Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weight Loss Stories of Inspiration: Series Introduction

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.
- Filipino Proverb
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.

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 muata@mrlowbodyfat.com.

18 comments:

Sean Ryan said...

Eriks transformation is an amazing one - keep these storys coming, a lot of motivation can come from seeing someone else in your position (or worse) improve themselves!

Thanks for the story,

Sean Ryan

Be Fat No More said...

What you said about knee pain is right. My knees used to ache on occasion before losing weight. Now they don't. I've still got a way to go, though.

Steven said...

Thank you so much for your continued work on this blog! I've been reading so much of it since seeing the story on CNN and I must say I am amazed at what a truly inspired man can accomplish.

The "unconventional" aspects of your journey are especially intriguing...less cardio, bodyweight exercises, etc. All great stuff!

I must say, though...all the workout plans and eating regimens and books and DVDs and articles in the world will do no good without the "epiphany". And the decision. And the determination long-term.

My biggest obstacle is mood. Depression. Roller-coaster type swings that have me highly motivated at times, down on myself at others. I have tried various treatments, and do not believe in pharmaceutical answers for these problems. It is a struggle.

More postings on the mental/emotional/spritual aspect of these life-changing journeys would be really appreciated. Getting thru life's bumps in the road and still staying on course with your goals...that's what a lot of us need help with, I would imagine.

Keep up the good work, at any rate. Thanks so much!!

Steve

Ketan said...

That is fantastic!
I hope one day I will be able to send you a before and after pic of my success story.

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Sean, thanks for your comment and I'm glad that you enjoyed Erik's story. Don't worry, I definitely have more lined up, so stay tuned!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

befatnomore,

I can still remember the sharp pains that seemed to always follow me around. I think that it's a no-brainer that for big guys to help alleviate knee pain, lose the extra weight! Thanks for your comment.

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Steve, I couldn't agree with your comments more! The mental (and emotional) side of weight loss is seldom discussed among "men" for fear that we'll be accused of eating quiche or something! LOL! Seriously, once you get a handle on that huge muscle in-between your ears, it's amazing how your weight loss journey's path becomes that much more illuminated! I'm currently working on a 5-part e-course that addresses the mental aspect of weight loss, so be on the lookout for that some time next month!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Ketan,

I'm sure you will, and I'll look forward to posting your story!

Steven said...

Awesome, Muata....look forward to that e-course! Thanks again!!

Dr. Kal said...

Great story. I love his new mantra. “Life is short so don’t gorge food that will shorten it even more.”

I might have to steal it. Put it on a t-shirt or something. :)

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

No problem Steven!

Kal, it's a great motto, eh? How about we find different motivational sayings in different languages and have them put on a t-shirt? On another note, you're going to be spotlighted here too very soon my friend!

Lowcarb_dave said...

Cut his body fat in half!

Awesome!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Hey LC-Dave, it's good to see you mate! Yeah, cut it in half! When I got his email and pictures, all I could write him back was:

WOW!!!!!!!

Trust me, stories like this one continue to motivate me BIG TIME!!! All the best ...

Arya M. Sharma, MD said...

Congratulations on your success - remarkable indeed.

However, as you know, your solution is unlikely to work for everyone. As I have mentioned in my obesity blog, weight loss efforts have to be realistically sustainable to provide long-term success and of course we need to be realistic and acknowledge the barriers.

In any case - keep up the effort - very impressive!

Arya M. Sharma, MD

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Arya,

Thanks for you comment and compliment. However, I'm not clear as to what you mean by "my solution is unlikely to work for everyone". I'm not presenting yet another "diet plan" because I don't believe in diets. But, I do believe in the law of thermodynamics. So, when one consumes less energy than the body needs, they lose weight on the scale. I don't see anything unrealistic about that.

What part of my "solution" is unrealistic and not sustainable? I've maintained sub-10% bodyfat levels for close to two years now without any problems because I now have a better understanding of how the body gains and loses weight from the cellular level. And this is why I don't believe or follow anyone's "diet" when I can create my own based on the best nutritional science has to offer, and this is also why I encourage folks to "Feed their brains to lose the weight" or they are just doomed to follow someone else's plan to get them to either eat less and move more or both.

Thanks for stopping by ...

bryantp said...

I've gained and lost weight so many times. Now, I'm trying to do it right and for the duration. These stories are so inspirational. Keep them coming.

lizardking said...

I discovered your site thanks to CNN and you a truely an inspiration. Its great to see an every day "Joe" have just great results from the work you've dedicated your body and life to. I read in your blog that you were going to try Tribex and ZMA but I never saw after that what effect they had. Would you mind commenting further on this? Thanks.

Dave

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Brian, thanks for leaving your comment. And I've been there with the yo-yo dieting. Once I decided that I was in it for the long haul and stopped putting unrealistic fat loss expectations on myself, the journey was lot smoother. Take your time and learn from the process.

LizardKing, thanks a lot for asking that question because I was thinking of a way to address that. OK, since I've written that post, I haven't used Tribex or ZMA to see if it was a placebo effect, and, IMO, it was. I truly felt my skin getting tighter after taking Tribex and my biceps "looked" bigger to me; however, I didn't have before and after measurements to go by. I was simply going by how I "felt".

Don't get me wrong, anecdotal evidence is cool, but, come on, I didn't even have before and after measurements. Also, since that time, I've read that Tribulus, the herb in Tribex, has not been shown to do what its manufacturers have claimed it could do in controlled studies. I got this from Alan Aragon's Girth Control. Also, Jesse Ferrugia in his Muscle Gaining Secrets said that ZMA was a hyped product.

I fell for the hype; however, I suggest you try them for yourself. I'm not going to trash them because what works for one may not work for the other, and the best way to know if it works for "you" is to try it out.

Just do us a favor and come back and let us know how they worked, or didn't work, for you.

Thanks . . .