JB Lockdown Change Story

After a year of lockdown and amazing progress from JB I felt it would be important to share his story and the in's and out's on how he was able to cope with lockdown while losing 16kg and 8% of body fat.

Bellow is the transcript of the interview:



Henrique

While this lockdown period has been tough for everybody, you managed to stay positive and use the opportunity to make powerful changes to your body and lifestyle while working 11+ h/ day.

Can you tell us what you managed to achieve?


JB

I think the lockdown created a couple of different things to my usual pattern. First the fact that I could sleep a bit more given that I didn't have the commuting time in the morning. I was probably working later in the evening but was still able to sleep more on average.

It has been a bit of a less hectic kind of lifestyle, which was part of it. I also recognized that being overweight with this virus around was probably a good idea to lose some weight. I'm getting to an age where I was thinking I should lose some weight anyway.


I think these were the main drivers and the fact that both myself and my wife were on the same page. Also for my wife the lifestyle was a bit more quiet and that created a sync, we were both ready to do it together.


Henrique

Amazing. But, but tell us how much weight did you lose? How much % of fat?


JB

So I lost about 16 kilos and I started at 24% body fat and I’m at 16% now, so lost 8%.


Henrique

That’s a very significant change!

So you really changed the way the body looks but in terms of behavior, what were the main changes? What's different now that allowed you to do that?


JB

I think it's mainly food. I realized that I had to change my diet so I've used MyFitnessPal app to track my calories in the past and decided to use it again. I was successful with it before but then came back to bad habits.


In previous attempts both me and my wife didn't last that long and I think we were not as consistent. This time it was more about setting a calorie target considering that this work from home lifestyle is less active and so we had to eat less then normal.


I give a lot of credit to my wife as she did most of the meal planning, cooking and found recipes which are satisfying, but not too caloric. It also takes time to log all the foods but that’s something you have to do...


Henrique

Did you go tell her that she deserves a bit part of the credit?


JB

Yeah, of course I did. I did.


So I would say that's the main driver. Overtime when you have a bit more calories here and there, you also start the habit of offsetting by doing some walking, running or cycling. Just try to keep that in mind so you can manage your calories allowance.


Henrique

Nice. Let's talk a bit about your previous life before lockdown. So what were the barriers back then? What kept you from losing the weight that you wanted?


JB

You know, my job, the commute, helping the kids at home, football on the weekends, was very, very hectic. So during lockdown I had a bit more time to focus on myself and not be always on the move. But I guess it’s mostly an energy thing. Before I was sleeping less, eating more sugary things to keep me going through the day… So I was able to significantly improve those.


Henrique

So to recap, sleep was a big factor, then the support from your wife and the consistency on the nutrition.


JB

Yeah. In the past, my wife and I were not in sync in terms of timings we wanted to do it. So I think this was the first time where we've been really in sync for a long period.


Henrique

We talked a little bit about this, but what were the nutrition strategies that worked the best for you?


JB

I resized a lot of the portions I was eating because once you log all the calories you realize when you eat pasta, you probably should eat half or a third of what you were eating before!


Initially that feels small, like you’re going to starve but then you realize that you don't and start to get used to it and don't notice it anymore. So I think it's about retraining your expectations.

Another factor is that with lockdown we didn’t go out as we used to. We usually went to a restaurant at least once a week and you tend to eat more then you should.


We went for home cooked foods that you like instead of going for very bland, like delivered meals that don't satisfy you. Both me and my wife are very keen on eating the right food and just trying to make it nice.


Then when you need energy or feel more stressed try and find more healthy comfort foods. This summer I ate a lot of melon and watermelon for example.


Henrique

Find a snack that you enjoy but it’s not very caloric.


JB

Yeah, exactly. And also more wholesome foods, less processed.


Henrique

Yeah, absolutely! The other cool thing was that you ate differently in training and non training days…


JB

Yes I was eating about 1500 Kcal on non training days and a bit more around 1800-2000 Kcal on training days… That allowed me to not feel physically drained and compensate for the lack of movement on the long workdays that i didn't move much...


Henrique

On a bad / stressful day, what was your coping mechanism? What did you do? What’s different from what you used to do?


JB

It was quite hard when I was not sleeping as much and then I would eat more sugar, but again, it felt that was something I needed to keep me going in terms of level of energy.


I've done calories counting before but I used to skip it at the weekends. So I was losing some weight but I was not losing my bad habits because I would overeat and eat less healthy at the weekend.


Correcting that is what helped me get rid of the cravings for sugary foods, whereas before I never was consistent enough to cut the link or the need.


Henrique

Great point there! And how'd you think that the personal training and the coaching we do helped in the process?


JB

Our training is all about keeping the muscle mass and the strength… And it was very useful when we discussed the amount of protein I was eating... I felt initially I was also losing muscle mass but after you recommended I should increase my protein intake that clearly improved.

I was focused on losing weight but keeping the improvements and benefits of training. So I think it was crucial to keep me healthy and keep improving training goals.


Henrique

Fair enough. Now just giving some context, I have to tell you that JB did our online session in his garden twice a week at 6pm… I don’t think you missed a session...


JB

Yeah, I don’t think so.


Henrique

Remember the hard snowing days? He was training there!

-4 degrees? We were training there! Well you were, I wasn’t… (laughs)

Heavy rain, which we had plenty this winter? He was there and just had me in a transparent box, meaning the tablet so I could survive the rain! (laughs)


So through all of that, what was the mindset for training outside in all weathers? And then tell us a little bit about the setup that you created in the garden to make that possible.



JB

I think the garden gave us a lot of possibilities in terms of what I could do for training. I got a set of rings hooked up on my tree, a pair of kettlebells, a skipping rope and a medicine ball and it felt we could replicate most of what we could do in the gym. Not a lot of equipment but we could do the right training for me and continue on the same path I was enjoying before…

For me being outside felt quite good after all day stuck in the home office. So I just bought a couple of warm jackets to make sure I was comfortable in the beginning of the session and then once I got warmed up it was easy! I think it’s just getting in that mindset...


Henrique

Brave! And yes, little equipment but plenty of training options...

How did you find this experience of training online? What do you think about it and will you be looking to continue this way for longer?


JB

Yeah, it works well actually. I think it's quite convenient. It took some getting used to, probably for both of us.


Henrique

I agree we both improved our internet set up so it could reach the garden…


JB

Yeah, exactly. But initially I was a bit worried because when we're in the gym and you could see me do the exercises and correct me better. But actually I think it works really well now and I don't feel much difference.


The only advantage of the gym is more equipment, but I think it works well in the garden and we did very diversified types of training. So for the last year and it didn't feel like we were always doing the same because of more limited equipment and I could still feel good progress.


So for me it works quite well and it's quite convenient actually.


Henrique

Glad to hear! I’ve been quite happy to see that you kept also progressing for example pull ups, skin the cat, etc..


JB

Yes! I don’t think I lost in terms of capabilities of what I can do or strength. Of course there's things we can't train the same but I don’t think it delayed my training progress.


Henrique

That is interesting because even after losing 16 kilos your strength levels didn’t drop much...


JB

Yes I don’t feel like they did and actually bodyweight exercises got quite a bit easier.


Henrique

JB thank you very much for sharing your story. It's been a really rewarding experience to be your coach through this process.



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