Mike Carter Ditches 70 Pounds After a Heart Attack
- Name: Mike Carter
- Age: 48
- Starting Weight: 250+
- Ending Weight: 173
- Transformation Starting Date: May 27th, 2017
- Transformation Ending Date: Ongoing
- Instagram: Thatlldingdangdo
Before Mike's Transformation
Up until the 27th of May, 2017, most of my free time was spent sitting on the sofa watching TV. Although my job kept me fairly active (industrial maintenance engineer), my diet meant I’d been piling on the pounds over the last few years.
For my lunch, I’d be eating pasties, pies, cakes, etc.. When I got home I'd eat a healthy meal of pasta salad. It wouldn’t really be that healthy, as between the wife and I, we’d get through almost a kilo bag of pasta in one sitting.
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I was a heavy smoker and on the weekends I’d quite easily finish a bottle of vodka over a couple of hours, along with a tube of Pringles, cheesecake and whatever other junk I had in the house.
The Moment Mike's Life Changed
The moment it all changed was a Saturday evening. I was sitting down to watch TV after polishing off a large slab of cake. This was after my dinner. I suddenly felt a pain in my chest.
As a first aider, I was well aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, but as I was only 46 it couldn’t possibly be happening to me.
I tried to walk it off but after nearly an hour it was pretty bad, and when my wife asked half-jokingly if I wanted her to call for an ambulance I finally said yes. All that time I was thinking to myself, “You silly fat bastard! You’ve really done it this time! Not so clever now? Are you?”
Mike's Diet and Workout Approach
The advice about physical activity I was given after being discharged from the hospital was quite poor. They basically recommended that after the first week I should try to walk 100 yards twice a day for two weeks, then up the distance slowly.
I knew that at that rate I’d never make any progress, so I’d take the dog for a walk two to three times a day, then I’d walk into town to meet the wife from work. As I was told I couldn’t drive for 6-8 weeks I started walking everywhere. I’d spend the afternoons walking around the local nature reserve, or along the river that runs through town.
At the start of August, I thought I’d start running. The first time I ran was just around the housing estate where I live, no more than 800 yards. I had to stop five times as I was out of breath.
Each time I went out I’d make sure I’d stop one less time. Then, once I made it round in one go I increased the distance until eventually, I’d have a cheeky little 20 before breakfast on a Sunday.
My initial approach to nutrition wasn’t exactly a raving success. I went from easily eating 4-5000kcals a day to 1500kcals a day, then wondering why a couple of months later I started having trouble with gall stones.
I was, however, making a lot better choices with the limited amount of calories I was consuming, giving up red meat and eating stacks of fresh vegetables along with whole grains and healthy fats.
Just over two years later I’m at the gym doing an upper/lower split six days a week with 15 minutes of sprints on the treadmill after each weights session. I run at least a 10k run on my rest day (Saturday) and a shorter run on Sunday afternoon.
Nutrition-wise I’ve come a long way in the last two years. I’ve figured out the macro split that works for me. I try to get the bulk of my 4000kcals a day from whole foods, and the wife and I are now both pescatarian and have two to three vegan meals every week.
Most Important Thing You Learned?
The two most important things I’ve learned are that nutrition is king and that the mind will give in way before the body.
If you don’t give your body all the macro and micronutrients it needs you’re setting yourself up for failure, and when you think that you're spent and you’re too tired to carry on, you can keep going. While I’m nowhere near David Goggins level I fully believe what he says about when people think they’ve reached their limit they’ve actually got another 60% to give if they keep pushing on.
The two biggest mistakes I made were cutting my calories too low, and not starting resistance training earlier.
Feeling run down and picking up small injuries could easily have been avoided if I’d have not been solely focused to the weight on the scale every week and if I’d have built myself up to be physically robust enough for running 50-70k a week.
A Typical Day of Eating
If I’m working a late shift I’ll be up at 5 a.m. and have a banana and a strong black coffee before the gym, and a protein shake on the way back from the gym.
Breakfast will be oats, berries, nuts, and skyr, followed by a mid-morning snack of either wholemeal toast or sourdough crumpets.
Lunch is an omelet (200ml egg whites and one whole egg) in a wholemeal wrap.
For work, I’ll mix up rice, beans (butter/kidney) oily fish, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and hot sauce, with a few snacks of home-made oat bars, protein bars, cottage cheese, bananas, etc.
When I get home it’s either another couple of slices of toast or oats.
Words of Encouragement
To anyone wanting to change their body for the better, I’d say don’t wait till you find yourself in hospital. Do it before life gives you a nasty surprise.
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