I lost 80 pounds in 14 months

Most people don’t plan to fail they fail to plan

Buy a cooler for your meals invest in a gym bag to carry your supplements everywhere you go

By: Mike Gaunt
Magazine 16 #2

With my 3P system – Purpose Planning Persistence

I have always been a competitive athlete. From elementary school all the way through my adult years I played baseball, football and lifted weights, but something happened. In my mid twenties I got married, started a family, and began the climb up the corporate ladder. In the midst of it all, I believed I didn't have time to take care of myself by eating properly and exercising; I had bigger priorities. I believe that is the lie we tell ourselves as we get older when our health seems to deteriorate and the weight starts to pile on. We seem to accept this lifestyle as part of the aging process like our best days are behind us. We live in the past by talking about the "good old days" and what we used to be, as if it's an acceptable rite of passage which feeds into that line of thinking. Well, who doesn't have a job, a family, responsibilities and priorities in their lives?

Living a healthy lifestyle has to become a choice at some point; just as it's our choice to work, get married and to raise a family. I remember when my defining moment came, about 14 months ago. I was lying on the couch at 305 pounds complaining about how bad my knees and back hurt, and about how I had no energy. My wife broke down in tears. She said she was concerned that I was not going to be there for her and our daughter; and that she was afraid that I might die. I had a choice at that moment to keep allowing life as I knew it to be my excuse or to invest in my life and others around me. I realized at that time that the decisions we make do not only affect us, but those around us. I got off the couch the next day and decided to do something, although I did not know what that something would be.

Mike Gaunt back on stage

Mike-Gaunt 305 pounds
Wondered why I weighed 305 pounds?

The thing I did first was rely on what I had known in the past, and that was to get out of the house what I considered "bad food". The next thing I did was join the gym and then I rearranged my schedule to accommodate the time I would need to make these things fit into my day. I remember the first day in the gym. I felt embarrassed and ashamed of what I had allowed myself to become because most people there were well on their way to being in shape or had already accomplished their goals and were maintaining what they have achieved up to that point. I bought the oversized clothes, tuna, chicken and diet drinks, and so the journey began. I quickly realized I was determined to change my life but often thought I was in over my head because I felt lost and discouraged. It had been years since I had been in this arena. The biggest mistake I made early on was trying to do it on my own. I also sought advice from people who were just as lost as I was. I blindly went into the local vitamin store and bought the supplements with the neatest pictures on them that claimed to make me look like a Greek God in no time. Along with eating the no taste, high protein foods, I cut all the fat out of my diet; makes sense, right? I tortured myself with supplements that I had to hold my nose to drink and ate the food that was boring, because being healthy is suppose to be torture, as we see on T.V. You know the show where people work out all day, collapse off the treadmill and eat at Subway. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

I found out very quickly that being healthy can be fun if you find the right people and the right brands to implement into your life. I also discovered that food and supplements can taste great as well as really work the way they are supposed to. So, I am going to save you a lot of time, energy and effort, for I have made the mistakes, met the people and have taken the supplements that will get you on the right path to the first day of your new journey.

Don’t you hate it when you realize you are lost and have to turn around to get back on the right road after driving a hundred miles out of your way? I am going to introduce you to the right people, the right brands and a proven method that I have developed on my 14 month journey that has taken me to being a competitive bodybuilder weighing in at 225pounds, 6 feet 1 inch tall at the age of 45. I just placed 4th in the largest bodybuilding show in the country while holding down a full time job as the V.P.O. of a finance company, raising my daughter Lauren, and maintaining a 22 year marriage to my beautiful wife Jeannetta; not bad for a fat old man from Hebron, Ky. If you will use my story as your defining moment, I can promise you that you will leave behind the shame and guilt. You will start talking about today and tomorrow instead of the "good old days" of the past. You will be more confident in your abilities to achieve anything you set out to do in life and you will meet people that will impact your life and those around you forever. Are you ready? My system is simply called the 3P system, BRILLIANT! You can remember 3Ps, Simple is better is what I always say.

Purpose Planning Persistence

The first of the 3P system is:Purpose — I found that in order to stick with something, you need to have a purpose and not just a goal. A goal would be something like, losing weight for a wedding, a reunion, for a season or for one of those beginning of the year resolutions; you know what I am talking about. You go on the crash diet and walk around the neighborhood, you might even lose 10 or 20 pounds, but as soon as the event is over, you gain it all back, and then some, because the goal was achieved. I am talking about real purpose like meeting your unborn grandchildren, watching your daughter get married, participating in your children's life dreams, living a long life with your spouse, staying off medications, being an above average person in our society and inspiring others to live healthy. My purpose started out to help myself. I also wanted to inspire others to achieve their goals and purposes in life, that's the reason I am sharing my life with you now. I am a very private person but feel compelled to share myself with others and break out of my comfort zone to achieve my purpose, not my goal. A purpose is something that is woven into your very being such as your religious beliefs or political affiliation, and something you will not compromise for anything in this world. For those of us who aren’t so deep, another illustration would be, Ford or Chevy, cable or satellite; you get the picture.

The next step in the 3P system is:

Plan — You can’t succeed without planning. Try going to work without your computer tomorrow or going to work without your tools if you are a mechanic, you will fail. I used to get up every day without packing my meals for the day, without a plan to move physically and wondered why I weighed 305 pounds? Most people don't plan to fail they fail to plan and I had no plan . Planning requires research to make sure you are on the right path to achieve your purpose. I talked about that earlier and I have good news! I have done it all for you. Always check the reputation of those you seek advice from and always research the companies you want to do business with, especially if you are going to put their products in your body. Would you ask someone who is 305 pounds how to lose weight? Would you ask a doctor what is wrong with your car? Of course not, so why do we take health advice from people who have tried a fad diet or someone who watched a weight loss show on T.V.? Everyone seems to be an expert on weight loss, but very few look the part, even those so called "personal trainers" you see at the gym earning commission on every sale. Look for the evidence!

I met a personal trainer named Brian Wiefering, owner of Wiefit on Monmouth Street in Newport, Ky. His resume was impressive as he is a professional bodybuilder. He has been on the cover of one of the most prestigious health magazines in the nation, Muscle and Fitness, four times, and he looks the part. Brian explained to me how food works in the body. He wrote me a personal nutrition plan for the goals that I wanted to achieve as I worked toward my purpose, and monitored my progress every 6 weeks. His staff is competent and able to help you no matter what your goals are. He helps people that just want to lose weight, high school and college athletes or extreme athletes such as marathon runners and bodybuilders. Look up Brian at Wiefit.com and go see for yourself and you will find your search for personal training and nutrition will end there.

Brian also introduced me to Beverly International nutritional supplements that have brought me tremendous results. Why Beverly? Trust! I did not just take Brian's word that Beverly products were the best, I researched it. I asked every bodybuilder I saw about Beverly supplements and the overwhelming response was that they are the best supplements on the planet. I asked the people at that 3 letter nutrition store about Beverly supplements, of which they do not carry because they have their own brand. They stammered all over themselves and then privately admitted to me once the other customers left that they are great supplements and some of them even take Beverly products themselves. I researched them with consumer groups and found that the Government was ripping other very popular brands off of the shelves because of product falsification and sub-par findings which could be potentially harmful to consumers. Beverly had no such findings. I also found myself looking forward to taking their supplements because they taste unbelievable and I haven't held my nose since switching to them. I challenge you to go to your local gym and ask people that are carrying around shakers full of colored drinks about Beverly and get the reaction from them yourselves. Better yet, go on line and research their products and you will find that you need not search any further.

Let me share one other successful tip before moving on to the 3rd "P". Buy a small cooler for your week’s meals and invest in a gym bag to carry your supplements everywhere you go. I cook most of my meals on Sunday for the week and pack only what I need for each day. I also carry my supplements everywhere I go. I never pack more than I need or put anything in my cooler that doesn't fit into my eating plan and it’s been an extremely successful combination for me. I kept a food journal my first month and wrote down everything I put in my mouth to make sure I engrained it in my head. I bought enough supplements for the entire month so I was sure not to run out and excuse myself into not taking them. Now that you know where to go for nutritional and training advice, you know which supplements to take that are essential for your success; you are ready for the 3rd P of the program.

Persistence – I will make you one guarantee, you will be tempted to quit, but you have to lean on your purpose and plan to drive you off that couch daily. If you want to succeed you have to jump in the pool with both feet. Tell everybody you know that you are going to get in shape and the accountability train will start rolling. Go to Brian and his staff every 6 weeks knowing that your results are going to be measured on the scale and by inches, and the accountability train will be chugging. Start taking Beverly supplements daily, invest in your health and your train will be speeding toward success. Do not be confused, but the journey you are about to embark on is an investment of time, money and energy. Everybody tells me that it’s too expensive to eat healthy and take supplements, but now that I am living the lifestyle, I beg to differ; it’s a simple shift of investment. I no longer give my money to fast food companies, junk food makers, vending machines, doctors, hospitals, or local pharmacies. Nor do I give my money to the occasional "fad diet people" that inspire me for a month or two before I quit and go back to my old ways because of the lack of support, plan and purpose they fail to provide.

People you tell about your journey will root against you at first. For some reason our society roots for failure, perhaps because misery loves company and they don't believe in the human spirit, evidenced by all the tragedy and bad news around us on a daily basis. The good news I have to share with you is that your biggest critics will become your biggest converts. Several of the buffet buddies that I worked with daily, rooted against me the first 90 days. They then started asking questions about my diet, my workouts and how they could get on my "train" that was speeding toward success. They took the advice that I am giving you now, went to Wiefit, started taking the Beverly products and are achieving amazing results. Our C.F.O. at work now weighs what he did in high school, two of our top managers are closing in on bodybuilding shows of their own and countless friends and family members are now achieving results that they could never have imagined alone.

The diet is simple to follow. It’s written for your specific goals, includes a clean food list that you can eat from in each category such as: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and supplements. Here is my basic plan for you to view. What if I told you I get to eat 7 times a day and lost 80 pounds doing so? Crazy? No, scientific? Yes!

Meal #1 – 7 egg whites and 1 whole egg for protein, 1 cup of oats for carbohydrate, 1 piece of fruit for carbohydrate and energy. This is my favorite meal of the day because I know that I am starting my day off successfully if I eat this meal properly. It also helps me to want to succeed the rest of the day.

Meal #2 – 2 scoops of Beverly Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 piece of fruit for energy carbohydrate, 2 rice cakes for complex carbohydrate. Notice that fruits are eaten early in the day and certain things are cut out at night. When you eat, is as important as what you eat. I space my meals about 2.5 to 3 hours apart.

Meal #3 – 8-10 ounces of lean protein such as tuna, ham, turkey, fish, chicken or other listed proteins - there are many and full of flavor if you get creative. Brian has several recipes on his diet plan that are fun and very tasty. 1 complex carbohydrate such as sweet potato, oats or brown rice, 1 fibrous carbohydrate such as mixed greens or other vegetables along with an approved fat such as almonds or olive oil.

Meal #4 – 2 Scoops of UMP and 1 approved fat.

Meal #5 – Same as meal # 3 with optional carbohydrate.

Meal #6 – 2 scoops of UMP, 1 approved fiber and 1 approved fat.

Meal #7 – Same as meal #6 without the fat.

I also get pre-workout meals and post workout meals on the days I train in the gym.
  • Pre-workout meals consists of 1 fruit and 2 scoops of UMP 30 minutes before my workout along with 1 scoop of Creatine Select, Glutamine Select and Muscle Synergy products by Beverly to promote lean muscle growth and 1 scoop of each during the workout to maintain my stamina.
  • Post workout meal includes 2 scoops of Muscle Provider and 1 scoop of Mass Maker by Beverly to promote quicker recovery after a workout.

I also love to take Beverly 7 Keto because it's a natural energy booster that keeps me alert, full of energy during the day and during workouts without the nervous shakes and mighty crashes caffeine and sugar based energy drinks give you.

I can't choose my favorite Beverly product because they are all essential to lean muscle growth and shedding of fat, but I will tell you that I look forward to my UMP meal supplement shakes daily, specifically because they crush my cravings for sweets due to the way they taste. Cookies and cream, chocolate and vanilla shakes 3 to 4 times a day, are you kidding me? Make sure to mix them with ice or blend them with your fruit, and I promise you will never use another protein mix during your lifetime.

This will vary based on your goals and if you are preparing for a contest or not. You do not have to starve in order to lose weight; the exact opposite is really the truth.

I am in the gym about an hour and a half a day doing a mixture of free weights and machines designed to target specific muscle groups for that day. I am a firm believer that you must work each body part equally and hit it from different angles to build a balanced look as a bodybuilder. For the love of God, work your legs man! There is nothing sillier than a house with no foundation. Working your legs makes the biggest impact and it's a great cardio exercise that also promotes other muscles to grow and releases hormones into the body that makes you gain lean muscle mass. You can't be a serious bodybuilder without legs. Women, do not be afraid of free weights. The stress of free weights on your body promotes bone density which you will be thankful for when you get older. There is nothing wrong with a woman having lean muscle mass, for it actually helps you burn more calories; I learned this from a professional bodybuilder and nutrition expert, remember?

I usually will pick 3 exercises per body part and do 4 sets of 8-12 reps for each set to keep it simple. I work major muscle groups by themselves such as chest, back and legs and will combine workouts on arms and shoulders on other days. Make sure to add calves, traps, forearms and abs because these are body parts that need worked to give you a balanced look and overall great physique.

I do cardio in the morning for about 30 minutes, prior to eating, for maximum fat burn and to kick start my metabolism. If you can't do cardio in the morning, do it right after your workout before drinking any recovery meals for maximum calorie burn. You do not have to run until you collapse off the treadmill. Get your heart rate up to about 130 beats to burn calories or you can get more intense for higher calorie burns. I recently bought a heavy bag for the basement to make cardio fun. Cardio doesn't have to be running in place, staring at a wall or smelling the guy next to you, we have all been there. Walk the neighborhood at a fast pace, run with the dog, play a sport such as racquetball or tennis, jump rope or take one of the classes that the gym offers, to mix it up. I recently experienced hot yoga for the first time; you have to try that one!

Some other things I would like to share with you about me, and your journey, is that I am not perfect, don't expect perfection from yourself, and it's ok to have a cheat meal on occasion if it's planned, always plan. My favorite cheat meal is Dewey's pizza, half Bronx bomber and half double pepperoni; I had this after my contest on 2-26-11, as a reward, and a large popcorn with butter at the movies. The important thing to remember about cheat meals is that it's a place we visit on a rare occasion but it's never ok to live there. I got right back on the plan the next day, I am preparing for the Mr. Cincinnati show on 3-26-11; I will keep you posted on that outcome.

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast because it's a good start to a successful day when I eat the right thing in the morning and it starts my metabolism running.

I take Beverly supplements only because they are proven to work and are a trusted name in the supplement world. Like I said before, poll every bodybuilder you meet, see what they say, and research Beverly supplements with consumer groups. You do not have to be a bodybuilder to take Beverly supplements. My wife and daughter take them as meal replacements during the day. They also take them with their workouts and have no intention to ever compete. They have both experienced fantastic results. My wife was over 200 pounds at one time and now sustains her weight at 135 to 140 pounds, and is an animal in the gym.

If you have never taken Beverly products before I would recommend that you go to their website, read about them or talk to one of their many experienced representatives about their products. And then try them for 90 days as recommended. I promise you if you take them for 90 days along with a regimented workout plan and a well rounded nutrition plan, you will never buy another supplement brand again. They have everything you need from a simple vitamin C supplement all the way up to the most complex muscle building agents available on the market today.

One of the most inspiring bodybuilders for me is an oldie, but the best in my opinion, Arnold himself. Forget about his political career and buy his encyclopedia on bodybuilding. His discipline toward the sport and the roads he paved for exercise and fitness have changed the fitness world forever.

My iPod is loaded with hard rock and metal music with such groups as Disturbed, Seether, Godsmack and my favorite group of all Breaking Benjamin. I do venture into the world of country music when my wife is in the car and I kind of like it but will never tell her that.

Some of my most inspiring books I have read are Good to Great by Jim Collins, It’s Your Ship by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, and a biography of Ronald Reagan. These are books about how to lead, motivate others and the best leader of our time.

My hobby, outside of bodybuilding, is landscaping. I find that I can be the artist I always wanted to be without being very good at drawing. I just put the plants out there and let God do all the work.

Words to live by that have impacted me and inspired me in my life are many and as follows:

"If it has been done it can be done. There is no adversity in your life or no goal that you want to achieve that hasn’t already been accomplished or overcome by somebody else." You can go on this journey and achieve success.

" Good is the enemy of Great. You have to be careful when you become good at something because complacency and the fact that you have arrived could keep you from greatness." I just placed 4th in the largest bodybuilding show in the country which is pretty good but I will never be great if I settle on that accomplishment.

"Go the extra mile; it's not very crowded there. Many people get by on just doing what's required. I will challenge you to do what nobody else is willing to do and you will be one of the very few elite individuals in this world."

" Never walk past bad. If you see something that's wrong, be a part of the solution and not the critic on the sideline. If you see someone in need and you have the means to provide for them, do it. If you see garbage on the ground, pick it up even if it’s not yours."

If you have read this article and you need to change some things in your life the time is now. There is no more waiting, no more tomorrow, no more excuses and no more time for saying you are not worth it. Your life impacts and touches thousands of people and many of those people are counting on you to be there for them and to commit to a purpose that will last a lifetime. Find your purpose, follow the plan and never quit.