"THE BELLY I THOUGH WOULD JUST BE A STUBBORN FEATURE OF MIDDLE AGE, HAS COMPLETELY VANISHED"
Self employed, 58 year old Sean is no stranger to training. He trained regularly over the last 10 years but never really paid close attention to his nutrition, thinking being tall and lean his metabolism would see him through, but as he got older that wasn’t the case.
How it all started...
"In a word – lockdown. I think like most people through lockdown even if you were lucky enough to be working through it as I have been - we all started doing more of the things we liked to do that weren’t necessarily good for us to do. A little more to drink, a little more to eat and telling ourselves we’d change when all the madness of lockdown ended too.
Until around a couple of years ago I used to have a regular PT and found that really worked well for me. 10 years or so ago I’d been a stranger to the gym and having a PT had really helped overcome the initial fears and trepidation. But then in lockdown I had a home gym set up. I had “all the kit” but only half the motivation and zero accountability. I felt that at 58 the belly and body I’d allowed to develop over the last couple of years and especially the lockdown period was stuck with me and just a feature of my age and I think that thought made me feel a bit like “what’s the point I can’t change anything.
I’d never really engaged properly with the nutrition aspect. Being tall and lean I thought my metabolism would see me through but then as I got older that wasn’t the case. I ended up typical “skinny fat”. I knew I should sort out my nutrition but just couldn’t find the motivation to do it. Chocolate, beer and wine were just too nice and I was faced with too much information and no time to sift through it."
Then the Next Level Body Challenge came along...
I’d followed M10 for a lot of years and seen the posts about the NLBC as well as online coaching and kind of passed them over. It was the combination of lockdown and the feeling I was drifting back to the same bad habits I’d fallen into about 10 years ago before I started training that made me take a look at the NLBC when it came up. I’d already thought if I was in Nottingham I’d probably have sought out some help from M10 so the NLBC was a great way of my being able to get involved without being in Nottingham."
More than expected...
"To be honest I don’t think I read the “small print” properly and hadn’t realised just how intense it was going to be. I thought I’d get some training plans and that would be it. I hadn’t expected the level of accountability and support that was actually included and provided in the package. When I saw how much I would need to do for the challenge in terms of training and time, nutrition and cutting out the bad stuff I thought am I going to do this but I didn’t want to let myself down and thought I’d give it a good shot. The weekly check ins and availability of Rich to talk to through the challenge was a big factor with his knowledge and assurance being pretty much on hand when I felt I needed it and he certainly guided me through the rockier moments in the process."
It did not stop with the challenge and the progress continued...
"Not only did I complete it but I’ve carried on training with Rich through a bespoke online programme with that ongoing level of support always available too.
In terms of my physical appearance, I’ve dropped around 10 kg and the belly I once thought would just be a stubborn feature of middle age has vanished. That’s not to say it’s not been hard work because it has been hard work but in an enjoyable way if that makes sense.
I’ve made a massive connection again with my food, what I eat, how I often I eat and what I’m putting in my body. I’d lost my way with that and it’s been great to discover the taste of and benefits of whole foods. I’ve never been great in the kitchen but the interest in my nutrition is pushing me more in that direction too.
On a night time I’d previously have no problem eating a £1 bar of chocolate, biscuits and other rubbish. Now I sometimes have a few squares of dark chocolate and that’s it. I can stop there and don’t carry on. My whole diet has changed to being mostly made up of whole foods now
As well as my diet I realised the importance of sleep again. I swapped the bad habits of late nights and early mornings for work and now go to bed at a decent time, turn off the devices and sleep.
The combination of eating properly with good guidance, sleeping properly and a tailored training programme has honestly been life changing for the better. I feel fitter and healthier than I have for years. I have more energy, less stress and more fun now. I don’t give myself a bad time for the bad habits I used to have because I don’t have them anymore."
The most challenging part of the process...
"I work 7 days a week (my choice – I’m a self employed workaholic) and have early starts every day. Making the time to train and train properly has been the most challenging part, along with making the time to complete my check in sheets. The training has been great but making sure I make the time to train has been hard but worthwhile.
Previously I hadn’t really done much cardio at all. Through the challenge I had to do cardio and I started to run. I’d honestly thought I couldn’t run anymore until I had to for the challenge. I started out at half an hour, then 45 minutes and then an hour and just had a massive feeling of achievement with that. I’d never thought I would be running 6 miles or so when I was out but here I was doing it a few times a week. Sometimes we have to challenge ourselves but without the right help it can be hard to do it no matter how much we want to do it."
The role Coach Richard played...
"I wouldn’t have achieved these results without the support of Rich on hand. In the moments of doubt he was able to keep my on track with regular messages and face to face remote contact calls. This is a chance to talk through any issues and keeps me focussed and accountable.
With help from Rich I’ve found my training mojo again and having someone to be accountable to, to reach out to and take support from when I need it – when I fall of the rails a bit say – is a massive thing for me. Rich keeps me focussed on the future and reminds me of what we’ve managed to do together so far.
Rich helped me massively in understanding my nutrition aims and achieving them with encouragement and without judging.
I get the whole package from Rich, the in depth knowledge, the plan, the encouragement, the accountability and most important for me a personal level of contact that you wouldn’t think was possible training remotely but it is possible and it’s pretty impressive. Everyone has moments of doubt in what they are doing or moments when it becomes harder to stick to the plan and when those moments come the support is always there.
He helped me to eat well, to sleep better. To find time for the right things in the day. To plan to fit these things in better. That sometimes I’m going to slip away but not to beat myself up over it because it happens and to concentrate on looking forward not backwards."
Plans for the future...
"My body fat and particularly around the belly and middle has gone. I’ve become more defined in my musculature. I’m waiting to put some size back and trusting in the process and plan that Rich has developed for me that once I’ve overcome an unrelated injury that I’ve picked up that we can start that too. At the moment were maintaining the progress we made in the challenge and since then."
A few words from Coach Richard...
"The results show a brand new Sean with a new physique, having lost 15kg, and a more health focused lifestyle. This doesn’t mean it is all work and no play. We are now working at a level where Sean is able to sustain his results, socialise and keep himself in this advantageous position. Now we have new goals set and ready to execute over the coming months."
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