Train Loco Nation! Today we have a fantastic guest post by our friend all the way from South Africa, Andrea Papas aka the “Greek Spartan.” He talks about how he was an obese teenager and how flexible nutrition changed his life and led him to the body of his dreams.
Without further ado, let’s learn about Andrea’s journey.
– Chris and Eric
Growing up as an obese teenager I was always teased and bullied over my weight, at the age of 18 I finally made the transition to decide to change my life and do something about my weight. When I first started at the gym I didn’t know who to turn to and who to believe. Id see all these buff dudes in the gym who were full of performance enhancing drugs telling me to eat low carbs, some carbs, no carbs, just tuna and some fat, or no fat, etc.
I had spent years reading all the fitness, health and bodybuilding magazines, and listening to the so-called “GURUS’ information. Trying all their methods, diets, training and supplementation plans, yet again seeing no results but more fat gain and heading backwards.
I was stuck with orthorexia mentality eating only clean foods, the “BAD vs. GOOD “ foods. I would avoid most carbs, sticking to broccoli, tuna and chicken, only eating
pieces of STEAK every so often thinking that was even “cheating”. I would hardly ever eat carbs, red meat, avoiding and being scared of them like the plague. I listened to all the 6 meals a day `BRO’s, NO Carbs at Night, Carbs Are Evil Stories and lived miserably like this for years. Having depression and forming a very unhealthy relationship with food… leading me to binge more and ‘CHEAT” like a GLUTON on the famous once a week “CHEAT DAY.”
With years of frustration having literally tried every single diet out there and supplements I still couldn’t find the right formula. I would follow so many rigid, pointless rules that left me restricted, confused, frustrated and craving junk food 24/7. I would lose weight at first, but eventually I’d gain it all back. Over time having tried all these methods I found that none of them were sustainable.
Nevertheless I carried on going to extremes I kept restricting what I ate. I kept reading about how saturated fat, sugar, red meat, and fast food were bad for me. I kept cutting my calories lower and lower. I had also started doing running, boxing, and playing more and more sports plus spending hours on the cardio machines so I was training more than ever before looking more flabby and supple. It got to the point where I was afraid to eat almost anything. As a result, I ate almost nothing; with my body being so tired I hated every aspect of what I thought supposed to be healthy and a fit life.
After about 7 years of utter frustration I finally accepted that I was actually doomed and there was no hope for me. Thinking it’s my genetics, my metabolism was the culprits, and just accepting it and carrying on doing my thing leaving me sad and unhappy with my depression creeping further.
Cut a very long story short, as the person I am I never gave up and decided to educate myself, study, extend my level of education and do years of research and investigating further in credible people with valuable and unbiased information. I eventually found a good ethical and honest man who today I’m proud and honored to be associated with and call him a friend of mine as well as my mentor Layne Norton.
I literally spent months reading all his articles, watching all his YouTube videos and making notes longer than files from my studies. I even had contacted Layne at the time to help me but unfortunately he was too busy to help me at the time due to his high demand.
So this was the time that I had applied his valuable information and flexible dieting methods to my life. Well this was the BIG BREAK that changed my life forever.
All these years having restricted my food intake was because I was confused and scared. Having the fear of getting back to that fat obese kid I once was and all I wanted was to be lean, with a six pack and stay healthy, but I didn’t know how to do it in a smart, healthy, sustainable way till I found the Layne and his flexible approach.
Flexible dieting isn’t all about eating whatever you want…currently known as the famous IIFYM, but its enjoying any foods in healthy moderation that fit your macronutrient caloric targets. It was a system I employed 6 years ago that would allow me freedom of choice without any restrictions, suffering or avoiding my favorite foods which I had avoided for years due to lack of knowledge.
Today I’m very much balanced eating a wide variety of foods without feeling guilty. It’s allowed me to enjoy special occasions, be more sociable, go out and enjoy meals with my family and friends, without the guilt or stress whilst still achieving my goals and having my dream six pack abs.
I’m at stage in my life where I’m not a slave to my diet with food anymore; I’ve become very much a strict dieter but not a restricted dieter. One thing I’ve learned it’s been able to make dieting a piece of cake, making it very much sustainable while achieving my dreams and goals.
Facebook: Andrea Papas
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