Andy contacted me a while back with the intent to lose bodyfat, retain his muscle, refine his physique, and most importantly, improve his health. When I met Andy for the first time, I saw an intelligent man with tonnes of athletic potential. Yes he was considerably overweight compared to what I thought his potential was, but Andy seemed committed to go all the way.
I knew that if we could fine tune his eating habits, hitting the right macros daily, while saving the simple pleasures of food for refuel days, this would be relatively straightforward. Needless to say, Andy made an amazing transformation.
Notice however, in his Challenge 60 photo (This is the After Shot, with another set of pictures taken 60 days later), we took an already awesome physique and transformed it further in a very short period of time, with simple minor daily changes. You will notice in these photos a crispness in his physique with added muscle and definition. Anything is possible with the proper mindset and belief. The mechanics of the plan are secondary.
The next stage of the transformation (The one that we are currently working on) is taking Andy from his current physique to an even more heavily muscled, equally lean athlete. Again this will require small but crucial adjustments implemented DAILY, as progress is always the gradual adaptation of the body over time. Knowing Andy’s character and commitment, the only thing that will hold him back is occasional lapses in focus.
Please read the interview below the photo’s of Andy’s amazing transformation in his words.
What prompted you to begin your journey into better health and fitness?
I’ve started lifting weights around the 43-44 yr old mark (I can’t remember). I was lifting heavy weights and became really strong to the point I was max lifting 375 lbs. I thought counting calories was for suckers and figured since I was lifting 3x a week, I could get away with eating whatever I wanted. In March 2013 I hit my high watermark in weight (240lbs) and my doctor diagnosed me with a fatty liver and said I need to seriously consider some lifestyle changes, i.e. healthier eating, and less alcohol. This event was the impetus for getting healthy.
Describe your fitness/physique/health transformation? What have you achieved?
By July 2013, by simply watching my diet and pretty much eliminating alcohol, I dropped down to 221 lbs. I started up with Tom in a 1 on 1 personalized bootcamp that month and haven’t looked back. Since that time, my body fat has dropped down to approx. 4.5% and on a normal day I bend the scales at 202 lbs. At 49 years old I am so happy to be able to state I’m in the best shape of my life.
What has been the biggest obstacle that you have had to overcome in your journey along the way?
Every day there are obstacles that we face (I’m too tired… I need the extra sleep… I got home late and I deserve a treat etc.). For me its the mental toughness to stick to the plan; execute the exercise program and avoid the temptations of “treats” that will derail the plan. Now that I’ve hit my plan, I have a Wednesday evening and all day Saturday to enjoy refuel days, its having the will to wait for those times during the week to indulge. Its still a challenge and oatmeal raisin cookies are my kryptonite.
If you had to describe 3 specific action steps that you do daily to achieve your fitness goals, what are they?
1) Use a calorie counter like MyFitnessPal to track your daily food intake; in our mobile connected world its so simple to log your food and it is truly eye opening when you understand what you are eating. (1A – buy a kitchen scale and weigh your food – that is also enlightening when you start understanding how much you are truly eating)
2) Stop thinking about your new lifestyle as a diet, which is temporary and will have you going back to your old ways fast. You are in this for the long term, and it will help if you think of it as a long term sustainable lifestyle change which really does work. Its simple but its not easy, and a good part of your success will depend on becoming mentally tough.
3) Get a professional coach who takes the time not only to train you, but to motivate and support your goals, and most importantly someone who you will be accountable to.
Where do you see yourself going from here with your fitness journey?
That’s a great question. I hit my original weight and body fat goals well over a year ago and have been doing 60 day challenges and time-based weight goals with Tom recently to keep focused. The latest challenge is to “bulk up” my muscles while maintaining a lean body mass. I won’t rule out a contest some day in the future either For me the main focus now is to ensure I continue to practice good eating & exercise habits.
What one key piece of advice could you give people wanting to make a transformation in their own lives?
I would say 80% of any successful long term program revolves around the food you’re putting into your mouth. Get a handle on your calories and set up a healthy eating program that minimizes empty calories (like junk food and alcohol). If you can do that and stick to it for 30 days, you are well positioned to transform your body with a solid training program on top of that.
Anything else you would like to add that might help others?
Tell people you are on a program. Well meaning people, even family members, may unintentionally sabotage your best efforts by encouraging you to eat that extra helping or that delicious dessert. In some cases they may even want you to do it because they feel guilty about their own eating habits and need to feel better that you are joining them. Don’t do it. That piece of pizza or cake will never taste as good as having a body and a commitment to fitness that is second to none.