Have you ever woken up one day and realized that you're simply not content with the status quo of your life? You know a profound change needs to happen, but the challenge just feels too immense to move forward with it. So you push the discontent down and keep doing what you're doing.
And then there are those other days, when something's a little different. Why? It's hard to say. Maybe it's a photo you saw, a visit to the doctor, or a simple glance at the mirror. Whatever triggers it, you're truly fed up, and you decide that this is it. You're starting from here, and the transformation adventure begins.
Corey Plant had one of those epiphanies at age 37, and he's never looked back!
Corey, your transformation is awesome! Tell us more about that moment you decided to change.
I grew up as a skinny little kid who almost never gained weight. I was never into the gym, working out, or even playing sports—they just weren't for me. Even after college and through constant prodding from friends, I only worked out occasionally, out of peer pressure.
In trying to reach my career goals, the gym and all manner of physical activity fell by the wayside. I tended to eat more and more fast food while living a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Sure enough, my weight crept up as I got deeper into my 30s. I found myself at 220 pounds with over 25 percent body fat. In this condition, I could barely walk up and down one flight of stairs without feeling the wind sucked out of me.
I remember my doctor explaining that I had high cholesterol and blood pressure. This was a small nudge toward the need to change my lifestyle with a low-sodium and overall healthier diet.
Weight: 220 lbs.
Body Fat: 25%
Weight: 155 lbs.
Body Fat: 9%
But full-on "healthy mode" didn't switch on until one fateful January morning. I looked in the mirror, saw a sad-looking version of myself staring back, and decided to transform my body then and there. I haven't looked back since.
What did you do to prepare yourself for success?
I knew I needed to change my mindset. I needed to keep a positive attitude, even when it got difficult at times. And believe me, the beginning was extremely difficult for me!
To keep myself accountable, I took before pictures of when I first started, to formally kick off my transformation. This way, I knew what my starting point was. I knew my motivation would come and go, and so I used Instagram and YouTube, following my favorite fitness folks, for motivational pictures and instructional videos. This was enough to keep me going for a while.
Whenever I wanted to give up and give in to junk food, I'd open up Instagram and see someone else's transformation and his or her motivational insight. Bodybuilding.com's own transformation stories also served as a great pick-me-up when I needed it! I repeated in my head, "If they can do it, why can't I?"
What else did you need to get on track?
I addressed my workout routine, nutrition, and cardio, of course.
In the past, my issue was always inconsistency. I would have a great workout one week, but the next I would slack off. Accountability was the key here. I devised a workout routine I was able to follow, and worked out first thing in the morning to ensure nothing else would stop me from getting it done.
When it came to nutrition, the food-tracking app MyFitnessPal really helped me dial in what I was putting into my body. It gave me a record of my daily food intake that was easy to copy over to the following days. This helped me understand what a serving size actually was and allowed me to better monitor my overall intake.
What challenged you the most, and how did you push through?
Initially, it was the process of getting started, putting in all the hard work but not seeing the pounds go down proportionately to the amount of work I put in. In a way, it was like having blind faith: you know you're doing everything right, but you're waiting for your body to catch up to your efforts.
But once you start to see the results, it's addictive. You feel motivated to keep going! Even those little results I saw fueled me to keep going; I began to get more and more excited about working out and seeing how much progress I made. There is no better feeling than trying on clothes in your wardrobe that were too tight before and having them fall off at your waist.
Honestly, I don't even know where I would be without Bodybuilding.com. They have provided so much insight and knowledge in regard to training, supplementation, nutrition, and overall motivation. BodySpace is a community that allows me to chat with other people who are going through the same thing, and it's uplifting.
I am so glad there's an organization out there that takes the time to provide articles and insight into pretty much everything fitness related.
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Supplements that helped me through the journey
Diet plan that guided my transformation
I tend to keep it simple and pretty much repeat the same meals each day, using only spices to mix things up.
New York strip steak: 6 oz.
Whole egg: 1
Egg whites: 5
Cinnamon toast: 1 slice
Sugar-free strawberry jelly: 1 tbsp
Oatmeal: 1 cup
Chicken breast: 6 oz.
Brown rice: 1 cup
Broccoli: 1 cup
Tuna: 1 can
Carrots: 1 handful
Tilapia: 6 oz.
Grean beans: 1 cup
Corn on the cob: 1 ear
Protein bar: 1
Rice cake: 1 cake
Greek yogurt: 4 oz.
Training regimen that kept me on track
The split I perform is three days on and one day off. In addition to the training below, I perform 25 minutes of cardio after each workout. I also perform ab exercises twice a week.
Now that you've achieved your first goals, what do you plan to do next?
Initially I said to myself, "I would love to be able to see my abs one day." I've reached that goal, but I still want to be able to continue improving my body.
I've had thoughts about competing in a men's physique competition next year, but before that happens I would like to do some additional research. When I'm ready, I'll pursue that dream.
Overall, I'd just be happy to share my story with others so they can hopefully learn what I went through. It would make me so happy to simply inspire someone—anyone—to improve their life or let them know that someone has been in their shoes. I want to let them know that, with hard work and persistence, they can transform their body as well.
What is your message to that person?
Every step starts with a goal or vision statement. Be specific, write it out, and give yourself a reasonable due date to achieve it. And remember to be consistent and hold yourself accountable in whatever way you can. Without accountability, you won't put in as much effort as you should.