I have decided I want to try and feature regular guest posts, so if you have a weight loss story to tell shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk!
Hello! My name is Levi Bunyan, I’m 26 and hail from the not so sunny Granite City aka Aberdeen, in Scotland. I started my journey in October 2013 and to date I’ve lost 42kg (92lbs / 6St 8Lbs).
My journey started as most peoples will I guess, I was at the doctors for a routine check up and he asked if he could weigh me. I said sure, hesitantly, as I had always been afraid of the scales, and knowing my real weight. I stepped on, and the numbers shot up. All the way to a terrifying 186kg. I always knew I was fat, looking at photos of myself I knew I wasn’t in great shape and things needed to change, but I didn’t realise I was quite that heavy. The doctor told me if things kept going the way they were then I’d not be looking to a very successful future – Diabetes, Heart attack, risk of dying young. It was a pretty terrifying wake up call.
I have always been ‘big’, when I was at school I was teased for my weight as all big High School kids are. I guess I was in a habit of eating, and that got significantly worse when I moved out of my home and went to university. I would sit in and eat big packets of crisps, biscuits, fizzy juice – none of which I needed. I had tried exercising before, going to the gym, playing rugby, but nothing stuck.
Back to October 2014, I started training at Aberdeen Martial Arts Group, I used to train and compete in Freestyle Kickboxing so I thought the Martial Arts route would be good. I started off doing what was called Phase One, which is a basics introductory class. This covered anything from Muay Thai basics, to Jeet Kune Do, to basic ground work. I was absolutely terrified to start, everyone seemed in such good shape compared to me, and I wondered if I would even manage 5 minutes, let alone an hour class. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and took the time to help me. No one laughed or pushed me too far, and were very encouraging. After a few sessions I was hooked. I felt like I had a purpose, something to get out and do each evening.
Twenty sessions of Phase One was over and I could join the ‘Adults’ classes. There was a good mixture: MMA, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, JKD, Kali stick fighting and Silat / Filipino Martial Arts. I tried everything.
At this point I couldn’t get MMA or Thai shorts to fit me, or get a Gi in my size to BJJ. This made me feel pretty worthless if I’m honest. I would instead wear jogger bottoms or big running shorts.
Fast forward to the end of February 2014, I ordered myself a Gi from Blitz Sport, it was an A6, the biggest I could find at the time in the UK, and it fit, just, and I mean just. The belt didn’t however, so I had to wear a smaller belt and loop it around myself once. It was a start, and meant I could do Jiu Jitsu. And I was hooked. I absolutely loved it. The fitness was completely different, it was grueling, and had me breathing out my ass, but I loved it.
I also discovered a great Facebook group called Free Fat Loss with Healthy Living Heavy Lifting. It is a group with 3000+ strong member, and a solid set of people who are really knowledgeable in training, nutrition, and general fitness. They helped me a lot in working out my macros and calorie deficit and what I should be eating, and how much I should be eating.
Following on from those starting months, the weight gradually fell off, faster at the start, and then slowly it started to get into a rhythm of a 1kg a week which I liked. I still wasn’t eating great, it was a lot better than before, but certainly wasn’t’ fine tuned, but because I was losing weight I didn’t see the issue. I had been using MyFitnessPal since March and could see that I was eating too much snacks on top of my meals.
Fast forward to October 2014 and my weight seemed to hit a complete brick wall. One week I’d lose weight, the next I’d put it back on, and it went on like that till Christmas. Over the Christmas period I stopped tracking what I ate so religiously, and I put on 3KG. At this point I realized I needed to fix things. I changed what I was eating for breakfast, changed my calorie goal to around 2900 – 3100, and tracked exactly what I was doing exercise wise. Within that first two weeks I had lost all the weight I had put on, and since then have lost a further 3KG.
I’ve had an up and down journey with weight loss, and I’m certainly not where I want to be. I’ve lost 42kg, but I’d like to lose around 30 more. I’m a lot more confident in my abilities and myself. Before I hated getting my photo taken, and would hate looking at it, now not so much. If it weren’t for the support of friends, family and training partners and instructors I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today. I owe a lot of my AMAG Family, and the people who have supported me so far, and continually support me. Jiu Jitsu has changed my life.
If I could give one piece of advice it would be to don’t try and out train a bad diet, yes it may work in the beginning, but it will leave you in a bad routine with bad habits which will become difficult to change in the future. That of course doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself completely, but everything in moderation.
Thank you for talking the time to read my wee story, and hopefully I’ll be back 30kg down, down the line to continue my story.
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In the words of Kurt Osiander – Go Train!