Matt Scanlon, a 43-year-old steel erection manager from Sligo, Ireland, shares how he reversed his weight-gain from living a sedentary lifestyle for almost 10 years with diligent training and a re-calibrated diet. After 25 weeks, Scanlon cut his body weight down by 20kg and slashed the dangerous amount of visceral fat around his midsection. Here’s how he did it.
I’ve been working and living in London for 10 years and, for eight of them, have been working as a manager in an office-based role. Being less active has meant that I’ve gradually gained weight, going from 69kg — which had been my weight for over 20 years — up to 82kg and, after Christmas wrapped, stepping on the scales at 89kg. This was when I knew I had to make changes.
The biggest contributor to this weight-gain was a combination of a bad diet — I was skipping breakfast and eating chocolate on the go before socialising in the pub — and inactivity, as I was based mostly in the office walking less than 2000 steps a day. I knew I had to make big changes when I could no longer tie my shoelaces without struggling and, looking back at photos in summer 2019, it made me feel awful seeing how I looked. (Continued below)
I was 42-years-old at the time, and the main changes I made started with eating healthy food three times a day, tracking my calories and walking at least 10,000 steps every day. I then started working out three days a week with Ultimate Performance and, by taking weekly photos, I began seeing a big difference.
Ryan, my trainer, started easy on me as my fitness levels were so low. He still made sure to push to a point where I was performing to the best of my abilities. He would always motivate and reassure me when I didn’t have faith in myself.
He would also text me on the weekend – where, previously, I would have been having 12 to 15 pints of beer — to keep me accountable. Once the first UK lockdown began, I had to switch to remote training, three times a week over Zoom.
My main motivation, however, was my daughter telling me I was going to become a grandfather. I wanted to be in the best shape of my life when I got to meet the baby, but it started as a joke. When my daughter announced that I was going to be a grandad halfway through the transformation, I said I am going to have the best grandad body. I don’t know what a ‘grandad body’ looked like so I just put the mould out there for everyone.
From the first week, I could see the weight coming off and I was losing around one to two kilograms per week. When the plan wrapped after 25 weeks, I had lost 24kg and, having reached that weight and noticing how my fitness levels improved, I never felt happier. People thought it was Photoshop and my young nephew said he wanted to have muscles like mine. My shirts and jeans have gone from XL to a size medium.
A year on, I’m chest pressing 40kg dumbbells for reps and have set myself goals to lift more and see what progress I can make by this time next year.
Ultimate Performance really helped me and I would never have done it without their guidance. Don’t allow lockdown to be an excuse, I took advantage of lockdown and I was determined even more so during it to come out of this in the best shape I can possibly be.
Your body is like a car, if you don’t look after it, it will eventually start to slow down. Once you start looking healthy, running well and get in the right mindset, it’s easy to keep it up.
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