Name: John Stone
Height: 5' 11"
Weight (before): 215 pounds
Body Fat (before): 30%
Weight (after): 173.8 pounds
Body Fat (after): 13%
Bodyfat %: 30%
Bodyfat %: 13%
Bodyfat %: 12%
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Why I Got Started
I started my program because I was tired of being fat, unhealthy and out of shape. In high school I was an athlete, I was in great shape and I was healthy and confident. I stayed that way until I was in my mid-20s, but over the last 10 years I let it all go. I became lazy, fat, unhealthy, anti-social, and I lost all my self-confidence. Late last year, I decided it was time to make some major changes. I decided I was not going to continue to live my life feeling miserable and disgusted with myself. I did a lot of soul-searching and decided to make a list of all the things I wanted to change. At the top of the list was my health and personal appearance. So, without wasting any more time, I began to educate myself, I set some goals and I made a plan. On January 6, 2003 I put everything in motion. I have not looked back and my whole life and the way I live it has changed in just 3 short months.
I should mention that just because 3 months have passed and I've made good progress, it does not mean I'm "done." My new goal is 9% body fat. Once I reach that goal, I'm going to focus on building lean mass. One thing I've learned over the past few months is to never stop setting goals, and never stop improving (thanks again, Skip!)
How I Did It
Many Factors Contributed To My Success Thus Far:
I set goals, and knew how I would achieve them before I ever started. This step is crucial to success--not just in bodybuilding, but also in all areas of life.
Before I started my program I educated myself using every possible resource I could find. The Internet and sites like Bodybuilding.com make self-education fun and relatively simple. Even after I started my program, I continued to educate myself every day, refining my methods and adjusting my program as I learned.
A positive mental attitude may sound like a cliche, but it does make a big difference in everything you do. You can accomplish anything with the right attitude. Just like negativity, positive energy is self-sustaining. The more you put out there, the more you get back.
Unwavering And Absolute Dedication:
I refused to allow anything to interfere with my success. Some days I didn't feel like working out, some days my work would interfere with my schedule, there were family emergencies to tend to and on and on ... but no matter what happened, I adapted to the circumstance and I got the job done. I didn't make excuses -- I did what I had to do to achieve my goals.
Looking in the mirror was enough motivation to get me started, but I knew I would need a more powerful motivator as I progressed past the "novelty stage" and hit the plateaus with which we are all so familiar. With that in mind, I decided to keep strict records of my food intake, my supplement intake, my weight and cardio workouts and my body weight and body fat percentage. Additionally, I thought it would be motivational to take front and profile pictures every single day and then post them online along with my other data.
Just to make sure I would stay really motivated, I gave the URL to all my family and friends. This was difficult for me to do, not only because I was embarrassed by my personal appearance, but also because I used to be a pretty private person. As I progressed, I started posting the URL to public forums like the one on Bodybuilding.com. I expected to be roasted alive, but was surprised and encouraged by the extremely positive responses and helpful information I received. I can't say enough about the Bodybuilding.com forum community; the people here really helped to keep me focused and helped me stay positive.
My family also provided a lot of inspiration. For example, my wife always had a great figure, but she got excited watching me progress and, not too long after I started my program, she started lifting weights, doing cardio and eating clean! The most unexpected facet of my transformation is how much I seem to have inspired those around me. Since I started my program, my wife, my mother, my sister, her husband, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law and a co-worker have ALL started working out with weights, doing cardio and eating better! I'm also getting email from people from all over the world who have been inspired by my progress. I know that each and every one of them will reach their goals if they give it their all and don't give up.
Hard Work And Sacrifice:
There's no getting around it. If you want to make big changes it takes hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Learn to enjoy it!
Changing my diet was a must. A typical day of food for me used to look something like this:
LUNCH: (2) Tuna sandwiches with tons of mayo, (4) slices of white American cheese, (2) hamburger buns, 1/2 family size bag of kettle chips.
DINNER: Huge (and I mean HUGE) plate of lasagna, 4-or-5 slices of garlic bread loaded with butter, no vegetable, 3-4 glasses of red wine or 3-4 beers.
In addition to all that, I'd drink 6-8 non-diet sodas every single day (sometimes more), I never drank water, I'd snack on all kinds of junk food like popcorn loaded with oils (sometimes coconut oil!), I'd eat chocolates and cookies and ice cream all the time. I did this for years and years. My daily exercise consisted of getting up to get more food.
Now I eat 5-6 times per day, and I eat clean foods only. Cheat days and cheat meals? Nothing wrong with them for some people, but I'm an "all or nothing" kind of guy. No cheat days or cheat meals for me. Alcohol? I've had 4 beers in 3 months. Soda? Not a single soda in over 3 months. Except for 2 cups of black coffee, I drink nothing but water all day (well over a gallon per day). For detailed information on my food and supplement intake, check out my web site.
I lift 3 times a week and do HIIT cardio 7 days per week. I won't allow myself to miss a workout for any reason. I really enjoy it them. One day I had to go to the E.R, when I got back home the first thing I did was jump on the bike. All I could think about was getting my workout in! I get excited when I step into the weight room because I know that it's another opportunity to improve and grow stronger.
When I'm on the bike or stair-climber and sweat is pouring off my body, my heart is beating 189 BPM (remember, I'm doing HIIT-I don't maintain that level!) and I feel like I can't take another step, I just grit my teeth and think about my future body. I tell myself that I'm either going to finish this workout with a 110% effort, or I'm going to pass out. So far I've finished all my workouts.
My supplement intake is pretty simple. Each day I take a good multi-vitamin, I supplement with about 9g extra fiber, I take an 81mg aspirin before my workout, I drink 2-3 protein shakes (I like Optimum Nutrition and Pro Blend 55) and I take about 10g of Glutamine.
Advice To Others:
Educate yourself, set goals and make a plan. Once you commit to your plan, don't give up no matter what. If you experience a setback, don't allow it to become an excuse to quit -- use it as fuel to bounce back with more determination than ever. Ultimately only you can do it, but there is a lot of help and information out there-use it! Good luck and good health!
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