Chris Anderson was frustrated. The 38 year-old driver for a co-op store in Cambuslang, Scotland, had struggled with his weight since he was young. Pizza, Chinese take-out, McDonald, ice cream, you name it—“If it isn’t good for you, I would enjoy eating it in large quantities,” he says.
For a long time, staying active and a physically demanding job offset his bad eating habits. But as he got older, with a family and two young kids, finding time for the gym became harder.
By 31, he’d hit 224 pounds.
For years after, his weight yo-yo’d. He dropped his gym membership, then assembled his own at home. But training with a bad diet left him frustrated by the lack of results. So he’d stop working out. Another time, he threw himself into macros and a push-pull-legs workout he found online, determined to drop pounds before a family holiday to Spain. He did it, but only by cutting his calorie intake so drastically that it was unsustainable: over months, he lost the weight, only to binge and gain it back within weeks.
“It became a vicious cycle, which was bordering on becoming an eating disorder,” he says. He stopped training again, and went back to his old diet.
Finally, and the end of a year that saw him approaching 224 pounds, he resolved to do it right. He had another vacation coming up, but he didn’t want another ride on the weight-loss rollercoaster. Researching online, he found the UP Encyclopaedia of Personal Training, by Nick Mitchell, founder of Ultimate Performance. He bought both volumes, and was so impressed that he started looking through UP’s website. He’d been there before, but found individualized personal training out of his price range. This time, though, he noticed the Live UP program, an online training package designed for body transformations. For $63 a month, he gave it a shot.
“I’ll be totally honest,” he says. “When I first received the program, I had a look through it and thought, ‘Great, I’ve just pissed $63 down the drain!’” He was used to six days of training a week, with cardio wedged most mornings. Live UP had him doing weight training three days a week, full-body workouts. He thought it was “some hippy workout,” but having paid for it, he gave it a shot.
“The results were pretty much instant,” he says. He was eating more and training less, but in the first week he’d lost more than five pounds; at the end of the first month he’d dropped more than 13 pounds.
In 16 weeks, he lost more than 30 pounds.
“I couldn’t believe how easy it had been compared to when I had tried to do it on my own,” he says. “My energy and mood were so much better. I also looked and felt a lot better.”
And unlike when he’d tried to do it on his own, he didn’t lose muscle; he was toned, not just skinny.
“I’ve had waiters in restaurants come up to me and ask how I got in the shape I am in,” he says, and that’s given him new confidence. He’s eager to see how far he can push himself now that he’s back in control: “My goal now is to continue with the plan and try to pack on as much muscle as I can.”