A Dark Beginning

It’s been quite some time; you know when life just happens and seems to takeover.

I’ve found it difficult to stay on track last year with my blogging; my sister’s wedding prep, a job promotion, and focusing on my passion: Fitness. That’s exactly what this blog is about – my transformation (as a trilogy).

As I write this, I am recovering from a dislocated patellar or kneecap for those whom don’t know. I am trying my best to see this in a positive light. Maybe this injury is a blessing in disguise; I can use it to re-connect with my love for writing?

One thing is for sure.  Avoiding focusing on the long-term goal; keep it at the forefront of your mind but instead break it down to multiple small short-term goals. When I started my transformation 29 months ago, little did I know, I would be sitting here writing this. I had a long-term goal in mind; to be as ripped as possible.

I soon realised on my journey that my overall goal could be broken down into periodical phases creating small milestones. But first and foremost, it’s all a mind game; you need to conquer your mind before you can conquer your body. REMEMBER: Change starts from within, before making its way outwards. Let’s talk about how it all started…

It’s true when they say you need to reach absolute rock bottom before you can hit your peak. You need an awakening. My awakening came in September 2017. I was at my absolute lowest; unhealthy, overweight, unfit and depressed. I was in a place where I had never gone before: complete darkness. This was my wake-up call, I knew it was now or never. I could go one of two ways: the first – do nothing and continue going down this dark rabbit hole or two – get my ass up, bust some iron in the gym and get into shape. I chose the latter (obviously!) and I am damn well glad I did! – Today I’m in the best shape of my life, fitter than ever (well not in this exact moment but you know what I mean!)  and happiest – both mentally & emotionally.

September 2017 – My Starting Point

I mean don’t get me wrong I was an active lad back at Uni, trained regularly but I knew there was something missing – I lacked direction.  This is why I felt it was important to have some professional guidance. If I had to be completely honest, I don’t think my transformation would have been possible without the guidance of my personal trainer and nutritionist Chris Mears. How did I find him? A recommendation from a friend to him as they were also training with him and the strength of word of mouth. It came at the perfect time, a bit of luck and timing did it for me. I made the decision to contact Chris and get my consultation booked in. I still remember, my first personal training session happened on Wednesday 27th September 2017 at what was then called FunctionFit (now known as Chris Mears Health & Fitness)

The Reality Check

37% body fat. 97kg. These were the results of my first weigh in. Rather shocking. I hadn’t realized how much I had spiraled out of control, my bad eating habits and lazy attitude. It was a shock, a big one. But a much needed one. This built the foundation to my nutritional programme; High Protein, Low Carb and Low Fat diet. Being Vegetarian bumped up the challenge that much more, with a target of 120g of protein every day, the initial 2 weeks period was an experiment. I was doing things I never thought I would; weighing my food and tracking my calories in MyFitnessPal. I soon came to realise that fitness is not just a choice it is a lifestyle. I am not going to say it was easy, the first month was tough, not only getting used to the routine but the looks of shock from my family as my every meal turned into numbers.

The reality check was that I was overconsuming an enormous amount of calories; to make up for which I needed to create a deficit big enough to burn into my bodies fat stores whilst training. But, isn’t this what personal trainers are for? Chris did the maths and set me on a cap of 1,500 calories a day with a protein intake of 120g. But the interesting part came when I had to explore WHAT foods to eat and what NOT to eat. It took me a good month before I could hold my ground with a proper meal prep timetable – Dairy was a food group that was high in my diet (and also a big reason to my over consumption) so I completely eliminated it. I went Vegan. Some may say this is a bit extreme, but for me, extreme or not, I had one goal and only one goal – Weight Loss. Just something to note here. Chris DID NOT restrict me. I restricted myself. After my reality check, I was ready to go to any extent to pursue my goal – I agreed on two personal training sessions a week with Chris followed by a rigourous food plan and gym sessions. It truly was No Pain No Gain.

As I mentioned before, one of the key points I made earlier was that of conquering my mind before my body. I had to mentally prepare myself; I was feeling very hungry and hormonally I was getting really grumpy. The shortage of food was having a big impact on my body, but I was only feeling this way because I was letting myself. I had jumped into the deep end without conquering myself mentally first; I was made aware of this during my consultation, but I didn’t realise how much of an impact it was going to have. The first month was the biggest struggle, continuously battling my mind – I wanted to quit but always asked myself why I started which kept me going. I remembered what Chris always told me ‘I can only guide you, but you have to help yourself by following through’. On another note, I was paying a price for this, I can’t just now let that go to waste (money wasn’t the most important factor by the way, but something to consider as well).

So, here I was, a couple months into my transformation. Vegetarian to Vegan. It was time to now begin my Shred.