From the worst to the best shape

This is a series of posts about how I transformed my body from the worst shape of my life into the best it’s ever been. As I was going through my transformation, my friends and colleagues were curious about what exactly I was doing to achieve this kind of fitness and weight loss rates, so I’ve decided to share my methods in a series of blog posts, both as my own journal of the process but also to inspire my friends to achieve their fitness and health goals — and possibly other readers of this blog, too!

Before and after pictures — front
Before and after pictures — Back

My weight loss/fitness stats

  • Lost 31 lbs/ 14kg (212 lbs/96 kg -> 181 lbs/82 kg)
  • Lost 5.1 inches/13 cm in waist (37.7 inches/96 cm to 32.6 inches/ 83 cm)
  • Gained 2 inches/5 cm in biceps (15.35 inches/39 cm -> 17.32 inches/44 cm)

My physical strength stats

(Please note, I had a shoulder injury, so before stats were taken after I healed):

Before

  • push-ups: 15
  • pull-ups: 3

After

  • push-ups: 55
  • pull-ups: 21

I was able to achieve a form like that in a bit more than a year (1 year and 2 months to be exact), and by going through 3 fitness programs (90 days each) and without having to sacrifice too much of my lifestyle (nutrition and timewise). I also took some pretty large breaks in between (up to couple of months).

Motivation to start

I had not done any regular physical exercises since I was a student, so it was always hard to get started with any kind of exercise. My laziness was winning for a long period of time. My main motivation points were the way I looked and my overall shape (my fitness level was rather demotivating me, honestly). I also suffered an injury during a vacation by simply leaning on my elbow before going down a slide at a water park, when suddenly I heard a crack and felt a strong pain in my shoulder (it later turned out that I had torn / pulled tendons). That was the moment when I realized that I was in such awful physical shape that my body could not even hold its own weight. It took me more than a month to heal from that injury.

Another huge motivation factor for me was my son (1 year old at that time). He is very active, so I had to be in good shape to keep up with him, and to also set a good example for him!

Fitness program considerations

In order to get in shape, I first started thinking about going to a gym, but in my previous experience going to the gym was always a huge time commitment (1.5–2 hours). I did not want to invest that much time. Another consideration was that I did not want to sacrifice a lot of my lifestyle, and I had no desire to make radical changes in my nutrition. I am a big candy lover (chocolate, specifically) so cutting out the sweets was off limits. Many fitness programs do require strict dieting, so since that was not something I wanted to do, I compromised by rebalancing my nutrition though switching up some ingredients and eating less for the dinner, adding a bit more for breakfast, reducing my chocolate consumption, having a coffee instead of a latte, etc.

And, last but not least, there were the financial constraints. A lot of fitness programs may come with a pretty significant budget, especially if you buy all the expensive nutrition supplements, equipment and/or hire fitness instructors.

So all this led me to choose from some of the best home fitness programs available on the market. As far as the dedication was concerned, I made sure to find ones that only required 30 minutes per day. All of these, by the way, had pretty complex nutrition guidelines, which I took with grain of salt and heavily adapted to fit my nutrition plan.

What will I cover in the upcoming posts

Over the course of this series, I will cover some important things that helped me to achieve my goals — and even surpass them! I will share my nutrition adjustments that were crucial for losing weight and getting fit. I will go over the fitness programs themselves in detail. I took two courses of a fitness program, and one course of a bodybuilding program. I will also share which equipment I have been using, and more importantly, what I could have avoided buying to save money. The same goes for nutrition and supplements. I saved a ton of money by avoiding buying the expensive supplements that the programs were pushing, so I will share some tips on that. I will also be making some dedicated posts on tips to boost metabolism and facilitate fat burning, the importance of hydration, and also tips of what to avoid at all costs to keep progressing and maintaining your results. Until next time!

Bonus before/after picture