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April 2010 TSM: malnar

Discussion in 'Transformation Spotlights' started by John Stone, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
    Staff Member Owner

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    For the April 2010 Transformation Spotlight of the Month I've selected forum member malnar (Ian). Ian's journey from a high of 235 pounds/40% body fat down to 150 pounds/7% body fat is a fascinating one! Mistakes were made, there were backslides and even periods during which he stopped exercising and eating right completely. Also, even after significant weight loss, Ian did not have the physique he was looking for. After a complete overhaul of his diet and training, things finally began to fall into place. Ian's transformation underscores the importance of resistance training and proper diet when losing fat, and his perseverance while figuring those things out for himself is an inspiration to us all!


    BEFORE:
    [​IMG]

    CURRENT/DURING
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Why did you decide to make a transformation?

    There was no single decision that led to my transformation, but a number of smaller decisions that finally led to a tipping point where everything changed.

    My high weight (235 pounds, approx 40% BF) was just in 1999, about the time my wife became pregnant with our first son. I was so paranoid about gaining MORE weight while she was pregnant that I lost weight, mostly because she was focused on her nutrition (which influenced my diet) and because we walked almost every day she was pregnant. In those days I drank 10-12 sodas per day, and switching to diet soda while she was pregnant cut 1500+ calories per day from my diet. I just had no clue at that point in life what I was doing to my body.

    I maintained my weight at about 200 pounds until 2007. That year, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic (all those sodas had taken their toll on my pancreas…), and my work stress was at an all time high. I knew that I needed to change something or I’d have an insulin pump or a heart attack by 40. I bought the Body for Life book cased on a recommendation from a friend, switched to 6 meals per day, cleaned up my diet, did a basic exercise routine with the treadmill and a bowflex and I lost weight once again. I hit the goal weight of 175 pounds (it was all about pounds then) and then my motivation ceased and I stopped exercising. Everyone commented that I looked great, and I was really pleased with my progress and how I looked clothed. With clothes off however, I looked like a lighter 235.

    I started my MBA in June of 2008 and by October, the social eating and drinking had led to some minor weight gain. Around this same time, we did massive cuts at work and I spent the fall very depressed. By January of 2009, I had decided the way out of my depression was to take charge of something in my life that I could control – my fitness.

    I knew something had to be different, since I was at my target weight, but I still didn’t look fit. I started searching for pictures of men at different bodyfat levels. (I’m pretty sure this is how I first stumbled onto JSF.) I decided this time to set a bodyfat goal of 15%. I was still thinking of diet and exercise as “do it until I hit the goal, then maintain”. I restarted the Body for Life program, hit the treadmill harder than ever and was quickly on my way to 15%, but it still wasn’t providing me the look I wanted.

    I was reading the JSF forums daily at this point, and I had an epiphany. I realized that what had worked to get me to my current fitness state wouldn’t get me the look I wanted. I realized that my nutrition and workout needed a complete overhaul to get me to the next level – so I set out to find a way to get there.


    What sort of planning did you do before you started?
    I read JSF more and more each day. The beginner stickies were great and I was modifying my diet more and more. I started a journal, took pictures and was tracking weight and body fat %. I started logging my food which made me realize that my diet was varying much more than I realized. I started reading labels on everything and found that the supplements I’d been taking were loaded with dextrose and adding tons of “hidden” carbs and calories. I also started reading about the benefits of freeweights, of squats and deadlifts, etc.

    At some point I became totally overwhelmed. I was reading more and more and yet getting further from feeling like I knew what to do. This was the point where I decided to ask for help – to let someone else be the expert. I saw the ad for Mastover’s services, I read his journal, and I read the journals of those who used his services. I decided to take the plunge and spend my time working out instead of reading about working out!


    What were your initial goals?

    The reason I hadn’t ever achieved the look I wanted was that I simply did not have muscle mass. I’d never weight trained or done any sports that would build mass. I didn’t think I needed to lean out more, but that I needed to just add mass. Mastover wanted me to lean out more, so I trusted his judgment.

    What is important to note is that I’d also changed my view on fitness goals. In the past, I’d hit a goal and then slack off again. Now, I think of the next goal as just a step, and I try to envision what I could look like if I stick with it for a lifetime. My fitness journal is entitled, “The point of the journey is not to arrive” for this reason. It’s a great quote from a Rush song and it reminds me that the goals are just milestones, and I have to remember that I’m on a lifetime journey. This also helps keep me from getting frustrated on a certain goal – I just tell myself that it is a marathon, not a sprint and to keep at it.


    What was your diet and supplement intake like?

    Mastover’s plan gave me specific totals in grams, and I had one plan for weight training days and a different plan for non-weights days. My early plans were high protein, moderate carb and low fat. I had to learn to eat all over again. Luckily my wife (candykisses on JSF) started at the same time, and we turned it into one big food experiment. My breakfasts were typically egg whites with chicken added. Lunch was a spinach salad with chicken breast and dinner would be chicken or fish with vegetables. I would do EAS whey or Nitrean protein in between meals and my favorite dessert was sugar free Jello with fat-free whipped topping. I learned to “eat in patterns” to make logging easier. I knew what I could substitute out and still hit my numbers, so this added some variety. I kept seeing references to quinoa but didn’t try it for a long time, now I eat it almost daily.

    Daily I would take a multivitamin, fish oil, alpha-lipoic acid, glucosamine, and XTEND BCAAs.

    After I’d leaned out, Mastover kept adding more protein and carbs to my diet. When I’m on plan, I do what he tells me to do, provide him feedback on how I’m feeling and we monitor my stats. By October of 09, we moved to more of a bulking program, and I decreased the number of meals per day and increased carbs. I stopped logging toward the end of 09 and tried to simply maintain. I didn’t maintain however and I’ve put some bodyfat back on. I think this just proves the importance of logging and maintaining a consistent diet.


    What was your training like?
    When I first joined JSF and started working with Mastover, I owned a Bowflex Ultimate 2 and a set of Bowflex adjustable dumbbells. The more I read on JSF, the more I wanted to move to “real” weights. I shopped for a while, and eventually picked up a used Ironmaster smith machine with all the attachments. I also switched over to conventional hex dumbbells with platemates.

    My first workout program from Mastover was was designed for fat loss. It was a high-rep workout split into 3 days – Day 1 was chest, shoulders & triceps, Day 2 was back & biceps, and Day 3 was lower body.

    The workouts were very exciting at this time as I learned how to do new exercises – I’d never done real squats or deadlifts before.
    Later, Mastover switched the program to lower reps with higher weight, still on a 3 day routine. I added more gear (dip station, t-bar row handle) so that I could add additional variety. I get bored way too easy.

    Mastover just designed a new program for me which is now 4 days a week, with 2 upper body and 2 lower body days. I’ll be varying the exercises even more which I hope will stimulate growth and keep me from getting bored.


    What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
    Social eating and drinking are my primary weaknesses. I try to limit them where possible, and then schedule them as rewards when not possible to avoid them. I will do things like “I’m not drinking over the next 9 weeks except for these three planned events.” I will then tell my friends the plan and once they know the plan, they generally don’t pressure me to violate the plan.

    Another obstacle is when my wife and I aren’t aligned on our fitness goals. If she starts baking cakes and brownies, it makes it VERY hard to stay on track. I support her to maintain her own goals so that she is not inadvertently sabotaging mine.

    A big obstacle for me is my tolerance for pain or discomfort. I’m not one of those “it hurts, I’ll keep doing it” people. Some days it is VERY hard to get out that last rep when it is difficult or hurts. I use some good loud rock to get me pumped up and aggressive, which usually does the trick.


    How has your life changed?
    My body issues are gone. I can take off my shirt in public and feel proud. After 36 years of shame, it is a very nice feeling. I also get complimented on my appearance much more than before, and occasionally even notice that I’m being “checked out”. I can buy styles of clothes that I like but would never have looked right before.

    My confidence has also improved. I feel that if I can somehow transform my body while also getting my MBA and working full time, I can do just about anything. I’ve been trying to get over my other fears – I’ve even danced a few times in the past year. Confidence in one area of my life also translates to other areas. I’m taking more risks at work (a positive thing at my level) and they are paying off.


    How did JSF and the JSF Forums help you?

    John and his pictures were a huge source of inspiration. I was always very skeptical of the Body for Life pictures, but John’s progress was hard to deny. I loved his compulsive photos and tracking, and used some of that same tracking compulsion in order to keep myself motivated.

    JSF seemed like a place I could call home – the positive energy was awesome. I loved how new people were welcomed and could easily get help. I’m very aware of how difficult it is to moderate communities, and I could tell that John had built a great community. Once I started my journal, I had a place to dump my emotions – both good and bad – as I went on my fitness journey. I had people that would give me unfiltered, honest opinions, and I liked it. Mostly, I had people that had been on the path before me – and they knew the support and motivation I needed.


    What advice would you offer to others?
    Figure out what type of plan works best for you, then go for it. For some, it is the 100% plan, some need a cheat day, some need to cycle. Whatever keeps you on the path with long-term progress is the best plan for you. Just because a plan works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you – try different things, and keep the results in your journal so you can look back to find the things that worked well.

    I also HIGHLY recommend Mastover – he’s a solid guy that really knows what he is doing and will work with you to help you make progress. My body responded really well to his plan and I dropped fat quickly while also building some mass.


    What are your future plans?
    Well, I’m still quite envious of John’s progress and can only hope to get to his level someday. My boys are 10 and 7 right now, and I figure that over the next few years they will be in the gym with me and I’ll really have to work hard to keep up with them!

    I don’t ever plan on going back to my old lifestyle – I plan to keep lifting, keep cycling, and keep eating healthy. Sure, I’ll eat and drink stupid once in a while, but that’s ok.

    I believe that you have to both Work Hard and Play Hard – fitness lets me do both.


    Any closing thoughts?
    Yes, I’d like to thank John Stone, Mastover, my wife Candy, and all those that have stopped by my journal from time to time to help me stay positive and motivated. I could not have done this without all of you.


    Thanks for a great interview, Ian. Congratulations on your awesome successes!
     
  2. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    Congrats, Ian!! :tu:
    Now here's a gentleman who exhibits intensity, not only in his personal health and fitness goals, but in all facets of his everyday life!
    :bow::bow::claplow::claplow:
     
  3. Laneage

    Laneage Well-Known Member

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    Motivating!

    Thank you, congrats, and good luck with upcomming goals.
     
  4. IROC-Z

    IROC-Z Raw Bench Daddy

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    Congrats. Awesome transformation!:)
     
  5. Sea2Sea

    Sea2Sea Active Member

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    Freaking Awesome Ian, Keep up the great work...:tucool:
     
  6. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    Great story and congrats on the recognition.
     
  7. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Thanks for the comments everyone. I'm really honored to have been selected - it has been a long, but rewarding road and I'm happy to have the opportunity to share it with the JSF community.
     
  8. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Love that song - Disturbed is high on my "gym music" list!
     
  9. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Thanks man, that means a lot coming from you! :nod:
     
  10. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    And thanks for being a "regular" on my journal...your "random thoughts" keep me coming back! :nod:
     
  11. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    You've got a lot to be proud of there, Malnar. Congrats on losing the weight and keeping it off and building back up with muscle. Not to mention everything else you juggle in your life. Keep it up, bro. :tu:
     
  12. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    Very inspirational, congrats!
     
  13. lee4234

    lee4234 Active Member

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    great job!! thanks for posting your initial picture it has inspired me heaps. I once was 120kg and I am currently at 90kg, but I just look like a skinnier version of my former self, still with "man boobs". I'm going to try getting into weight training and logging again. such a great job good on ya!
     
  14. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Weights made ALL the difference for me in that area - getting some pec definition really helped my confidence. You still have to attack the fat with the right nutritional program, but when you get it dialed in, it is an amazing thing.
    :gl:
     
  15. Chadster

    Chadster Well-Known Member

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    Excellent work, Ian! I'm also working to complete the MBA, I'll have to stop by your journal !
     
  16. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Great Transformation. :claplow:
    I love your journal title. A short term and time-limited unsustainable plan for change will lead to only a short term change. Only a commitment to be a different person will make an enduring change.
    I felt the same way. The series of pictures, especially the ups and the downs, and the long duration, are much more convincing than just a static "before" and "after"

    It's amazing really.

    Thanks for sharing your story. :tu:
     
  17. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Thanks Guava...when I fist started my journal, someone very wise said this
    Whenever I lose my motivation, I go back and read that post - especially that last line. I then move forward - because I want my success to be defined by the days ahead...

    Thank you for your lasting wisdom :)
     
  18. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Just subscribed to your journal. The MBA + Fitness + Marriage combo is a tough one, but it looks like you are on the right track! :gl:
     
  19. Lo0p

    Lo0p Active Member

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    Awe inspiring! :eek:

    Keep up that intensity dude and you will be unstoppable!
     
  20. Rogozhin

    Rogozhin Active Member

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    A very well deserved spotlight! Congratulations Malnar! :tucool::tucool:
     

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