View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Eric Maher lives in Sparks, Nevada and joined a 12-week fitness challenge at Anytime Fitness Reno/Sparks to help hold himself accountable during the holiday season. The interview was conducted at the 6-week mark of the 12-week challenge and has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Update: After 12 weeks, Eric won the ” Most Body Fat % Loss (Male) ” award with an amazing 10.9 pounds of fat loss.
Struggling with health
My fitness journey began 8 years ago. Because of health complications that stem partly from Crohn’s Disease, I had my thyroid removed as well as a large section of my large intestine. After the removal, I needed the use of an ostomy bag. During this time I was not taking care of myself. I smoked, drank, and ate fast food for every meal. I had a fatty liver. And I experienced tingling at the bottom of my feet, which is a sign of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
I decided I couldn’t let my illness be an excuse any longer, and I took action. I took that year’s tax return and walked into Anytime Fitness and paid for three months of training sessions up front. After that, I haven’t looked back.
Fighting emotional eating
I am an emotional eater. I get anxious around certain situations and it leads me to make poor food choices. My weight goes up and down and sometimes I fall off my diet
The end of the year is a rough time. I work a 40-hour a week job at a hospital but then I run a non-profit which itself is a full-time job. It’s stressful. The challenge was something I could focus on when I had downtime and keep myself accountable.
Going beyond BMI to reach success
The 12-week challenge began when I first tested on the InBody. What was interesting to learn from the InBody Result Sheet was that you shouldn’t base everything on BMI. I work in a hospital, and they run different health programs for employees. They always just give you your BMI, so that’s what I would focus on.
There were times I thought I was a failure because my BMI was not changing. If you look at my results from the start of the challenge to now, my BMI went down 0.3. But looking at my InBody Results showed that my Skeletal Muscle Mass went up 3 pounds and my body fat went down by 7 pounds. Body composition was a much better indicator of what’s really going on in my body.
Finding resources to maintain the progress
Even though I was working out on regularly before this challenge, my diet was lacking. Because my digestive system is short, I can’t eat whole vegetables, so I had to learn how to get my nutrients through other means. I am using a meal prep company out of Texas during this challenge and I work with my trainer to optimize my macronutrients.
I was very shocked at my muscle gain in the first 6 weeks of the challenge. It blew me away because I’ve never had that kind of results.