Why I Got Started
Growing up, I never had any issues with my weight. I was young and active and liked to bike and play basketball - all that activity kept my weight in check. But, like many of us, when I got older and got a job, I became less active and developed some bad eating habits. Between long hours at work and poor diet choices (junk food, fast food, processed foods, and lots of soda), the pounds started to add on.
At age 38, with 40 just around the corner, I started to think about my mortality and the quality of my life. My doctor told me I was at risk for diabetes. My snoring, from being overweight, was bothering my girlfriend at night. If the elevator wasn't working in my building, I was in big trouble. Running to catch a bus left me feeling like I was having a heart attack. I realized that there are not too many people near 300 pounds in their 70s and 80s.
Most importantly, I felt tired, old and lethargic. People warned me that it was difficult to lose body fat at my age, but I knew I needed to make a change. I was ready to prove them wrong and show that it's never too late to improve your health and your body.
How I Did It
Starting up, I knew I had a lot of weight to lose and a big challenge ahead of me. I knew I would need to put in a lot of effort and I would need a plan for both diet and exercise to keep me on track until I hit my goals.
For my diet, I changed my eating habits dramatically. I cut out the junk foods for foods I knew would help my body. I ditched sugar and greasy foods and also started to pay close attention to portion size. More frequent meals, smaller portions, and quality food were the keys.
For my workouts, I began working out every day. It was a pretty simple program: one day weights, the next day cardio. 7 days per week for 60 minutes per day. I was consistent and it produced results.
My weight loss journey took me from 265 to 165. Today, I'm at 171 because that's where I feel my best, but my goal throughout the process had been to hit that 100-pound weight loss mark. Consistent workouts and clean eating were the keys for me. Some of my cardio days were intensified by doing 60 minutes of jumping rope in a sweat suit.
After I hit my goals, I've been able to maintain and improve on my progress. To achieve this, I have varied my cardio workouts, adding in distance running, hill sprints, biking, and kettlebell swings with high reps. Today, I no longer do full body workouts every other day. Instead, I do body part splits, like chest/shoulder/triceps one day, back/biceps the next, quads/hamstring/calves/abs the day after that. I do continue to keep up the circuit training and calisthenics as well.
Suggestions for Others
My best advice for others is to find a diet that you can follow for the long-term. There's a lot of diet plans out there, but if it's too extreme or too hard for you, then you have little chance to hit your body weight goals. Some people think about just workouts as the key to success, but diet is a big piece of it as well!
For a balanced body, make sure you really are working your whole body - all the muscles you want to tone. Try to do both resistance training and cardio - both together will have greater benefits for your body than just one over and over again.
Finally, choose the right supplements that will help you to reach your goal. Try a fat burner if you need to lose weight. And I recommend Force Factor and Body Rush for your workouts - whether you're looking to gain muscle or lose weight.