When I started blogging close to a year ago, I wanted to create an image for not only me to aspire to, but for other obese and overweight guys to aspire to also. Let's be upfront and honest about something. Having low body fat makes your body work and operate much more efficiently.
Sure, most guys want washboard abs and that's their man motivation. However, there's just no getting around the fact that once you're carrying around less stored fuel, your body can do many more things effectively. You become more flexible and feeling light on your feet beats the hell out of having pains in your knee joints and hips.
So, when I receive emails from guys all over the world telling me their weight loss success story, I can't help but to feel as if we are all connected in this battle against the bulge and journey to re-capture our health.
In honor of this connected feeling fat guys all over the world are experiencing, I've decided to start a new series that will highlight many of these stories of Average Joes who got tired of being fat and decided to do something about it! Let's start with our first Story of Inspiration, shall we?
“Kung gusto, maraming paraan; kung ayaw, maraming dahilan.” Translated roughly, it means: “If you really want to, you’ll find lots of ways; if you really don’t, you’ll find lots of ways not to.”For this series introduction, I wanted to highlight a guy that emailed me all the way from Quezon City, Philippines after seeing my interview on CNN. In 2007, Erik Dayrit, a 28 year-old graduate student, weighed 293 and @ 40% of that was fat! Once he saw that he was getting close to the dreaded 300lb mark, he decided that he needed to do something to lose the weight because at a height of 5'9, Erik knew that he was classified as morbidly obese.
- Filipino Proverb
It was at this moment that he knew he could not blame anyone but himself for being obese. In his email, Erik explains:
I was looking for someone or something to blame but I eventually realized that the way out of this mess was all up to me. Nobody told me to have an extra serving of rice every meal or to have a midday “snack” of Big Mac, large fries and caramel sundae. I did this to myself and I can undo it if I really wanted to. That was my epiphany. I’ve tried to slimming down before but all were half-hearted attempts to please someone – my parents, my relatives or my friends – but it was different this time. I’m doing this for myself.No matter how you slice if guys, it comes down to personal accountability and doing it for yourself this time!
So, Erik had an epiphany that he needed to lose weight, but, as I've mentioned before, having an epiphany isn't enough. You need a plan of action, and that's exactly what he did:
Before, I always reasoned out that I had no time to go to the gym since I was both working and studying. But since my epiphany, I’ve managed to allot at least 8 hours of gym time per week. My regimen usually involved a lot of cardio combined with some heavy lifting. As for my diet plan, I settled for the Chrono Diet since it was the most convenient plan for me. Basically I ate more during breakfast, some during lunch and a little at supper. After a visit to a nutritionist, I also learned how to monitor what I ate. I introduced myself to foods that I’ve never touched for a long time – oat meal, wheat bread, fish, veggies and fruits. In the past, I used to say, “Life is short so eat, drink and be merry!” before having a huge slice or two (or three) of cheesy, all-meat pizza and mug of ice cream float. But now, you’d have to move heaven and earth for me to even get near that stuff again. I’ve modified my eating mantra to: “Life is short so don’t gorge food that will shorten it even more.”Erik's modified eating mantra is definitely words to live by.
One thing that I'm going to enjoy about this series is that you are going to hear stories from men from all walks of life, who use different approaches to lose the weight, but one consistent theme is the following equation:
An epiphany + an intelligently designed plan + desire & determination = sustainable results
So, what about Erik's weight loss? Well, let's just say that at the time of his email to me, which was less than a month ago, Erik is down to 174lbs with 21% body fat, and he has maintained this weight for the last two months. He also participated in his first 5K this past May, which is incredible considering that one year earlier he could barely climb a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing!
Now, Erik has cut back considerably on his cardio and has incorporated heavy weight training into his routine, which is something he said that he should have implemented sooner. Erik and I share a common goal of getting a ripped physique, complete with visible six pack!
Nevertheless, Erik's transformation is nothing short of amazing. I think his before and after pictures speak for themselves ...
Congratulations Erik on your outstanding transformation and inspiration to Average Joes all over who want to lose the weight.
Fellas, if you have a weight loss story of an Average Joe that you'd like for me to showcase, please email your story and send before and after pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.