- Losing weight in first person: a change in mentality made me lose 13kg and transform my body. Brandon Newman talks about his experience.
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Brandon Newman, 24, shares in the first person in Men’s Health how he changed his mindset to transform his physique.
Since I was a child, I have had an obsession with fitness: it has always been the light that has kept me on the right path. I have had many dark times in my life, from being depressed and addicted to various substances, to almost taking my own life in 2020. I was also diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) after leaving the British Army, which led me to take medication that affected my bone health, and anti-inflammatory steroids with horrendous side effects, including severe acne. At that moment everything seemed useless. This went on for many years until I finally found a medication that brought it under control and gave me my life back. I think experiencing these hardships has ultimately given me the most perspective on how short life is, and in the last two years in particular, I’ve been making some big changes in my personal fitness.
I’ve always been a “follow the science” guy and have looked at what’s working for those leading the industry. So for many years I had a push and pull training split and I used to grind six days a week at the gym., however, in the end I discovered that it was too much from the point of view of mental and physical recovery. Instead I started doing full body workouts and ended up loving it as I hate leg days.
I have tried many different diets over the years – paleo, low carb, intermittent fasting – but again, what has worked for me is the IFFYM (“if it fits your macros”) approach. I also use a spreadsheet that calculates my weekly weight gain/loss and the calories I put in each day. The best diet is the one you can stick with and enjoy for the rest of your life.
I have never worked with a trainer, everything I have learned is self-taught, from counting calories to exercise routines. There is so much free information out there that it essentially means you never need a coach. I just got in shape the way anyone else gets in shape: by consistency and by making good choices. of behavior that reward you in the long run. A good training program with progressive overload and tracking my calories and macros.
The hardest part of this journey for me was right at the beginning, when I decided I didn’t want to look like that anymore, and realized that I had to start taking responsibility for the decisions I made every day. That’s hard because you know how easy it is to go home, relax, and choose the short-term buzz over your long-term well-being. So those first few weeks when you have to start saying no to things that were your habits to feel good are the hardest. The brain becomes a rebellious child. But if someone were to ask me if it is worth it, I can say without a doubt that it is. When you start doing the right thing for yourself for long enough, you get a buzz that drugs or food just can’t recreate in the short term. Now I feel the enjoyment of food to the fullest because it is balanced.
I lost a total of 32 pounds, about 13kg, going from 195 to 162, just over 73kg. For me, the biggest difference I noticed in my transformation was in my face: They keep telling me how different I am now. Although, of course, noticing a vein in the biceps is also a nice touch. Aside from the physical results, I’m also more confident, feel like I’m better at my job, and generally have a greater sense of discipline and self-esteem.
I’m not even close to finishing. I am currently in a cutting phase as I prepare for a trip to Ibiza as I would like to be slimmer for it. Then, when I prove to myself that I can do it and feel confident enough, I’d like to start a YouTube channel and some fitness-related social media, so I can help other people do the same.
My advice to anyone starting out like me is to try to put yourself in the best position to make the changes you want. If you spend your time in pubs and clubs every Friday and Saturday but want to be something else, you have to start by putting yourself in the right environment. Everything is easier when you don’t have to constantly say no to things. It starts when you decide you want something different for your life. Do first what you have to do for yourself. You cannot help or love others until you love or help yourself.
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