Weight: Starting -174.8lbs – Final -160.4lbs
Measurements : Starting Waist: 33”, Hip: N/A – Final Waist: 29.5”, Hip: N/A
Total Weight – 14.4lbs
Total Hips – N/A
Total Waist – 0.5”
“Commitment, accountability, consistency and sustainability.
My personalized program for the Trench Transformation Challenge was an authentic approach to achieving my fitness and body shape goals. The 12-week program was simple, it just took commitment and the wherewithal to execute what was give to me. It is awesome what can be accomplished by bringing it down to the basics of eating real foods, following a traditional exercise program and trusting the process. But it relies on accountability—to your program, to your food and exercise logs, and to yourself.
Tracking macros quickly became an easy to do, I didn’t need to think about it, I just did it, day to day and stuck with it. I was engaged by the challenge of hitting the targets. By mostly eating whole foods my daily food intake was more than what I was eating before the challenge because I was eating consistently every day throughout the day rather than missing meals and just eating anything in sight at the end of the day.
Throughout the program I was fortunate to have been surrounded by like-minded and supportive people. This was imperative to my success. I am very fortunate to have a spouse that is supportive. She also participated in this challenge, and I think it is very important that I give support in return. Regardless of this challenge, I appreciate that we have a relationship that encourages reaching our fitness goals. Not everyone has this, and it’s a much bigger part of it than most people realize when entering into a program.
To round it out, the environment at Trench supports success because you are surrounded by people that are there to make things happen: Staff are professionals in their field and helpful, and clients are there to achieve their goals, everyone has their reasons for being there, with purpose and intention. Like any new environment, it’s not easy at first but it became comfortable very quickly.
The results of my 12-week program just came down to simplicity. I was committed to the program, made food choices that were sustainable for the duration of the program, and I was accountable to the process. The end is the product of doing the work and good vibes. This can’t be ordered from an TV commercial.
I began this challenge because I needed to get back on track with my fitness. I was stuffing into my clothes and felt terrible overall. I looked awkward. I couldn’t shop for new things to wear because everything was fitting weird. I would see something I thought I would look and feel good in, but instead it was usually disappointing.
My wife has been training at Trench for over a year and suggested I take part in the Transformation Challenge. She thought it would be what I needed, and that I had potential to be a standout competitor in the challenge. I was not interested in committing to a program, but said I’d try it.
I was in the worst shape of my life (or at least in recent memory) coming into the program. Regular exercise is not new to me, and for the past 6 years I’ve been focused on more circuit training and boot camp style workouts. In 2015 I took on the challenge of Spartan training and racing, and in that year ran 2 Spartan Races plus my first half-marathon. In early 2016 I was recovering from injuries, however, I couldn’t seem to get into a groove after that. I had changed my job in late April, and a small change in my workday hours had a huge impact on my personal time and with some heavy projects I slipped into a very unhealthy and unbalance work situation.
It was not just physical, I had some mental hurdles to overcome: my mindset was not good, stressed from work and equally stressed by not being able to get my physical health on track. I am pretty well tuned into my body, and I knew I was on a slope that was leading to very bad overall health that was already at a point that would be difficult to recover from, but doable if I did something about it now.
When thinking about signing up for a 12-week fitness and nutrition program it just seemed like too much of a commitment, and more of an inconvenience. 84 consecutive days of recording bodyweight, food intake and workouts. Having to follow a workout plan with movements and exercises that are new and physically challenging, outside my comfort zone, and worse, doing it in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by unfamiliar people (that are surely all looking at me and judging). Sounds awesome, sign me up.
The moment I stepped into Trench and met with Neil I felt a new sense of optimism and everything changed. I was ready to give this program my full effort. After only two weeks it was no longer about winning the challenge and I was just focused on my progress and what I was doing daily. In 4 weeks I experienced noticeable progress and results—I felt better, I looked better, my clothes fit better—and at that point I felt like I had won.
I can usually visualize myself reaching an end goal and taking the steps to get there. I can see the means to the end. But I could not see myself weighing food or getting under a barbell to do squats. I was reluctant and thought it would just be a stressful situation. I know it’s easier to give into excuses, go eat a few cheeseburgers and a bag of chips to satisfy the moment. But I am fortunate that I can identify these thoughts and feelings, and then make a conscious decision to get past it. And I know it takes some sort of structure to make positive and effective progress towards better health, fitness and overall wellness.
I should also make it clear that my relationship with food is dysfunctional, and that’s just the simplest way to put it. I know I’m not the only one out there with food issues, but for me food is reward, comfort, fun, pleasure and entertainment. I do a lot of unhealthy eating, yet I can also be on track and keep it clean to achieve goals. I’m able to find what works for me to make the change when I need to. Beginning day 1 of the program I was able to ignore the pizza, sandwiches, cookies, cakes and whatever else I was tempted with, just being out-and-about and at the office, not once giving in to taking a bite, because a bite leads to more. I can’t say I know what it’s like to struggle with substance abuse and addiction, I have people close to me that do struggle and have overcome, too many people actually, but I would make a comparison to understanding the impulse and the loss of control when that part of your brain takes over. So for me, to have followed and achieved results through the nutrition plan is a huge win for me.
In the beginning, it was about counting days until the program was over so I could eat a whole pizza as the reward for making it to the end. In the end, it was about a build-up, leading to be able to show what I had accomplished over 12 weeks.
Although I will not claim 100% compliance with every macro count every day, I can say the I have been 100% accountable—to my logs, the program and myself. I do not think this program is for everyone, because not everyone accepts or understands true accountability. The numbers don’t make mistakes, but I do; some days I would miss counting something, record it later and accept that the day was not on target. There were also a few occasions that work obligations had me at some shitty business dinner or lunch event and rather than use it as an excuse to go off track I would use what I had been learning though macro tracking to make a best educated choice of what to eat. Stepping on the scale every morning also held me accountable. If my logs are not accurate or true, the results would show on the scale, and then in my photos. It all works together. It takes more than commitment; accountability is needed to succeed.
For eating, I knew what would work for me: make up as much of my macros from whole foods, know what works for me, repetition and consistency from day-to-day, and make it sustainable. For the majority of the program, breakfast, lunch and snacks were consistent food choices each day.
Because of my past training experiences, and having gone up and down in my fitness over the years, I came into the program knowing what amount of work I needed to do. Trench was going to give me the tools to get there and it was my choice if I was going to use it. The workouts in the program were different from my norm but took it back to basics. It was what I needed. My cardio conditioning is very important to me. Once I noticed my cardio coming back I gained my confidence. I also gained confidence when I could no longer feel my stomach and lower back jiggle with every step as I ran on the treadmill.
I quickly became comfortable with the atmosphere at Trench. I didn’t have many days that I needed to give myself the push to get in the gym, overall I was feeling motivated to get every rep and minute on treadmill done toward reaching my goals for feeling and looking better. I started to see progress into week 3 and that was just more motivation to rock the workouts. My session with coach Scotty was very beneficial, as was just watching other people to get a sense of proper for on the lifting.
So, I stuck to the program and committed to getting results. Overall, I took the program and did what I needed to do to make it work for me. The past 12 weeks have me looking good and feeling great. My confidence is back. I can wear clothes again that have been on the shelf, and new clothes that have never been worn fit now (I had bought because I could visualize myself in them at some point).
One last point—It helps to have support in the home. A partner that understands the importance of these goals can be the difference. I owe a lot to my wife. The time and effort she puts into preparing meals for us cannot be understated as a contribution to my success. She helped me get into weighting my food properly. She was an example to follow as well as another point of accountability. Not everyone has this support, and I am thankful.
The final rep of my last training day of my program was bittersweet. The weeks went by fast. I’m proud of what I have accomplished in this short amount of time. Now I need to sustain the changes I’ve made, which will happen through continuing to be accountable and consistent with my eating and my workouts. I plan to do another program, and now that I’ve gotten to this point I am looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish next.