We all love a good transformation picture. Instagram is littered with befores and afters featuring some of the most outrageous and incredible transformations imaginable. However, it is good to move beyond the pictures and learn lessons from people who have changed their life for the better.
Let’s now take a look at the incredible transformation of Edward Hones.
We got in touch with Ed and asked him some questions about his transformation, his habits, and the most important things about getting in shape permanently.
How did you get to the point where you were overweight?
I Always struggled with my weight, ever since I was in grade school I was a really fat kid. Being fat helped me develop a thick skin (no pun intended) and a sense of humor. So it wasn’t all bad! Here’a s picture of me aged 10.
My weight fluctuated quite a bit through high school as I was always trying to drop fat in order to get girls. When I got out of high school I started working full time and I stopped caring about my weight altogether.
What was the point where you decided you were going to change things?
I had been diagnosed as prediabetic and clinically obese, I didn’t like where I was or who I had become and I began drinking heavily. Drinking in excess packed on a ton of extra weight.
During the height of my over drinking, a friend of mine saw me for the first time in ages and was shocked at how fat I had gotten. The words he said really affected me, just a simple, “Wow, you’ve gotten huge.” It was that statement that allowed me to look at myself and I became disgusted. I woke up the next day determined to change things.
Was it easy from there or did you have some setbacks?
I hit several plateaus and had some diet hiccups but I never experienced a serious setback. When I made the decision to lose weight this time, I went all in. I had become completely disgusted with myself and I was prepared to do anything to change that. I had never been so focused in my life.
So it all really came down to that one moment of realization?
Yes, pretty much. It all accumulated into that moment.
Which habits did you have to develop? And how long did they take to form?
My healthy living habits today are all based on habits I formed during my weight loss journey. I had to become comfortable with making my own food on a daily basis. This started off really rough. I would overcook chicken in the oven and eat it along with raw broccoli. It was gross. Since that time, through a ton of practice, I’ve become a strong cook.
Another habit I formed was going to the gym every day. After a long day working, it was next to impossible to motivate me to go to the gym. I got over that by bringing my workout clothes to work with me and going to the gym on my way home from work. It became my route home, I didn’t think about it at all and didn’t have to struggle with whether or not I could will myself to workout, it was just my routine.
What one bit of advice would you give for someone regarding diet, exercise and mindset?
Diet is the most challenging for everyone, myself included. Most people are hardwired to enjoy food so dieting sucks, there is no way around that. Although it may be challenging, it is damn simple: you eat less.
A calorie tracker is a great tool to figure out exactly how much you are eating so you can reduce that figure. That’s all it takes. I’ve used some strategies like intermittent fasting or low carb. They have benefits and drawbacks. I always come back to the simple calorie deficit, focusing on higher volume foods to try and stay satiated.
How I find my maintenance calorie intake is by weighing myself daily and taking my weekly averages. If my average weight from 2 consecutive weeks is around the same, I have found my maintenance calories. It is a moving target and will not be the same at the end of a cut as it was at the beginning of a cut.
Exercise: Lift. Cardio is helpful in creating a caloric deficit but that’s all it does. You can achieve the same thing by eating less. The real game changer is lifting. For me, the effects were almost immediate. I would also suggest that people focus on strength. I recommend getting started on a beginner lifting routine such as Starting Strength. Within 6 months you will have a completely different physique if you take the lifting seriously.
Mindset: Not sure if I can offer anything there. For me, it took me being completely fed up with how I looked and felt. I became willing to do anything to change the way I was. So finding that leverage that will force you to change is important.
How important were supplements for you?
Supplements were not important at all. When I first got started, I would spend $150 a month at GNC on different protein powders, test boosters and whatever else they told me would have an effect on my physique. I used them on and off and never noticed a difference, so I stopped. I currently only use fish oil and multivitamin because my doctor says to. Bottom line, diet and exercise has you covered, don’t go crazy on supplements.
What motivates you to keep going?
What keeps me going is a passion for the lifestyle. I think it happened when I started making consistent progress on my lifts. I began looking forward to my daily gym session. After awhile I got addicted to the progress. Now I keep doing it because I like the way I look and the way I feel. I feel so grateful to have found this lifestyle.
What are the main ways that getting in shape has changed your life?
The main ways fitness has changed my life are my confidence and outlook. From becoming stronger and more attractive, people started to pay more attention to me and I became far more confident with myself.
Also, achieving something that I didn’t think was possible showed me that anything is manageable with enough hard work. Now when I’m faced with a difficult situation, I say to myself, “You’ve done much harder things.”
Why do you think many people find it hard to stick at it?
It took me getting sick and tired of being sick and tired before I was willing to stick to this lifestyle. I had to become completely desperate and willing to do whatever it took. That’s what it took for me, I can’t say what it takes for anyone else, but maybe that’s why it’s so rare for people to stick with it.
Any final words to people starting their journey?
If you are thinking about getting started on your own fitness journey, do yourself a favor and begin today. My only regret is not starting sooner. I have found a new way of life in fitness and it has allowed me to achieve things I didn’t think were possible for me.
Follow Ed on Instagram @edhones, you can keep up with his current physique there.