SO PROUD to be showcasing my first #transformationtuesday - and trust me ladies - this one is a GOODIE!
John Whitwood (61) self confessed fitness addict and former chocoholic is who first introduced me to the importance and fun of lifting weights and who motivates me every time we hit the gym to be better, stronger and more powerful.
He has always loved sports, and the gym and so fitness is part of his everyday life. As we started working out together, we started exchanging knowledge - he taught me about the gym - I told him what to eat... seemed like a good deal to me! What I was not prepared for was how amazing this would turn out to be. Over the last 10 months, John has TRANSFORMED not only his body, but his mindset and his health.
I asked him a serious of questions about his journey, which are below:
What first attracted you to embracing this new lifestyle?
My very close friend Mike, with whom I had played squash with regularly for 15 years had always referred to me as a “Big Old Unit” – he was right, whilst I had always been fit I was aware that I was carrying too much weight for my ‘old’ age and height, this was borne out with a health screening as provided by my employer. I was bordering on ‘obese’ at 14½ stone with body fat of 26.6% - time for a change. It was chatting one day over a coffee about food and exercise with EPK that I revealed I never ate before a 2 hour session at the gym, she was horrified and told me the importance of fuelling the body for life. I always relied on a Mars Bar for energy – she very quickly explained what empty calories were, whilst they provide energy they are not well-balanced and do not assist weight loss. I got it and asked what else did I need to do to lose some weight – thus, ‘The Whole PK’ journey began, EPK was always so vibrant and full of energy, this had to be the right thing for me.
What is/was your end goal?
Whilst I had maintained the weight for approximately, well as long as I could remember from turning 50, I’d always thought as myself as ‘fit’ because I did at least 6 body conditioning classes a week, 2 of which were cardio plus played squash – there were times I wondered why I got out of breath through simple tasks like walking up stairs of hills when playing golf, I had to lose weight and get my body fat down.
I’d always wanted to find my Abs, I knew they were there because I’ve always had good core strength, I had to lose weight and have more energy – this could only be achieved through a change in diet, let’s face it, I was exercising 10 hours a week and not losing a pound.
What have you enjoyed about the journey?
The process for me has been the experience of eating food that never appeared on my radar before, salads have never been my thing and that’s what vegetarian food is right and who would want to give up meat? Changing my diet has given me more energy and I feel healthier, that energy converts to training harder and it has been fun, hard sometimes – during the journey I’ve set myself personal physical challenges to assist the change in body shape that were way outside of my comfort zone.
What have you found easy?
I had never before considered what I was eating was in fact doing me harm, well, not assisting in the way I thought it was. As I mentioned earlier, I used to rock up for 2 hours of exercise on Saturday and Sunday mornings not having had a bite to eat for something like 12 hours – I often wondered why I got so knackered so, for me the easy part has been eating much more and foods that are actually nutritious and provide energy, not just for exercise but for living – to feel invigorated all of the time has been an easy choice, an easy change, The Whole PK change.
Summer 2016 Summer 2017
What have you found hard?
The hard part initially was giving up my ‘fave foods’, the ones I used to turn to either out of habit or because they were a convenient quick fix – chocolate, cheese & crisps, there were others but those three accounted for what went into the shopping basket without fail. Although a bit of a struggle to start with, having given up most of the foods I relied upon to keep me full or satisfy my hunger, I now do not miss them and when dining out, I turn to the vegetarian options first and only now glance at the rest of the menu. Eating is a mind-set, knowing that eating healthily and the benefits that has on the body are now second nature to me.
Had you tried anything before to get to the goal?
I’d always thought that I ate a well-balanced diet and combined with the amount of varied physical activity over the years I thought I was fit enough and never needed to think about a lifestyle change, although the constant chatter from Mike whenever we were in company referring to me as ‘a big old unit’ got me to wondering, does he mean fat? I knew being 14½ stone or thereabouts was a bit too heavy but I looked Ok for my age so, never really gave setting myself a goal other than staying fit a thought!
Why do you think this has worked better than anything else you have tried?
The change to my diet wasn’t immediate and I can’t confess to having dropped my carnivore likes totally, I still have the odd burger or steak – if being treated to lunch by a client but in the main, I’ve turned more to healthy vegetarian food and at times full vegan. There is substance to the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ and certainly, switching from a predominantly meat/fat based diet to plant based has had a dramatic effect on my body and general health.
What did you find most surprising about tweaking your nutrition?
The thing I found most surprising was how easy it was to change, to find the foods to make super healthy and nutritious meals and what’s more, just how fantastically tasty the food is – never even considered vegetarian or vegan food before well, it was all dry and cardboard like right?, wrong – some of the meals I’ve had have been sensational. Restaurants now offer a wonderful choice for those that want to change from conventional mainstream food. Although I have changed and now prefer a plant based diet, I do still eat fish and shell fish that accompany my salad choices perfectly.
Would you recommend "The Whole PK" experience to people and if yes why?
There is no doubt that “The Whole PK” experience has worked for me, not only has it aided my physical well-being, assisting in a reduction from 14½ stone to 13 stone and body fat down from 25.8% down to 13.6% in a matter of a few months, the health professional giving me my annual health check couldn’t believe the change, but I’ve also, through continuing with the change in diet am able to maintain the weight with ease – don’t quite understand that as I now eat far more than I ever did – but of the right stuff! Without a second thought I would encourage anybody, whatever your physical shape, to give ‘The Whole PK’ a shot, the effects are amazing.
Summer 2016 Summer 2017
What is the best thing about "the New You"?
Being an old man of almost 62, the one thing that has amazed me about my New Me, is the number of comments I get about how good I look and with that also, the looks of disbelief when revealing my age – there is no doubt that what I now eat and when I eat it, gives me great energy and I feel more alive. Combined with the exercise I now do I can honestly say I look and feel younger than I did 10 years ago, I’m certainly much fitter – this has all been achieved with my introduction to The Whole PK, without it I would still be the same over weight ‘Big Old Unit’ I used to be – the shoe is now on the other foot, Mike is now in the headlights as he has been the one most impressed with the New Me and is warming to a gradual change and wants to talk nutrition!!
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