I’ve always been a pretty active person; since my late teens I’ve been at the gym two or three times a week. In March 2020 I suffered a severe injury, completely rupturing my biceps. That sidelined me, and then immediately afterward, the pandemic lockdowns kept me from getting to the gym.
For almost two years, I didn’t do any form of exercise or resistance training. I peaked at 201 pounds (91 kg), which was unhealthy for me. I’d never been overweight before, and my energy levels were completely in the toilet. I barely wanted to leave the couch; leaving the house just felt like too much of an effort. My confidence levels were rock bottom and I felt trapped in an unhealthy routine that I didn’t have the mental strength to change. I knew I needed help, so I turned to Ultimate Performance in Kensington.
The first thing we changed was my diet. I’ve always been a “grazer.” If I was bored, I might wander over to the fridge just to have something to do (or to eat). I’d have a lot of snacks between meals. And often I’d order food because I just didn’t feel like cooking.
Once we established my daily calorie allowance, I stuck to it. No aimless strolls to the refrigerator between meals; if I did have snacks, they were more nutritious choices that didn’t bust my calorie budget. My trainer had me weighing my food, counting my calories, and hitting my macros. I’d be at the kitchen counter prepping instead of getting takeout.
What really made a difference for me during this transformation period was how I dealt with sweet cravings in between meals, especially as I was mostly working from home. I made sure I had stocked up on jars of low calorie jelly and crackers. Also, brushing my teeth when I would get cravings really made a difference as believe it or not, it would make the cravings subside.
I also worked out with a personal trainer three times a week, an hour each session. We’d do whole-body resistance training circuits, and, as I progressed, we’d measure the rest period between sets to give me more of a cardio push. My trainer was great about emphasizing good form and technique, and pushing through that last rep for best results.
I found leg training really challenging! I had never trained my legs before, so exercises like the hack squat and pendulum were particularly tough. But I also knew that’s what really boosted my metabolism and fat burning.
Over 12 weeks of work, I lost 25 pounds (11.5kg ). I dropped 16.5 percent of my bodyfat and gained 11 pounds (5 kg) of lean muscle. My friends and family were stunned at the results, and especially at how quickly I achieved them. I feel great; aside from the visible changes, my energy levels and confidence are so much higher. My cholesterol and blood pressure numbers have really improved. I feel like I’m 10 years younger. I’ve committed myself to a much more active lifestyle from here on out.
One thing I’d like to do is gain more strength while keeping my body fat percentage low. To do that, I’m going to slowly increase my daily calorie intake and see how my body responds. Ideally, I want to stay lean while getting stronger, so I don’t want to be consuming too many calories, but enough to continue progressing.
I think for anyone looking to get back in shape (or get in shape for the first time), having expert guidance is really important. Find people who know what they’re doing and who will hold you accountable. It’s your journey, but having the right guide makes all the difference; you want someone how can chart your individual, specific path.
Follow a program with proven results, and if you keep at it, you’ll see progress. That’s actually my number one tip: You have to show up. No matter how tired I felt, I stuck with my training. Make that commitment to yourself, because ultimately, you’re the one who has to make it happen.
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