After a lifetime of yo-yoing in weight, Mark finally got serious about his fitness before he turned 50.
His incredible 30kg weight loss and transformation is proof that it is never too late to get in the best shape of your life.
Mark’s motivation was an upcoming beach holiday which spurred him into action.
He joined Ultimate Performance Kensington to shape up for an initial 17 weeks – but it turned into an almost year-long fitness journey which has given him a new body at 49 that defies belief.
“This time last year, I was really stressed, really overweight, and absolutely not happy with where I was heading. A year later, I can’t imagine living my life back that way again!
“Weight-wise I’ve been 85kg, and I’ve been 120kg – I’ve been all these different weights, but I think this time I have taken it as far as I could before I got to 50.”
Including a month off in the middle, Mark trained at U.P. for eight months during which he went from 107kg to a lean and mean 77kg.
“In the first 17 weeks, what I learnt was control over my food, which I had lost completely. By doing the tracker system, it gave me a way of relating my day-to-day eating activity patterns to my real life as opposed to thinking about doing a diet but never actually doing it.
“I wasn’t rigorous about my diet while I was away. I mean, I definitely took a month off, but I stayed incredibly active, and because I was on holiday, I had the space to do it as well, so I didn’t actually put on any weight at all.
“Also, I was locked into the actual process itself because I’ve made that sort of early commitment in the first 17 weeks. I didn’t want to let that go just for the sake of a relaxing holiday, but I didn’t notice any difference. I actually had a really relaxing holiday, ate nice food, but also stayed really active.”
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After coming back from his holiday, he hit the U.P. gym again but wanted a fresh burst of motivation to focus his mind. He set a new goal – his decision to take on a U.P. photoshoot turned out to be exactly the impetus he needed.
“Having the goal to run us through to December and the photoshoot was really important for me personally because it gave me the momentum to keep going and get the theories and the ways of behaving more ingrained again.
“I had wobbly periods in it where I had the odd weekend off here and there, but at the same time, having a clear goal was a really important part of it.”
Mark had a trip away to Ireland where he cut loose and enjoyed the local fayre. But seeing the scales go up 4kg after one weekend made Mark sit up and refocus on his priorities.
“It was after Ireland that I really said to myself ‘If I’m going to do this, then let’s do it properly.’ I upped the amount of cardio I was doing, got my eating much straighter, started doing a lot more meal prep, started planning my weekly food a lot more.
“So, having the challenge of the photoshoot was actually really important to get me to this next stage, and I didn’t find it difficult because I had so much knowledge already in the tank from the first bit.
“In fact, I found the first part harder because it was such a lifestyle shift going from basically sitting around and not really bothering about what I put my body, to being really focused on it and leading a very active lifestyle – which was harder than getting prepped for the photoshoot.”
Mark loves his new body and is in awe of the U.P. process that got him fit in less than a year.
“I’m in the best shape of my life. I might sound a bit arrogant, but you know what, I lost 30kg, and I feel great about it.”
“U.P. is not that super-aggressive, stupidly macho sort of stuff. I just came in here and had the processes explained to me in a way that I understood them. And then I just followed it.
“One of the main things I’ll point out to people my age is I’ve trained for eight months without an injury, and I’ve had so many personal trainers before that have hurt me or not taken into account old injuries or that kind of thing, and it just stops you.
“You lose interest, and I think to have a training programme so focused and in tune with what I needed kept me going as much as anything else.”
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