Daniel has been a client of mine since last year. One of the things that struck me about Daniel is his insane level of determination. I wanted to know what made him so consistent with his training - this man doesn't miss a session. Which is rare for someone who had never set foot in a gym until very recently. His answer immediately piqued my curiosity: "Well, I've structured my life to make it easier for me to go to the gym than to not". I immediately knew that Daniel had to write a guest post for me. His transformation is insane (as the pictures will attest) and I have a great admiration for the way he carries himself. The post below is Daniel's exact words & I hope they resonate with you in the same way they have for me. Enjoy.
"I’ve struggled with weight since day one - I was born fat, a fat child and a fat teen. Kids’ weight is quite often blamed on parents, in lots of cases I believe that’s true, but not in mine - my parents were and still are in good shape.
But, as a child of working parents I was often looked after by friends’ parents, grandparents, and other relatives, who gave me whatever I wanted. When you’re 7 years old, what you want is the good stuff (as a 31 year old with a goal of 9% body fat I now refer to this as the bad stuff). I was also a secret eater, I’d eat what I could, when I could and as much as I could, from wherever I could get it.
By the time I was 13 I was delivering newspapers so I had some money, and had discovered the Imperial Chinese all you can eat buffet, microwave burgers and Chris Gilpin, a boy who loved to share a box of ice creams or a birthday cake but to this day, remains a skinny idiot (he was best man at my wedding so calling him an idiot is fine).
I was never into sports, movies, computer games or toys, I’m still not. I was into magic tricks, building with my dad, camping, cooking and cutting people’s hair, I still am. Somehow this weirdness allowed me to narrowly avoid the severe bullying that the other fat kids got. So I kept eating. By the time I was 21 I’d hit about 20 stone (sorry, I’m English, that’s 127kg).
I thought enough was enough so I took a miserable looking before picture and decided tomake some changes, but that’s about as far as I got. I kept eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted for the next 9 years. I lost a few kg’s here and there but the term yo-yo is an understatement.
So, then I was 30, it was March 2017, I was still fat and was getting married in November. This time was different, it had to be. The wedding put a deadline on my weight-loss I’d never had before. Some people can carry weight but also be happy, comfortable and confident but I am not one of them. But how, after a lifetime of not making any real changes, was I going to tackle this? What had stopped me before? Why had I failed so often? Now that you’ve read my autobiography, we end up at the title of my story and the answers to all of those questions...barriers.
Barriers are something I spent 30 years building around me which always stopped me from losing weight. My brain made everything seem impossible; I should start today but what’s the point? Might as well wait until Monday. If I’m waiting til Monday I’ll wait until the next month, new year etc etc etc. How about when I turn 50 because it’s a nice round number?!
I knew what I had to do, I had to find someone to help me, and I had to help myself by getting rid of the barriers that had been holding me back from making eating well and exercising easier than eating rubbish and being lazy.
That day I walked to work and I had a new emotion I’d never felt before. I can only describe it as an overwhelming sense of determination. I just knew this was the day that I changed. I told my business partner, he laughed at me as I expected. But that was ok, because I knew. I was still a little unsure on how I was going to do it, but I had nob doubt that I was.
Later that day I saw Matt Richardson. In the time I’ve known Matt, he’s undergone the biggest transformation I’ve seen in real life. He was never quite as big as I was, but he certainly went from a fat guy to 7% body fat over a couple of years. I asked him for help, and without hesitation he introduced me to Paul.
Paul asked what my goal was. At that point it was just to get married with a body shape I was happy with. He then gave me a full nutrition program and a training routine that I could work with.
It seemed like I was going to be preparing meals or working out for quite a lot of time every week. Did I have time? Did I have time for other things I wanted to do? Did I want to do this? Yes! Easy. I made time. I believe you can make time for anything you want to do and I really wanted to do this.
Streamlining the process was my next step. I like things that function, I like systems and processes that make day to day life work better. That’s how my brain works so I needed to apply this approach to my new lifestyle. Here’s what I did:
- Bought some shorts that I could cycle to work in, go to the gym in and swim in. (2 pairs, yesterday’s shorts are hanging at work drying so I can wear them tomorrow)
- Keep a small travel towel, shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush etc in my bag at all times.
- Got a water bottle that I have in front of me at work at all times. Every time I notice it I drink some.
- Always have a couple of pre-portioned protein powders in zip-lock bags in my backpack. Much better and cheaper than a service station protein bar (or sausage roll).
None of these are groundbreaking discoveries or techniques, just little things that work for me that I do to make it easier to go to the gym and harder to make excuses not to.
My final two tips would be:
1 Sleep: during my teens and most of my twenties I would sleep until I absolutely had to get up. I would easily snooze until the afternoon. It took me a while but I trained myself out of this and now I’m rarely in bed after 5am. If it’s 8pm on a Saturday night and I’m tired, I go to bed (they call me the party animal). But this has given me a whole new energy.
2 Get started now: When I stopped reading and researching about the best way to lose weight and actually just started doing the things I already knew, that’s when I saw the biggest changes. There’s so much information out there but everyone knows the basics to get started on a healthier path and make the right choices.
This turned into a bit more of my life story than I expected. But that’s where I’m at; 31 years old, 20.4% body fat and 100% determined."