Body Transformation: Doubt This!

There were many reasons for Andy to shape-up. His cholesterol was shot; his blood pressure was in the dumps. But silencing the doubters was the icing on the cake.

Name: Andy Meeks

Andy Meeks Andy Meeks
AGE 38
149 lbs
AGE 38
136 lbs

Why I Got Started

I was only two years away from 40, just had my first child, and had a constant feeling of being unhealthy and tired. Not to mention, for the first time ever, my doctor told me my cholesterol was dangerously high as well as my blood pressure. WHAT!? I have never had health issues.

I didn't want to start medication for this and definitely had no intentions of checking out of this world early, so I decided to set one of the biggest goals in my life: Get in fitness model shape and health in 90 days. I didn't want to just lose weight and gain some muscle, I truly wanted the big fitness goal: fitness model/show stage ready.

On top of that, I wanted abs. Abs, abs, Abs! How the hell do I get abs!? And to top them all off, I wanted to get a clean bill of health from the doc.

How I Did It

One day while my wife and I were at brunch with a couple friends of ours, we were chatting about a fitness program that they wrote called Jet Set Body. I made a joke and said, "you should totally make me your guinea pig." Uh oh! What did I just get myself into? He agreed - if I would stick to the program and guidance from them.

"90 days, 90 days," I kept telling myself I could do anything for 90 days, right? Now that I had promised my friend to commit to changing my health and my body, I was in. Not to mention the awesome motivation I received from HATERS.

Everyone who knows me knows I like some good Mexican food and margaritas. I heard at least once a week some sort of negative comment about how I couldn't complete 90 days and how they have tried stuff before that didn't work. This only drove me to lift harder and focus more.

As a final motivation (and I recommend this), my friend encouraged me to book a professional photo shoot 90 days from the start of my program so that I would have a specific goal to reach. Basically this was my "step on the stage" event. It really helped keep me get on track because I would be getting pictures for everyone to see and judge.

Every time I would think about cheating or quitting a little early in the gym, I would remember my deadline for the photo shoot. It kept me honest and forced me to push harder, almost the same as a marathon runner who has a set date to race. You can't wait and slack off until the last minute and then just start running. This was my marathon and the race day was set. I HAD to be in the best shape I could possibly be before that first picture was taken.

I'm a sales rep who is on the road almost the entire day visiting clients, so I assure you I had plenty of excuses as to why I couldn't do this. One of the biggest challenges I faced was finding the time and place to actually eat the six meals per day needed to achieve my results.

I was rarely near a microwave or fridge, so I would literally eat my meals in parking decks of malls, inside a Firestone lobby while getting oil changes, and in conference rooms at 10 a.m. while my staff is surrounding me. The point was, I didn't want anything to be my excuse.

I cleaned out every piece of food and alcohol in the fridge so that I wouldn't be tempted to cheat at night (and believe me I sure did have those cravings like everyone does). Every Sunday, my wife and I would pack meals for the entire week and write out a calendar of our meals for the week to make it very convenient.

By the second week of planning this way, I realized the "eating out" money I was saving was unreal. Not to mention, the time I saved going back and forth with the dreaded "where do you want to eat tonight" question. This chore turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise.

I wasn't an overweight person at all when I started. Basically, I ate about two times a day and had zero muscle definition. I was definitely getting nice and cushiony all over, especially in the mid-body region where many a cupcakes, margaritas, pizzas, and burgers lived. I hadn't worked out in over eight years and thought I would die the first day back in the gym.

I couldn't believe how weak I was and how out of breath I became so quickly. This first week is what I imagine almost everyone goes through and either stops or thinks it's not working. I sure had those thoughts myself. Alas, the haters and photo date popped in mind so I kept moving onto month two.

Since I had an entire month worth of exercises prepared, I didn't have to think about what came next, I just did it. I wrote down every rep and weight that I did so I could see it the next week.

By week four, I was a master gym rat. One really big surprise to me was the lack of cardio this plan had. When I started (and what most people actually ask me now), I thought I would be doing 45 minutes of running/stairs/treadmill/cardio a day.

Surely, cardio over and over is what makes you lean right? WRONG! It's so far from wrong that it's incredible. I did very minimal cardio and was definitely not running all the time. One quote that I loved from this program that stuck with me is "Abs are not made in the gym, they are made in the kitchen." No quote is truer my friends. Since I had very specific workouts planned out in advance, I was in and out of the gym quickly, which helped a lot to spend extra time with my two-year-old as well.

Some key points that I did during this 90-day process were:

  • Lots of water. I drink one and a half gallons a day (and still do daily). I never knew this, but it really helps with bloating as well as keeping me hydrated.
  • Clean diet with motivation cheats thrown in (about 2-3 cheat meals a week for me). I would say that portion sizes was a huge game changer for me. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean you are eating like a bird. I was eating a LOT! But everything was a specific portion, creating a furnace for my metabolism.
  • To mix cardio up, once a week I would do a "functional" workout that was in the program. Usually, I would hit a park and do these awesome total body workouts like burpees, speed skaters, plyo pushups, jump squats, etc. It's a great way to stay excited and not get burned out in the gym.
  • Track every meal and workout. This seems like it would be a pain, but I assure you it's what keeps you accountable. I would actually have to send this info as well as pictures every single week to my friends Rob and Kim to evaluate my progress.
  • Photos every week! It is really hard for you to go week by week and not see results. And it's hard to see results on yourself. But I promise you, a photo will show you results. By the time you get to week three and look back at week two, and your day one picture, you will never look back. My wife said by week four she doesn't think this is working for her and wanted to just quit. I pulled her four week's worth of pictures and she couldn't believe how much she had changed. Take photos every week at the same time.

Suggestions For Others

If you are just getting started, make a plan and prepare. It takes time the first week or two, but becomes habit after that. It will also keep you motivated because it's one less excuse to pull from. Also, as I said before, take photos yourself weekly to view your progress. Cheat meals are designed to do a couple of things.

One, they shock that healthy body a little to take it up a notch. And two, it keeps you from going insane and feeling like you are missing out. So, take advantage of them to help you stay on track. Set goals to reach as well; whether it's a pants size, a four-pack abs, or lowered cholesterol. If you have a serious goal that you're reaching for, results WILL come! You can definitely do this!

One more point: remember how I mentioned my cholesterol numbers and blood pressure? Well, I'm very happy to say they are impeccable now. My doctor actually couldn't believe they normalized so quickly without medication. As much as I'm proud of my abs, this is the major icing on the cake!