This week we profile TinierTim, who has lost more than 200 pounds in three years. He’s been featured in the Huffington Post and has a blog of his own that can be found here. There’s no better way to close out 2013 than with this truly inspirational person. If you have someone you’d like to nominate for a member spotlight, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Username and level:
TinierTim / 35
How did you get started in fitness and training? Do you have any pics to share?
I started off in fitness with weight loss as my primary goal. In November 2010, I made a commitment to myself that the time to change the way I was living, eating and moving needed to change. I had tried getting fit and losing weight before but this time, three things were different:
- I believed for the first time that I deserved to be healthy and happy. To quote the finale of breaking bad:
- I had an accountability partner who had written up a meal plan for me. A good friend named Bret who still calls (three years later) to make sure I am still on the wagon.
- A plan that I could stick to: both the meal plan and a lifting program. I started out with StrongLifts 5×5 which gave me a great foundation into weightlifting.
How did you find the site? How has it changed your workouts?
I came across mention of the site on Reddit and joined May 2011.
Fitocracy has changed my workouts in both making me stick to the basics and also because it has gotten me to try and do new things. I learned early on that the best way to score more points on a daily basis was to make sure you perform the big important lifts like Squatting, Deadlifting and Bench Pressing. This made sure that these stayed an integral part of my work out. But it also got me out of my comfort zone to try and do widow makers and try for those cool achievements.
Also by logging my workouts, I made sure every single day that I was improving myself. When I duplicate my leg workout from the time previous, I always find myself shooting for another 5 pounds, another rep, another set. Something to show myself and my buddies on Fitocracy that I am a better man than the last time I stepped into the gym.
Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
My goal for this year is to clear 900 pounds in the big 3 lifts. I am currently sitting at 740. This represents a little more than a 20% increase and is completely doable. My stretch goal is to hit 1000. I think I would have hit 800 this year if not for a rotator cuff strain I suffered a few months ago and I’m just starting to bounce back from.
I think it is important to be flexible for these things. When I first started my journey to good health, I actually had set a goal to run a marathon by the time I was 35 (I gave myself 3.5 years to get there starting from 440 pounds). 18 months in to my goal, I was at my goal weight and I ran a sprint triathlon. The next week, I was going for a run, training for a half marathon I planned on registering for when I realized something: I hate running. I was punishing myself with fitness I hated where I used to punish myself with food that was hurting me. Why do that? I dropped the goal and decided to focus on that which I loved: weight lifting.
What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
Wow I could make a list of these things. I actually keep a blog about things that I’ve learned while weight training. Stuff I’ve talked about includes:
- How to deal with success and failure. I’ve learned that you should not mourn the failures. Just move on and try again. It’s just as important to not spend too much time celebrating successes because that’s when you get full of yourself and stop trying.
- You have to earn being able to say that you “can’t” do something. You’d better be bloody from trying when you say something like that or rephrase it that it wasn’t enough of a priority for you to accomplish it (more truthful in most cases).
- Consistency is more important than anything. What you do most of the time is way more important than temporary setbacks and failures.
- I’ve learned that a lot of the time, the biggest plateaus happened in my mind. I remember the first time I tried to squat one plate and in my mind, I’d built it up as this huge task. I should have gone for it months before I did because the first time I thought I was doing a 1RM, I was able to squat it 3 times and I was up at 185 just a couple of months later.
- You can blow a lot of money on supplements and they probably aren’t doing anything other than placebo effects. This one cost me a lot.
I want to learn more about nutrition although I’ve spent a ton of time learning already. I listen to more than 10 fitness and nutrition related podcasts every single week. It helps me stay on top of the latest studies and data although it can also lead to program ADD. I would say the thing I’ve learned and I’m still learning most is that I need to stick with programs longer to make sure that they really do or don’t work.
Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
I am always trying new things and as a result, my progression in lifting has not been as linear as I would have liked. I’ve only been weight training hard for a couple of years and I’ve tried at least 10 different programs.
I excel at consistency. Since I decided to make dietary adjustments, I’ve not consumed any of the following, which were my hard and fast rules to start:
- white grains
- deep fried foods
3 years. Not a drop. Moreover, I am extremely consistent in my workouts. My first gym actually tracked my visits and I took a look back after the first couple of years and I averaged almost 20 workouts per month (which doesn’t include outside workouts like my triathlon training, jogging and BJJ/MMA).
What motivates you?
I am easily motivated. Music does it and inspiring videos do it. The first day I made my decision to change my health, I had seen a picture from a reddit user named Mindspread whose before and after got me giddy as a school girl. I follow tons of fitness people on instagram (I’m @TinierTim there and Twitter and pretty much everywhere).
Above anything else though, my motivation was that I deserved to be healthy and I wanted to be there for my two beautiful daughters. I wanted to hike and run and play with them and I couldn’t do it before. I’ll never forget the first time my now 8 year old daughter wrapped her arms around me and proclaimed that she could actually hug me now. We once had this exchange when she was barely 6:
Daughter (looking at an old picture of me): Dad, you’ve really changed from your old picture.
Me (not knowing if she meant I looked older now as it was a 12 year old pic): What do you mean sweetheart?
Daughter: Well, you’re just so much skinnier now. You’re like a completely different person.
Me: Well thanks! It was hard work, but it was worth it.
Daughter: Do you know what it’s like Dad? It’s like a complete metamorphosis.
Two things amazed me that day: my 6 year old had used a word that my email program just had to auto correct for me to spell it correctly and I was motivated at the thought that fitness had transformed a Fat Caterpillar into a Fit Butterfly.
Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
My diet has changed more than slightly. When I was obese, my day looked like this:
5am: stop on the way to the freeway at Mexican DriveThru: Burrito, Chicken Taco, Large Fries, Large Sugary soda.
8am: Two Bagels plus a Danish
11am: Lunch. Always a combo, always sized up.
5pm: grab burrito before heading home. More soda.
Dinner at home and midnight snack late at night.
Today, I eat clean and I do eat Paleo. I guess you could say that I’m about 90% Paleo. My only big deviations are Soda and the occasional cocktail (Craft Cocktail making is one of my hobbies).
Supplements I’ve learned are rarely beneficial for me. I’ve tried pre work outs, post work outs, intra workouts and all kinds of crap. I decided a year ago that I won’t take anything unless it’s one of two things:
- Free or so cheap it’s free-ish.
- Silverhydra says I should take it (like Creatine)
If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Don’t wait. When I started, it was November just before the Holiday season started. I guarantee you that if I had waited for January, I would have never done it.
The other thing I would tell someone is that you have to do it for you. It’s not enough to do it for other people, you will fail eventually. At some point, you have to have an internal reason to completely disrupt your life. Your goal has to be so strong that it becomes what Napoleon Hill once described as a white hot burning desire.
What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
I am one quarter Kryptonian.
I am insanely driven and consistent. There is literally nothing that anyone could say or do to hold me back from my goals. Once I make a decision to remove or add something to my life, I do it instantly with 100% commitment and never look back. I have an addictive personality which is a double edged sword. When you can harness your habits for good, you will do more and work harder than anyone.
Just take it from me if you’re like me: stay away from World of Warcraft.
What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
Fitocracy is the most supportive and coolest community of fit people in the world. I rarely work out with friends in real life, but every time I track a work out, I’m getting props from guys and gals that may or may not be bigger, stronger, smarter or fitter than I am and there’s nothing but love in this incredible community.
I am also a complete tracking nerd and being able to see all the times I’ve squatted, benched and deadlifted is like a major nerdgasm for me.
One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
That by making small and simple changes in your life, you can transform yourself. I lost my first 200 pounds in 1 year and 9 days. In fact, after just one year, I was able to fit my whole body into one leg of the pants that I wore the year before (pic attached). Looking back now, I realize that that is completely remarkable, but at the time, I was just eating right and moving more. I didn’t get surgery or supplements or anything crazy. I didn’t eat cabbage all the time or buy million dollar shakes. I just packed a lunch every day and started working out.
If you want to go somewhere different, start on a new path and just start walking. One step at a time wins the race. I love the words of Bruce Lee:
I can’t wait for day I log my 10,000th Back Squat into Fitocracy. As of this morning, I am sitting at 4,034 Barbell Squats. Soon enough Mr. Lee, Soon enough…