This week I have a fascinating story to share. It’s about a professional blogger & a consultant whom I had met in 2011 at the Microsoft India Development Center where Microsoft had hosted the MVP Open day event for MVP Award Holders. This is six years back when I had met a very passionate person who is energetic, humble and also professional at work. Following our meeting, we have been in touch all these years, but in 2016 I found that there was something drastically changing. It was Pinal who was not only using a fitness band like me but also sharing some great results, and that kept motivating me. I got in touch with Pinal recently to find out his Secret Strategy and also his permission if I can share the same with all of you guys. Let us get started with all the questions & the answers. (Below Photo – Me with Pinal in 2011)
Q. What do you do full-time, your professional & passion?
Answer: I am an Independent SQL Server Consultant and I specialize in SQL Server Performance Tuning. I am confident that I can help any slow running SQL Server to run faster and if I didn’t help with performance, it would be tough to find another expert who knows better. I frequently write about database technology at blog.sqlauthority.com
Being an independent consultant has its own merits and drawbacks. On a positive side, I can take holidays any day, and if I have to attend any family event, I can just attend it without much trouble. Well, this when anyone who works for himself, he ends up working pretty much every single hour of the day. It is sometimes difficult to keep the business and family life separate as well. As I have been doing for a while, I have learned how to balance work and life when working from home.
Q. When did you start this transformation & what was your weight before the activities?
Answer: I have lost over 25 KG so far. It took me around eight months to achieve my goal. So on an average, I have lost over 3 KG every month. Some months are good and some months are just difficult. However, I have my target of losing 4 KG weight every month and most of the month; I have been able to achieve the same.
My entire journey started before 14 months. For the first eight months, I have focused on losing weight via various diet practices. I found that there is not a single diet routine work for effective weight loss. I had to mix up various routines to keep myself away from getting bored and prevent an imbalance in nutrition.
I tried out:
- Juice Therapy – Various detoxing juice for alternative weeks
- Keto Diet – High fat, low carbohydrate diet for 15 days
- Green Diet – Food and health drinks from all the green vegetables
Well, one thing I did consistently during this journey is walking every single day 10,000 steps and ate very little sugar and a little salt. After practicing this for a while, I realized that I reached the state called plateau where I am not losing any more weight, and I am also not feeling great about my fitness.
At this point of time, I have decided to focus on improving my fitness. I started to keep my food simple with less carb, no sugar, and low salt. Along with this, I started to add weight lifting exercise along with my 10,000 steps every day.
This has helped me to get more fit and active. Now I can do a much more physical activity than before at much easiness. Overall, this success motivated me to do is more confident in what I do every day.
Q. Was being fit something in your mind all the time or did someone motivate you?
Answer: The answer to this question is very interesting.
I have seven years old daughter. Last year, when our entire family was watching the cartoon TV serial “Chota Bheem.” While we were watching the episode, suddenly my daughter looked at me and said – “Daddy, you look like Kalia (the fat and big character), I wish you looked like Bheem (the fit lead protagonist).”
I think this touched me very much and I replied to her (and my wife) that I am going to focus on my health and I will transform myself.
Q. Did Technology play a significant role in changing your mindset?
Answer: Yes and Yes.
There are two reasons for two Yes.
- The world is changing, and our attention span is going down every single day. Technology helped me to remember that I need to stay focus on the primary goal. I set up many old school alarm for various activities I should take every day, and it helped me big time.
- Social connection (or peer pressure) – I loved how I was able to use FitBit Challenges and keep myself motivated. I was able to connect every various friend all over the world with a similar mindset to keep myself motivated.
I have learned a lot by watching many different YouTube videos.
Q. We have been a Part of the Fitbit Challenge Groups, what do you think about them?
Answer: Oh, they work absolutely. I could not have done this without my Fitbit group challenges. There are two different types of the challenges in Fitbit. One where we can go solo and another one where we add our social friends. I could not stay motivated when I was working with solo challenges. However, I find it very effective when I have my friends with me. The peer pressure even though they do not say anything all the time, still works and I was able to do 10,000 steps every day.
Q. What has been your strategy? Did you opt for a personal coach in the beginning?
Answer: Initially, I was focused on 10,000 walks and a healthy diet. This did help me till I reach a certain point. After that, I continued a healthy diet but removed as much as a car from my food. Along with this, I started to do weight training.
Currently, I am focusing on following high-intensity weight training, and it works great.
- Push Press
- Push & Jerk
- Bench Press
- Sumo Lift
I also do regular Elbow Planks, which has helped me to get my body core stronger. I indeed opted for a personal trainer, but not initially. I rather focused on learning/practicing various training methodology first, and once I know what I like and what will work with me, I approached the trainer. As I was working out with low intensity of weight and knew lots of methodology and techniques already, it was very easy for my trainer to train me further. He was able to correct my techniques quickly, and we were able to lift much higher weight after that.
Q. What does your typical workout week look like?
Answer: As a consultant who works from home, I sometimes get work at night and sometimes during the day. This means I do not have a regular sleep pattern which is extremely critical for weight loss and fitness. I had learned to overcome this by sleeping whenever I feel dizzy, and it has worked out for me. I make sure that I sleep anywhere between 6 to 8 hours in 24 hours of time. I know it is not a good thing, but this is my current lifestyle due to the nature of my job.
This means I go to work out either in the morning or evening. I go to the gym six days a week.
My routine is pretty constant but full of a variety of exercises. I do three different activities every day at the gym.
- I warm up by doing some squats, push ups or Kettlebell lifts
- I attend a group class of lesmills or Crossfit
- Later on, I try to do 10 -15 minutes of high-intensity weight workout
Finally, in the evening I check my fitness tracker and see I have completed 10,000 steps or not. If I have not completed the 10,000 steps, I go out for a quick walk with my wife, and we complete 10,000 steps together.
“Pinal deadlifting 138 KG. The deadlift is a weight training exercise in which a loaded barbell or bar is lifted off the ground to the hips, then lowered back to the ground.”
Q. What motivates you when you don’t feel like exercising?
Answer: Every single time when I do not feel like a workout, I think of the moment when my daughter compared me to not so fit cartoon character. I think the memory of this conversation is good enough for motivation. Everyone should come up with some their reasons and continuously remember it when they do not feel motivated. Trust me it works.
Q. Do you see a change in your lifestyle after getting fitter?
Answer: Every single day, I feel better than the day before. I can move faster in my daily life and able to do tasks, which I used to depend on others to do.
Let me tell you a real story, a few days ago, movers and packers guys in our apartment had got a couch stuck in the primary elevator. This was creating a lot of inconvenience for many. When I saw the elevator not working, I was happy that I would be able to walk up six stories as I am much more active than before. However, suddenly I noticed that there elderly person who was waiting for the elevator to work as they can’t climb the stairs. I immediately decided to help the movers and packers guys, I squat down and with putting one hand under the couch decided to lift it up. With my left and their push, we were able to bring the furniture out of the elevator.
I think I have still a long way to go, but incidents such as this, helps me stay motivated.
Q. What tips do you have for others who wish to stay fit?
Answer: Yes, three simple tips.
- Get your family along engage in your fitness goals and vision. Without my wife’s care and my daughter’s encouragement, I would have never been able to keep up such an active work life balance.
- Workout 60 minutes for five days a week.
- No sugar, no soda, and low carb diet
Q. What is the next in your fitness journey?
Answer: There are three goals.
- I still need to lose 20 KG of weight, and I am going to focus on that on the year 2017.
- I want to learn more about fitness and the processes. I have been reading a quite a lot about this from authentic materials.
- I want to help inspire everyone who wants to gain fitness.
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (@pinaldave on Twitter) for further conversation. I will be happy to work with you to achieve your fitness goals.
Note from the Author: This ends the story of how Pinal has not only become fit but also motivated me to Join a Gym & Start getting fit. If this Interview & the information in it has helped or motivated you, do share your feedback in the Comments Section below & share this with your friends.