12-Week Entries for the 9th Contest
Time to show us what you've got!
You can submit your entry to the 12-week mini-contest here. Can't wait to see your results.
Please post your photos and your essay in this thread.
NOTE: This thread is only for final photos and essays. All other posts will be removed.
DOUBLE NOTE: You can also email your entries to email@example.com
Congratulations! Very proud of you.
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
I Can Hardly Believe It's Me!
First, The Facts
Starting Weight- 123 lbs. Weight at Finish- 117
Starting Body fat Percentage- Measurements by the same trainer at my gym at start and finish.
Start- 24.4% Finish- 21% on the nose.
Thigh (widest point) 21"
Thigh- (widest point) 19.5
(What really surprised the trainer who measured me was the drop in my neck and calf measurements. She said it was rare to see these continue to drop so much in someone who has been pursuing fat loss long term.)
Now for the essay
It's not a Lifestyle. It's a Love Affair.
The key to permanent fat loss is the ability to find away of eating, and a way of moving, that allows you to reach your goals over time: without driving you insane. Back in April of 2008 I finally found a way of exercising that provided the right results and the right amount of challenge without sapping my time or my energy. As a matter of fact, Turbulence Training increased my energy and my feelings of well being to an extraordinary degree. The wonderful paradox of finding of finding the right training program is that the time you spend working the program pays you back in more time feeling happy and productive out in the world.
A Love Affair? Really?
Let's look at the facts. When you love something, you plan for it, make time for it, look forward to it, and yes even dress for it. I can't wait to get to the gym. It wasn't always this way. When I first started TT I felt awkward, weak, and sometimes even a little queasy after my interval workouts. After about a month of paying my dues, I hit my stride, and I can honestly say I've never looked back.
What About Eating?
I also believe that you've got to learn to love the way you eat. I established a calorie budget of 1400 calories (remember, I'm 5'1'), and I stuck with it 90% of the time. That makes for about 8 days out of 84 that were well over budget. How did I learn to love the way I ate? I am always on the lookout for satisfying food that fits my budget. By switching back and forth between low carb and high volume eating, with an occasional treat, I was able to keep heading in the right direction. Just the other day, I did one Eat Stop Eat fast to reset my appetite after Thanksgiving indulgences. I did try to incorporate sweets and wine into my eating plan, but a little more than halfway through the challenge I had to accept the fact that they were creating too much of an obstacle to overcome. Once I let go, and let them go, the whole process became so much easier.
You Gotta Have Friends.
Here is where I send my gratitude out to Craig Ballantine and everyone at TT Members.com. One of the biggest hurdles we face is the nagging feeling that the time we spend on fitness is self centered. By joining a community of like minded fitness fans, I found that working out and encouraging other exercisers was actually a generous thing to do. The good feeling I get by giving and receiving support makes me a far more pleasant person out in the real world! Also, when you're happy and you like the way you look, you don't have to buy and eat stuff to make you feel better. Of course, you'll probably need to buy new pants, or at least a belt.
A Word of Encouragement.
Accept yourself exactly as you are right now. Accept that you are worthy of the time, money, and energy it takes to feed and care for yourself properly. Treat yourself the way you would treat a child you love. Don't forget to play.
Fitness is Freedom.
Exceeded My Goals!
A quick summary for those of you who prefer to read a book from the back: In 12 weeks, this crazy busy 42 year old father of four (and husband of one ) went from a very out of shape 250 pounds to a “getting fit” 214 pounder. I lost 36 pounds, 6.5 inches off my waist, and reduced my bodyfat over 8%. I’m still a crazy busy father of four, but, with the help of Craig and Turbulence Training, I’ve figured out how to incorporate a very effective fitness routine into my schedule. While this isn’t the end of the story, it is the end of this chapter, titled “Transformation Contest 9.”
Now for the rest of the story…
While I was mostly overweight as a child, a love and affinity for sports helped me slim up in high school and I remained in great shape (numerous sports, running, triathlons, etc.) until my late 20’s. When I got married right before turning 30, I weighed 200 pounds (at 6’3”) and felt very good about myself. Since then, I let life get in the way of my health and fitness, eventually reaching 275 pounds (I gained 25 pounds with EACH of my first three children). In January 2010, I made yet another resolution to get back in shape. By August 2010, eight months later, I was down from 270 to 250 pounds. While I was making decent progress on my own, I had “been there” many times before…lose 20 or so pounds, keep it off a short time, then gradually let the weight creep back on. I came across Turbulence Training while doing some random fitness-related web surfing a couple of weeks before the start of this contest. When I purchased the TT Program, I thought I was getting some neat workouts. In reality, I tapped into 1) dozens of efficient yet effective workout routines, 2) solid yet simple nutrition guidance, and 3) a social support network.
My Exercise Roadmap...
My prior weight loss efforts over the years had been centered on disciplined starvation and long slow cardio. Now I know first hand that good nutrition and short, intense weight workouts and intervals are significantly more productive!!
The TT website includes an almost endless supply of highly efficient and effective workouts. Narrowing the list and choosing one is actually one of the hardest tasks! Specifically, I started TC 9 with Phase 1 of the 6 Month Bodyweight Manual. At that time, I was still a bit uncomfortable doing bodyweight exercises at the gym, so was able to do most of the workouts at home, and then hit the gym for my intervals (stationary bike, stair climber, and treadmill). I wrapped up the first half of the contest, Weeks 5 and 6, using Dumbbell Depletion. For the second half of the contest, I went back to bodyweight, using Bodyweight Cardio 3 and then Phase 2 of the 6 Month Bodyweight Manual.
My Nutrition Roadmap…
Nutrition wise, I learned that you can’t outwork a bad diet!!! Period. End of discussion. While there are many fad diets and strategies readily available online and in bookstores, the simple nutrition guidance provided by Craig on the website is really all you need for great, sustainable results. For the first half of the contest, I did my best to eat clean and did Eat Stop Eat one or two times a week. About midway through the contest, I started using FitDay to track my nutrition and really studied up on the nutrition best practices found on the TT website…learning what it really meant to “eat clean.” I only did ESE a few times during the second half of the contest, but did try to include one or two low calorie days each week to balance out the days when I wasn’t quite so disciplined.
Last, but certainly not least, is the importance of social support. I am blessed with a wife that is incredibly encouraging and supported me throughout the contest. Friends and co workers also started noticing and were supportive. Beyond that, I was unexpectedly encouraged by a bunch of strangers around the globe on TTMembers.com. Not only did they provide encouraging feedback to my “posts,” but reading about their successes and struggles was also very motivational. You can’t underestimate the value of social support!
TC 9 Goals…
I threw out some pretty lofty goals for this contest. I am thrilled to say that I significantly exceeded all of them. Some of my goals included:
- Lose 10% of my bodyweight, or 25 lbs – I lost 36 lbs (14% of my starting bodyweight)
- Lose 3-4 inches off my belly – I lost 6.5 inches
- Reduce my bodyfat to 23% (Navy maximum) - I reduced it to 22.4%, a drop of 8.2%
- Pass the Navy Physical Readiness Test – I blew it away
Tale of the tape (and scale) – Sep 7 vs. Nov 29:
Weight: 250 down to 214.2 (-36 lbs!!!)
Belly: 46” down to 39.5” (-6.5”)
Navy BF%: 30.6% down to 22.4% (-8.2%)
In looking at my before and after numbers and photos, I am absolutely thrilled that I have made this much progress in only 12 weeks. While I’m not yet at my ultimate weight loss goal, I have no doubt that I’ll be there within the next few months (during Transformation Contest 10, of course!). After that, I’m looking forward to a lifetime of better health and fitness.
I can’t thank Craig enough for the programs and the contest. It has not only provided the inspiration and encouragement to change, but, more importantly, the roadmap…a sustainable roadmap called Turbulence Training. Thanks Craig!!
I joined the first ever TT Transformation Contest on December 31, 2007, not knowing what to expect. Since then, I have joined 7 of the 9 contests. When I first joined, I had no idea that I would find such a source of inspiration, motivation, and workout variety. I keep coming back for the amazing support, camaraderie, accountability, and oh yeah, the TT workouts!
"Arise, and be, all that you dreamed, all that you dreamed" ~ Arise, by Flyleaf
I began my contest thread on Day 1 with this lyric and kind of took it as my anthem for the contest. I wanted to push myself, and see what I could accomplish. With this in mind, I chose 3 workouts that I thought would be challenging.
Workouts used were:
TT for Meatheads V
TT for Jacked & Lean Meatheads
Resistance Evil: Afterburn TT
All were unique in their own way. Meatheads V was a great "meathead" workout with added fat loss intervals, Jacked & Lean had all those kettlebell swings (!), and Resistance Evil was challenging (and evil), but fun!
I included at least an hour each week of stretching/yoga. I found that it helped me to dramatically increase my flexibility and it helped with my TT workout recovery. I also included a small amount of running, some of which was training with my 6 year old son who ran his very first 5K race (very proud of him!)
"If all else fails, start by eating an extra apple and extra serving of vegetables today." ~ Advice given by Craig Ballantyne in the Nutrition Forum
I printed that simple, straightforward advice and taped it to my computer monitor. I really tried to keep my nutrition simple and straightforward. My kids and I sat down and made a long list of all the healthy foods we liked to eat - they had a great time telling me all their favorite fruits and vegetables. When I was menu planning, I could just choose items from the list.
I felt great during the 12 weeks - just a few "stressed eating" incidences, but stress is part of life. No one will have a stress-free 12 weeks. Things are going to happen and learning to deal with them is part of the challenge. Overall nutrition-wise, I feel like this was one of my best contests. I tried lots of new foods, and even convinced my husband to try a few things. My son already loves to try new foods, and my daughter is learning to try - she recently discovered that she likes green beans!
I lost a total of 6.4 lbs, 2.6% body fat, and 2.25 inches from my abdomen. I made my goal weight range, and my goal of eating vegetarian at least 2 full days per week.
Even after writing so many TT Contest essays I still have trouble conveying how thankful I am for TT and how it has helped me to achieve a healthier lifestyle. My family and I will reap the benefits of this lifestyle change for years to come. Thank you to Craig and everyone in the TT family!
Final Stats (11/28/10)
Age: "under 40"
Height: 5' 7.75"
Weight: 139.4 lbs (-6.4 lbs)
BF%: 18.7% (-2.6%)
Chest: 32.5 in (-1.25 in)
Waist: 27.5 in (-1.5 in)
Abdomen/Navel: 29.75 in (-2.25 in)
Hips: 35 in (-1 in)
My blog ==> I'm Not Neurotic
"Eating crappy food is not a reward - it's a punishment."
Ok, gettin this done so I don't forget or get busy doing something else. I missed my chance during the 6 week mini contest because I fell asleep!! oops!
This challenge came at one of the most challenging times of my life. I am a Mom of 2 young children and a military wife of 13 years! My Husband left June of this year and is currently serving in Afghanistan, until May 2011.
My heaviest recorded weight was 237 lbs in Jan of '09. I lost some here and there but finally got mad enough to really buckle down at the beginning of last Summer. I got down to 175 by May of this year,
only to gain 14lbs back consoling myself with baked goods after the hubby left. Not GOOD!!
I snapped out of it.. I should know better.
I've gained weight through the years because of bad choices....when I got out of boot camp about 12 years ago, I was completely on my own for the first time....a honey bun and a Dr pepper is healthy because it's small in portion size, right?
That's the way I thought about food before I knew what healthy eating was..I'd skip breakfast, have crap for lunch,and go out to eat almost every night..forget about exercise!! I only did it when I had to in the military..and I wondered why I had gained 30lbs within a year!!
I'd work hard while the hubby was away on deployments etc just to gain all the weight back when he returned..Deployment Diets, if you will. It took me awhile to notice the pattern..But I'm breaking that pattern, NOW!!!!
I want to be a good example to my kids. I don't want them to see Mom dieting all the time. I want to live life and not be a slave to food and exercise. I want to be healthy by lifestyle. Because that's how we choose to live. It shouldn't be forced.
And I can now be an example to the people that I work with. I've been a certified Personal Trainer for 2 years now, but never looked the part.
I'm happy and PROUD with my results. I am at a weight I haven't been at in nearly **10 YEARS** and I'm wearing cloths I haven't worn in just as long.
I'm also thrilled that through this journey I haven't lost any strength, which is equally as important.
Just yesterday I pulled 205 for 3 reps *GRIN*
I want to keep getting stronger while getting hotter!
And wear a bikini for the first time EVER next Summer! A lot to look forward to with the help and support of these challenges!
THANKS CRAIG!! And thanks to all of you as well. I was a silent member through this, but cheering you all on none the less..
12 week results!
Weight: 189- 169
Waist: (belly button) 34-29
Body fat: 33%- 22.8%
***I did the best I could with taking pictures***
"Your fears are not walls, but hurdles.
Courage is not the absence of fear,
but the conquering of it."
Thought these should be included as well!
"Your fears are not walls, but hurdles.
Courage is not the absence of fear,
but the conquering of it."
Final Essay Transformation Contest 9
My objective was to get a six-pack. At that I have failed. I still have belly fat that covers those muscles. Still all is not lost. I am stronger than I was 12 weeks ago and despite seven weeks of business travel and heavy meals I am maintaining my weight. My waist is smaller so I think I have lost some body fat and gained muscle mass. I think that is a fair trade
My job involves either working at home, which is ideal for fitness, or traveling with my clients, which is not ideal for fitness and nutrition. Due to circumstances beyond my control I had seven straight weeks of traveling with lots of opportunities to eat lots of tasty food and clients who expect to be entertained in the evening. Fortunately the focus of TC 9 helped me to get stronger and lose some fat during these trips.
I did the following TT workouts:
Meatheads 4 x 4(often skipped the interval portion due to time)
Buff Dudes and Hot Chicks (used a rowing machine for the intervals)
I also did some martial arts during the 12 weeks but again the business travel often prevented those practices.
Due to travel I am behind by 5 days of exercise (1 ½ weeks) on the final program. I will finish those, as Resistance Evil is a great program.
I used Eat Stop Eat fasts, twice a week to manage calories. That was particularly useful to bracket business trips and avoid airport food.
A key outcome was becoming stronger. I set a personal record on the deadlift doing 8 reps at 205 lbs. I have been weak on chin-ups and pull-ups so I am pleased to be at 6 chin-ups now. It feels good to get the strength that comes with TT.
There was very little change in my measurements as noted below (in kg or cm).
Height: 180 cm
Start / end / change
Mass: 78.2 / 79.8 / +1.6 kg
Neck 38 / 37.5 / -0.5
Shoulder 115.5 / 115.5 / 0.0
Chest 98.5 / 95.5 / -3.0
Waist 90.5 / 89.5 / -1.0
Hip 87.5 / 87 / +1.5
Upper 31 / 32.5 / +1.5
Lower 27 / 26.5 / -0.5
Upper 51.5 / 53.5 / +2.0
Lower 39.5 / 39.5 / 0.0
To conclude I am stronger and I managed to avoid gaining fat during a marathon of business travel. I did not reach my goal of a six-pack abs but I am on the way thanks to TT and its support. Thanks Craig and all of my friends on the TT Discussion forum.
Niagara Falls, ON
Niagara Falls, ON
Transformation Contest 9 didn't quite turn out as I expected. Perhaps "disaster" is too strong a word but I certainly didn't make much visible progress towards my fitness goals.
I started the contest with such enthusiasm and optimism that I was convinced that I might just finish as a finalist! After a particularly strong start during the first first four weeks, things went a bit awry for me. First, I came down with a bad flu which took several weeks to clear up and my old nemesis - stress - came back to haunt me. I successfully completed one major project that had gotten in my way in the previous contests but there were still several more waiting and these resulted in high-levels of stress which affected my workouts, nutrition and general sense of well-being. I never really regained my focus and momentum.
Part of the reason for this is that I approached TC9 with only half a plan and I may have felt a bit too smug as a result, over-confident that I didn't really need one.
So did anything go right? Yes, many things. I completed TT Big 6 without skipping a workout and this is probably my favourite TT workout so far. I learned for the first time, how to sprint properly. I realized how much I enjoy interval training and mixing things up. All the stress due to work I experienced helped my become more self-aware and in-tune with myself and towards the end of TC9, I began to put into practice techniques and habits that will certainly be of use in the future. Any I realized that the best way for me to manage stress is to plan ahead, take action and avoid the train-wreck that may be coming down the line if I don't. Sometimes that action is as simple as just starting the task, much like a workout when you don't have the energy or motivation to do one. I also learned how quickly calories can add up and how easy it can be to eat too much food and portion control has become one of my major goals from here on. Finally, I discovered that as I make my way into the 40's, flexibility training is an important part of any fitness program and that 15 minutes of stretching and "rolling" with a semi-deflated basket-ball leaves me feeling loose, relaxed and comfortable.
So while my photos don't show much a change, a spiritual and motivational change has and is taking place and I will be back once again for TC10. I did my best to help and support others in the TT forums and received fantastic support myself. TT members are a special bunch of people and I am grateful to everyone who posted on my forum thread or Facebook.
See you all in the new year and Seasons Greetings in advance!
Powered by Turbulence Training
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My fat loss transformation began in July 2010 when I decided to join a gym, change my diet and change my lifestyle. I began weighing 225 lbs and in my first 13 weeks of Turbulence Training I lost 20 lbs. I was thrilled with my results.
I started gaining weight after high school and in about 5 years I managed to put on close to fifty pounds. People were calling me “big guy” for the wrong reason. In my first 12 weeks of TT workouts I made a major dent in what took 5 years to gain. I was so determined to keep going nothing would stop me.
When I found out about contest number nine shortly after becoming a member of the TT forums I was thrilled. A fire lit inside me, my determination and will power grew stronger. I believed that if I stuck with the workouts, and continued my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, that I would have the body I want, only in a matter of time.
I joined the contest because I wanted to win, and I wanted to continue my awesome progress. The added motivation it gave me was awesome. I wanted to set the goals high because to achieve great things we must dream big! My competitive side kicked in and I put myself in high gear.
Body fat estimate: 20%
Tape: neck 15.5"/ bicep 15.5"/ forearm 12.5"/ chest 43"/ waist 38.5"/ hips 41.5"/ thigh 26"/ calf 16.25"
Body fat estimate: 12%
Tape: neck 14.75”/ bicep 14.75”/ forearm 12”/ chest 40”/ waist 34”/ hips 38”/ thigh 24.5”/ calf 15”
Totals: 24.1 lbs lost, roughly 8% body fat lost, and 15.75 total inches lost, with a whopping 4.5 off my waist. It says 34 but I can wear size 30 jeans. Vanity sizing?
During these 12 weeks I was able to cross from the overweight threshold into the normal range, and then further into the ideal range of body fat levels. I am still pursuing a greater level of leanness. Looks aside my body feels great, I am a heck of a lot stronger, and my confidence level is tenfold greater than when I began in July.
As a college student with a part time job it would have been easy to make excuses, but when you want results as bad as I did making excuses was not an option. There is nothing special about me that enabled me to transform my body. Anyone can do it. All it takes is the determination to succeed, the willingness to accept the error of your ways, and the humbleness to embrace new ideas. The single most powerful tool to me during this transformation has been setting goals.
Big thanks to my parents who were awesome, the ttmembers for their support, and Craig for his awesome programs.
Category: Male under 40
You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind.~Unknown
Last edited by midwestj : 12-11-2010 at 08:46 PM.