Daniel didn’t recognise the face staring back at him in the mirror anymore.
Friends knew him as young, fit and healthy in his younger years, but now 36 and working a busy job with international travel, life had taken its toll.
But his motivation for starting a transformation was more than skin deep – his mental and physical health was at stake.
Hyperthyroidism decimated his health and left him on thyroxin drugs for life. This was coupled with seven years of anti-anxiety medication to help control his mood.
Now with a two-year-old son, he wanted to find a path to balance his physical and mental health that didn’t involve medication.
And if he could build a more muscular physique akin to that of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, that would be the icing on the cake.
With LiveUP, he has achieved all that and more – losing 18kg and then packing on some lean mass to his tall frame.
“The biggest benefit by far for me is that this month marks one whole year without any form of anxiety medication.
“I’m in the best shape and headspace of my life. That’s even after this terrible year we’ve all had to suffer.
“Mentally, I have a different relationship with food from when I first set out. I have much more respect for my body and appreciate how the choices I make affect how I feel and how I perform.”
Life for Daniel before he started LiveUP was hectic. It wasn’t doing his health any good at all. His jet-set lifestyle and eating habits were only serving to fuel poor health and worsen his anxiety.
“My job involves a lot of international travel. Prior to COVID, I would spend approximately four months a year hotel hopping in China, Hong Kong and India.
“Nights out had no limits, home or abroad. Drink-until-you-drop culture had well and truly set in.
“Unfortunately, as we all know, excessive alcohol and an anxiety sufferer don’t mix well. My anxiety seemed to be getting worse, my concentration levels at work were faulting, and my general mood had reached new lows.”
This felt a far cry from life in his younger days when he was fit, healthy and in shape. Feeling like he had let himself go only added to the feeling of helplessness to turn things around.
He wanted to fundamentally change his lifestyle and make health his focus in life for himself and his son.
“Generally, I would have been considered by most to be quite fit and healthy, but by my own standards, I was really out of shape and quite ashamed of my general fitness levels.
“Growing up, I was extremely sporty and excelled to a high level in many sports. I reached my early 30’s and would bump into people who had previously only known the younger, sporty, athletic Dan, which made me feel very uncomfortable.
“I felt like a fraud and wanted to get back into some sort of shape. Around three years prior to joining LiveUP, I had my thyroid destroyed due to suffering from hyperthyroidism and, as a result, I now have to take thyroxine daily for the remainder of my life.”
Daniel was ready to change his life and saw LiveUP, with its monthly training plan, meal plan support, supportive community and weekly accountability check-ins, as the way to do it.
With strong motivations behind him, he was set up to succeed.
“I had three original motivations for joining LiveUP. Firstly was the fact that when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognise the person that was looking back at me.
“Secondly, after continually seeing this person I didn’t recognise looking back at me, it made me consider how my then-two-year-old son was seeing me and was going to see me as he grew up.
“Last, but definitely not least, I wanted to try to give living without the support of anxiety medications a go for the first time in seven years. My emotion and mood were being controlled by drugs, and that in turn had an effect on the way I was going about my life and the way I was handling parenthood and my relationship.”
LiveUP is the first comprehensive training and nutrition program Daniel has ever enrolled in.
Yes, he had worked with trainers before, but nothing like LiveUP’s coaching program that covered every aspect of his transformation journey.
The biggest change from the outset was his diet – a big part of getting in shape that everyone struggles with.
“My diet prior to LiveUP involved eating whatever, whenever. Travelling didn’t help this as I was limited to hotel menus or fast-food outlets.
“No thought went into any meal. Carbs, fats and protein weren’t something I ever bothered to consider. My body shape gradually changed for the worse, and my weight began to rise.
“Once I started with LiveUP, my diet became very structured and consistent.
“There was now a thought process behind every meal. I was even planning what I was going to be eating several days in advance.
“Portion control was now something that had to be considered, and I also realised that food was my body’s fuel.”
It was transformational for Daniel – he stopped seeing food as a salve and as something that would improve his body and his physical and mental health.
Even when the lockdown struck, LiveUP helped him stay on track with his diet while
“After realising food was fuel, I started eating for a purpose. This purpose was to get my body in the best possible state to burn fat and build muscle.
“When we had the initial lockdown, it gave me the opportunity to really dial in my food. This played a really big part in my journey.
“My energy levels started to rise even though I was training more. The consistent approach I was taking with my meals also gave me structure in my daily life and help break up the days during the initial shock of being trapped at home.
“Once my diet was in shape, I really started to notice the positive effect it had on my training and recovery.”
Having a new training plan every month and live workouts conducted by a world-class personal trainer really helped accelerate his results.
It also gave him a positive focus during lockdown.
“Without doubt, the game changer for me was when the live, home workouts were introduced.
“Being able to workout with Elliott (LiveUP Head Coach) live via Zoom gave the plan a whole new meaning. Being able to see and feel his passion for what he does really hit home. That amazing feeling of having someone rooting for you so bad is hard to explain.
“It was very weird. I felt this connection with Elliott that hadn’t seemed there prior to these workouts. All of a sudden, I wasn’t just doing this for me, I felt that I was representing Elliott and his program too.
“I have learnt how important it is to marry a consistent training plan with a consistent diet plan.”
Training with real purpose and intensity, coupled with the diet, helped him reshape his body.
“Being of a tall and slight build, I also wanted to get into good enough shape to fill the sleeves of a T-shirt for the first time in my life.
“On my initial LiveUP questionnaire, I’m sure I had Cristiano Ronaldo down as my ideal physique – I’m still a long way from that, but I’m a damn sight closer than I was when I started out.”
The results he has achieved over his time on the program have been impressive – going through a fat loss phase and then building muscle.
“Upon joining LiveUP, my weight had ballooned to 102.5kg (226lbs). In my initial weight loss phase, I leaned out to my lowest weight of 84.2kg (186lbs).
“The journey from here has been slow and steady. I now weigh in at 92kg (103lbs). That’s an initial weight loss of 18.3kg (40lbs), then a gain of nearly 8kg (18lbs) of lean muscle. whilst working out at home with bodyweight, bands and a set of dumbbells.”
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!