Want to lose weight? Read this! An expat shares his inspiring weight loss journey, and how his total body transformation with Ultimate Performance Singapore has benefited every aspect of his life.
Tom’s tipping point
Long work hours, high stress levels and a whole lot of lockdown was the perfect recipe for weight gain, high blood pressure and a less-than-healthy lifestyle, says TOM PLEWNIAK (40), a Polish-German expat and sales director of a fast-paced start-up technology company.
“Sitting at my desk in Zoom calls all day, not getting enough sleep, drinking lots of coffee and making unhealthy food choices – then, ending most evenings with a beer or sweet desserts, or both – all added up one by one,” says Tom.
“I realised that I could no longer keep up with my young daughter’s energy when she wanted to play, and carrying her at bedtime hurt my back and left me in pain. Each month, I saw my weight go up a little bit, and by her fourth birthday, I was suddenly at 87kg. I was clearly very overweight, and I was feeling less and less confident with my body. I was still pretending that it’s not that bad and denying my decline. But, I knew things should change.”
And, then, the real kicker came one night in July 2021 when his wife said, “Tom, you got fat!”
He knew he needed professional fitness and nutrition guidance to lose weight. So, he turned to Ultimate Performance Singapore (U.P.), a personal training gym in Singapore that’s known for its no-nonsense approach and hard-evidence results.
Tom’s incredible weight loss journey
Since August 2021, Tom has trained with U.P. trainer Lawrence three times a a week, incorporating lots of weight lifting and compound exercise that works several muscle groups at the same time.
“Lawrence customised a programme for me based on my motivations and goals. He even made me pick a celebrity physique to aim for; I said ‘Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.’”
Initially, Tom didn’t love the workouts because they took some serious effort.
“The exercises were killing me and I was leaving the gym completely exhausted every time. I was even angry with my trainer for pushing me too hard,” he says.
“But, after a while, I just started to get excited by the progress. My weight started to drop a little bit each week, my progress pictures looked better each time, and I was actually becoming stronger every week.”
In just 16 weeks, Tom lost 12kg of weight. “I even had visible abs for the first time in my life!” he says.
And, in addition to his physical body transformation, Tom’s health improved, too. His body fat percentage dropped from 24 to 11, and his blood pressure went from an elevated 140/9 to a healthy 120/80.
“‘Where the excuses stop, and the results begin’ is written on the gym wall at U.P. – and, I think it’s an adequate summary of what they do,” says Tom. In short, they deliver serious results!
The results were so impressive, in fact, that a stranger who saw Tom’s review of U.P. on Google had to do a double take. “The guy checked my LinkedIn page to make sure my ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos were real, and not airbrushed,” says Tom.
5 major gains from his weight loss journey
With his drastic weight loss, Tom gained a whole lot, including;
#1 The ability to make healthier diet choices
“While the physical transformation is cool, it’s frankly not even the most important element. I learned a lot about making smarter food choices, and how surprisingly easy and enjoyable it is to eat healthily,” he says. “In fact, I became really interested in fitness, and I feel that I found a new healthy hobby.”
These days, Tom does not have to eat different foods than he did before. It’s all about portions.
“What I like about this transformation programme is that I did not have to change my diet radically. I still eat the same things that I used to enjoy. I just eat less, as I’m keeping track of portion sizes and calories.”
#2 Boosted confidence
Now, more confident in his body than ever, Tom could not be be happier with his decision to enlist the help of U.P. to guide him on his weight loss journey.
“I had tried ‘going to the gym’ many times. But, looking back, I really had no idea what I was doing. At Ultimate Performance Singapore, I had an expert by my side who cared about my goals, and was committed to helping me achieve them. And, I could see myself moving in the right direction every single week.”
#3 Improved energy levels
And, thanks to his drastic weight loss, Tom’s energy levels have improved tremendously – an advantage for not just him, but everyone in his life, really.
“Having more energy benefits my family, as I am able to help around the house and play with my daughter,” he says. “It even benefits my colleagues and customers, as I am more present and energetic all around.”
#4 A fulfilling sense of achievement
“I realised just how much I could achieve with dedication and discipline. That is something that I can apply to other parts of my life as well,” says Tom. “I feel like I can even be a role model to my family with regards to health and fitness.”
And, he has become that role model, inspiring others to lead healthier lifestyles. He’s even convinced his wife to lose weight and eat more healthily. Impressed by her husband’s complete body transformation, she began working with U.P. to lose weight and achieve a similar body transformation of her own!
#5 Motivation to maintain his newfound health
“I took 40 years to become fat and unhealthy, and then only four months to completely turn things around. I simply don’t want to go back to the old me – and that keeps me motivated. Many times, I have wished that I had done this a long, long time ago.”
In addition to keeping the weight off, Tom wants to continue to get stronger and continue to improve his fitness overall.
“I am not naïve, and realise that, with age, our health and fitness will decline. But, when I had a doctor tell me that I simply needed to accept the fact that our bodies become weaker with age, I kind of just refused the concept,” he says. “I want be as fit and as strong as possible. I want to set a really high baseline for my strength, fitness and overall health.”