Guest Blog: Ross Southwell

Time for another guest blog, very similar to Craig’s story, except this time we have an added body building element to the story. Another inspirational story I’m sure you’ll agree! Enjoy!

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Hey Folks

My name is Ross, I’m a pretty normal 26 year old guy living in the north of Scotland. While I’m only 26 I’ve had a pretty interesting time of it as far as fitness and my physique goes.

In my younger days I ate…… A Lot. I didn’t care about nutrition only how tasty the next item of food was and how much of it there would be. Id sneak food, spend my lunch money all on junk and a personal favourite was to be at a friend’s house be offered dinner, accept it then go home for seconds.

My friends and I enabled each other and for a long time I was pretty happy with it.

As you can imagine this made me gain weight. This went on for years and I got pretty big. By the time I was in secondary school I was about 18/19 stone. My only saving grace was Rugby. It gave me exercise and helped fight off any more weight.

Before

 

On leaving school I got an IT job and the weight began to climb again. Mainly due to a sedentary lifestyle and frequent visits to the pub coupled with a still unhealthy diet.

I got to just over 20stone (280lbs-127kg) when I finally decided to do something about it.

I went on lighter life which is a very low calorie diet (see Craig’s blog for further details). I was on It for 6 months and lost 6st (84lb – 38kg).

It wasn’t easy and at times was very boring but I wanted to change and when my friends Craig and Drew joined me on the diet it really helped.

Months were spent staying indoors and playing games…… But it worked

Unfortunately due to the way the diet works it left me with next to no muscle and loose skin, However it was fast so I can’t complain. It was a starting point and from then on I’ve been going to the gym and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight.

Granted some months I’m more dedicated then others but it’s been a fairly steady thing in my life for a few years now.

Pics of me before and after LighterLife

Lighterlife

 

My weight these days normally sits around the 14.5st mark (92Kg 203lb)

Over Christmas and new year my weight went up a bit so I decided to sort it with a gym regime.

In early 2013 I started the Kris Gethin 12 week program from Bodybuilding.com It’s the most dedicated thing I’ve done so far in the gym. It’s sorted my nutrition/supplementation and my gym regime.

Me at the start of the 12 weeks (209lbs)

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The transformation wasn’t easy. It’s the first plan like this I’ve ever done and at the start I was confused and a little overwhelmed by all the requirements (despite the great videos and pages from bodybuilding.com). However I stuck with it and got myself sorted.

within a few weeks it all felt like routine and the days flew by. The scales every Monday were singing the right song to me and I was delighted.

So the weeks went by and I got the 12 weeks completed. I have however had to face a couple of facts along the way. Not knowing what to expect there has been a couple of times when I’ve looked in the mirror and not been totally happy with what I saw. I can still see the stretch marks and excess skin from when I was big. I’ve had moments when I’ve felt the work I put in isn’t being reflected. Overall tho looking back to where I started I am delighted.

Final day 85 photos (190.2lbs)

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While its slightly embarrassing to take photos etc of yourself, especially at your biggest I would strongly recommend it. Taking photos and measurements lets you see how you are changing and gives you something to look back on. When you see yourself day to day the changes can be hard to notice. However a good before and after can be priceless.

What can I say to round this up? I have tried loosing weight many times before I finally managed it. You need to want it for yourself because there will be sacrifices. I put 6 months of my life on hold during Lighterlife and then 12 weeks when I did the other diet (no going out/partying…. Meals had to be planned and organised if I was going anywhere). As you can see both worked, People who are not ready to change will not change, they will find excuses and reasons why they cannot do it. I can confidently say that loosing the weight was the best thing I have done.

In a perfect world I would have not let it get that far in the first place. But I did. I then had to sort it.

Years have passed since I was 20 odd stone and it seems a lifetime ago but I have to remember where I came from to stop me going back.

I’m not perfect and at times my weight will spike. The only difference now is I have the tools and the ability to recognise when I have let it go too far and then I can use those same tools to bring my weight back in line.

It’s annoying but true what they say. IT’S A LIFESTYLE, you could shed all the weight but if you are not willing to change your life then you will end up back where you started.

I hope reading this will help some of you get an idea what it takes to turn things around. Or even to just make a little change that will have a big impact on your life. Because while it’s not always easy. It is very worth it.

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