Leading from the Front – Joe Thiede Transformation
Owning a gym seems like a great way to stay in shape right? I mean you’re in the ideal environment 24/7 so how can there be any excuses to not looking “the part”? Joe – and like many other gym owners out there – didn’t find this to be the case. As he focused on growing his business, Train Harder CrossFit, his fitness and physique declined. Whether you’re a gym owner or not, we’re sure you’ll resonate with Joe’s story of how other demands in life took priority over his own well-being. Read on to find out what Joe did when he finally reached his breaking point.
Joe Thiede Testimonial
“Being surrounded by CrossFit and positive people all day is awesome, but the high energy can actually be exhausting and wear you out. It didn’t happen all of a sudden one day. It was a gradual shift in my overall habits that started with me skipping workouts here and there, resorting to quick and convenient food without thinking of the consequences, drinking more frequently to cope with the daily stress and exhaustion. Of course doing all those things only exacerbated the fatigue I was feeling but the domino effect had taken control. My health and fitness took a backseat to my business as did my “me time”.
My “uh oh” moment was when I saw a few pictures of myself participating in the CrossFit Open 2018 – plus a bodyfat test shortly after was a real wake up call! It wasn’t pretty. As a gym owner I was disappointed in myself. I should be setting a good example, not slowly allowing my health to decline and blaming it on age or being “too busy.” My health simply wasn’t a priority. Nothing and nobody else was to blame but myself. I knew I had to accept responsibility and step up and make a change.
I met Jason at a CrossFit seminar and mostly talked business. I had no idea he was the owner of Own Your Eating that day. Shortly after stalking him a little on facebook I saw that he was the founder of OYE with his wife Roz. A few weeks later, I told my wife (who had fallen in the same unhealthy habits as me) that we should try the nutrition program with Own Your Eating. We both signed up for the essential package and were lucky enough to get to work with Jason. I personally hate tracking anything, but I knew things needed to change so I made the commitment to try it for a few weeks.
I tracked on My Fitness Pal for 3 weeks using the OYE macro calculator and saw a noticeable difference and then I bought the essential package myself. The personal weekly check ins and the weekly worksheet are very simple – remember I hate numbers and tracking, if I can do this, you can do this! They also really help to keep you accountable. I was literally melting away my extra body fat! I couldn’t believe it! I felt better and performed better in the gym.
Then it happened. I believe it was week 5 or 6. I was down 10 pounds and suddenly, almost overnight, I felt like I was starving. There’s no other way to describe it except feeling like I was ravenous all the time! I had no idea about “reverse dieting” and honestly I was ready to give up thinking there’s no way I could carry on feeling this way. But that’s when the magic happened. Jason said my body was ready to start reverse dieting and that we could add more food to my day. I was ecstatic! After a few days my body started to feel the effects of the additional calories and I felt awesome again. Then a few weeks later it happened again!…I was HUNGRY… Jason listened to me and gave me more macros…. I’m 19 weeks in and still getting more macros! It’s almost becoming a struggle to get all this food in! ?
I started at 1,600 calories a day and now 19 weeks later I’m at over 3,000 calories!
“Flexible Eating” is huge for me. Enjoying a doughnut, a small bag of chips, a beer, or sour patch kids a couple times week, as long as it fits your macros, is a nice way to eat without feeling restricted. I don’t live on those foods though. Jason and Roz have done an amazing job at impressing upon us the 80/20 rule as a balanced approach to our nutrition. We stay aware of trying to eat good quality whole foods 80 percent of the time and don’t stress out about the rest.
Simply put, this program isn’t that difficult. There’s no complex templates or meal plans to follow. You get actual coaching! If you’re not doing this properly then you need to take a hard look at yourself and figure out how or why you’re sabotaging your own opportunity for success. That might come across as harsh, but I was able to do this as a spreadsheet-hating vegetarian! – and don’t forget all the aforementioned duties and priorities of being a gym owner. This would be MUCH easier with animal protein. I actually did this 99 percent vegan – I’ve had a couple of veggie omelettes the past 19 weeks when I needed to hit my protein.
Nobody was shoving food and drinks down my throat to make me unhealthy. I did that to myself. We always have the power to say “no”. What it boils down to is being able to deal with the discomfort of whatever it is you’re saying no to. The rewards of being healthier and losing weight feels far better than the short-lived experience of eating two baskets of french fries while slamming beers.
It takes less than 4 weeks to get on track if you are hitting your numbers right on. That is no time at all in the grand scheme of things. If you live to be 85, then that’s 4420 weeks. That’s a lot of living! You can easily commit to 4 of those weeks! I’m not a numbers guy but when you do the math it just makes sense that you at least give this a shot. 4 weeks is less than 0.09% of your life. It’s a teeny tiny little slither of time, so small you probably couldn’t even see it in a pie chart. It would be like a crumb of cake. You owe it to yourself to go all in for 4 weeks and just see where this takes you. EVERYTHING gets easier. An infinitely better quality of life is waiting for you. Or you can keep doing what you’re doing and see where the next 4,416 weeks takes you.
Joe Thiede Interview
When did you start Flexible Eating & how did you get started?
19 weeks ago, I got started off my wife’s plan – the Lifestyle Essential Program – for 3 weeks, then realized how great it worked and that I needed the personalized weekly check-ins to take things to the next level.
What prompted you to get started?
My wife started and the tracking, check-ins, and weighing food were surprisingly simple so I started too. Before getting started I was using the challenges of “tracking and weighing” as another excuse not to watch what I was eating. But the truth is that tracking and weighing your food isn’t hard and it truly adds very little time to your day.
How much weight have you lost?
I’ve lost between 10-12 pounds, but have also gained muscle, especially since starting the reverse dieting process.
What other changes have you noticed in your body or in general?
My body is completely different! I have never been in better shape. I’m having PR’s weekly at the gym in everything! Workout times, lifts, attendance, running times, rowing times. I am only doing class wods 5 or 6 days a week, so an hour a day, because that’s all I can commit to with still making sure I spend enough time focussing on running the box as well as maintaining my own personal downtime. My energy is way up, I barely take naps anymore. I actually used to fall asleep texting sometimes, how crazy is that?! My confidence is also up, partly because I feel better about my body but also because I see and feel what I’m capable of when I put my mind to something. It only took a few weeks for my energy levels to start soaring which made me want to go to the gym more and sleep better. The positive effects just keep snowballing.
What has been your biggest obstacle that you have overcome or are working on?
As a vegetarian the biggest challenge has been trying to get most of my macros from real food, and limited soy products. Protein shakes are great, but I don’t want to live on them. I am getting that all figured out though.
What’s the one thing you previously would have deprived yourself of on a diet that you now get to enjoy guilt-free?
Candy and chips!
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone that is just getting started?
Hit your numbers! There is magic in those numbers. Remember you will get more macros down the road. When you’re starting out, make sure you have MCT oil (all fat macros) available, Isopure protein drink (all protein) and bananas (all carbs). Basically, have a macro dominant food source available for each macro. When your numbers seem messed up at the end of the day, you can easily mix these 3 ingredients together to be able to hit triple 0’s. The diligence pays off and there is a light at the end of tunnel. You’ll get more macros and you’ll also get your body back to a state where it can easily recover from illness or training. This is sustainable eating and nutrition. It’s not a diet or a fad way of eating. You know exactly what you are eating and you start to learn about the foods you’re putting in your body and make better choices. Just be honest with yourself and TRACK EVERYTHING YOU EAT.
You owe it to yourself and your family to be healthy and live your life as the best version of yourself.