by 3Js, Nutritionist
Many people think I’m a nutritionist in a narrow field specific to bodybuilding and contest prep. This is far from the truth. A lot of my clients are average Joe’s who are just looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or do both. These people have a certain goal in mind. They have the need to better themselves because they are not satisfied with the condition in which their body presently advertises. Now I’ll be the first person to tell you that I believe the expectations society puts upon the individual is unrealistic. Skinny, famished supermodels and muscle bound male fitness models are few and far apart in our society. If anything, they are the most minor of the minorities. Yet, we all treat them like Gods, living vicariously through them in magazines, TV shows, movies, etc. Before I go into my main story, let me make something perfectly clear – It is unrealistic to keep your body fat under 8-10% as a male consistently unless you’re a high performance athlete (a pro soccer player comes to mind). Same goes for females. A healthy body fat for a female can be as high as 18-25% based on genetics. Any time you look at a pro bodybuilder and say “I want to be like him, I want to be that lean” you’re lying to yourself and manifesting a failure by setting your goals too high. It’s not that you can get that lean, its that you cannot consistently stay that lean. Has anyone seen Jay Cutler off season? He is well within the 20th percentile in body fat. Your body will not want to go that low in body fat and will not do so without some dangerous consequences if you stay that low for a long time. You should feel free to have goals and meet them. But don’t let those goals be unrealistic. I personally love being at 15% body fat. Think in terms of health before you think in terms of aesthetics. That being said, let’s get into my story.
Last year I had the pleasure of picking up a client who was, to say the least, very out of shape. For reasons of privacy I will call my client John. At about 5’9” and 325lbs, his situation was not just about improving aesthetics, but a risk to his wellbeing all together. Having spoken to his doctor and understanding the risk involved in his then current eating and exercise habits, he decided to contact me to set up a diet and workout routine for him. A lot of people wonder what it takes to make a drastic change in dieting. I can safely say John has the answer to this secret. Furthermore, I can say that there is no secret. It has been long said that it takes nothing more than persistence, a plan, and dedication to consistently follow that plan to make changes in your life.
John did all three of those things. In doing so, John lost 109lbs in 5 months! This guy was an absolute machine. His journey was so damn motivational that it lit a fire under even my own ass. Looking at the transformation this man went through was a kick in the ass for me. A lot of people have thankless and unrewarding jobs. I’m blessed to say that I’m quite the opposite. Watching John make the changes that he did made me proud to be called his nutritionist. All my clients check in with me once or twice a week to report their progress through specific measurements, weight, and pictures.
John was a machine, losing 3-4lbs a week. He was doing double cardio daily, never ever even asked for a cheat meal, and followed the diet without complaint. He had the mentality of “whatever it takes.” John’s initial goal with me was to lose 30-40lbs. He got addicted to the process. He got addicted to seeing that scale go down. He got addicted to seeing his strength go up in the gym. He got addicted to the complements and looks he was getting from friends, family, and colleagues. His doctor was happy. His wife was happy. He was happy. His well being and health were very happy. His initial motivation did nothing more then give him more motivation when he saw the results he was looking for.
Was it easy? Of course it was not! John had to organize, prep, and cook his meals. He had to put the time and energy into eating correctly and exercising correctly. Let me be clear, nothing about dieting is easy; its all hard work. Imagine if dieting and working out were to be easy. You would have a population of model looking people walking around. It’s the fact that the look and health of it comes with a price; one which many people cannot seem pay. It’s the price of commitment. So ask yourself are you a “John?” Do you have what it takes to make the change your looking for? Take a close look at the before and after pictures of John. Does he look like a model? Of course not! Is he 10000 times healthier then he was before? He absolutely is. For John, this was about extending life expectancy. That’s something you cannot buy, it has to be earned! I hope this article and these pictures have motivated you the way they have motivated me.