Everyone makes the new year's resolution to cut back, exercise more, and lose weight but most fail to make the lifestyle changes necessary to reach any long term goals. Sure you might lose 5 or 10 lbs but then you gain it right back. I know what it takes to lose a massive amount, the healthy safe way, and I want to share that with YOU.
Football Coaches have to be some of the most unhealthy people around, we preach being in top shape to our players, but the average coach I have met in my life is a good deal over weight. Even the more "in shape" coaches have at least a pot belly. We work long hours, either teaching or with an off campus job, we spend a ton of time at practice late or breaking down film and sometimes all we have time for is fast food. Most of you reading this are married, and have kids, or at least plan on doing so soon. Now is the right time to start taking your health and weight seriously, so that you can be around to see your grandchildren.
Meet my ex self, FAT BRETT
First let me tell you about myself, and my life.
I am a shorter guy, I am every bit of 5'8". My senior year in high school I weighed (give or take a couple pounds) 185lbs during football season. Once football ended, and baseball season came around i put on some more weight, I was now about 200 lbs when I graduated HS in June 2006.
First year of college+coaching came around, and i put on the freshman 15 +5 more. After 1 year of college and coaching I was 220. I stayed around 220-225 for another year before ballooning up to 245 in April of 2009. I had completely stopped exercising in every way whatsoever. I was bigger than I had ever been, I felt like crap, no energy, no confidence, nothing. 245 might not seem like a HUGE number, but at only 5'8" and with very little muscle mass, trust me that is HUGE.
The sad thing is that I didn't even know how big I had gotten, I've never been one to take pictures, so I never really SAW how big I had gotten. Then one day it hit me. At the school I was coaching at the HC had taken a bunch of pictures during the previous season and displayed them in a glass case in the GYM hallway. I was looking through the pictures one day and saw a few of myself... and I didn't recognize myself. I honestly didn't realize how big I had gotten until that moment when I saw those pictures, that changed my life. Later that month in April it was my 21st birthday and I told myself my birthday present to myself was to change my life. I have to add that everyone on my mom's side of he family has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, so I knew the heavier I got only increased my chance of having Diabetes one day. So that is the moment when I got the ball rolling to change everything...
Now for the PROOF
This first picture is me mid summer of 2009, at roughly 220 lbs, so this is AFTER I had already lost about 20 lbs or so...
The New Brett
Flash forward to today... I am 165 lbs, and I have been holding there (+/- 3 lbs) for the last 6 months. That's 80 lbs total that I lost in about 14-15 months. I am stronger than I was back then, in much better shape, I have Ridiculous amounts of energy now. I don't get tired like I used to. I feel healthy and fit. I honestly think I am a better coach for it because I have so much energy at practice I can keep everything and everyone up beat. It's like I don't have an off switch, I am just jacked all day once I eat breakfast in the morning.
And maybe most importantly, I am getting more attention from the ladies than I ever thought I would. I wouldn't say I'm Pimpin or anything, but I am pretty happy. I literally feel like I am a better person in ever regard now, compared to the fat Brett.
Sorry I don't ever happen to take full body pics so you cant see the drastic change in my body. I am trying to locate a shirtless pic of me from my fat does to juxtapose with a shirtless one from myself now.
So How Did I do it?
Now I will break down everything I did, and most importantly WHY it works.
I didn't starve myself, I eat a TON, I love food. I don't smoke, drink, do drugs, Food has always been my opiate. So I still enjoy a good meal, and even fast food, but it is how I do it that saved my life.
1. Don't cut out certain things... Just LIMIT wherever possible.
I absolutely love Taco Bell. There is one 1/2 mile from my house, with a drive through open til 1AM. I could eat it just about everyday . I used to go there and I would order 5 different items. I would mix it up between different tacos, burritos, chalupas, or whatever but I would always order 5 things. I was stuffing myself just for the sake of stuffing myself, I went beyond full. I notice a lot of overweight guys doing this.
So I set myself a rule that I follow to this day. I will NEVER order more than 3 items. I sometimes keep it to 2, but if I am very hungry I allow myself a total of 3 things only. So I still get to enjoy the taste, flavor, and guilty pleasure of Taco Bell. but going from 5 items down to 3, saved me 500+ calories easily.
I do this with every fast food, I limit what I am going to order. I don't need supper XXXLLL fries. Small fries are ok. Do I need 5 mcChickens? or is 2 ok.
When I make a sandwich or cheeseburger at home, I don't put a gallon of Mayo on it anymore. I still use some, but less than I used to. I used to put 2 slices of cheese on every sandwich.burger I ate. But going with just 1 instead of 2 saves 100 calories.
These are simple changes you can make and cut hundreds of calories a day.
I urge all of you, think about your own diet, what you ate yesterday, or today... What could you have done to limit the calories some?
2. Do not Drink Calories (Or at least cut down)
I must admit this was an easier change for me. I have always loved water and never been a HUGE fan of Soda. The next thing I did was decide that I wouldn't drink calories.
You would be amazed to see how many calories are in the things you drink. And most people who do read the labels for calories in their beverages fail to realize how many servings are in the container. It might say 120 calories, but its 2 or 3 servings and you drink it all. That's 300+ calories that you could have cut out.
I try to only drink water, I cheat occasionally, I will have a milkshake every now and then, or a caramel frapp from Starbucks, maybe a raspberry tea every month or two.
Look at what you drink, you will be amazed at how many empty calories you drink everyday. If you are one of those people that HAS to have their coffee in the morning, cut back some. Limit it to only 1 or 2 cups. Use low fat/cal cream.
Every now and then treat yourself but try to limit wherever possible.
Now for the drinkers... I do not drink Alcohol at all. But if you like beer (as most coaches do) then switch to light or the low calorie options. Do you need to down a 12 pack? no, you can still enjoy 1 or 2 and save yourself all of those calories.
3. Now to Working out
Cutting those calories will help you immensely, but we must have some form of exercise in order to really get the results we want. I have to admit I hate running.cardio... even now at this size. It just seems like punishment, so I still very rarely run, just for running sake.
My biggest key to my success has been LIFTING!!!
I am not a body builder, I am not very strong. BUT when I started all of this I began working out with weight again. I wasn't doing Power cleans or anything, simple stuff.
A lot of upper body stuff... Bench, curls, back, tris, shrugs, more chest stuff. I began doing Upper body lifts MWF, and leg stuff TuTH (Leg presses, leg extensions, hammy curls, calf raises, mostly machine stuff, occasionally some DL or Squats)
I just used a basic linear program, started off with a lot of 3x10 stuff, build some endurance up. Then Every 4-5 weeks I reduced the number of reps and increased the weight. I have to tell you this is my big secret.
When I see people, they always ask What did you do to lose all the weight??? They ask if I got surgery, if I did drugs, If i was taking some crazy weight loss supplements, If I ran mile after mile... etc.
But lifting weights is the best way to burn fat because
- You increase your metabolism for the next several hours after a workout
- You burn calories while your lifting
- As your muscle mass increases, your metabolic rate increases!
Quick science lesson
Your metabolism, or metabolic rate is how many calories you burn per day just to keep yourself in your regular lifestyle alive and moving. So while you sleep, walking around, sitting, on the computer, watching tv, in class, standing at practice.. all of that. It is how many calories you are burning just to keep yourself alive. Now if that metabolic rate is increased due to increased muscle mass, you are now burning more calories per day, literally while you are doing nothing.
I have completely changed my metabolism, I burn so many more calories per day than I used to it is unreal.
Once we begin a lifting program, fit in some sort of cardio wherever possible, but make sure it is something you enjoy!!! or you wont do it
For me that is basketball, I LOVE playing. So i make sure I take basketball class at my school every quarter. I play for an hour a day, 2 days per week. Not a ton, but for those 2 hours a week I am running fairly hard and getting good Cardio, but because I am so competitive and love to play I don't realize how tired I am.
This fits for me, but YOU need to find what best fits you. Maybe it is going for a 30 min walk with your spouse, walking your dog. Playing around with your child. Pick up game with buddies at the park... it doesn't matter, just as long as it is something you will enjoy. We all have some sort of activity we like to do that we can use for some extra calorie burn.
Interesting fact I learned in School
Walking a Mile = Running a mile = 100 calories
Doesn't matter if you walk, run , or sprint a mile, you will burn roughly 100 calories per mile you move your body. Meaning it is ok to go for a walk if you are not up for a jog.
4. Understand this is a slow process
I think the hardest thing for people to understand is just how much it takes to lose 1lb of fat. People work out for 5 minutes and expect to see results, it is important to understand what it takes.
1 lb. of fat = 3500 Calories
Calories in - Calories Used= Calorie Score
It is only safe to lose 1-2 lbs per week.
Anything more than that (unless the person is VERY obese) is generally unhealthy, and requires such starvation that you can risk hurting yourself, or just flat out crashing and binging.
So some simple math shows us that
3500/7 (days per week) = 500
Meaning that we need that calorie score to be at -500 per day in order to lose 1 lb per week.
for 2 lbs per week it would be -1000 calories per day.
So think about all of the food you eat and drink and how you can easily cut out a few hundred calories here and there. It is a difficult process but it is worth it.
I urge people do not jump on the scale every day. You will just mess with yourself. Daily weights fluctuate so much , depending on your hydration at that given time, what you ate last, if you took a big dump or something.
Instead I say to check your weight once a week. Pick to do it on the same day, and same time each week so you are consistent. Set a goal for yourself each week.
Goal setting was HUGE for me. When I first began, I wanted to be at 200 lbs by our first game (so from April 2009 to September 4th 2009). I pushed myself hard down the home stretch to meet my goal. I was ecstatic but I wanted more. So then I told myself i wanted to be 185 by the end of our football season... And I did that.
I stayed at 185 for a few months, then dropped the last 20 lbs or so last spring through the beginning of the summer.
Losing weight is possible, if you are willing to follow what I have outlined here. it will require some hard work, dedication and most importantly will power.
What I like about my plan is you do not have to give up anything in your life, merely to limit it wherever possible. You do not have to run miles at a time, you get to pick an activity you enjoy.
I honestly hope that this article hit home with some of you and that my words might change your life.
I swear by the things I outlined here... it is exactly what I have done and continue to do to maintain my weight. No supplements, pills, nothing.
Just 100% dedication to that ideal that I wanted to better myself.