What I Learned Losing ~30 Lbs
1 of my biggest and proudest accomplishments recently has been losing ~30 lbs over a ~7-month period (technically it took me ~5 months since out of the 7-months I was traveling for 1-month and took a break and it also took me a few weeks to figure out how to do macros and also to be 100% locked in with my coach’s instructions).
I started out at ~167 lbs or so and my lowest weigh in was 138.5 pounds. Its been a fairly long journey but looking at the before/after picture below I’m proud of how far I’ve come and wanted to write an entry reflecting on the experience and my takeaways:
1.) Hiring a good coach MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE — as much as I thought I could go through this body transformation by myself, I’m really glad I didn’t and that I hired a good coach instead. I mean, there’s a world of information online and how hard is it to checkin weekly and modify your diet/workout plan based on if you’re seeing progress or not?
Well, the point of hiring a good coach is that he/she will save you HOURS if not MONTHS and YEARS of personal self experimentation so that you get to your desired outcome/goal so much faster (unless you’re in the business of self experimentation like a Tim Ferriss). Furthermore, they will keep you accountable and on track, which is so important when trying to accomplish something like this.
With my coach, all I had to do was follow exactly what they said — the macros to hit and the workout plan — and I would make progress. I didn’t have to think or do research or plan or do anything other than show up and follow through on the instructions and give it my all.
Not only am I going to hire a coach for my business pursuits/my life in general, but in the future if I’m ever serious about wanting to learn or develop something I will 100% hire a good coach. The money is well worth it and would save me years of experience
2.) Discipline — I did what 90% of people aren’t willing to do, which is why I now look better than 90% of people — I counted and tracked my macros and hit them 100% almost every single day for the last few months. Not only did I barely eat out, but when I did I made sure it was foods that could be tracked. I didn’t drink for a really long time. No pizza, no burgers, no nachos and no desserts.
I was locked in and once I got really focused it became easy to avoid all these “bad” foods and I actually started to AVOID social events since I didn’t want to be tempted to eat and drink.
And on the workout side, I had the discipline to hit every workout regardless of how tired I was or how much I didn’t want to go. I ended up with a streak of ~60 some straight days of the gym and it felt great to make progress in all of my lifts, even when dropping weight and becoming lighter/weaker. Not all my workouts were great and intense, but I showed up every day.
3.) Establish a daily routine — when it comes to changing your body and diet/ nutrition, 1 meal won’t kill you just like 1 meal won’t “save” you. Related to above (discipline), this journey comes down to consistency over the course of weeks and months. You might have a great day, but so can everyone else. Can you have a great week followed by a great month where you adhered to instructions 100%? So the key here is coming up with daily routines/habits that you can easily stick to.
For me, I ended up getting a routine going where I fasted during the morning and didn’t eat my 1st meal until before the gym and then saved the majority of my calories for the night bc I knew that is what would work best for me. I also ended up eating the same foods/meals over and over to make it as easy as possible for myself — foods and meals that I enjoyed and looked forward to eating, like greek yogurt and almonds etc.
4.) Nutrition/diet is 80% of the battle — you can’t outwork a bad diet, which is why so many people who kill it in the gym still don’t look the way they want. Diet/nutrition is so important. Learn about macros, about how to do IIFYM and learn to apply and implement it into your life.
Of course this assumes you care how you look shirtless (bodybuilding/aesthetics) and that you aren’t just trying to lift as much as you possibly can (powerlifting).
5.) You have SO MUCH more fat to lose than you think — I think starting all the way from ~155 lbs I kept saying to myself “just 2–3 more pounds to go; just 2–3 more weeks to go” and then before I knew it I was at 140 lbs and still not finished. Ha.
For 98% of people out there, your body is carrying so much more fat than you realize and you CANNOT spot reduce fat, meaning if you want to reduce the belly fat on your stomach the only way to do is to lower your overall body fat %.
Moving forward my goal is to bulk up to 175–180 lbs at around 7–8% BF and to maintain ~10% body fat year round so that I never have to go on a 25–26+ week cut again. I can handle a 12-week cut (3-months) but 20+ weeks is hard.