QA: Mick Waters hit 126kg and decided to change

BEFORE_AFTER_WEBSITE

Mick Waters a Sleekgeek Group Moderator is well known in the community as a keen advocate for Banting, “powered by fat,” eating lots of steak and trail running long distances on the mountain when not at the gym. 

Name: Mick Waters
Age: 44ish
Location: Cape Town

What do you do? [Job]
Software Solutions Architect.

What else do you do? [Hobbies, non-work stuff, etc]
I run, mostly trail. I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, fishing, walking my dogs and researching topics that interest me.

YOU AND SLEEKGEEK

How did you find Sleekgeek?
A friend recommended it.

How long have you been a member of Sleekgeek?
Almost 3 years.

What is your favourite part of the Sleekgeek Community?
The accountability and support you get from the community.

YOUR TRANSFORMATION

Describe the “old you” before you made your transformation. How did you get there and what were you like?
I was never really the skinny kid amongst my friends. I lost weight while travelling and working in the UK, but that was not a sustainable lifestyle of parties and little sleep.

When I returned I was pretty thin, but lots of beer and local food soon caught up with me and I found myself at 107kg. I joined Weigh-less and managed to lose weight and started training with a trainer, which I really enjoyed. I was not able to keep up with the cost of a trainer as life changed and expenses increased but carried on training on my own.

My eating was on a downhill slide as I had convinced myself that because I was running and training I could eat and drink what I wanted to, however, this was not true. After a few unfortunate events, I ended up stopping pretty much all exercise and just spending my time ‘enjoying’ life.

Old me drank lots of beer, wine and whisky and ate whatever I felt like and was normally hungover on a Monday morning from a good weekend partying.

I was 126kg by the time I woke up and realized I needed to change.

Mick Waters

What ignited your initial motivation to change?
I confronted myself in the mirror and was not at all happy with what I saw. I was extremely overweight and tired of buying bigger clothes. I would not walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath and could not play active games with my kids. It was time for a drastic change.

What are some of the things that the new you does differently now?
New me is much more educated about the foods that work for me and reads labels. I don’t eat processed foods or refined carbs and have been following a banting lifestyle for the last 3+ years. I train and run 6-7 days a week and have run further in the past year that I ever imagined a would run. New me is on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

What are some of the things that the new you still struggles with?
I struggle with sweets. If I have even just one or 2 of my kid’s sweets I want to eat the entire packet. I also struggle with rest days, they make me tired.

If you could give yourself one piece of advice to help with that struggle, what would it be?
Just like an addict needs to stay clear of drugs or alcohol, I need to stay clear of sugar.

Did you plateau, get stuck, or get disillusioned, or even slide backwards a bit on your journey?
Yes, I plateaued for 8 weeks about 6 months into my journey, but I had made so much progress, I was able to continue by making small changes – one at a time.

What is better since you got healthy?
In short, everything.

I have more energy, sleep better, don’t snore, have less pain and inflammation. I am happier and more active with my kids, more confident and mentally more stable. Being overweight was a depressing experience.

TRAINING

What’s your favourite form of exercise? [Running, yoga, weightlifting, etc]
I find it hard to choose, I really love both running and weight training.

How long have you been training and how did you get started?
On and off I have trained since my late 20’s. Working with a trainer really got me started and interested in weight training. I used to do cross country running at school and was not bad at it. I have enjoyed running every time I have been fit enough to run with ease.

What does your typical workout look like?
I train upper body 3 times a week. My workout varies from a 5×5 strong lift routine to a high rep hypertrophy routine, sometimes a mix between the 2. I train legs and abs twice a week and focus on exercises that help with my running strength.

Favorite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
There are so many to choose from… I enjoy weighted pull-ups, dumbbell presses, fly’s, shoulder press, squats and lateral raises.

Least favourite exercise? [Distance / pose / movement / etc]
I make a point of not having a least favourite exercise. I believe if you don’t like an exercise, it’s because you are not good at it, so I make a point of becoming good at the ones I don’t like.

How does exercise make you feel?
Alive, invigorated and full of energy. Even after a long day when I am tired, it wakes me up and makes me feel great.

Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Other than a trainer I have always trained alone, mostly due to circumstance. I do enjoy running with a partner of similar strength. However, I mostly run alone or with my dogs.

Most embarrassing training moment?
Removing a plate from a bench press bench and the whole bar went flying with the weight on the other side. Moral: not all benches are created equally.

Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag?
Spare socks, underwear and my training log book.

I always forget underwear and socks… sometime even a shirt for afterwards.

Your next training goal?
Marloth 55km Mountain Trail

Top 5 songs on your training playlist?
I don’t have a playlist.

How has exercise/training/Sport Changed your life? [Made it better, etc – please be specific]
I am physically stronger than I have ever been. I am more confident with myself and in public. I feel healthy and that the decisions I make on a daily basis are helping me. I have taken responsibly for the fact that I make myself fat and only I can fix that, which I have done.

NUTRITION

What’s your favourite meal?
Ribeye steak.

OK, now what’s your favourite healthy meal?
Ribeye steak with mushroom and brussel sprout cream sauce.

Favourite protein?
Ribeye steak.

Favourite fat?
Butter.

Favourite carbohydrate?
LOL.

What’s your nutrition philosophy/approach? [If you have one]
I follow banting and find that my body functions best when I eat to my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). I lose weight better when I eat enough food.

How many meals a day do you eat?
2-3 depending on how hungry I am.

Do you have a cheat meal/treat strategy?
I eat Banting desserts, but that fits in with my plan. I try not to cheat outside of that because I am aware that I am a sugar addict.

MINDSET

Most memorable personal best achievement to date. Something you maybe never imagined you could do?
Reaching my goal of losing 46kg and weighing less at 43 than I did at 18.

Favorite quote?
Discipline is choosing between what you want most and what you want now.” Abraham Lincoln

Favourite book?
Facebook.

What inspires and motivates you?
Progress, whether it’s in the gym, on the road or seeing others progress towards their goals.

For what are you most grateful?
I have been able to restore my health and can be there for my family.

What do you want to say to other community members who might be nervous or hesitant to make a start?
The longer you delay for, the longer it will take to reach your goals. Your only live once and nobody really knows when it will end, so why delay?

You will be happier and healthier when you become the newer you than you are right now.

What are your top 5 tips for anyone starting on a healthy journey

  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Focus on creating sustainable habits.
  • It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. Once you start seeing it this way it becomes much easier.
  • Find a lifestyle you can stick with.
  • Make small changes monitor what works and change what doesn’t.


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