T Nation

Success Stories?


Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but I was hoping to find some threads with people's success stories (I'm interested in fat loss successes) detailing what it took for them to accomplish their goals including diet and exercise routines.

I don't see any personal blog forums or whatever you'd like to call them.

Does anyone have any to point out for me to read?



I don't consider myself a success story, I'm still a little fat but I'm down to the weight I want to be. Now I just need to drop body fat while putting on muscle which is going to take the most work I imagine but anyway I'll tell you my story quickly.

About a year ago I was at 225 give or take, junior in college, didnt put on a freshmen 15 but sophmore year I definetly did. I started going to the gym with my roomate, I've done this all throughout my life. Say I'm going ot start going to the gym, go for a week, then stop.

My roomate was into Deadlifting, squating and benching only, the big lifts. I had always just tried to run, which sucks. I got hooked with the lifts and wasnt even concerned with my weight but just about getting my lifts up.

A few weeks later my roomate came home with a scale I jumped on and was down to 215. Wow, no cardio and I was already losing weight nice. From there I figured I'd throw in a little cardio, I ran a mile maybe once or twice a week. Lost another 15, plateau at 200.

Screw It I came this far so I figured I'd try eating a little better, no diets, but when I went to get food I would make slightly better choices. Tuna Fish, Chicken and salad, instead of pizza every night. I definetly cheated more then once a week but I had made the effort to change what I was eating a little and it worked. Again I was down to about 190 and I had hit a plateau.

Ok so all those years people were telling me to go to the gym and what I didnt believe them? No I believed them I just wanted a magical pill to do it instead.

Time to turn up the heat. I'm at 180 now the last 10 lbs were the hardest, I've really tried to restrict what I eat, not as much pizza ( my favorite food if you cant tell already from this post ) and more of the good stuff. Right now what I have in my apartment to eat is - grilled chicken, salad, tuna, peanut butter, eggs, pasta, milk and whey.

I stoped drinking as much as I used to, every weekend I'd go through a 12 pack of sam adams plus what ever I drink at the bar. Now I run 2-3 times a week, sprints sometimes, hill sprints, pull a sled, and work out at the gym on my lifting 3 times a week.

I can't guess what my Body fat is but its not low yet. I'm not ripped, and not concerned. I'm not a fat kid sitting in front of my computer anymore, I can't believe that was me and I thank god I didnt continue down that road. Like I said I dont consider myself a success story and not sure if I ever will. I'm not sure why I've wrote this but I hope it helps you in some way. Good Luck.


I don't know if the picture shows in front or after this text, but it's there to show progress.

I used to be 195 pounds, but only 5'10". Needless to say, I was a pile. I can admit it. I used to spend countless hours on the boob tube while my brothers were outside playing, staying fit. Then I lifted (occasionally). I ate right (when the fridge was out of sweets).

I joined the football team at my high school (but never saw any playing time). It took me until my Senior year to realize what a pile I was.

My brother (the one who was staying in shape, lifted right, ate right, and had athletic skill) was being his self-loving self as usual, and I saw how in shape he was. Then I saw myself. I realized that I'm the big brother. I'm supposed to be the role model, not him. Obviously there was a little competition between us after that.

He joined some "look good" lifting program near our cousins. I joined the local weight room, and just lifted like hell. We both wanted to outdo the other, proving that if you try hard enough, a certain program was better than the other. Plan vs Drive. I used no supplements, other than whey, occasionally.

I ate right, only let myself sit down for an hour straight at a time (excluding bathroom breaks or the occasional need to leave the seat). I biked to the weight room, lifted like hell, and just basically forced myself to get better, even if I didn't want to.

Now I'm 6'0", 190 pounds, and not a pile anymore. To cut fat you don't need supplements. Given, they MAY help cut fat and build muscle, but NOTHING boosts your confidence more than someone asking you "hey bob, what are you on?" and you reply "nothing at all, this is hard work baby" and seeing the look on their face.

By the way, that right pic is about a month old, when I just got back from a month off of lifting, and before I joined my college's gym. (which is amazing) I'm not saying that now I'm a friggin beast, but I have improved more since then. The left is about 2 years old, but that's only because I couldn't find a pic from last year to prove how fast I changed.

In short, just work hard, avoid cake and cookies, and have a good mentality. Don't think of lifting as work. You'll hate lifting, and you'll spend more time wishing you were somewhere else than actually lifting. And get in, get it done, and get out. Good luck man! Lift hard, get some "after" pics, and make us proud.


Good stuff guys.

Ya I'm kind of learning that supplements and tricks won't really get me towards my goals.

I've JUST started going to the gym to start lifting. Before finding this site, I always thought it would take a lot of treadmill, bike, stairs, and stuff like that to get these pounds off. Now I see that it's equally if not more important to lift to really get the fat loss going.

I've just started this month and wanted to see if there's any key ingredients I'm missing. The first two things I'll need to work on is workout consistency and diet consistency. I've only gone to gym 2 times most weeks, one I did 3. I think I'll shoot to up that to minimum of 4 visits per week...or just basically every other day.

I also need to really start focusing on my diet. I think I'm on the right track, but just not being consistent.

I really hope to get some good progress within the next 6 months so I can post some pics.

Thanks again, everyone!


You're gonna see the biggest changes from focusing on your diet. The gym helps, don't get me wrong, but the changes happen primarily because of what you're eating IMO.


About a year and three months ago I was around 240-250 lbs. I was the worst kind of fat guy, too: the fat guy in denial. So, I decided at the beginning of the summer 2006 to watch what I put in me. I quit eating junk for snacks and started picking up fruit. I stopped with the frozen food, and started doing yogurt and sandwiches.

At the time, I was work 35-40 hours a week and a grocery store: lots of moving and throwing shit around. The watching what I ate and the physically active job dropped me from a 38 waist to a 36. When I got back to college, I decided to start lifting. I didn't know shit in august 2006, but I was in the weight room doing something.

On top of that, my girlfriend of a year and a half had just dumped my ass, and I was pretty angsty and stressed--lifting helped center me. Now I date a cuter girl. Things tend to work out.

Combine a 3x a week session with a healthier eating lifestyle, I dropped to 195. I dropped to my lowest at 185 earlier this summer. I am not ripped, and I still have a fair amount of fat around my tummy. However, I decided I'd come as far as I could on calorie restriction. It was time to start really lifting. Currently around 200, with the same BF% as when I was 185. My lifts have all gone up considerably, and I'm starting to learn what intensity means.

I'll see if I can find some pictures somewhere. I don't have any traditional poses as I didn't really start this on purpose. the fat loss just sort of happened, but it's been the best thing that has ever happened to me.


-1st pic around December 2005
-2nd around August 2006
-3rd April or may 2007 (couldn't find anything more recent)

Ignore my pitiful arms, and the fact that I don't look like I lift. It happens. I think I look better now, but I'm probably 5-10 lbs. heavier, and I actually (sorta) look like I lift! All in all, no bad progress for a year.

Had I to do it again:
-screw eating less, I'd try to stay around maintenance, and lift big.
-I would have revised my training to include bigger lifts from August to December 2006. I didn't find T-Nation until 2007. Sad story.
-I would have been squating from day 1
-I would have try to be more serious about eating 6 times a day during last school year


Boyscout that's a great transformation in a pretty short time, good job.


Will post up in about 6 weeks with my own transformation of 2.5 years.


Here is mine. I'm still not happy with where I am, but it is a hell of a lot better than where I was.

It's not rocket science, it just takes hard work and dedication. If you screw up, get back on the train. Don't let a bad meal turn into a day, week or month.

This picture is my progress from 245 to 171.

In general, I did the following:

Lift hard, with not a ton of volume 3-4 times per week. Focused on big compound movements
Eat 1g protein per pound of bw
Limit starchy carbs to peri-workout time period
Cheat meals on weekends
Some cardio, but not excessive.


These are awesome stories, and impressive transformations!

boyscout, you mentioned eating at maintenance and lifting big instead of cutting calories.

I was wondering if this is something anyone else would recommend for fat loss.

Eating at maintenance levels on days you go to the gym, and then cutting up to 30% of maintenance on off days.

Do you guys think this would be a good approach?


Do a search for an older photo thread by Rotlex, he has made an awesome transformation.

Great job, guys!


Wow! That is a good thread

Here it is for anyone else who wants to check it out:



I started around 300+ have no real clue what my top weight was. I was twenty and just in huge denial of what I looked like. I saw a picture of myself from somewhere and basically it scared the crap out of me. For the first year I would say I got down to around 240 without ever finding Tnation. I had no clue what to do really but I cut out a major amount of fast food/pop/etc. I tried to lift but basically just winged it in the gym and did some cardio. Than I found Tnation and my knowledge of my body and how it works changed. From than on I started doing deadlifts, squats, compound lifts, where before I was using machines and just really had no clue what the hell I was doing in the gym. Now I am at 205 and still losing, I have a gut somewhat still and believe I still have around 25lbs to lose. I plan to lose it and than start gaining weight. Right now I am around two years into my progress. I will post pictures when I feel I have hit the lowest weight before I start gaining.


Ok, I was an idot at the begginging of my deployment to afghanistan and forgot to take the "Before" pictures but w/e. This is my story. . . .

About 1 1/2 - 2 years ago I hurt myself really bad jumping from planes for the 82nd, fucked my tailbone all to hell and now I got some of the bones pushed up behind one-another, w/e. I got myself up to a very unipressive 255 - 265 somewhere between there.

It was so bad how much weight I had gained and muscle I had lost b/c of my injury that when I arrived to Kuwait in JAN of 2006 that I felt like god himself was punishing my lower back trying to carry around my HUGE belly, it was really bad and I needed to push thru injury and shape up, quick.

My stats for the begging of JAN 2006 were;

  • 255 - 265lbs
  • 49 inch waist
  • 35-37% B.F.
  • 135 1RM Max Bench
  • 150 1RM Squat
  • 155 1RM Deadlift

As of OCT 17 2006 I am now doing SOOOOOO much better than the beggining of this year. My diet is way better than it has been in my life, not 100% clean but everything I eat I make a good decision (being deployed sometimes meal options are out of my hand). I am in the gym ALL the time, I have to stop myself from overtraining, lol. I thank god every day that for some reason I cant remember who but they told me to squat and deadlift, and since day 1 I have been doing all the BIG 3 and alot of compund moves so I am headed in the right direction (or at least I think I am).

Here are my stats now;

  • 213lbs
  • 40 inch waist
  • 24% B.F.
  • 225 1RM Max Bench
  • 280 1RM Squat
  • 340 1RM Deadlift

Nice improvements if you ask me, I have all kinds of muscles poping out everywhere, its nice now. Im still chubby, no dount about that and Im not to that "Beach Body" I want but I am truckin my towards it with no stop signs in sight friend! I am glad to have found T-Nation, it seems like a very very good place. So hope you like my little story and all. Hope that motivates someone out there, its never to late to start.

p.s. Like I said before, sorry about the no "before pics" to help ya see my progress, Im just as dissapointed as you.