THE BEGINNING: SKINNY FAT AND CONFUSED!
Let's start at the beginning; I was 20 years old, a clubaholic, and the only exercise I did was supporting my bodyweight as I drunkenly fell out of taxis at the weekend. I didn't even consider changing my physique until I saw a picture of my scrawny arms and pot belly out in full force on a night on the town. The white t-shirt I was wearing was so tight to my gut it was ready to bust at the seams! I felt disgusted and I knew it was time to change.
The following Monday I signed up to a gym and started looking everywhere for information about the best approach to take- there was conflicting information everywhere! Popular health magazines were recommending the complete opposite to the big guys at my gym. “Carbs make you fat!” vs “We need carbs for energy!”, “High fat diets clog arteries!” vs “High fat diets make you lean!”, “Eggs raise cholesterol!” vs “Eggs build muscle!”. I was confused and didn’t know who to trust!
So I did what any guy looking to gain muscle would do, and listened to the biggest and leanest “experts” I could find online. These guys were around 5’10”, 230lbs, and minus 7% body fat; they had to be trustworthy! Right? If your sarcasm detector isn’t going crazy right now, then let me explain; these guys were clearly on steroids, and any experienced gym goer would have seen that. The problem was that I was completely inexperienced so I blindly followed everything they said. They recommended eating “clean” meals 6-7 times a day and doing way too much exercise. I was new to the gym and the day after each session I felt like I had been hit by a bus! The complete inflexibility with my diet was also starting to become a real pain. But I was seeing results so I kept pushing (all for the gainzzz!).
After months of consistent training I had gained a substantial amount of muscle, but also picked up my fair share of injuries. My joints were sore and my body was fatigued; I was clearly doing more than any person not taking performance enhancing drugs could handle. After some time I finally decided I was happy with my size and it was time to reduce my body fat. Unwisely, I turned to these online goliaths for advice once more. This time, fasted cardio first thing in the morning (which sucked!) and zero carbs were on the agenda. There was no mention of calorie or macronutrient recommendations. I just had to eat all the protein I could get my hands on and steer clear of carbs at any cost!
The result? Constant fatigue! I lost a tonne of fat, but also lost a lot of my hard earned muscle. My "precious gains" were starting to slip away from me and I was finding the lifestyle almost impossible to maintain. I had restricted myself from eating tasty food for so long and I would barely go out with friends for fear of gaining weight. My social life went down the toilet!
After some time I started to despise my new lifestyle. This accompanied with the constant fatigue and feelings of being too small drove me to binge, and boy did I binge hard. I literally gained around 40 pounds (most of which was fat). I felt dreadful; my injuries were less related to the exercise I was doing, and more to the fact I was carrying around the equivalent weight of a 4-year-old child!
The worst part was that I felt extremely guilty for letting this happen. With all of these head-turning alpha males online, how could I have failed?! "Surely I can dig deep and push through the pain once more?!!!" Turns out the answer was a definite no. There was nothing that could force me to go through that hell again.
I felt like a disheartened, fat mess. I decided it was time to make a change and knew I had to increase my knowledge if I was going to succeed. I was determined and started to research like a man on a mission!
It’s been 7 years since I started my journey; these days you can find the most up to date health and fitness information online (if you know where to look) yet conflicting information is still just as prevalent as when I started (possibly even worse due to thousands of social media “experts”!). With so many people claiming their methods are superior; paleo, veganism, Atkins, detoxing, IIFYM, crossfit, bodybuilding, powerlifting- I can understand why you're probably a bit confused and overwhelmed!
How is the average Joe supposed to know where to get their information from or who they can trust? It must seem impossible to navigate through the endless garbage online. But it is possible. To ensure I bypass the endless gibberish, I follow the top researchers in the industry and go straight to the scientific papers to obtain my information. The result is an approach to exercise and nutrition that is based on evidence rather than hearsay. This allows my lifestyle (and the lifestyle I advocate to my clients) to be both relaxed and maintainable. Having this knowledge makes life so much easier and more enjoyable, especially when I want to reduce my body fat for for something like a holiday or photo shoot.
THE TAKE-HOME MESSAGE:
Everyone knows improving your health and fitness can be difficult enough without having to follow pointless and stressful regimes. Things like eating 7 meals a day, never enjoying the taste of your food, and getting up at 5am to do fasted cardio all suck (and fortunately are all unnecessary!). I want to show you how to make achieving your health and fitness goals as easy as possible (hence the name ‘Fitness Made Easy’). It’s what I’m passionate about and I aim to educate and empower as many people as possible.
So whether you’re just starting your health and fitness journey, or looking to take it to the next level, please don’t forget that I’m here to help. You can contact me HERE and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have.
Last but not least, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to keep an eye out for future blogs, healthy recipes, exercise tips, and much, much more!