Name: Phillip Leonard
Location: Warrington, England
Why I decided to transform
As a teenager, I developed a heart condition that prevented me from playing sports and training. I was limited to walking and short jogs that were boring. My diet was poor and I piled on pounds.
At age 18, I weighed 265 pounds at 5-foot-7 and had lots of body fat. During the next 12 months, I worked my way down to 187 pounds (85 kg) with a combination of poor diets, quick fixes, and minimal training. I wish I dieted differently, but it worked at the time.
After my initial weight loss, I spent the following years fluctuating from 182-224 pounds and believed that playing rugby and going to the gym was enough. I constantly searched for a quick fix to get where I wanted to be but never found it.
In 2010, I stopped playing rugby after tearing my ACL. My daughter was a baby and I ceased most activity. I went back to living on Chinese food and the weight piled on again.
I bumped into a friend from school in the gym who held my hand in the free weight area and guided me through the basics. In six weeks, I grew to enjoy training and the newfound confidence it provided. I was hungry for knowledge, bought every magazine on the shelf, and trained for the next few months to get newbie gains.
During the next four years, my weight continued to fluctuate, but I steadily got more right than wrong. Now I can't sit still for long and want to be active constantly.
How I accomplished my goals
I made a commitment 18 months ago to be more consistent and take training and dieting to the next level. I sat down and wrote my short- and long- term goals in the front of my diary. Being consistent and sticking to a diet and training plan was an issue, so I set a few attainable goals and took great pride every time I managed to cross one off my list.
I made friends with lots of people who have similar interests and they pushed me to achieve more than I ever thought possible. My friends and family held me accountable and reminded me of my goals when life got tough. I discovered that it's much easier to let yourself down than to let your friends and family down.
I found inspiration in my friends when they achieved goals. It gave me a buzz and pushed me to achieve what they did. I spent time reading about how others achieved their goals and looked at athletes to learn how they built their physiques. Bodybuilding.com and the transformation section was great for motivation.
What aspect challenged me the most
Dieting was the hardest part, but everything came together eventually. I placed less emphasis on the gym and more on my diet, which really increased my results.
My future fitness plans
I love to train. It would be great to be sponsored, but I plan to become a trainer because it's satisfying to help others achieve their goals.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
- Be consistent and don't give up.
- Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people.
- Work hard, have fun, and enjoy the journey.
- Educate yourself, read as much as possible, and decide what works best for you.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
I read several articles on Bodybuilding.com and spent many hours admiring transformers who achieved their goals.
Phill's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
- "Demons" by Imagine Dragons
- "Pompeii" by Bastile
- "Mr Brightside" by The Killers
- "Rock N Roll Star" by Oasis