“I’m more energetic. I’m having fun. I’m hanging out with friends, and I have started dating again. I feel good when I look in the mirror now.”
Caught in a cycle of weight gain that comes with age, 59-year-old Howard piled on a decade’s worth of weight in a single year.
As a former athlete, this was bitterly hard to take. It crippled his confidence to the point where he didn’t want to go to work and couldn’t even face dating.
Surrendering to food cravings, he would devour a barrel of pretzels in a matter of days. After years on autopilot, he snapped out of this unhealthy rut.
He embarked upon a transformational journey with Ultimate Performance – losing 20kg, reigniting his social life, and giving him back real self-esteem.
Read on to learn how Howard managed to swap barrels of snacks for a basket of healthy habits, and get a new lease of life at 59…
What were your motivations and goals when you started U.P.?
Obviously, I wanted to lose weight, but I also wanted to feel better mentally. I wanted to improve my attitude in general. And I knew from my old athletic days that that would help.
Naturally, Covid weight gain was also a big reason for me to join. With age, weight sneaks up on you, but Covid accelerated the whole process – it was like 10-15 years’ worth of weight gained in one year.
Being an athlete, I probably got in my own way because I knew what I wanted. And if I didn’t have a perfect plan that covered all the aspects of fitness, then I didn’t even start; I wouldn’t do anything if I couldn’t do it perfectly. And I never found a training system or a personal training company that covered all the aspects that I found to be important.
And so, I started doing research and came across Ultimate Performance. I found out that you guys don’t just lift weights but also focus on nutrition, sleep, and hydration – everything that I found important was covered.
How would you say U.P. impacted your life?
The program has had a big effect on my general quality of life. I was in a bad place mentally. I didn’t want to go to work. I wasn’t dating. If you don’t like yourself, why would you expect anybody else to like you?
So, I procrastinated; it became easier and easier to dream what could be, rather than act on it. Now I’m more energetic. I’m having fun. I’m hanging out with friends, and I have started dating again. I feel good when I look in the mirror now.
I didn’t have a routine, so I was coasting. And years were going by; I couldn’t even remember the last four years because I was just coasting through life.
And now things are so much better. I don’t expect life to be perfect, but it shouldn’t be a fog, right? You should enjoy the highs, as well as learn from the lows. Earlier, I was just on automatic pilot.
Can you compare your old lifestyle to your life now?
It was chaotic, to say the least.
If I was hungry, I would eat whatever I craved. I would buy this big barrel of pretzels, and I’d kill it off in like three days. I hardly ever cooked, and I was always going out to eat. So, there was no constraint whatsoever.
My lifestyle was so ad-hoc; I’d get up, and if I didn’t like how I looked, I started exercising.
Now it’s like your senses are more attuned to life. You’re not on automatic, so when you eat something, you taste it. You listen to music, and you hear it as opposed to just coasting.
The more your body is a fine-tuned engine, the better it can appreciate and take in all the senses that life has to offer.
My relationships and lifestyle have increased big time. I went out on a couple of dates last year, but my head still wasn’t in the right place. When it came to meeting women, even though I could meet them, I was like, “well, eventually, I’m going to have to show more body”. I was like, why should I put myself through that?
I have now started dating. I actually have a date with someone I’m interested in. And there’s no way that I would’ve even considered that before.
You were an athlete in your younger days. Has training at U.P. affected your ability to start running again?
When I signed up, one of my goals was that I wanted to compete again. But I had my doubts because I had been a competitive athlete for many years, and there was a lot of damage to my muscle tissue.
But as I started doing this, I thought it could actually be a possibility, not just a wish!
When I started jogging, I couldn’t even jog without pain. I recently went to see my physical therapist. He had me on the treadmill, and this was the first time that I was able to run without any pain.
So he cranked up the treadmill to the point where I was sprinting on the treadmill, and I had this silly ass grin on my face because I had not been able to sprint like that for 25 or 30 years. And as a sprinter, it’s intoxicating.
That day I felt I’m going to be able to do this. I’m going to be able to get on the track. I just have to follow the regimen, keep working out, get stronger, eat right, and do what he’s telling me to do.
What positive impact did your trainer have on you during your transformation?
I remember when I first came for the interview here; I thought they were going to say, “okay, you want to sign up? This is the time slot you want, so this is the trainer available.”
That is not how they work here. They said, “we’re going to interview you, find out what your goals are, then we’re going to align you and your personality to match with someone.”
You know, you’re not on a conveyor belt. That’s not how this place is. My trainer helped a lot; by being available when I had questions, answering the questions, dealing with the fact that I can get long-winded sometimes, etc.
When it comes to being held accountable, I don’t want somebody who’s nagging. There’s a difference between saying I will hold you accountable to your goals and nagging you to death. There’s a difference between counting reps and critiquing your form with each rep. There’s a difference between giving you a nutritional guideline and suggesting certain foods and tweaks to manage hunger pangs.
Would you recommend U.P. and why?
I already have; my brother’s going to sign up shortly on the East Coast.
There are many reasons why I think U.P. is worth the investment. All the trainers are fantastic and have a great attitude; they want you to be successful in your own right. They pay attention, are friendly and courteous, and the place is clean.
The facility is only for personal training, so you’ll never be stuck waiting for a machine to be free. I can go on, but you get the drift!
Howard is about to take his second shot at competitive sprinting, giving him a new lease of life at 46. Roll back the years with your own U.P. personal training program today.
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