It's been a while, but previously I highlighted one of my friends for her inspiring weightloss story. For volume two of the Weight Loss All-Stars, we're going to look at one of the more incredible body transformations you'll see.
Pictured on the right, is a "before" photo of my friend Brendan. He has become one of the regulars who crushes the workouts at my YMCA Athletic Conditioning classes each week.
I want to avoid spoiling the details of his awesome story, in which he lost close to 95 pounds. He was nice enough to share his story in our Q&A session below.
What's your athletic background?
I have been involved in sports my entire life. Was a three sport athlete in High School (Football, Basketball, and Baseball). However; my main sports were football and baseball. I attended Catholic University of America and played both Baseball & Football my freshmen year. It became too much so I chose to focus solely on football.
What was your weight at its highest, vs your current (average) weight? How long did the process take?
I graduated high school in 2000 right around 225 lbs. Finished football my 5th year Dec 2004 right around 265 lbs (although it was an in shape 265 lbs). Once I graduated I dropped back down to 225 lbs. From Jan 2006 to May 2009 I slowly put on weight. The most I ever saw on a scale was 296 lbs in May 2009 (although it was very likely that I was 10 to 15 pounds bigger than that a few weeks before, just never got on a scale). In Dec 2009 I hit 203 lbs on the scale. On average I have been about 215 since.
What caused you to want to make a change?
One of my roommates from colleges’ girlfriend was venturing out on her own as a health coach. She had success in the corporate world as a health consultant and decided it was time to branch out on her own. I was her first client. I knew in order for ME to really make a long term change I would need to make a pretty big financial commitment. This way I would be forced to stick with the program (in fear of just wasting my money).
So it was time for my yearly checkup at the doctors office. On the way to the doctors office (I knew I was going to have to get on a scale and was mortified at what I would see) So, I called my Buddy’s gf and signed up. I paid $1400 upfront and the program lasted 6 months. I lost 93 pounds. Best money I have ever spent.
What were your initial first steps?
I had completely stopped working out for nearly 3 years. Which was odd because I had been so active my entire life. So I slowly started working out again. Along with working out again (at first just 2 times a week) I was watching what I ate. I was eating a great deal of organic foods for the first time in my life. I was also consuming a ton of fruits and veggies. However; I still ate what I what I wanted one day a week. She encouraged me to find things that I enjoyed to do. I started volunteering at Big Brothers and Big Sisters and started attending a class 2 times a week at the YMCA (Athletic Conditioning). I got hooked on both, and still do both to this day.
Did you ever get discouraged during the process?
I was by far the most out of shape person in the Athletic Conditioning Class. I was running 12 minute miles where the slowest person besides me was running under 9 minute miles. I couldn’t do a single pull up and I could barely do 5 push ups, where the rest of the class were doing sets of 25 push ups. However; I stuck with it and it paid off.
Did your diet change at all from your heavier days, to now?
I have changed my diet, but not a great deal. I don’t eat fast food or anything like that, but for the most part I eat and drink what I want.
Describe your fitness activities these days
Working out has become a part of my everyday life. I continue to take athletic conditioning class about 4 times a week. I am also a member of Crossfit, which I love. I also run competitive races now and compete in Crossfit events.
I have recently got my mile time down to 5:16 and can do 30 pull ups at once. I am by far the most fit I have ever been and stride to improve that fitness level each day.
(Above is Brendan's "After" photo. Doesn't even seem like the same guy, does it?) What would you say to heavy people who feel like remaking their body composition is "impossible"?
(Above is Brendan's "After" photo. Doesn't even seem like the same guy, does it?)
What would you say to heavy people who feel like remaking their body composition is "impossible"?
Losing weight is really quite simple. The key is to stay dedicated and find something that you really enjoy doing. Once you find something that you enjoy, it doesn’t become work anymore it becomes fun and you look forward to working out.
What other advice would you give to a heavy person who has yet to make a change?
It took me 6 months to loose my weight. It comes off fast, you just have to stick with it and make a lifestyle change. The key is taking it off and keeping it off. Once your workout and diet become a habit, then its smooth sailing….
There are many different paths to significant weightloss and body transformation, however the main consistent is a combination of work ethic and an internal desire to make a change in your life. I hope to continue spotlighting people once in a while that have made dramatic physical improvements in their health and nutritional lifestyle.
For anyone reading this who may not like what they see in the mirror, on the scale, or struggle fitting into their old jeans - hopefully Brendan's awesome transformation story help to inspire that with hard work, patience, and a plan, anyone can achieve great results.