Weight Before: 280 lbs.
Weight After: 165 lbs.
Why I Got Started
In the autumn of my senior year of high school, I was around 5-foot-10 and tipping the scales somewhere in the proximity of 260 pounds. I had been up to 280 pounds the year before, but had changed quite a bit since then.
The summer before, I had decided that I kinda wanted to slim down some for senior pictures. Well, I kinda did - by eating mostly soup and cutting out soda but I still would splurge on things like Taco Bell at two in the morning and doughnuts for breakfast.
I didn't like who I had become. I benched over 300 pounds, but that was not that much more than what I weighed. I was fat, lazy, sick all the time, had back pains constantly and was full of self-hate.
When I was younger, I had always told people to just wait until I was older because I would be trim and good looking. Suddenly, the reality of this dream not happening hit me. Something absolutely needed to change.
How I Did It
I decided in the fall that I was going to get down to 230 pounds by graduation so I started to walk every night and drink slimming shakes for breakfast and lunch. When I decided that I was going to lose weight, I decided that I was not only going to lose weight but I was going to get in the best shape that I could possibly be in.
I began walking because I remember thinking that I never saw a really obese person out walking, so I thought it would be a good start, which it certainly was. I started walking about 20 minutes and by the end was walking for two and a half hours.
My parents had never at any point in my life taught me good eating habits. They never limited my portion sizes, stopped me from taking seconds, or nixed fast food - so good eating habits were something I would have to figure out for myself.
I began reading all I could on nutrition and exercise. I shattered my goal of graduating at 230 pounds by weighing in at 220 pounds.
By fall semester of my first year of college, I was down to 195 pounds and still walked everyday. I then got obsessed with nutrition and began eating eight small meals per day. Over the last several years I have eaten many different ways, usually exceptionally clean, however I always would have at least one cheat meal per week, even when I was losing all the weight.
I found that cheat meals were excellent for me psychologically as then I was much less likely to brake my diet throughout the week. I also realized that good food tastes better when you don't overindulge. I have consistently weight trained since that fall at least three times per week and didn't even miss an entire week of lifting after my emergency appendectomy.
After awhile, I began to enjoy sprinting so would do that a couple times per week as well. There was also times when I would run three miles, three times per week when trying to cut down my body fat but I found sprinting and walking to be the best way for me to lose weight.
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I tried high protein diets but grow muscle much quicker, and my muscles are much rounder with better vascularity, when I eat lots and lots of carbs. However, even now I used seven o'clock as a carb cutoff point and try to keep large amounts of carbs earlier in the day.
Aftermath Of The Great Weight Loss
I decided to transfer to the college in my hometown and I was excited about that as now I felt new and improved. Many people commented on my weight loss, but just as many negative comments as positive. I heard everything from "it is unhealthy to lose that much weight" to "you'll gain it all back," but I knew that I wouldn't ...
I also realized quickly that people say things like that because it is easier for them to cut somebody down than it is for them to change their own life. They acted like I did nothing to lose weight when in actuality, I busted my butt. I didn't let those people's attitudes stop me, however.
I stayed around the one-nineties for about half a year because I somewhat believed it when people told me that I lost all the weight that I could and that what I had left was loose skin. During this time, I consulted a personal trainer at the local university.
The personal trainer told me that I should try to get to about 185 pounds and then bulk back up to 190 pounds with muscle. However, he actually told me that I could never be skinny, because I was too big, which somewhat upset me at the time and enrages me now thinking of it.
Well, he was wrong as in the span of three months I had gotten down to 180 pounds easily. This really was the beginning of my bodybuilding style of training.
I began reading magazines on bodybuilding. I read them casually at first but it eventually became my foremost hobby. I think at that time, the idea still seemed to ridiculous to me; I was so socialized into being a fat kid. After awhile, I tried to hide the fact that I was ever fat.
Finally, I just told myself I needed to address that fact, so I gave a speech on my past and how I was fat and to my surprise, nobody could believe I ever weighed that much. I got nothing but positive responses even months later from people in that class.
I now guest speak at the local high school and give a similar speech to that exact one. I discuss the psychosocial aspects of losing a large amount of weight and give advice on everything from getting started with weight training to eating disorders to supplements.
I am currently working on becoming personal trainer certified and will graduate college in the next year with a double major of Communication and Sociology.
|My Progress Chart.|
I prefer to take L-Glutamine over creatine as I usually just feel better when I do. I prefer complex carbohydrate/protein mixes after lifting than just protein as I could tell in my physique that they worked better. I take two multivitamins a day and that is about it now.
I took CLA in the past and it seemed to work but I didn't think it did anything that I couldn't do on my own with a tight diet. I would say the same of any fat-loss aid. Unless you are still too heavy and cutting for a contest, I don't think they are necessary.
The following diet comes from when I cut down from 195-to-175 pounds over the summer of 2004, while increasing my poundage in most lifts (which really surprised me). I followed this outline everyday, with little exception, usually just replacing either lunch or supper with a serving of brown rice and flavored tuna.
Protein shake mixed with skim milk
4 egg whites, slice of fat free cheese, slice of whole wheat toast.
Large Complex Carbohydrate/Protein Shake
2 full eggs and a can of albacore tuna fried together and put on a whole wheat bagel.
1 serving of grapes
Small Complex Carbohydrate/Protein Shake
1 can of corn mixed and one serving of chicken
Protein shake mixed with skim milk and L-glutamine.
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I change my training routine every month but now usually don't even do the same exercises each time I go so basically I do a different workout every time I am there. However, I feel that my body reacted the best both for losing fat and gaining muscle to total body workouts down three times a week.
I like to start with a different major muscle group each day of the week. Every couple weeks in this routine I'll throw in a power day where I do power cleans, overhead barbell presses, deadlifts etc.
Bent over BB Row
Overhead DB Press
Standing Barbell Curls
Standing Calf Raise
Hanging Leg Raise
Seated Cable Rows
Incline BB Press
Behind Neck Press
Lying DB Extension
Seated Calf Raise
Decline Bench Crunches
Suggestions For Others
I encourage anybody that wants to get started in weight loss to get in a nightly routine of walking. Walking is fun, relaxing, and is good for losing fat. I would recommend walking over running, if you don't believe it works, all I need to say is I lost 80 pounds just adding walking to my weight lifting program so it certainly did work for me.
The scale works for progress evaluation but body fat percentage is better. However, I think the mirror works best for me, however I still check the scale because if I go up more than a pound a week I need to clean up my diet. I have no respect, whatsoever, for the BMI scale when it comes to people that lift weights.
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When it comes to weights, form is the absolute most important aspect. It is also essential to train all muscle groups evenly, I used to just do my chest and shoulders and then I had no legs or arms, as well as some pretty bad shoulder problems. Now, I also do pilates do stay flexible and it is a actually a good fat burning workout too, so I encourage that as well.
Moderation is the key to a successful diet. I don't deprive myself anything anymore and I don't gain weight, I just know how to eat smart. However, I do stay away from sodas and alcohol for the most part as I feel they are empty sources of calories I would rather get from protein or carbohydrates.