Name: Shawn Reagan
Scale Weight Before: 208 Lbs.
Scale Weight After: 175 Lbs.
Pant Size Before: 36"
Pant Size After: 32"
Total Weight Loss: 33 Lbs.
Why You Got Started?
I've decided to change my body for a few reasons. I was on a destructive path to becoming overweight and unhealthy. The scariest part was that I did not even realize I was doing this to myself. My eating habits had gotten out of control - lots of hot wings, cheese fries, burgers, deserts etc. everyday without any thought to what it was doing to my body.
I was putting on weight despite the fact I was doing exercise (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Thai boxing) and realized these bad habits needed to be changed.
I always said I weighed about 190 pounds until one day someone at work called me on it stating I was AT LEAST 200 pounds. I brought in a scale to prove him wrong and there it was staring me in the face ... "208 pounds." I knew I needed to do something to change my lifestyle and this was the wakeup call needed. I guess just because you say you weigh a certain amount doesn't necessarily make it true.
One thing that helped is that 3 other guys in my office wanted to lose weight so we put a little money on it and set a deadline. This helped because we all were able to keep each other on track each day ... kind of a daily support group.
How You Did It?
I decided to completely overhaul my diet and exercise program. I had a friend who successfully lost weight on Body for Life so I read the book and setup a plan. I made the commitment that I would stick with it until the weight was off and I met my goal, which at the time I started was 185lbs.
I started to eat 6 meals a day spread out by 2-3 hours. Each meal consisted of a portion of protein, a portion of carbs and I tried to add veggies to at least 2 meals per day. I ate clean the entire time except on my free days where I allowed myself to indulge a bit.
I also went from drinking alcohol 2-3 times a week to not drinking at all. This wasn't so much a conscious decision but just sort of happened. I wanted to make sure my workouts were 100% and had just as much fun going out with friends and not drinking alcohol.
One other change I made was that I started to exercise 6 days per week. I had 3 days of HIIT cardio for 20 minutes and 3 days of lifting. I typically had 2 upper body workouts and 1 lower body workout per week. I made it a habit to get up and go to the gym before work. This way I had no excuse not to go if I had a bad day or just didn't feel up to it.
What Supplements Did You Take?
The only supplement I took was Myoplex Meal Replacement shakes and the occasional Body for Life bar. I wanted to create habits that I could stick with in the long run and didn't want to feel the need to always be buying supplements. I knew I could achieve results using whole foods and that's what I wanted to do.
During my initial 11 week cut I pretty much ate this almost every day. It has never really bothered me to eat the same things so it made planning a bit easier. I did take Saturday's off from my diet and allowed myself to eat anything I wanted. Most free days consisted of good foods and one not so good meal (like chicken wings) for dinner.
Some free days were all out binges ... I'd eat wings, cheese fries, cheesecake, Mexican food and any other food in sight. I only had a few of these types of heavy free days throughout my cutting experience.
- 8:00 Myoplex Meal Replacement Shake
- 11:00 6 ounces of grilled chicken breast and one large apple
- 2:00 1 pouch of tuna on 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 4:30 6 ounces of grilled chicken and fat free yogurt
- 6:30 1 cup of egg beaters and 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
- 9:30 1 serving of boca brand chili
After doing research on this site and others for awhile I realized my calories were a bit on the low side for someone working out six times per week. I don't feel that the low calories hindered my progress ... it seemed to work for me. I have bumped my calories up a bit recently and have maintained the same weight. This is something that I feel will be different for everyone.
Sample Week Of Training
I did upper body lower body splits as recommended in Body for Life. Basically you select one exercise (Dumbbell Press for example) and conduct five sets with it, starting with a set of 12 reps, then increasing the weight and doing 10 reps, adding more weight and doing 8 reps, adding more weight for 6 reps. Then reduce the weight and do 12 reps. Immediately perform another set of 12 reps for that muscle group using the second selected exercise (PecDec for example).
Monday - Upper Body:
Tuesday - 20 Minute HIIT Type Cardio & Ab Work:
- Warm up the first 2 minutes at Intensity Level 5
- Minutes 2-3 move from Intensity Level 5 to 6
- Minutes 4-5, 6-10 and 11-14 work your way from Intensity Level 6 to Level 9, maintain for one minute
- Minutes 15-19 work your way from Intensity Level 6 to Level 10 (High Point at Level 10), maintain for one minute
- Minute 20 cool down to Intensity Level 5 for one minute
Once done I'd do some crunches and other random ab work. I wish I would have focused a bit more on this aspect of the program.
Wednesday - Lower Body:
Lower body day follows the same pyramiding rep scheme that is described above.
Thursday - 20 Minute HIIT Type Cardio & Ab Work:
Same as Tuesday's cardio program
Friday - Upper Body Workout:
Same as Monday's workout
Saturday - 20 Minute HIIT Type Cardio & Ab Work Or Long Distance Jog:
Typically Saturday would be the same as Tuesday and Thursday. Every once in awhile I'd run for 45minutes to an hour at 6.0-7.0 mph just to change it up a bit.
Suggestions for Others.
I have a few suggestions that really helped me keep the course.
The main one I can recommend is to plan ahead. This includes both meals and workouts. If you have your food cooked a day ahead of time and all the meals and times planned out, you have no excuse to not eat clean. Also, have your gym workout ready, it's hard to get a good workout in if you just go there and wing it.
Don't overanalyze the weight loss process. By this I mean don't get caught up in all the calorie counting and macro breakdown of your diet at first. I'm not saying you can't do it, but I've seen many people get overwhelmed with this and it adds too much stress to the process. Set yourself a basic plan and stick with it. Also, take advice with a grain of salt, just because one person lost weight one way doesn't mean its right for you.
Take this time to expand your palate. I'm one of the pickiest eaters in the world. I would not eat lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, onions, peppers etc. One day I came to the realization if I was going to change my diet and try to eat healthy I might as well learn to like these things.
That day I forced myself to eat a salad. Since then I'll basically eat any vegetable you put in front of me (except tomato) and absolutely love them. Who would have thought after 26 years I'd like that stuff.
Take a day for yourself. Give yourself one day to relax a bit and indulge in some foods you love. This doesn't have to be an all out binge, but eat 2-3 slices of pizza or take your wife out for dinner and don't worry about that piece that extra piece of bread or extra dessert.
Overall this has been the best experience of my life. I have not just dieted the last 16 weeks but have truly changed the way I look at food and my diet. I don't ever plan on going back to my old lifestyle.