School teacher Lawrence Hunting always thought he looked better in the mirror, but one day looking back at photos of himself he reached breaking point. Jumping on a BFT fitness challenge and overhauling his diet, the 32-year-old was able to drop a total of 10kg – achieving 9% fat loss and putting on 2.5kg of muscle.
This is his story.
What was your lifestyle like before the transformation?
Whilst I’ve always been active because of my job and playing rugby; it was when rugby finished for me that I had an issue with my weight as I kept eating the same amount of calories as a retired rugby player that I was when playing.
The issue was that the training element of my lifestyle wasn’t the same. So, I would essentially over-eat and under-train. I consistently tried to train consistently after rugby and by myself but I missed being a part of a team and so I would fade in and out of training hard and being lazy.
What diets or exercise have tried in the past?
Sport and in particular team sport has always kept me honest with my training. I’ve always needed to be fit and strong so that I wouldn’t let my teammates down on the field. That always worked well for me. As a result of playing so much sport, calories in or out was never an issue for me and so I basically ate whatever I wanted and still kept myself looking fit.
What was the turning point?
I always thought I looked better in the mirror than I really did. It’s when I looked back at photos or videos of myself that I really understood that I was actually a mess. I signed up for the BFT 8 Week Challenge and part of the process was to take photos in the beginning. The photos were horrific and I kept thinking about those photos any time I rocked up to the gym and even had half a thought of backing down or not taking myself to my training limits.
How did you do it?
1. Food. 2. Training. Throughout the BFT Challenge, BFT provided me with a meal plan based on my BMR. I was shocked to see what the actual meals and meal sizes should be according to my BMR. We’re talking half the meals per day vs what I was normally eating and half the serving size. That was a huge shock and I did it tough for the first few weeks as a result, but I trusted the process and eventually I felt comfortable with eating so much less whilst training hard.
Some of the biggest changes to my meal prep was around the snacks that I’d pack for school. I had become comfortable with buying a burger and chips for lunch and eating a bunch of chocolate bars as an afternoon snack. By just interchanging those two meals for a packed salad for lunch and a yoghurt with fruit in the arvo meant that my daily intake was reduced by 2000cals. 2000 cals over 5 working days equaled 10,000 calories a week. Magic!
Regarding my training – I’m a competitive bloke, who needs people around me when I train. BFT is a team environment and I followed an 8 week program that progressively overloaded me week on week. My heart rate on the board plus chasing a medal each session meant that I got my competitive fix that disguised me burning 750-800 calories a session.
What were the results?
In the end, I lost 13kg of body fat, dropped 9% body fat and put on 2.5kg of muscle. I also dropped 5 Visceral Fat Levels. I’m a rugby coach now at my old school and dropping the weight, plus gaining the fitness meant that I could jump into training sessions with the boys I coach and not feel out of place. I also jump into activities with the kids I teach at school and can do it every lesson and I could go all day. Pretty good feeling.
What’s your best advice for others looking to embark on a transformation?
If I had to break it down, I’d give anybody 3 key points that worked well for me:
1. Take a photo of yourself and reality check whether you’re happy with how you look.
2. Work out how you love to train. For me, I need a team-like competitive environment where there was an incentive to be my best in every session.
3. Reality check what you’re eating and how much training you’re doing. I was delusional thinking that the amount I was eating was the same as what I was burning and that the training I was doing was adequate.