WEIGHT 170 lbs
BODY FAT 19.8%
WEIGHT 145 lbs
BODY FAT 8%
How I Did It
This is a Part 2 of my journey to transform myself from skinny fat to fit. Part 1 of my transformation was featured in September 2010 on the site.
At the time of Part 1, I considered myself in the best shape of my life, and I was. However, I wasn't satisfied with stopping there. The challenge for me then was to do even better. With my impending 50th birthday, I toyed with the idea of really getting ripped.
To be "Fit and Fifty" by February 2012 was my new goal, but I had my doubts, at this age could I do it? It was a dream, I really didn't know how to get there. Fast forward 18 months, I'm happy to say I achieved it and even exceeded my expectations. Here is my story of how I did it.
I have to begin by saying that before the challenge began I was already in fairly good shape, after 7 years of consistent training. However I'd never been really lean, never seen my abs, and was carrying approx. 18-20% fat all the time. The result was I look fairly bulky; I looked like an off season bodybuilder.
In August 2011 a friend approached me, he was planning to compete in 2012 and suggested I follow his lead and do the same diet and training to see if I could do it too. With my 50th birthday approaching I set that as my target date to reach my goal and get a professional photo shoot to document the achievement, and if I did it, the next step would be to compete. In the back of my mind I had my doubts, but I was going to give it everything I had. The challenge as on!
I didn't seriously get started until October 10th 2011. This left me exactly 16 weeks to diet and train as if my life depended on it. I started the Journey with a DEXA body composition scan. This was my benchmark, my starting point. I continued to get these every 2 weeks, to ensure I wasn't losing lean mass, but only fat, and to assist with making diet and training adjustments as I progressed.
My starting BF% was 19.8%, my objective was to achieve 8% body fat in 16 weeks and maintain my lean muscle mass as much as I could.
In the end, after 16 weeks of hard training and diet, I more than exceeded my expectations. I turned 50 on February 2, 2012 and found myself in the best shape of my life. I felt fantastic.
Those around me, strangers and friends alike stopped me to ask what I was doing and how I managed to look like I do at this age.
I even inspired a few of my work colleagues to join a gym and start getting healthy. That was reward enough, but I've decided to pay it back, the week after my birthday I began a 12 month accredited training program to gain my Personal Trainers Certification.
So my life in the fitness world doesn't stop here, always onward and upward. Next stop, the stage!
Suggestions For Others
- Monitor your progress carefully - eg: DEXA scan once every two weeks or monthly - this ensures that any mistakes can be caught and corrected before any damage is done.
- Don't cut your carb intake too low - the result is loss of energy, your training suffers and muscle loss may result. Higher carbs ensure high energy and intense workouts that preserve muscle mass.
- Keep cheat meals to a minimum but don't underestimate the power of a re-feed, it breaks through fat loss plateaus and also re-energizes you. The same diet consistently over a long period is tough on anyone and we need the mental relief of the odd cheat meal.
- Make all your daily meals in advance - cook your lunches the night before - it saves time, saves money and keeps the calorie intake within the guidelines.
- Weigh everything that goes in your mouth. You can't guess, you have to know exactly.
- I removed red meat, dairy and bread almost completely from my diet. I was a heavy consumer of all these things, which mostly likely contributed to my consistent 20% BF. I have added them back in moderation now.
- Get ready to feel tired and irritable toward the end of the program. The deprivation and intensity does have a tendency to be mood altering. Warn your friends, or you won't have any at the end of the progam.
- Make sure you have some plans and other projects to do after the program ends. During the program, it is all consuming and nothing else matters. When it's over, a big void is left in your life, if you don't have plans (e.g. vacation, new job, renovate the house). Depression can set in so make plans post program!