“I lost 18lbs of fat and feel 15 years younger!”
Darren Smith, 35, wasn’t happy with how he looked and felt so he decided to do something about it. After eight weeks on the New Body Plan he lost 18lbs of fat and felt 15 years younger. Here’s how he achieved his amazing transformation result, and how you can emulate his success
When I left school I was a skinny kid so I joined the gym and got some newbie gains. But then life gets in the way so I stopped training and lost my shape. The realisation came when I was on holiday with my wife and kids last summer. I was just sitting on the beach thinking, I look awful. I never thought this would be me. I just looked a mess. I don’t think I realised how much back fat or stubborn fat I had.
I felt unhappy with what I’d let myself become and I just thought, this stops now. There’s no way I’m going to let this ruin the rest of my life. My daughter was starting school in September and I thought, I don’t want to be fat when I drop her off on her first day.
I was also in a car accident several years ago and I’ve got issues resulting from the accident that I’m still dealing with now so I was worried before I started the plan. Not because I thought I wouldn’t stick to it but because I didn’t want my injuries to prevent me from completing it. I’ve just had a nerve conduction study done on my hand and I’ve got early stage Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, which means I haven’t got a lot of grip strength. I’ve also got bursitis [when fluid-filled sacs that cushion your joints become inflamed] on my shoulders, which I’m having physiotherapy for. But I bought some straps and different hooks to help me lift and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
I loved the plan for the first session. I loved the way it was structured and by the time I had done the first week I felt like a different person. Then within two or three weeks my clothes were too big for me. I had bought a load of new clothes to take with me on holiday that hid my fat but within two or three weeks of starting the plan most of them were too baggy around my waist.
My mood was the biggest change. I think I had sleep-walked into how I felt. When my daughter was born she had chronic reflux so she couldn’t sleep. Every 45 minutes she was awake being sick and that happened for about nine months. That really took its toll and that was probably the first time I put weight on. Then I got into this position where I always felt like my batteries were about to run out. Everything felt like a chore. When I look back it felt like I had about a day left on my batteries but doing the plan felt like someone has put some new ones in. Now I feel like I’m constantly buzzing. I feel happy and everyone has been commenting on it. The New Body Plan community on Twitter has also helped. I follow the lads that regularly comment and it gives you a sense of belonging.
Because I was on such a high by the end of the first week I thought, right, this is going to be me now. This is how I’m going forwards. Not just for the eight weeks but for the rest of my life. I’m going to get myself into the best shape of my life. The plan has given me my youth back. It has taken me back to now I felt when I was younger. Yes, I’m the one who has had to lift the weights but I’d give the credit to the plan because it is what incentivised me to make the change.
There were a couple of sessions where I trained at about nine o’clock at night after work and I didn’t feel like doing it but I told myself, if you don’t do it you’re throwing the week away. I needed a day in between sessions to give my grip the chance to recover so if I missed a session then that week would spill over into the next week. I felt like there would always be an excuse not to train so I made sure that, no matter how I felt, I just got in there and did the workout. I’d just think to myself, I’ve got to get these four workouts a week in and I’ve got to do them one way or another.
My advice to anyone thinking of doing the plan is to embrace it and enjoy it. Doing a body transformation programme can be quite daunting, especially if you’re new to training. But it’s such an enjoyable process and when you’re getting results doing something that you enjoy, there’s no better feeling. Just stick with it and the results will come.
I feel fitter now than I’ve ever felt and I’ve done it doing something that I’ve loved. I feel better at work and I feel energised all the time. I feel excited about everything and I think a big part of that is because I’ve got something back for myself. As a parent you put yourself last and that’s the right way. That’s what you should do. Life becomes your wife and kids and your work and they become your priorities. Because of that you sort of lose yourself a bit. But this has given me a balance of getting what I love without detracting from my family life or getting in the way of my working life.
I feel like a young lad again. I feel like I could be 18 in terms of fitness and how I feel in my everyday life. And I didn’t feel like that before I did the plan. I felt like I was heading towards my 40s out of shape and thinking, this happens to loads of men and this is going to be me. I’d almost resigned myself to it. But now I’m not going to be that guy. By the time I’m 40 I’m going to look a million times better than I did when I was 20.