Lifestyle Prior To Change
What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation?
Back in March 2006 my wife took a picture of me at the beach on spring break that literally made me ill when I looked at it. I was at my all time high weight (238) and was now forced to wear size 40 slacks. Couple that with the fact that my father's side of the family had a history of heart disease, I was already on blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine and anti-depressants and I knew I had to do something. I took that picture and labeled it "Beached Whale" and kept it in my desk at work. I was drinking way too much beer and was an emotional eater that relied a lot on Wendy's, McDonalds, and junk food. It's really amazing that I didn't weigh more.
Prior to that point, I had tried every diet plan imaginable, including the controversial phen-phen, Adkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers...you name it, I tried it. And I was very successful with each...for a short while! But it always gained the weight back and then some. Between March 2006 and August 2007 was one of those periods where I had gone back to Adkins and reduced my weight down to a respectable 223 but it was already starting to come back.
What was your low point or turning point?
Enter my wife Donna! She attended (with her sisters) a free lecture on Metabolic Transformation that Dr. Joe Klemczewski and his staff at The Diet Doc facilitated. She came home all excited and told me that I needed to go see him. I was very skeptical and really not confident that any plan would work permanently. But she walked me through what she had learned and it kind of made sense so I reluctantly agreed to go with her to the next session.
Once Joe and Sean McCauley took me through the science behind WHY the body reacts to different foods and WHY diets such as Adkins don't work long-term, I was completely sold and I signed up. As part of the program, I received 4 training sessions with Sean. Despite the fact that I was a high school and college athlete, it was really the first time I had truly lifted weights. I was 48 years old. Despite the fact that I had lost 15 pounds prior to starting his program, I immediately saw significant results. It was during the third or fourth training session that Sean asked if I had ever considered competing on a bodybuilding stage. I laughed and said "No way!...I am not getting up in front of other people in next to nothing on". But I got to thinking about it. What a great incentive that would be for me to get to my goal weight of 185 and I had always wanted to see my abs. So I told him I would do it. And then I told everyone that would listen so that I couldn't back out of it.
I started working with Joe and Sean to prep and on August 2, 2008 I had not only reached my goal weight of 185, I hit the NANBF Mid America stage at 170 with a body fat of 4% and abs! I took home 2nd place that day in both the Masters 40+ Pro Qualifier and the Masters 45-55 classes and 3rd place in the Novice Tall class. By this time I was off ALL medicines. My blood pressure was better than normal, my cholesterol was better than normal, I had energy and now I had confidence to go out in public without a shirt.
More importantly, because my wife Donna was on the program as well, we started shopping for healthy food together, we planned our meals together, we started a "date night" for our cheat meals...it just brought us closer together as a couple. She has been wildly successful as well and has kept her weight off for 2+ years and she looks and feels fantastic.
Fast forward to now (December 2009). Despite a setback at the beginning of this year when I had hernia surgery I am currently prepping for a return to the stage in April 2010 at the age of 50. After the 2008 competition, I purposely increased my weight at Joe's direction and have held it at around 190 which is a very healthy weight for me. (because I am currently dieting down for a return trip to stage I am at 185 and dropping) I know what and when to eat and how to make adjustments when needed thanks to Joe and his philosophy. He really did save my quality of life. I am convinced that with my new found lifestyle that I will not fall prey to my family history and it is very rewarding knowing that so many people have come up to me with an expressed admiration for what I have accomplished. All in all, I was able to lose nearly 70 pounds to get on stage.
I now know how to control my weight and I have a self confidence that I have never had. I wear size 32 slacks and fitted shirts and can't wait to go to the beach and take my shirt off. This lifestyle has become just that. In fact, I have started thinking about a career change into the health and fitness industry. I am currently consulting with Dr. Joe at The Diet Doc and love every aspect of helping others that are in a similar place from where I came from. It is very fulfilling.
Craig's Exercise And Supplementation Plan
What Was Your Exercise Plan?
I try to work out on a 4 day split, but Sean continues to change it up to keep the muscles confused and growing. I normally train back on Mondays, chest/shoulders on Tuesdays, legs on Thursdays and arms on Friday. Every other week I will do abs/calves in place of arms. I utilize a NLP protocol mixing heavy days with volume.
What Supplements Did You Use?
Pretty typical here...whey protein (Diet Doc Protein Blend), multivitamin, BCAAs, glutamine, creatine (cycled depending on competition plan), and during my my hernia recovery I used HMB to preserve muscle. ALL NATURAL!
Advice For Others
It's cliche, but if I can do it anybody can. It's not easy and it doesn't happen over night but the results at the end of the day more than make up for the sacrifice. Not everyone will take it as far as I did in terms of competing (that was just the competitor coming out in me), but gaining control of your life is a truly rewarding experience.
More About Craig Valier
My goals for the upcoming 2010 competition season. April (WNBF Missouri Natural): Class win in Novice, Pro card in Masters 40+; June (WNBF Universe in Barbados) and July (WNBF Mid America): Top 5 Open and Masters Pro classes.