[Q]: "What was your lifestyle like before working with Nico Abaya? When did you know it was time to do something and what prompted change?"
[BL]: Before working with Nico, I used to eat whatever I wanted because I used to travel a lot for work. I knew it was time to change my lifestyle after I saw my friend who had similar weight problems get in shape. He told me his diet used If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), which is what bodybuilders use. Having met Jason and Tri, the owners of Max Muscle San Mateo, a long time ago and seeing how guys like Nico transformed over time, I wanted to seek advice on dieting and working out.
[Q]: "What was your fitness journey like prior to working with Nico? Did you workout? Try other diets?"
[BL]: Prior to working with Nico, I trained doing isolation workouts and tried to dabble in Crossfit until I injured myself. I was prone to back and wrist injuries. I tried fad diets such as Paleo and Atkins, but I would tend to regress after a while because it was not sustainable. I just needed to right meal plan in conjunction with the workout plan to achieve my goals.
[Q]: "What was your experience like? Please share your thoughts about the program itself and give a little insight on how you two worked together to meet your fitness goals."
[BL]: My experience has been great. I started in February 2014. At that time, I would cook my own meals, but Nico realized over time that I was adding too much oil and macros weren’t being calculated correctly. At this time, I was only to drop my body fat down from 20% to 14%. In addition to that, I was not disciplined with my meals. I would find excuses to cheat or tell myself, “This won’t hurt my diet.” It was only recently in April when Nico sat me down and asked: “Do want it bad enough?” I told him, “Hell yeah, I do!” From that point on for about 12 weeks, I ate mostly meal preps prepared by the wonderful team at LoCal Foodz. Their passion and dedication, in addition to Nico’s game plan, to making sure I get what I need food wise to achieve my fitness and nutritional goals has made the difference. In April 2015, I was at around 19.75% body fat. Up until then, I took a hiatus from counting macros and working with Nico. Since working with Nico again, I can clearly say, “DAMN! I never thought I see my body like this. As of August 2015, I'm down to 8% body fat, and I even gained muscle in the process. My self-esteem and morale have boosted too and I now wear size 30-inch waist jeans. I used to wear 32" (maybe 33"). I’m not one to usually seek attention, but seeing my transformation and getting noticed for it is really great feeling.
[Q]: "What obstacles did you have to overcome throughout the program? How did you make it through?"
[BL]: The biggest obstacle to overcome throughout the program was being consistent. For the longest time, I would skip the gym either due to laziness or injury. I was also not consistent with dieting (only eating meal preps 5 out of 7 days a week). In addition to that, I never did cardio. Once I saw that what I was doing wasn’t working, I planned it out with Nico to change my approach. Because I have a busy schedule, I can only dedicate so much time in the gym. We started with 40 minutes on the Stairmaster to 20 minutes on the spin bike HIIT intervals. Once I did that and began eating only meal preps, I started seeing the difference. I began losing 1% body fat each week. After seeing the progress at the 12% body fat mark, I became obsessed. That motivation propelled me to continue going and has ever since. Cumulatively, from April until now, I have lost around 11% body fat. My goal is be around 5% and sustain that.
[Q]: "What advice would you give to someone that is on the fence or interested in starting a program?"
[BL]: Ask yourself: “Do you want it bad enough? Are you willing to be coachable?” If you can answer “yes” truthfully to both of those questions, go for it!
Brian Lee, San Mateo, CA