Name: Caleb Craig
Why I Got Started
My weight had always been a problem, but the tipping point came when I had to take a break to walk up one flight of stairs at school. The other students gave me condescending looks as they walked past. That was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me, and it made me realize I had to do something about my weight.
My problems with weight weren't just limited to stairs. At school, I had to know where the bigger desks were, because I couldn't fit in the smaller ones. I couldn't wear clothes from most retailers, so I was forced to shop at the Big and Tall store.
Even my car's seatbelt was being stretched to its limits. The extra weight I was carrying made it difficult to participate in anything with my friends. I simply wasn't physically capable of hiking or playing sports.
All of this was compounded by the fact that girls just didn't want to talk to me. I was nowhere close to athletic, had a prominent double chin, couldn't breathe through my nose, could barely move without my body jiggling, and I'd sweat in air-conditioned rooms.
Because of all these issues I didn't have any self-confidence. Looking back it's easy to see why I had trouble interacting with the opposite sex.
In all, I just wanted to be normal.
I was sitting in class one day when the teacher announced he had reached his goal weight and lost a total of 60 pounds. He talked briefly about how he did it and how much better he felt. A classmate of mine was inspired by his story, took his plan and put it into action in her life. Within a few months, she lost 30 pounds.
I knew I needed to lose weight, but seeing these people take action and get results made me realize I could too.
How I Did It
I don't have a simple, secret trick. I ate less and exercised consistently.
The only way I found to consistently eat less that works for me, is to essentially eat the same thing at the same time every day. If I vary far from my plan, I will eat an extra 1,000 calories before I know it.
In order to work out consistently, I try to do something active every day but vary the intensity of workouts instead of taking a day off completely. On intense days I may be in the gym for 90 minutes, and on relaxed days I may be in the gym 15 minutes.
I started losing weight in high school and exercised as soon as I got home from school. In college, I went to the gym as soon as I was done with class. I'm in graduate school now and stop at the gym before I get home for the day.
At first, I hated exercising and only lifted weights, because I wasn't physically capable of running. Once I was under 300 pounds, exercising started to feel good, and I started to incorporate cardio into my workout schedule. Now, running is my favorite workout. I have never experienced anything quite like a good "runner's high."
The third component of my weight loss is sleep. I try to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the mornings. During the week I make sure I'm in bed by midnight, and I try to make sure I'm in bed by 2 a.m. on the weekends.
I feel better, workout harder, and don't get nearly as hungry when I'm well rested.
For Breakfast, Post Workout, and Late Snack Before Bed:
- Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein: 1/2/1 scoops
- Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men Multivitamin: 1 serving
- 1 medium Banana
- 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein
- 12 oz Grilled Chicken
- 3 cups of Vegetables (Spinach, Broccoli, or Zucchini) or 8 oz Salad
- 1 tbsp minimal low-calorie Dressing
Day 1: Cardio
- Running: 4 miles at 7 min/mile pace
Day 2: Chest/Triceps/Shoulders
- Pushups: 1 set of 50 reps, 1 set to failure
- Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 set of 15 reps, 1 set to failure
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Bench Dips: 1 set to failure
- Cable Crossovers: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Tricep Pushdowns: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Lateral Raises: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
Day 3: Cardio
- Swimming: 1000 meters
Day 4: Lower Body
- Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Calf Raises: 2 sets of 50 reps
- Deadlifts: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Leg Extensions: 1 set to failure
Day 5: Cardio
- Elliptical Machine: 20 minutes
Day 6: Back/Biceps/Forearms
- Lat Pulldowns: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Chinups: 1 set to failure
- Barbell Rows: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Dumbbell Curls: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Wrist Rollers: 1 set to failure
- Cable Rows: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
- Reverse Flyes: 3 set of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
Day 7: Cardio
- Biking: 17 miles
Suggestions for Others
Sleep. It may be the most overlooked part of anyone's program. When you get adequate sleep your workouts are better, and your body is able to function at its best.
Find something that keeps you motivated. For me, it is my yearbook picture from 11th grade. On days when I don't feel like exercising or feel like having a few more cookies at the meeting, I look at the picture and remember why I wanted to change and what I have to do to maintain my health.
If you want to change, do it for YOU. Make changes because it makes you feel better, because you have more self-confidence, because you can look at what you have accomplished. Other people come and go, and changes you make for other people come and go.
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