Wow, is all we can say to preface this PFC Fitness Camp weight loss success story.
Canadian Roderick McLean, aka Rod, attended PFC’s weight loss camp about three years ago overweight, suffering from hypertension, knee pain, and dependent on blood pressure medication. While at PFC, Rod lost 50 lbs. and since then, has blown us away throughout his health journey. As we preach at PFC, our fitness & weight management program is not solely based on weight loss while at camp, but a full life transformation that continues to improve and evolve long after you leave. Rod is quite the testament to our philosophy and proof that anything is possible when you change your mindset and make your health your number one priority.
Read on to be inspired by Rod’s incredible transformation.
Rod’s Fast Facts
Name: Roderick (“Rod”) A. McLean
Hometown & State: Belcarra, British Columbia, Canada
Before Weight: 361lbs.
After Weight: 229lbs.
Before Body Fat: 44%
After Body Fat: 18%
Before Pant Size: 56
After Pant Size: 38
I still have “mild” hypertension — but have been able (over the past 3 years) to reduce my once-daily Blood Pressure medication (i.e., Norvasc) from a 20 mg tablet daily to a 05 mg tablet daily — and as well to have been able to eliminate completely my 10 mg Diuretic tablet). My Blood Pressure is now in the 140/80 range.
When exercising, I am now able to get my Heart Rate up to a 125 – 130 bpm within (say) 8 minutes of being on a TreadMill. But equally as significant, once I lower the “angle” of the TreadMill from Level 10 back to Level 01, my Heart Rate drops to under 80 bpm within 2 minutes.
Aches and Pains:
Whilst at PFC, I had my left knee “repaired” (an ACL tear along with numerous meniscus tears) by Dr. Greg Loren at the Scripps Medical Centre. This surgical repair combined with the loss of weight (and thus the huge reduction of weight “loading” on my knees) has totally eliminated the pain that I used to suffer in my knees. Similarly my lower-back pain has been eliminated. I have had “Trigger Point Injection” therapy (which involves the injection at numerous sites of a large-barrelled needle filled with saline solution and Vitamin B12) for both shoulders, my IT bands, both knees and my hip flexors. As a result, I now have a tremendous ‘range-of-motion’ with an absence of pain or discomfort.
Whilst at PFC, I attended the offices of Dr. Kirk Parsley (a former Navy SEAL) at Dr. Lee Rice’s San Diego Wellness Clinic. Kirk has now left Dr. Rice’s Clinic — but I am certain that there are other doctors currently on staff that can address “sleep issues”. Good sleep hygiene is SO very important. It took a while for all of my “Adrenal” issues to be addressed and for my Cortisol levels to be reduced to a normal level!
What was your tipping point that led you to the decision to find a camp like PFC?
I was in the process of retiring from my career of administering our family business, and realized (with the support and encouragement of Beverley) that if I was to merely stay at home, binge-watch Sons of Anarchy and drink bourbon every evening — I would probably not have lived for too long! PFC taught me the concept of “Self Care” which made a huge difference in my life — and allowed me to move forward in this direction of my taking better care of “me”! In my “past life” (I.e., pre-PFC) I would have equated “Self Care” to being selfish — whereas, now I realize just how important it is for an individual to take better care of themselves (and their mental, emotional and physical health!).
What did you love most about your experience at PFC Fitness Camp?
Bearing in mind that my initial stay at PFC was for 12 weeks. I remember learning that a “bad habit” can be extinguished in a 3 or 4 week timeframe — but in order to “learn a new (and positive) behavior” the process takes 10 weeks (or more). I was most certainly able to learn and to firmly establish numerous new “positive behaviors” (such things as eating better and making better dietary choices; physically exercising daily; mediating (through long Hikes and through listening to music and reading); sleeping better (through consistently practicing better “sleep hygiene” — I.e., ensuring that I get adequate sleep every night, and through being more disciplined, I have now been able to reduce my cortisol and adrenalin levels — and have (as a “bonus” byproduct) been able to more consistently regulate both my ghrelin and leptin).
What was the biggest Transformation you saw in yourself at Camp and after you left?
The biggest transformation occurred when I went home and committed to the healthy routine I learned while at PFC Fitness Camp. I now work-out for 1.0 hour, 4 times per week (with a Personal Trainer); and then, on the way home from the Gym stop at a small lake near to our home and walk the wilderness trails and finish-off my hike with a swim in the lake. The combined Hike/Swim usually takes 2.0 hours. On my non-WorkOut days, I still go for a Power Hike (usually accompanied by Beverley).
Whilst at PFC, I would, on a regular basis, carry 60 lbs of weight on my Walks around the PFC/La Costa Complex in an effort to reinforce the fact that I had (at that juncture) lost 60 lbs. My continuing to pack-around a big rock in my backpack is to continue to provide this additional “resistance” in my training — combined with a “reinforcement” of how difficult it is to actually carry-around all of that “extra weight” on a 24/7/365 basis!]
How did you integrate the PFC lifestyle at home to continue your success?
I am fortunate that my wife, Beverley is a “clean-living” woman with a medical background (noting that she is a retired surgical nurse) so she is able to ensure that my dietary choices are “sound” and that I keep-up both my exercise regimen and my diet. As set-out above, I am presently 229 lbs. and have revisited my original “target weight” of 220 lbs. downwards to a flat/even 200 lbs.!
Do you have a PFC Fit Tip That You Could Share?
My PFC “Fit Tip” would be this: I feel quite confident in saying that almost everyone of my fellow “Campers” that I met whilst at PFC exhibited similar “issues” —- which ranged from:
* lack of impulse control
* high stress levels
* lack of mindful eating habits, and
* poor sleep hygiene
All of the foregoing “issues” seemed (at least for me) to resolve around the major issue of my “always being hungry”.
The reason(s), it turned out, for my constant state of hunger was inter-related and inter-connected. I have set-out Five Tips on how to Best Deal with Hunger (noting that these comments have been excerpted from an article by Ms. Leslie Beck who is a Toronto-based Registered Dietician that helped me incorporate my PFC habits easily). Ms. Beck’s article really resonated with me — and I believe that it will be of great interest to other PFC Campers in dealing with their own hunger-related “demons”!
Tame the Hunger Beast:
If one takes “hunger” — and adds to the feeling of “anger” that comes with knowingly making poor food choices — one arrives at a definition of being “hungry”!
1. Skimping on Breakfast:
Skimping on the morning meal can trigger cravings hunger and overeating later in the day (as a result of one’s ghrelin levels have increased). Missing breakfast (or foregoing carbohydrates at the meal also causes serotonin levels to drop — which can, in turn, rev-up one’s appetite (especially for sweets). As you well know, serotonin helps to regulate appetite, mood and digestion! A healthy breakfast, therefore, should include such items as Greek yoghurt, eggs, soy milk, low-glycemic index carbohydrates (such as steel-cut oats).
Research has confirmed that oftentimes we confuse “hunger” with our merely being “thirsty”. If one does not stay hydrated, he/she will feel tired and will oftentimes then turn to food to boost one’s energy! If you feel hungry after eating, drink a large glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, then eat a small healthy snack. The hunger-suppressing effect of water will help you to consume less calories at a typical meal.
By making smart choices in-between meals, we can ensure that we can prevent large dips in blood glucose and to avoid feeling ravenous by meal time. Between-meal snacks should include protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates. To control calories, snacks should be in the 150 – 250 calorie range.
4. Speed of Eating:
If you eat too quickly, you don’t give your brain time enough to register the fact that you’ve actually had enough T to ear (even if your stomach is full!). Eating more slowly (and “mindfully”) ensures that appetite-related hormones will be released and will send the appropriate signals to your brain to let you know that it is time to stop eating. So, slow down your pace of eating by putting down your knife and fork and pausing for a minute, chew more bites with each mouthful. Don’t watch TV whilst eating a meal!
If you get the recommended 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night, you can drive-away hunger and sugar cravings during the following day. Similar to chronic stress, too little sleep increases cortisol and raises ghrelin. And then, once your hormone levels are elevated, one invariably starts searching for food to provide a boost of energy — even it you don’t feel hungry.
Additionally, I purchased a FitBit digital weigh scale (model name is “Aria”). It loads-up all of my Body Fat, Weight information (via BlueTooth) to my iPad/iPhone — and provides me with detailed charts and read outs. I highly recommend this scale to anyone who wants to “hold themselves accountable” in their Weight Loss Journey.