Posted by on Sep 17, 2013

Member Spotlight

What a difference a year makes–through trial and error and the commitment to never give up, pudgy_no_more has made himself into a stronger, healthier person. If you would like to nominate a member for a Weekly Member Spotlight, email fitocracymemberspotlight@gmail.com

Username and level
pudgy_no_more level 41

How did you get started in fitness and training?
In the beginning of 2011, I started to get heart palpitations and was out of breath when I walked up stairs. This actually scared me a lot so I decided something had to be done. I’d made the same New Year’s resolution for the last 5 years, but now I was going to actually do something to accomplish it.

When I stepped on a scale for the first time in years, I was appalled to find out I weighed 236lbs at 5’8″. So in the beginning of April 2011, I changed my diet and started running every day. In the beginning I would run at 4.5 miles/h for about 20 minutes. My body just couldn’t handle more than that. This progressed until I could actually run 10K in an hour. During the first 3 months of working out, I was eating about 900 calories a day. This is one of the reasons why I lost about 60lbs during that time. The downside was that I was skinny fat by the end of the 3 months.

How did you find the site? How has it changed your workouts?
After I started training, I also became a Redditor and quickly discovered /r/loseit. Around August I got an invite from someone to join, but only really started logging and talking to people in the beginning of October. The reason for that is that I started doing compound lifts around then. And I needed advice on what to do and how to do it, so I turned to Fitocracy. It changed my workouts completely! I went from StrongLifts 5×5 to Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and then I created my own workout schedule.

Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
I’m on a cut right now and hope to achieve 10% BF by December 8th. My long term goal is 178-180lbs at 7% BF. When I achieve that, I might consider competing.

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
Oh wow, so many things! When I started, I thought I was doing squats correctly, but it turned out that I was very very wrong. My technique and form have improved greatly compared to what they used to be last year. I’ve also learned how to make a distinction between exercises that will help me achieve my goals, exercises that won’t, and exercises that are just utter crap. My understanding of nutrition and how it really is goal dependent has increased greatly. I want to continue expanding my nutritional knowledge while perfecting my form and technique. Fitocracy is filled with the knowledge anyone will ever need to achieve their fitness goals, you just have to listen and decide what the best course of action is for you.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
One of my biggest weaknesses is lack of patience. Sometimes I just try to go too heavy too fast and end up hurting myself. I’ve done this a couple of times in the last 6 months and it has set me back. I’m really trying to work on this, but it’s hard to control. My other great weakness WAS beer. As a Belgian, it’s pretty much impossible not to drink beer when going out, but I’m doing it. I’m actually turning down beer and opting for diet soda! Ever since I started dieting, I’ve been reading up on nutrition. So I’d say that’s an area I really excel at right now, nutrition. I’ve also become quite the cook. You kind of have to if you still want to eat delicious meals that are healthy.

What motivates you?
Wanting to be better. I look back at where I was last year and where I am right now and still can’t believe I actually did it, but I did. Every morning I wake up, I tell myself that I need to be better than yesterday. And of course my Fito friends who encourage me to do better and motivate me when I’m down.

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting since January. I started with a 16/8 split, but changed to a 20/4 split because of my work and workout schedule. I recently switched to a Paleo diet after talking about it to some of my Fito friends and haven’t looked back since. It really is great and the good thing is that you can have delicious things and still be eating healthy. I’m taking my daily dose of fish oils and multi vitamins to fill any micro nutrient gaps I may have created by not eating certain foods. During my cut I’m using Yohimbine HCl to help me along and will of course stop taking it once it’s over.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Decide what your short term and long term goals are and research the best methods of achieving them. Don’t dive in without know exactly what your plan is and how you’re going to successfully implement it! Once you have this figured out and the motivation is there, only the execution remains. I know you’re thinking that’s the hardest part, but it isn’t. When it’s all planned out, you just have to get your ass to the gym and follow it!

What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
My willpower. Anyone that saw my transformation up close, knows that it took every ounce of willpower I had to accomplish it. When you’re running a 10K every morning and only get to eat 900 calories, you really need willpower not to overeat. And now again, I’m doing two a day workouts completely fasted. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to go running before work, go to the office for 9-10 hours, go lift weights and after 20 hours of fasting, finally eat something.

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
Fitocracy is the reason why I look the way I look right now! I learned everything I know about proper technique and diet through Fito. I’ve met kindred spirits who know what it’s like to live to work out or are on the same journey as I am. I’ve made friends who I’ve then met in person and really clicked with.

One thing I want people to take away from my story is..
that no matter who you are, how old you are or whatever your goal is, it’s never too late start doing something about it. Set big goals for yourself, achieve them, then set bigger goals!

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