By Salomon Maya
I looked in the mirror one day and said out loud, Salomon, you are fat. That’s how it started. Now it hasn’t been the first or last time I had done that. But normally after that statement a period of guilt is followed by going back to my normal routine. Bad eating habits coupled with little to no exercise. This equation has led to my current status of fatness. Now I hope no one gets offended by my wording here, I know saying fat or obese isn’t very PC of me but I want this article to be about one simple thing…the blunt and honest truth. And in my eyes, I…was…fat. So finally I decided to make a change. Not think of a change or wish for one, but got off my butt and did it. I logged into Facebook one day and found a local small gym doing one of those 6-week weight loss challenges. The premise of this challenge is simple:
Give the gym $500. They give you a goal, which is losing either 20 pounds of 5% body fat, and a plan on how to achieve that goal (three weekly workouts with trainer in a class setting plus a meal plan). If you meet that goal at the end of 6-weeks. You get your $500 back.
I signed up and quickly began. I will include my stats at the beginning of my challenge and my results. The following is my journey:
Start of Challenge stats:
Weight: 215 lbs.
Cholesterol (Taken in March 2016): 250 mg/dl
LDL Cholesterol (the bad cholesterol; also taken in March 2016): 218 mg/dl
My first complete workout was 9/11/2017. The class consisted of around six other people who were in the same challenge as I was. At the end of the 50 minutes I knew one thing for sure…I was out of shape. I panted and breathed hard. I remember arriving home almost fainting and at the point of vomiting. My wife quickly prepared me my dinner which provided me the necessary protein my body desired.
The “meal plan” was simple. I place the words “meal plan” in quotations due to the fact that I truly don’t believe it’s a typical meal plan, it’s just food. There isn’t special powders or medicines to make you burn fat. It’s just four simple things…protein, carbohydrates, greens and one serving of fat.
The plan stated that I was to have a lean protein three times a day (6 oz. per meal), all the greens I can have (which is where my love for spinach, kale and broccoli evolved) and two meals included a cup of carbs (yes even white rice) and one meal had a fat (which more likely for me was 2 tablespoons of peanut butter).
I was amazed how much food I was able to eat. I never really felt like I was on a diet. For breakfast for example I was told to have 6 egg whites. The first time I cooked 6 egg whites I finished about ¾’s of it and gave the rest to my dog (it helps with his coat). And for my protein I started meal prepping all week with some chicken but by the end of the six weeks I had jumped to ground turkey. I just felt turkey had a little more taste to it.
The important thing for me though wasn’t so much the diet but how Adrian (my trainer) taught me how to eat. And eat well, and even eat well when dining out of the house. I found El Pollo Loco and Flamebroiler indispensable. EPL has a skinless breast meal with side salad and broccoli for $7 and Flamebroiler will happily sub all your rice for chicken bowl with just veggies, $7.
What truly changed in me though were the workouts. Adrian and his team had me doing things I never thought I could do. Before I knew it, six weeks in, I was doing burpees, mountain climbers and ropes. I had a stronger core and was able to carry my 27 pound toddler in and out of his crib with ease. I tried on my wedding tuxedo and it fit perfectly. I had lost so much weight that most of my old clothes embarrassingly hung off me like bad plastic surgery.
So at the end of the challenge these were my stats:
Weight: 195 lbs.
Cholesterol (Taken October 2017): 152 mg/dl
LDL Cholesterol (the bad cholesterol; also taken in March 2016): 139 mg/dl
At the end of the six-weeks I decided to not take my $500, but put it down as payment for another 6-months at the gym. In the end, I won.
Gym info (can we place on the side maybe in a nice graphic)
Evolution Fitness Coaching
1904 East Palomar suite 101
Chula Vista, California 91913