my vision board for the forum for a long time and I'm humbled by the opportunity to become part of the community. I have referred at various times to your site for training tips, advice on my diet, inspirational stories, and for equipment and accessories.

Mark's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Ready Steady Go" by Paul Oakenfold (Bourne Soundtrack)
  2. "Extreme Ways" by Moby (Bourne Soundtrack)
  3. "You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell (Casino Royale Soundtrack)
  4. "Derezzed" by Daft Punk (Tron Soundtrack)
  5. "Wayne Manor (Extended Cut)" by Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack
Contact Mark

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