Douglas Driscoll, a 43-year-old CEO from Sydney, Australia, shares his physical and mental transformation with Men’s Health.
As I’m sure is the case with most people, my weight gain happened gradually; I didn’t realize until it was too late. I was stuck in a bit of a rut and the combination of a poor diet, the pernicious affects of alcohol, and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle had a cumulative effect. I was actually still going to the gym three or four times per week, but I was just going through the motions and not putting in anywhere near enough effort.
I’m someone who has always kept myself in decent shape and taken pride in my appearance, so I definitely felt a sense of self-reproach. Rather than dwell on it and feel sorry for myself, however, I decided to take positive action. I knew that if nothing changes, then nothing changes. I found myself wasting far too much time looking at other people’s lives on social media, as opposed to getting up and getting after it myself.
I devised what I call my ‘brains and gains’ initiative, whereby I would spend at least one hour per day dedicated to academic development, and another hour dedicated to resistance training. Whether it be personally or professionally, I have always been very goal-orientated, so when I made the conscious decision to get back into shape, I knew that it needed to be tangible, as you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Rather than merely just having some vague fitness goal, I set myself the ambitious target of getting down to 8% body fat, while simultaneously increasing muscle mass.
Historically, I had always worked out on my own, but I realised that if I was to get into the best shape of my life, then I would need to enrol the help and support of the best in the business, which is why I turned to Nick Ellaway and the team at Ultimate Performance in Sydney. Although I have always been extremely self-motivated, they gave me that extra impetus and held me very accountable. I know that it’s a bit cliched, but I genuinely believe that motivation is what gets you started, but it’s discipline that keeps you going.
That meant making some serious sacrifices when it came to my diet, as it’s true what they say – a six-pack is made in the kitchen, not in the gym. As tough as it was, I immediately cut out all processed food and reduced alcohol consumption almost altogether. In consultation with professional nutritionists and the team at Ultimate Performance Sydney, we developed a tailored, protein-rich nutrition plan. I became very fastidious about everything I consumed and diligently tracked my calories and nutrients using the My Fitness Pal app.
Managing my appetite was certainly very challenging, so finding satiating food while adhering to a heavily calorie-controlled diet was essential. Thankfully, protein is shown to be the most satiating macronutrient and is thought to have the highest thermic effect. I tried my best to mix things up, but my staple diet became chicken. I started to eat so much chicken, I was worried that I might start sprouting feathers! I would always have a…
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