A young, busy athlete in college Ben had to eat to stay energized, to maintain his active lifestyle, to support playing college baseball. Quite a bit more calories than the everyday working man or woman (if you have ever seen a teenage boy eat, you will know what I mean, it is amazing what they can consume).
It was important to eat, in order to grow and get stronger you have to fuel your body. Problem was, Ben had stopped playing field sports and having such an active lifestyle, but he didn’t change his eating habits.
By graduation, Ben had put on enough weight that even his girlfriend commented “You’ve let yourself go”.
Words no man EVER wants to hear, I can promise you that.
Making it even harder, Ben has a degree in Exercise Science. He had the tools, they were just covered in Twinkie dust down in the basement of his life. “I just needed to implement them,” he said. “I then wrote out a diet and exercise plan for myself and followed it to a T.”
Beginning with his diet, Ben cut out sugar, fat, and junk food. His meal plans consisted of eating mostly lean meats and vegetables. This included limiting fruit to two servings per day. Fruit has the same hormonal reaction in the body as sugar.
He also changed how he ate, “I made sure my meals were bigger in the morning and smaller in the evening so I could burn off all the calories I needed throughout the day.”
Since that time Ben has lost more than 50lbs and has made health transformations his life. He is a personal trainer in NYC and helps others realize how much better life can be when fit.
I asked Ben to answer a few questions that may help you get started or jump to the next level in your own health quest.
Ben, thank you for sharing your expertise with us. It isn’t every day we get to talk with a professional trainer that has walked the walk and lost such an incredible amount of weight. You created your own program, how was that?
I was using everything I used while getting my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. Everything from choosing the right types of food, to making sure my workouts was effective.
Nice to have the background to do that. Even then, you had to change quite a bit in your life from the way you were living?
I would tell myself to remember to switch up my routine more frequently.
Don’t give into temptation; it will only slow down your progress.
Don’t obsess over the numbers, it isn’t about how much weight you lose, it’s about how you are able to perform whatever you want to perform (races, CrossFit exercises, martial arts, sports etc.)
Was there a turning point for you when you just knew you were going to succeed? Most of us that struggle with life changes always seem to be on the far side of these points, but knowing that they are out there is motivation. What was yours?
The turning point for me was when I started mixed martial arts. My body was use to doing traditional cardio (running, stair masters, rowing machine, etc.) but when I started to practice mixed martial arts my body started to transform drastically.
I was able to utilize the drills I was learning and the routines I had learned and was able to develop a new workout routine that made the weight literally fall off.
It seems as though these turning points always come from some outside source, we just have to be on the look out for them. We did another interview recently with Papa Joe who lost more than 250 pounds and it wasn’t until he saw himself in a music video on MTV that it really hit home just how bad it had gotten.
Yes, but remember, you don’t need to lose weight to be healthy, you need to become healthy to lose weight.
True, little tweaks to your belief system makes a huge difference.
How are you now?
I am a lot happier now and I have a ton more energy!
I finally feel happy with my physical appearance and I know that when I want to make changes to my body (more tone, add more muscle) I have the tools to do so. The best part is I can use my story to help others in order to help them lose weight.
I have a lofty goal, I want to be a fitness trainer on the long-running NBC reality series, The Biggest Loser. As a personal fitness coach in New York City, I work with clients every day, motivating and helping them achieve their weight loss goals.
I love it.
Well, we sure appreciate you spending a little time sharing your story with us. I am positive people will have questions about how you did your own programing.
Thank you Ben.