I started running for 30 minutes each day in April of 2020. One year later, however, I noticed that it had done nothing to change my body. My lungs had a little benefited, and I had got my 10-min mile down to 8 minutes and I ran a half-marathon in about 2 hours but running had no impact on the way that my body had looked, and I weighed in at 210 pounds which was the same as when I started running. So I registered for the transformation program at my local gym.
Prior to beginning the program at UP, I was physically quite large, with a waist of 38 inches. Mentally, I was not happy with my abdominal area, as nothing I had done changed that. Combined with the isolation that was brought on by the Covid pandemic, and it was not a great time for me really. While I was able to get around and physically active, I had not been able to perform any strenuous ab activity for the past 10 years, after my appendix ruptured in 2010 and having to undergo seven subsequent surgeries, including a some to repair scarring, which had required a lengthy, painful recovery. Keeping this in mind, you could imagine how difficult it was to get started.
I ate fairly healthily already, and I was not a big eater of candy or junk food: I would eat a banana, tea and Trader Joe’s fiber cereal for breakfast every day throughout the week, a salad that was high in protein for lunch, and then a sizeable dinner. But I did discover that dairy was keeping me from losing weight, and nuts were having an impact on my digestion. I also completely took out pasta and bread from my diet. In addition to changing up my diet, I was exercising with my trainer Geoff a few times a week and continued playing soccer every Sunday.
The initial two weeks of being on a diet were very hard. I was also worried about the logging in the diary on the UP app. Not because I did not want to do it, but mainly because it was stressful to have to keep reporting everything I had ate throughout the day. After a while it became second nature: eat food, log it. From a workout perspective, my trainer Geoff had never said anything, but I could guess that he was surprised that I could barely make it through the split squats without any added weights and could not do one single pullup. That was discouraging to say the least. At first, I was also nervous about my prior health conditions, but Geoff successfully guided me through all of this at a pace I was able to deal with, then slowly started to increase the weight and reps.
I lost 30 pounds in just six months, dropping down to 180 from 210, and I lost 16 percent of my body fat. My waist size went down to 31. I can finally see my biceps, which are starting to get more and more vascular. I am also a lot more energetic; I used to feel very sleep and sluggish all the time. I can now focus better at work, and everyone has started to notice how much better my endurance and speed have become during soccer matches. From a confidence perspective, it is nice for me to be able to remove my T-shirt after playing some soccer on the beach.
Another hugely surprising outcome of this is the positive results on my GI issues that I have gotten from this process: I used to take anti-acids almost every day. I have not taken one anti-acid for five months now. The cycle of the acid reflux, bloating, gas, constipation, then diarrhea has been eliminated completely.