Abood was dangerously overweight, and he knew it.
But no matter how much cardio he did at the gym, he could never lose weight.
Being a 100kg teenager, he was missing out on so much in life. He wasn’t fit enough to play football with his friends, and he was too big to fit on some of the rides at the amusement parks.
Even going to the pool with his classmates, he felt self-conscious about his size.
But seeing his father’s transformation at Ultimate Performance gave him hope and inspiration.
So when his dad offered him a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to do his own transformation, he jumped at the chance.
Working alongside an expert trainer gave him the motivation, accountability and belief that he could achieve what he thought was impossible.
Sadly, one of his best friends died of COVID-19 during his journey – but it only steeled his resolve to complete his transformation and build a lifelong foundation of good health.
Over 39 weeks, Abood has shed an astonishing 40kg and lost over 40cm off his waistline with his U.P. trainer.
Abood is thrilled with his results, and his friends and family are proud of his herculean efforts.
He can play football, happily go to the pool, and he even won the ‘best glow up’ award at his high school prom before he heads to university next year.
“I would say undergoing a transformation with U.P. is life-changing.
“I feel like this is the most worthy thing I’ve ever done, because it’s something that’s going to stay with me forever.
“When I’m sad or angry, I keep reminding myself that I lost 40kg in 39 weeks. I used to think losing 10kg was hard, so to have lost 40kg is unbelievable.”
Here Abood talks about his weight loss struggles before U.P., how training with weights has changed his life, and how it has dramatically lowered his mortality risk from COVID-19.
What was your motivation was for joining Ultimate Performance?
My motivation to join U.P. was because nothing worked. I tried many gyms to lose weight in the past because I noticed I was gaining weight very fast. I know that being obese is very dangerous for you at a young age because it can lead to an early death.
Before joining U.P., I started noticing I was gaining weight, so I used to go to the gym with my friend. One day my dad told me “I’m going to give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Just tell me if you want to know; it’s all your choice.”
I asked him about the opportunity, and he said I could join the gym that he also did his transformation in. I said “sure, of course” because if my dad could achieve what he did with U.P., I could probably do it too. This was my main motivation for joining U.P.
Abood’s glow-up wins him the “transformation of the year” award at his year-12 prom.
Before starting, did you think that this is possible to achieve the results that you have?
Before starting, I thought that this transformation would be like all other gyms that I’ve joined in the past. I had in my head that nothing was going to work. I thought that I’d start eating the same way I did before, and I expected the transformation was going to take a long time. I thought that it wasn’t going to work out for me because of my experiences with all the other gyms in the past.
So how do you feel about yourself since starting?
I feel very healthy and active now. Before, I used to be very lazy. Now, I feel very proud of myself for doing this. Many other people are also very proud of me.
How does it feel now to see your before and after results?
Every time I look at it, I’m shocked. I look different in each photo – the before and afters. We took photos every two weeks in the beginning, and then we started taking them weekly. Even when the weight loss started to slow down, you could still notice a huge difference in the photos. From the first photo to now, it’s very crazy. My posture was horrible. My legs were small whilst and my upper body was big. Now everything is ratioed out, and it is better.
How was your training and nutrition before coming to U.P.?
I used to eat healthy food, but too much of it. I used to sleep a lot and then stay sitting down most of the day with no activity. There was no activity in my life, and that’s why I was gaining weight every day.
How do you feel about this change in nutrition and training?
When we first started, I was excited because I never hated healthy food; I’ve always seen it as the norm. I enjoyed making healthy food every day, different meals, and it was a nice experience. After the first two months, I just got used to it. Everyone asked me, ‘How are you not eating rice?’ because, as an Arab, we eat rice daily. After some time, you get used to it, and it’s fine. I feel very good about it.
What do your family and friends think about your transformation?
My family have told me that they can’t believe that I did this. They said I needed to get back active and go to the gym. Not only this, but I needed a positive mindset because not everyone can lose 40kg in eight months.
Before, when I was at the gym with my friends, they used to give me advice for being healthy, losing weight and gaining muscle. Now the tables have turned around, and I am the one who is giving them advice, and they’re proud of me.
They all now want to go to Ultimate Performance and do a transformation. Either they are gaining weight and want to lose weight or want to gain more muscle. They all want to change their bodies now.
Your friends have undergone similar weight loss journeys. Have they had good results too?
I had one friend that I helped him lose 15kg in two to three months. He was happy that he listened to my advice. The misconception with every fat person is that they expect to lose weight by only doing cardio; even my expectation of joining U.P. was that I’d just be doing cardio.
On the first day, my trainer told me to pick up the dumbbells, and that’s when I realised we’d be weight training. I still remember when I told my trainer that I expected to be doing cardio, cardio, cardio. But cardio is boring when you do it a lot.
My friend, who lost 15kg, didn’t expect to lose that much weight only from doing weights, eating a healthy diet and being active.
My other friend, he’s started not that long ago, and he’s been losing it slowly and seeing results.
You mentioned before a friend who unfortunately died from COVID. How did this affect your mindset and motivation?
Before he got COVID, he started going on a diet and exercising. When he caught COVID, he was very obese for his age. He was 112kg, and his height was shorter than average for people his age. He was 15 years old.
When he got COVID, he told me it was hard for him to breathe, and he felt very tired most of the time. The problems he was having, I noticed it was not only because of COVID but because of his weight and his lifestyle. When he told me this, it motivated me even more to go and do my job; to tell others to lose weight, so it doesn’t happen to them too.
How do you feel about this tragic event now? Do you feel happy you continued with the transformation and, as a result, lost 40kg?
I feel very happy I’ve lost all this wei.ght. I could have been in his place if I didn’t do this transformation as early as I did.
Even though, unfortunately, he passed away, I feel happy he got to experience a weight loss journey. Even though he only lost 15kg , he experienced it, and if he was still with us today, he would have seen it through until the end. I saw he was motivated by me. Every time he saw me, he would say ‘Abood, my food is very good. It’s not that bad…I lifted this much today’ and he used to be very happy.
I believe he could have done so much more, but unfortunately, he got COVID.
How do you feel about the future now? How do you feel about your progress? Because of this unfortunate event, does this motivate you further?
The passing of my friend motivated me to push further because this was someone I knew, and now I want to push myself to the end, go all out in the gym every day, stick to the diet and help others. Hopefully, I will achieve my goal if I do that.
How quickly did you notice your results, and how did that make you feel?
I noticed my progress in the first before and after photos. The first two, I saw my stomach shrink. In the beginning, the changes were noticeable, but as the weight loss slowed, I was looking in the mirror and not noticing the weight loss as much. But people saw it, so yeah.
What were some of the things you couldn’t do in your life before your transformation due to being overweight? What has changed since your transformation with U.P.?
I am 17 now, but in my childhood days, I was always fat. So as a fat child going to amusement parks, there were some rides that I couldn’t enter because of my weight.
Now I’ve lost weight; I can go on any ride I want – and at the water parks also.
I used to wear a shirt at the waterpark and in the pools because I was insecure about my weight. Now I can go wherever I want and not wear a shirt.
The most significant difference is the clothes I can buy. Before, I couldn’t buy specific clothes because of my weight. I couldn’t buy my size, but now I can wear clothes from the kids’ section, so that’s very good for me.
Also, I used to be very quiet because I didn’t have any confidence to speak up because of my weight. Before my transformation, I used to think this shyness was nothing to do with my weight; I thought it was something coming from deep inside. As I slowly started losing weight, I noticed my confidence grew. When I joined U.P., I used to be very shy and quiet, but now I communicate with my trainer and joke around with the other trainers.
I enjoy talking to people now.
Before, when your weight was restricting you in different aspects of your life, how did that make you feel?
OK, I start with the amusement park; when I couldn’t enter a ride, but my friends could, I’d feel left out. I felt like it wasn’t fair. Now when I think about it, I was the one not being fair. It was not fair from my side. I didn’t lose the weight that I needed to; I did it to myself.
Now I’ve lost that weight; I can recognise that it was my problem, it wasn’t anyone else’s problem.
At water parks, the beach and pools, the shirt problem was embarrassing. I wanted to take off my shirt, and looking at my friends when they had their shirts off, I thought to myself, ‘they can do it, why can’t I?’
With clothing, it felt very frustrating; it felt annoying that I couldn’t buy the clothes I wanted to buy because they didn’t have my size.
It’s great now I’ve lost the weight because I can now do all this stuff.
How do you feel now thinking about those things and those feelings you had before. How do you feel inside?
Before my U.P. transformation, I was in a dark place. Since I’ve come out of that dark place and overcome many of these problems, I feel like I can help other people in the same place I was before I joined U.P.
The most common issue is the clothing, going to the beach and pools. I want to inspire those who are at the point that can’t take off their shirts or can’t buy their size. I can tell these people that I used to be in their place. It isn’t annoying, it’s your problem, but you are the only one who can change yourself to overcome these problems.
What are the most powerful lessons you’ve learnt about training and nutrition?
The most powerful lesson I learnt was that it’s not an easy journey. From when I started, I soon realised that it would get more challenging as I progressed through the program, not easier.
I thought when I gained muscle and lost weight, I was probably going to become stronger, and I was going to lift easier, but that wasn’t the case. Now we’re lifting heavier and heavier weights.
What about your lifestyle now? What things do you enjoy doing?
Before my transformation, my friends used to play football. I used to go with them, sit on the side of the field and wait for them to finish playing so that after, we could go and eat somewhere.
But now I like playing with them and can enjoy eating with them even more.
I like exercising in general now. I never minded cycling, but it wasn’t my favourite, now I actually like cycling. It’s a good healthy mode of transportation.
I found new hobbies. Before, I would be gaming every day, sitting down, and eating snacks. People expected when I lost weight, that I would stop gaming. I still play. I just know how to manage my time. I keep active in the day. I don’t sit down as much anymore.
What have you learnt so far about yourself during this process at U.P.?
I’ve learned that I can motivate myself easily. I used to think finding motivation was going to be the hard part.
When I saw what my dad achieved and how he talked to me about the gym, it inspired me. He’s used to make fun of me from time to time for being fat. I think he used to think I just take it and laugh, but actually, I used to take it to heart.
I decided to take motivation from him and lose weight then show him who is going to do better. I’m younger than him, I still have time, and I can surpass him. I joke that I can still grow taller than him, build bigger muscles!
- We show you the best, we don't show you the worst.
- We show you people who follow the plans, not those who are all talk.
- We show you those who inspire even us with their commitment to their results.
- You cannot get results exactly like these. You are unique and that means you can only get your own best possible results.
- Your results are a function of time spent following the plan; your genetic response to the right exercise and diet program; how hard you train; how consistently you come to the gym; how disciplined you are with your diet; & your starting point.
- Oftentimes the lower your starting point (poor fitness, terrible body composition) the better your results.
- We cannot do the work for you and the results you see here are a testament to the work ethic of our clients.
Our reputation is that we are the best trainers in the world for helping you to unlock your potential, & we can lead you to the door, give you the key, even turn the handle and push the door open, but we cannot walk through it for you.
In the end the result is down to you.
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