Sometimes wanting to lose weight isn't enough to stay motivated. Having someone on your team to keep you accountable for your goals can be life-changing. Here's how working out daily with friends, a reasonable caloric deficit, and working with a coach helped London-based Jack Grover lose 45kg, gain 15kg of lean muscle, and work on his bodybuilding dreams.
I had battled with my weight since childhood. I played sports such as rugby growing up, but always had a love for food which I did not know how to control. This would eventually lead to a cycle of weight gain and weight loss over the course of my teenage years and early adulthood.
I really had no self control or education on what I was eating, which led to my weight really getting out of hand. I used food as comfort whenever I was feeling down and would end up making really bad choices. In 2016, I weighed my heaviest—I was 125kg at only 22 years old (I'm 27 now). I felt sluggish and lethargic 24/7.
This, combined with a lack of self worth and confidence, really wore me me down. My turning point was when my weight started to really affect my self confidence and personality to the point where I did not want to leave the house. I had just come out of a long-term relationship which masked the issue for years, and when I was then left without that foundation, I knew I needed to completely change my lifestyle to get a grip on my life again.
The first change I made was getting into a solid workout routine. I was lucky enough to be living at university with my friends who had similar goals, so we worked out together for a year and kept each other accountable each day.
We used each workout to train 1-2 muscle groups 5-6 days a week, such as: chest and triceps, back and biceps, using progressive overload and tracking the weight I lifted each session. Having workout partners really helped for not only ensuring that I stayed on track, but also really helping to keep my motivation levels high.
Second, I started working on my diet. Rather than eating three large meals a day, I aimed for six smaller and frequent ones with a lean protein source, carbs such as rice or potatoes and healthy fats. I tried to keep it as simple as possible with flexible dieting, and I tracked everything I ate using an app. I had a macro target per day to hit for protein, carbs and fats, and stayed within a healthy calorie deficit for my body. Within the first three years, I lost 100 pounds.
In 2019, after losing the weight, I worked on strictly gaining muscle. I currently weigh a lean 95kg. The difference in how I feel compared to five years ago is unbelievable.
Taking accountability for my diet and training has changed my life. Not just physically but mentally too. I am more engaged and productive, I carry more self confidence than ever and it has led me to meet like-minded people, including my current partner, who is also a fitness fan.
I had fallen in love with weight training and this had been firmly engraved into my lifestyle. The constant progression you can achieve and seeing your body change week-to-week or month-to-month is incredibly rewarding.
I knew wanted to begin to build a more muscular physique and for the first time in my life work on gaining mass so I reached out to an online competitive bodybuilding coach, now handles my workout programming, diet and supplementation. With weekly check-ins and adjustments, we have been working together for just over two years now and the accountability and guidance has been invaluable to processing and building a more muscular physique.
The most difficult part of it all was finding balance with my training and trying to not allow sticking to a strict diet and workout plan affecting my personal relationships. Once I have my mind set on a goal, I can quite easily get blinded with the process and forget how this can affect others around you. Finding a healthy balance is key to longevity and maintenance.
I'm not finished with my fitness journey by any means! I see this as just the beginning of a new chapter in my life. My plans for moving forward are to continue building my physique and set myself a goal of competing in a bodybuilding show in the future. —As told to Taylyn Washington-Harmon
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