Hi there, I’m John Dennis and in 2012 I decided to make a change. I was overweight, out of shape, and had never set foot in a gym in my life.
In January 2012 after the holiday period I was weighing in at 300lbs at the age of 32. I’m 5 foot 10 – whatever way you look at it, being that heavy at that height is big, especially when you consider I had next to no muscle mass.
So what made me want to lose it all? Hitting that big 300. I’d never been 300 lbs in my life, nor do I plan to ever be that heavy again. Once the scales told me that number I knew it was time for a change.
So what did I do?
I began researching everything I could about a healthier lifestyle. Two things in my life needed to change immediately; my exercise routine (or lack of it) and my diet.
Exercising started slow, and given my size that was good enough for me. Plenty of walks that eventually turned to jogs over the weeks, to finally getting a gym membership after a few months. When you’re that big I notice any form of exercise is better than none, and I didn’t want to put my heart under too much stress.
After I started to feel better in myself and seeing progress, I graduated from constant cardio over to weight lifting – and I liked it a lot.
Going into this new lifestyle I thought what would have the most impact on my physique and progress was the amount of exercise that I was doing. Over the year, however, that view changed. The exercise definitely helps a lot, but I feel you make the most progress in the kitchen. Cutting out something as simple as sugar, and watching your calorie count can make all the difference.
At the end of the year just before Christmas, I tipped the scales at just under 200 lbs. But I didn’t stop there. Since then I’ve been refining my tactics on both diet and exercise trying to find the best methods to maintain my shape in the easiest way possible, while still being able to enjoy myself when it comes to food and general life.
My mantra is that you should workout to live, not live to workout. It’s all about improving your quality of life. That’s why I started this blog.
How am I now?
I sit comfortably at 170 lbs and have done for several years. I’ve given many of my friends and family advice over the years with what I have learned and what I found works best for me.
I feel great and I’ve been told many times that I should start a blog. After some consideration I’ve decided to give it a try. My aim is that anyone can follow what I’ve tried and hopefully see similar results.
What are the main things that worked for me?
There are several things I’ve tried. It was a lot of trial and error. I’ll try to flesh all of these bullet points out into full articles as the site develops.
Here’s a list of types of exercise which definitely helped me lose the bulk of my weight:
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Compound Lifts (Bench Press, Deadlifts and Squats)
- Hypertrophy Work
When it comes dieting and nutrition, this is what I found worked well:
- One Meal A Day (OMAD)
- Water Fasting
- The Keto Diet (High Fat and Protein, but low Carbs)
- Cutting Sugar
- Avoiding ‘Low Fat’ Diet Foods (They’re high in sugar)
- Not Snacking
These are just some of the things I did that worked well. I’m sure there’s more that I’ve missed and I’ll update the list as they come to me.
So, why 2012?
2012 was the year I hit 300 lbs – and also 200 lbs, but it’s the 300 that motivated me. However, at the time, many people speculated that 2012 was going to be the end of the world. The Mayans predicted that the world would end on the 21st December 2012.
I used to joke that I wanted to look good for the apocalypse! It was silly at the time, but it was the perfect deadline to set myself. Being just before Christmas, I could work hard, get lots of the weight off over the year and enjoy the holidays guilt-free and starting up again in the following January.
This has now become a tradition of mine – and one I highly recommend!
That’s all for now.