Fitness is his new drug

Jan 24, 2014

“A colleague joked that I had started taking a gateway drug,” Leo said. “It would inevitably lead to stronger stuff as my blood pressure rose with my age.”

He would hit the gym now and again, but like so many others, once he had managed to lose some pounds, he had quickly resumed old habits and the weight would came back. Food was the culprit. His past efforts to lose weight put too much emphasis on exercise and too little on sustainable changes to his diet.

All that changed when he agreed to take part in a 10-week challenge at FFF. A diet rich in protein and veggies that kicked the carbs and sugar to the curb, combined with three training sessions a week, yielded fantastic results.

Five months later, he has lost 28 pounds, cut five inches from his waist and eliminated the need for those meds. He now weighs 175 pounds, the lightest he’s been since his teens.

“Before I would hit the gym for 75 to 90 minutes at a time,” he said. “Now it’s a half-hour session with the trainer with another 12 minutes on the rowing machine. It’s amazing the results you can achieve with the right combination of diet and supervised training.”

But he hasn’t only seen a difference in the mirror.

“I feel better. I sleep better. I am more focused and productive throughout the day,” he said. “You don’t realize how much havoc carbs and sugar play with your metabolism until you go without them.”

He isn’t talking jelly doughnuts for breakfast; he came to realize how bad even whole-grain cereal and whole-grain toast with jam could be for his blood sugar levels throughout the day. That’s not to say he doesn’t enjoy a muffin or a chicken wing now and again, but he’s learned how to listen to his body and understand how much is too much.

“I don’t starve myself,” he said. “When I’m hungry, I eat. But instead of breads or salty snacks, I have meat and veggies, or oatmeal, or a protein shake with fibre that makes you feel full. There’s always a healthy alternative.”

A big part of his success has been the accountability that comes of working with a personal trainer.

“Having that coach and that schedule of sessions definitely keeps me on track,” he said. “There’s been many mornings where I would have ignored the alarm and skipped the gym if I didn’t have Marcel or Lindsay expecting me to show up. But the more you do it, the more it becomes just a natural part of your routine. It becomes that new fix you need to feel good.”

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