JOSH: Paul, you have started off your journey to the “new Paul” with 15 pounds of weight loss and major changes in inches occurring in just the first month. What about the program do you like the most?
PAUL: I have two answers. My food intake hasn’t really been restricted. Yes, my diet has changed dramatically, but eating wholesome foods is great…you get to eat until you’re full without feeling guilty. I haven’t gone hungry at all. Secondly, I love the resistance training because it makes me feel strong—like I’m really doing something!
JOSH: What do you think is the biggest factor in your success so far?
PAUL: Making the “New Paul” a priority. I have to plan ahead in a couple of ways: eating (snacks/meals) and allotting time for working out. That’s the main thing.
JOSH: Now, what about the program do you like the least so far?
PAUL: Sweating….I really hate sweating! Seriously, the toughest thing is setting aside time to get my cardio in. I find that is more boring than the other stuff. When the weather’s warm, though, it is much more fun to walk outside.
JOSH: What lead you to the decision to hire a personal trainer and wellness coach?
PAUL: I knew I didn’t have the skills or the willpower to do this on my own. I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, and was unsuccessful, so I knew I needed some guidance.
JOSH: Did you experience some anxiety about exercising since you had never participated in athletic training before?
PAUL: Yes. But only before the first workout. Josh made me feel comfortable right away, even though I didn’t even know how to use one single machine properly. Oh, I was a little anxious when Abbi and I walked into FAC for the first time…it was a little intimidating for the first few minutes, but now I couldn’t imagine working out anywhere else.
JOSH: How do you feel about your exercise routine now?
PAUL: Great. The resistance training has been going really well. I have seen significant improvements concerning my strength. And, as a bonus, there’s even a little but of definition in my arms and legs!
JOSH: At any time, have you felt like I have pushed you too far past your limits, or made you do anything you weren’t capable of, other than the day we tried the uphill sprints?
PAUL: No. Although that day on the hill wasn’t my finest moment. There have been times when I thought you were going to push me too far, but I’ve always been able to do it easier than I was expecting. Which, by the way, is one great reason to have a trainer…I certainly wouldn’t be pushing myself to this level without you.
JOSH: When you told me the uphill sprints were too much for you at the time, what reaction did I have, and how did I make you feel about it?
PAUL: First of all, I think you were able to tell I wasn’t just making excuses. The first time up the hill was very difficult, but I did it. Once we got up there for the second time, I knew I had pushed it a little too far. You didn’t put me down at all and congratulated me for making it up there twice in a row. You had me sit down while you ran down the hill to get my water bottle. You said not to worry…we would try again once I had more cardio training under my belt.
JOSH: What’s been your favorite part of “getting moving,” and how has the exercise made you feel physically and emotionally?
PAUL: I feel so much better overall. I have had more energy to do stuff around the house (which my wife loves!) and I don’t fall asleep on the couch as much. Emotionally, I have a better self-image and I feel productive…which in turn helps me to feel happier and more fulfilled.
JOSH: What has been the most difficult part of the new exercise routine?
PAUL: Like I briefly mentioned earlier, getting my cardio in is tough. Sometimes I have to talk myself into getting out and doing it. That is still something I’m working toward.
JOSH: How do feel about the rapid increases in dexterity, coordination, and strength?
PAUL: Awesome! I love it. I’m actually shocked that I’ve had such amazing success so quickly in these areas. That productivity carries over into every area of life—I’ll notice things throughout the day that are easier to do than they used to be. I could barely do one lunge the first day—mostly due to my lack of balance—and just the other day I did 20 walking lunges in the hallway at FAC with no balance issues whatsoever.
JOSH: How do you feel about the smaller stomach and hips and the new muscles that are starting to emerge?
PAUL: Couldn’t be happier. My pants are fitting great (and some pairs are even getting too loose!). My wife has really noticed my stomach getting smaller. I have, too, especially when I put on a dress shirt. Those poor buttons were being overly stressed two months ago J. The muscles are great, too. I can really tell my strength has increased.
JOSH: How else has the program affected your daily routine? Have you noticed any new trends in your daily living?
PAUL: I get more done throughout the day. When I come home I feel energized and want to get some work done (whether it be house work, school work, or job stuff). We spend as much time watching TV. Weight training is a priority, so I make certain not to schedule anything that would conflict with those sessions.
JOSH: Now, we have also modified your dietary considerations. What are your thoughts on what you have been eating and the portions?
PAUL: The diet has been great. I had a lot of trouble the first week, though. I was addicted to food—especially fast food, soda, sugary snacks, and salty carbs. I’m still dealing with cravings and temptations, but those are steadily decreasing. My new diet is satisfying and filling.
JOSH: How does this nutrition programming differ from things you have tried in the past?
PAUL: I’ve done other programs that require counting and keeping track of everything you eat…every day, forever. One of the problems with that was my mind. I wasn’t willing to give up all of the terrible food I was enjoying daily, so I would try to force my old diet into the new diet. But this time around I realized that my life needed to change in a big way to get things under control. I was relieved to realize I could still eat really good tasting food every day, even with pretty sizeable portions.
JOSH: Do you feel that the modifications that we’ve made so far are things that you will be able to adopt for the rest of your life?
PAUL: Absolutely. I don’t have to spend much time in the gym, and the diet is very doable, even when eating out.
JOSH: What would you say to someone that’s contemplating making a change like you have?
PAUL: You have to get your mind on board with a total life-change such as this. Find ways to keep yourself accountable. A trainer is a great way to keep you accountable. I also have a blog, which helps, too (even though I’d be surprised if more than five people read it J) And tell people about it—people who see you often, in real life. They will also be more likely to praise you when the pounds melt away, which does wonders for the motivation level.
JOSH: Do you feel like the changes you have made are worth the rewards that we’ve seen so far?
PAUL: Yes. No question. The time and effort to make these changes is worth not getting out of breath as often throughout the day, having clothes that fit and are comfortable, looking in the mirror and seeing a smaller stomach and face (I bet there’s even a jaw line hiding in there somewhere!), and I could go on and on….
JOSH: Do you feel you could have made these changes and all of this progress without a little help from a professional?
PAUL: No. I really needed help to motivate myself to not only get off the couch, but also to stick with a plan even when temptation hits or when things get difficult.
josh: Well, paul, you are doing a marvelous job, and serve as an inspiration to me and my readers! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for me and my readers! Keep up the great work, and I'll see you in the gym later!
And if anyone wants to follow paul's journey or check in on him, he's been keeping a great little blog all about his journey, and has been kind enough to share it in a public forum!