My fitness story

From fat and sick to slim and happy.

Aside from a short period in high school I have always been a chubby kid. When I lived at home my mom made sure I didn't go overboard with food. She stopped me here and there when needed and always made sure we had healthy food on the table.

After highschool I started living on my own and became a lot more active as a musician. I got used to a very burgundian lifestyle and started eating all kinds of junk. The free drinks for musicians also didn't help.

I have always been interested in muscles and posture but never had the discipline to change myself into something I liked. I quickly turned into a lazy musician. Beer and fast food, either before or after a gig, were the norm. I didn't know any better and ate highly refined foods containing a shitload of ingredients with long and incomprehensible names. Looking back it's unbelievable how little I knew about stuff I put in my body.

Being fat was always in the back of my mind and it nagged at me. When I reached 120kg I felt horrible and knew change was needed. I was always sweating, tired and out of breath. I had high blood pressure and was often feeling ill. Diabetus type 2 was creeping up on me.

At my worst Augustus / September 2010, 120kg / 268lbs, 36% fat
At my worst Augustus / September 2010, 120kg / 268lbs, 36% fat

Even after this turning point I was still completely inadequate at sports and I didn't have any discipline. I didn't even know how to properly contract my muscles to lift something. I had no body sense at all.

I asked my mate Chris to help me out. He was (is) a complete legend and instantly jumped at the chance to help a friend. We started doing his "half hour of power", lifted weights and ran as often as possible.

Well, I tried.

I had excuses. Many of them. "But I had a gig last night" or "I'm still too sore from last week". I was a complete pussy and it must have frustrated Chris. But he was strong and pulled me through.

As I finally saw some results I overcame my disciplinary problems step by step. I changed my diet and the fat started coming of quickly. I even gained some muscle.

I started researching and a whole world of broscience opened up to me. I did programs like P90X, 5x5, and 4-hour body.

Lost 25kg, ~20% fat.
Lost 25kg, ~20% fat.

The thing that helped me most was my Facebook activity. I posted my weight daily. People would respond if it went up or down and it kept me motivated. This was the first time in my life peer pressure actually had a positive influence on my state of mind.

left: 2012 at ~25% fat – right: 2013 at ~15% fat
left: 2012 at ~25% fat – right: 2013 at ~15% fat
Another progress shot
Another progress shot

In April 2014 my wife and I moved to Paris. At that point I was vegan for half a year and I was at my lightest weight since I started training. We had to deal with different stress factors when we arrived and I let go of the strict livestyle a little and gained some weight again. The cheese, wine and French baguettes are too awesome not to enjoy. In January 2014 I got up to ~95kg and Paris had officially turned me into a croissant.

But I wasn't a croissant for long. I started lifting some weights again and slowely started to get back into it. When the marathon passed by our apartment in Rue Saint-Antoine in April 2014 I signed up on the spot. I became a long distance runner over night. New goals were set, and crushed over the proceeding six months.

left: 2015 Amsterdam Half Marathon – right: 2015 Paris marathon
left: 2015 Amsterdam Half Marathon – right: 2015 Paris marathon

In 2016 I decided to run another marathon. I was hooked! This time I would do more weight lifting and less running. Balance is important in life. But I did not expect this.

I also blog about mealprepping.

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