FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast

From Ireland to New York: How Bryan O´Keeffe Lost 63 Kilos and Transformed His Life

July 20, 2023 Turo Virta
From Ireland to New York: How Bryan O´Keeffe Lost 63 Kilos and Transformed His Life
FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
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FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
From Ireland to New York: How Bryan O´Keeffe Lost 63 Kilos and Transformed His Life
Jul 20, 2023
Turo Virta

Discover the incredible story of Bryan O'Keefe as he shares his life-changing weight loss journey on the FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast. Leaving Ireland behind for a fresh start in New York, Bryan lost an astounding 63 kilos (10 stone) and transformed his life in the process. Join us as we delve into his motivations, the challenges he overcame, and the strategies he used to achieve lasting success.

In this inspiring episode, Bryan opens up about the common mistakes people make when attempting to lose weight. He discusses the fear of failure and the importance of addressing the mental and emotional triggers associated with weight loss. Bryan's candid insights provide valuable lessons on staying motivated and pushing through difficult moments.

Delving into the specifics, Bryan shares the steps he took to build healthier habits. From going from zero exercise to incorporating five hours per day, he reveals the power of persistence and gradual progress. Bryan also emphasizes the significance of external support and accountability, highlighting the importance of a reliable support system and finding an understanding accountability partner.

Throughout the interview, Bryan reflects on maintaining progress and overcoming setbacks. He shares practical advice on staying on track, even during social situations that could derail progress. By discussing the mental fortitude required to navigate plateaus and setbacks, Bryan offers invaluable insights into consistency and perseverance.

Bryan also explores the role of habits and motivation in his journey. He discusses the changes he made, both physically and mentally, to sustain his progress. By shedding light on cognitive biases and understanding personal motivation, Bryan provides a fresh perspective on finding long-term success in weight loss.

For those embarking on their own weight loss journey, Bryan offers practical advice and actionable steps. He shares his own lessons learned and provides insights into setting achievable goals, finding intrinsic motivation, and embracing the power of a strong "why."

Join us on this engaging episode of the FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast to hear firsthand from a coach who transformed his life by losing 63 kilos. Bryan's incredible journey will inspire and motivate you to take charge of your own well-being. Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights and discover the path to lasting weight loss success.

Connect with Bryan:
Website
Instagram
TikTok

Don´t forget to subscribe to get notifications when new episodes are uploaded and we would love to hear your biggest takeways. It helps massively if you could share this episode with one of your friend or a family member or posting it to your Instagram Story. When you tag us (my IG is @personaltrainer_turo) , we will share some love. 
Thank you for listening!

Show Notes Transcript

Discover the incredible story of Bryan O'Keefe as he shares his life-changing weight loss journey on the FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast. Leaving Ireland behind for a fresh start in New York, Bryan lost an astounding 63 kilos (10 stone) and transformed his life in the process. Join us as we delve into his motivations, the challenges he overcame, and the strategies he used to achieve lasting success.

In this inspiring episode, Bryan opens up about the common mistakes people make when attempting to lose weight. He discusses the fear of failure and the importance of addressing the mental and emotional triggers associated with weight loss. Bryan's candid insights provide valuable lessons on staying motivated and pushing through difficult moments.

Delving into the specifics, Bryan shares the steps he took to build healthier habits. From going from zero exercise to incorporating five hours per day, he reveals the power of persistence and gradual progress. Bryan also emphasizes the significance of external support and accountability, highlighting the importance of a reliable support system and finding an understanding accountability partner.

Throughout the interview, Bryan reflects on maintaining progress and overcoming setbacks. He shares practical advice on staying on track, even during social situations that could derail progress. By discussing the mental fortitude required to navigate plateaus and setbacks, Bryan offers invaluable insights into consistency and perseverance.

Bryan also explores the role of habits and motivation in his journey. He discusses the changes he made, both physically and mentally, to sustain his progress. By shedding light on cognitive biases and understanding personal motivation, Bryan provides a fresh perspective on finding long-term success in weight loss.

For those embarking on their own weight loss journey, Bryan offers practical advice and actionable steps. He shares his own lessons learned and provides insights into setting achievable goals, finding intrinsic motivation, and embracing the power of a strong "why."

Join us on this engaging episode of the FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast to hear firsthand from a coach who transformed his life by losing 63 kilos. Bryan's incredible journey will inspire and motivate you to take charge of your own well-being. Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights and discover the path to lasting weight loss success.

Connect with Bryan:
Website
Instagram
TikTok

Don´t forget to subscribe to get notifications when new episodes are uploaded and we would love to hear your biggest takeways. It helps massively if you could share this episode with one of your friend or a family member or posting it to your Instagram Story. When you tag us (my IG is @personaltrainer_turo) , we will share some love. 
Thank you for listening!

Bryan O´Keeffe:

I lost 63 kilos or 10 Stone in Ireland and then just got flew home to Ireland and recorded the reaction of all my family and friends who didn't even know I was coming home not to mind the fact that I had lost anyway that video went viral they'd six months ago and since then I've been helping people lose weight, you know, do the same journey I did. As an online coach. It's been quite a change but very fulfilling, very lucky to be able to do

Turo Virta:

awesome our business it's incredible. So what made you what made you move like what was the what was the reason why you when was the point for you that you said that now it's time to do the change. Let's go in a bit for those reasons why you started doing it.

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, so Well, I'd actually moved to New York about a year before I started my journey in order to try and lose weight. I was working remotely online and so my brother lived in New Yorker and so I had the opportunity while he wasn't there in the winter to live in his in his house or his flat for a few months. And so I moved out there started working got two months into it had lost maybe 15 kilos, and lockdown happened again my gym shut down, and I just put on all the weight all 15 kilos probably put on 2025 Over the next nine months. And so yeah, so November 2021. I was listening to a podcast just walking my dog and it was by a guy a Hollywood actor, who called Ethan Suplee who's lost like 400 pounds and I can't remember anything he said in the podcast except for one thing. He said, Why don't we analyze our failures? He said, You know, when we've got have weight loss habits in place, you know, we get three weeks or a month into it and then all of a sudden it falls apart. Why don't we analyze so what is the reason that this happens? And this I had had like maybe 1520 times in my life where I've gotten a month or two months in to a journey and and then just quit and it just hit me like lightning bolts and I said, Okay, I know my failures. And so they were there's there was three it was it was going out drinking with my friends. That was that was a big one. Then it was the access to food delivery apps. So I would eat food delivery like six, six nights a week, and the other one was going out eating with my family. And so I started kind of concocting a plan on how do I make sure that these things don't get in the way if I have another journey in place? How do I make sure that you know once I've got these good weight loss habits in place, how do they not get in the way and so that when I moved out to the middle of nowhere in New Yorker and cut off communication with my family and friends, and got to work

Turo Virta:

well now this is this is something was it? Was it something like that you had to do like so dramatic thing like what was going on? Like obviously, that was the first step to know like from your failures in the past and did you feel at that time that you had to do like that kind of dramatic cut for to get things like all your past environment away from your diet to help you.

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, I'd like to so absolutely. You know, I had tried and failed at weight loss for 15 years. You know, I tried everything like that keto diets I had. There's a famous weight loss TV show in Ireland. It's kind of like Ireland's version of the biggest loser and I had different points the PT from that TV show and the doctor from the TV show are like super expensive. I had a gastric balloon insert into my stomach and 2018 didn't work like everything was like one step forward, three steps back. And so what what I just I was just kind of sick of it. I was just every night I'd go to bed and I'd be saying, you know, tomorrow has to change I won't be able to sleep. You know, I put a plan together for an hour in my head about what I'm going to do tomorrow and then I wake up in the morning and do nothing about it. I just put in more calories into my face. And so it was just getting to the point where Okay, I have to do something different, something extreme and so it was listening to that podcast that said okay, I'm gonna move out into the middle of nowhere and that was the first step I hadn't decided to cut off my family and friends yet at that stage, I just moved to the middle of nowhere. And when I got there, I started reading started an audio book audiobook of David Goggins book can't hurt me. And that changed my perspective completely. So I, you know, I'd always tried to make weight loss as easy as possible. I fit it into my life as comfortable as I could, you know, okay, you know, I don't I'm not gonna do too much exercise. I'm not going to push myself to be uncomfortable, because it's already uncomfortable weight loss and kind of Goggins as work is very much about pushing yourself to be uncomfortable as that okay, well, I've tried everything. Why don't I just try and push myself to be more and more uncomfortable every single day? And that's what I did and and it works. Well,

Turo Virta:

but what was the what was like, obviously, it was Was there something like that? You said that you were trying it like for a long time? You have been obese like for 15 years, right? Yeah. And, and was it like what was the point that made you was it just about that book? It was just that single decision that now it's time to do it or was there something else what happened? That that was made you make to that step actually,

Bryan O´Keeffe:

so like, like I said, it it was every night I like I wanted it more than anything you know, every night I'd be in bed, like saying I wanted more than anything. And, you know, I was getting to the point I was like, Okay, I think I was 33 And I'm like, you know, am I ever going to do it? And yeah, I just like the thing about it's so hard when you fail so many times. It's so hard to get started. Again, like that fear of failure. You just started trying to give off. So I was like, if I start again, I just cannot let anything get in the way. And so that's why I kind of built on this plan over the course of a month and but there wasn't like, there wasn't really any one particular you know, incident that happen that there was loads of instance, over years, it was just every day I wanted more I wanted it and I wasn't doing it and it was really starting to affect you know, my mental health but like, you know, it's happy 90% of the time, but the 10% I was unhappy. I was absolutely miserable at all. I was consumed by the fact that I was obese. I couldn't meet new people you know, there is yeah, there was just a lot of kind of mental anguish going on with it. And I just learned like, like most people are BC think about it all the time. And so it wasn't any one particular like moment it was like just listening to that podcast, and then him saying, as soon as I heard him say, you know, why don't we analyze our faders it really just hit me I was like, that's what I've never done. I've never analyzed the reasons why I'd have good habits in place and then I'd lose them. And if I get the good habits in place and don't lose them then it's a matter of time before the weight loss has gone and so that was the kind of the real moment for me when I when I heard that I was like holy shit I can do this. If I if I if I make sure that nothing gets in the way.

Turo Virta:

Yeah, no, it was this. And these I think it's it's if you like now you as you are a coach. This is the one of the most common mistakes that people are doing like that. They are just kind of trying to find the next method next way of dieting or losing weight, but they never take time to actually analyze what they have done. Why they have because it's it's obviously there is a fear of failure also, but that you never look back what you have actually done and why you failed. Why it made like because it's it's if you really think it it's it's it's as the basically those failures. They are if you take them as lessons they give you feedback, why you have failed if there was something like like you mentioned, keto or something if that is something that you can't imagine him to do for next five to 10 years. Even you might be losing weight, you are not going to have that success. It's not going to solve your problems. You might be good at losing weight, but it's not going to help you to maintain it. So until you have a method or system that is working for you not for someone else in some TV competition where you might get motivated for a short period of time or doing some kind of intermittent fasting if you see that somebody's is doing and getting getting good results looking good. And then they are recommending that for you. And that is that is like it's so hard to recognize but I love you that searing that story story coming from you. So what's their what kind of methods you started into huge like what was it like what were like You're like let's go back to like your methods. What do you what do you learn that didn't work for you? What for survey?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, so it was it was three things it was going out drinking with my friends. It was going out eating with my family, my family lived all over the world. So we'd always whenever we made off we'd go and go out eating and I wasn't able to control myself in front of like some delicious menu at a restaurant. And the main one was food delivery apps because you can be disciplined for 23 hours and 59 minutes of a day but you're one minute of ill discipline and I would have like 5000 calories out my door. And that's not an exaggeration. You know, my McDonald's order was 35 Euro, you can basically click Clean out or McDonald's for 35 euros. So, so they were the kind of the main the main faders that I needed to get out of my life and like just build a better relationship with food. And then when it came to, you know, putting putting the plan in place I'd like I had known for 10 years maybe that a calorie deficit is all that matters to lose weight. Like I knew that now I would still go after the shiny new thing like whether it's keto or intermittent fasting are all of these things thinking that there were some magic pill involved? And I still went after them. And I still tried them but but really, I knew that I just needed to maintain a calorie deficit because like weight loss is very simple. It's maintain a calorie deficit. It's not easy. It's just very simple. And it's it's easy because it's maintaining a calorie deficit. And it's so simple because even want to maintain a calorie deficit, but it's difficult because you have to maintain the deficit. And so that's where I tried to concentrate a building discipline. And that's where the Goggins book came in about pushing myself to be uncomfortable.

Turo Virta:

So it was deduced and what was those actionable steps what you actually started to do? Like, what was the first steps like when you find that Okay, now, I might be starting to believe that this is that kind of where you knew that it sets calorie deficit. So what were the actual steps what you started to do?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, so I didn't try and you know, reduce, reduce my calories massively. Initially, what I just saw do is I was like, Okay, let's just get a small exercise habit. in place and you know, add 155 kilos, all I could do was walk and so I started building that up, I'd walk my dog 30 minutes a day and over two weeks, I built that up to 90 minutes a day of walking and then after two is so odd, what I decided after that is I just want to keep on adding, I don't want to like switch things off. I want to add to whatever I was doing so I had my two weeks of so my 90 minutes of walking then I added in weightlifting a push pull legs program six days a week, and I had really enjoyed lifting weights as a teenager I played kind of rugby at a decent level in Ireland and so I had enjoyed that I was like that. So that's what I added an extra six day push pull legs program, and then I started tracking my calories. And so I stuck with the 2200 calorie diet with about 200 grams of protein which I thought was about right for me because I had consumed knowledge for years on on so I kind of had I wouldn't say an expert but I did an intermediate kind of level of knowledge on what was probably required to maybe do some body recovery composition while I was losing weight and stuff like that. So that's why I kept my protein intake high. And so that so that was that was Week Three was adding in the the weightlifting and the calorie deficit week for restarting the couch to 5k up on top of that, so I started running three times a week. And then I had tried to catch 5k up a few times before but I'd always have to wait two three weeks, I started to get real bad ankle stiffness and stuff like that. So I decided okay, well I'm just gonna have to start stretching. And so I did 45 minutes and I did stretching and week four as well. And then week five, I added in three swims a week, and so I was doing 90 minutes of walking a day, six days of cardio a week, six days of weightlifting a week, 45 minutes of stretching every day. And so I built from zero exercise over the course of five weeks to about four or five hours of exercise a day. Which I did like I think is a bit too fast but I thought it's more more about the building and building and building and building which I try and do like with my clients as well as always, like if you tried to go from that different zero to that on day one. I think that is impossible. You're going to quit almost immediately. But it's about like building the habits and because I was very much into the David Goggins kind of pushing myself as hard as possible at that stage. You know, I was able to maintain it, then my focus was just 1% more every day. That was all it was whether I can get an extra rep out an extra length in the pool, whether I could run an extra 100 meters or run the same, because catch 5k is generally like the same three runs per week. So can I do that run faster or even at a lower heart rate than I had done previous so everything then became kind of very data driven for me. I was like always looking at what I done last and cannot beat it.

Turo Virta:

Wow, no, this is it sounds like obviously at that point. You were highly motivated. You know, what was there any point that you kind of lost your motivation or it was it was your body was trying to tell you like that? This probably now is getting too much.

Bryan O´Keeffe:

us so many times like so many times. You know, very, very early after, like in the first six weeks my blood like 100 I was probably maybe down I think I'd lost like 10 Maybe 15 kilos, I can't remember I lost a lot of weight very quickly. And so in the first six weeks, but my body like I come home in the evening and I wouldn't have energy for anything other than to lie on the sofa cook and like even if I did go to the bathroom I was like bent over like this hobbling towards the bathroom because my body was just like in an agony but I wasn't in like I hadn't injured myself at that stage. It was just my body's like, you know what fuck is happening here? This is such a shock. And so yeah, and then like so then I would actually say I had low motivation, the majority of my journey, you know, but I built up the the habits of doing it and I just I had a fear like an ungodly fear of losing them. I knew I knew because that was the whole reason I got out there and I was like, nothing can get in the way just nothing. And so I just I just kept kept going and yeah, super low motivation, like a one stage. So I became very kind of mentally crazy at some points. So you know, I'd leave my like ego like really like so for at one point I injured my knee and it swelled up to this about three months into my journey as well like pretty big. And I was like, I'm not going to stop and so I kept you know, heavy squatting on top of that I kept running on it. Obviously not recommended, but I was in the place where you know, nothing is going to stop me here and unless I need to go to hospital I was going to keep on going and like interestingly enough, it went away after three weeks, but like obviously that is not recommended for anyone listening but I just I just had put myself in a mental space where I will not be defeated. That was like my best our thought in my head and like I'd really, I kind of I used to use these kind of mental tactics like that David Goggins would do would put in his book of like building up your ego even if it's false. So like, you know, I would think, you know, when I ran my first 5k it was nine weeks after I started the couch to 5k and I was 21.5 to about 135 kilos running a 5k. And in my head, I was like, You are the only motherfucker in the world who's 135 kilos and corona 5k. And like, that might not be true. But that's what was giving me this energy and feeding my I'm going to do this no matter what. And so using kind of mental tools like this, even if they're kind of false, was really beneficial for me, you know, and so that's the that's the that's what I did and then so I kept on trying to after that point, like add more and more and so I finished my five gate 135 kilos, and then I had a thing called the 20 stone triathlon and 20 Stone is 280 pounds, which is not sure in kilos, it's probably like, you know, 120 25, maybe 125 28 kilos, and I wanted to do a triathlon. I called it my 20 Stone triathlon. And so I had been swimming obviously because I've been keeping that up and I've been running, so I thought, okay, cycling is the easiest bit and so I did a triathlon that weighed in an hour and 47 minutes, which is the average for, for starters, sprint triathlon. So sprint triathlon, of course, but the average for the first center in London that even like motivated me more in my head, I was like you're doing at this weight, you're doing what the average first time sprint triathlon does. And so everything kept on feeding into more and more and like getting the reward of like being able to do these crazy kind of feats, my weight and so that that just spawned me on like, motivated me even more, but like they were the good days. You know, there was so many days where I just didn't like I wake up in the morning and I'd spend an hour you know, looking at my clothes or like planning my food and then re planning my food just so I wouldn't have to go to the gym. You know, there's so many days like that, but I still always went I never miss it. I didn't in seven and a half months. I didn't miss my calorie deficit once and I didn't miss a day of exercise once. Oh, sorry. I got the flu. I missed one day. Over the flu. And then the next day I doubled up my session to make up for it as a kind of a punishment.

Turo Virta:

Wow, that was that's like really, really hardcore stuff. And it sounds like your determination. Was there. Did you were you doing this all by yourself or did you have some kind of coach or someone who was kind of supporting you at this time or

Bryan O´Keeffe:

for the first three months, I did everything by myself, like everything I had. The push pull legs broken was something I'd actually gotten from a friend in 2013 and I just pulled it out of my old Google Drive folder, and it was like a 16 week program and it was kind of split into it was kind of kind of old school for modern standards, but it was kind of split into a muscular endurance phase, or hypertrophy phase, a strength phase and then it would repeat. And so I like that and like I said, I wasn't talking to anyone on my journey and in fact, I contacted a friend who didn't even know I wasn't talking to him because I wouldn't talk to him that much. You know, he didn't even know it disappeared, but he was a strength and conditioning coach for professional rugby team. And so I just texted him one question, and I was like, you know, should I I'm doing this program. I'm about to finish my 16 weeks. Should I go back into the endurance phase of the program or should I go straight back into a hypertrophy phase? And he this snowballed into him helping me but he still had no idea what I was doing. He had no idea that I disappeared. In fact, it wasn't for another two months, he met up another friend of mine and he's like, I've been talking to Brian and my other friends like what no one's talked to him. No one's heard from him in five months. But yeah, so he did help me a little bit on programming especially as I was getting my running distances offered around you know, moved from a 5k to 10k and I was getting I was pushing towards the half marathon and he was helping me like manage my load on the on the way training so that I wasn't gonna, you know, overdoing it. So, that was useful. Definitely. And I probably wouldn't have hit a half marathon as soon as I did, without his help. But he was he was himself himself and my dad and my dad were the only two people I talked to my entire journey. My dad actually had dementia and so my mom Well, I know I knew what days my mom wasn't in the house in the morning. And so I would call my dad twice a week and tell him what I was doing. But he would have forgotten by the time my mom got back so he was able to share that I was losing weight heard. Yeah, so that was my kind of guilty pleasure. And they're the only two people I talked to but even even like I said, That friend is the strength and conditioning coach. He didn't know I was losing any weight. He just knew I was going to the gym.

Turo Virta:

Now it's it's such an inspiring story and example how you can do it like goes usually at this point like you know now like when you work as a coach like for most people, there are very few people who are able to do these kinds of things without having some external support, guidance and accountability because you will have those days when you don't feel like doing anything you want to quit. There is nothing else you can start to find those excuses. And at that point, you usually you need someone to call you accountable. But like at least you had you're someone who you were able to talk about these things even then they it was just put them out from your head, right?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, it was it was useful. I mean, after all, it was already kind of three months in more actually three and a half months. 16 weeks out by the time I talked to him so I was actually very confident about still going through myself, but not definitely. I had a level of pressure on me from I knew that once I got out there that this was it if I didn't do it this time, there was never it was never going to happen. So that kind of pressure it can go two ways and way too much for someone are but I fed into it and I use it to kind of motivate me so I really felt like I would have gotten there. Anyway, I just probably wouldn't have gotten there as quickly. But I think for most people they're not you know, 99% of people can't just disappear, quit their job disappear from the world. And you know, so having having that level of accountability and support within the environment they're currently in which is the key because there's so many environmental factors that can affect whether you're going to lose weight like your relationship with your family, and there are triggers in your environment, that I think having that level of support for someone who you know, I especially I had a little bit of experience and you know, I consumed a lot of knowledge around nutrition and weight so like if you don't have any of that I think it's almost impossible in your own environment to without some support or it's very, very difficult. You know, the and the statistics back that up.

Turo Virta:

Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. And but then now, what's it like? Always like that you said that you lost a lot of weight in the beginning, like was there Did you face any kind of plateaus or when did you face them first time? Yeah.

Bryan O´Keeffe:

So like, yeah, it was it was super frustrating because like I said, I hit my calorie deficit every day for seven and a half months. And so I think my first plateau was maybe three or four months in because like my calorie deficit I was in was quite significant. Despite the fact I was eating 2200 calories a day, I think at 155 kilos and exercising four hours a day. I mean, you're probably burning somewhere around 4000 calories a day, you know, naturally, or at least that would have been my total daily energy expenditure. So that's a massive deficit. And so I was rocketing down. Like very quickly, I think, to lose 20 kilos, my first two months or 30 kilos, somewhere between 20 to 30 kilos, my first two months, which is like crazy, but yeah, I had a 10 day plateau at one point and a 12 day plateau at one point, and my rule was and I said this at the start, if if I plateau for 14 days, at only at that point, will I drop my calories? And so the 10 day plateau, and I was getting so angry, you know, I really was like, why am I not losing weight and so, but on the 11th day I dropped like I used to measure and parents I dropped like 334 pounds on the 11th day, and same after my 12 Day plateau on my 13th day I dropped like two and a half kilos, something like that. And so it wasn't until I was six months in that I had my first 14 Day plateau and at that stage, I knew I had already been planning my kind of reappearance and like flying back and surprising everyone. And I knew I was close and so I went to quite significant deficit that stage I dropped below 1750 calories because I knew I'd only five six weeks left before I was going to surprise everyone and I had to be, you know, Oh, well I want you to be under under 95 kilos. That was that was the goal. And so I went to significant deficit for the last five weeks which was extremely tough and I probably wouldn't even be able to do it again. I just had such a motivating factor of knowing I was going to shock everyone I knew that I managed to do it but I don't even think I'd managed to because like I ran a half marathon on 1750 calories you know, which was which was pretty tough.

Turo Virta:

Yeah. So what is it then like when you when you hit obviously when you got back home? You were you were able to reach your goal, right or very Yeah. So how was it then after that, how you were able to maintain it? Did you get any setbacks? Did you have any setbacks or?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah 100% So I maintained the kind of a 92 kilos smart for about three or four months and then you start like, you know, getting the social life back and you know, you know, especially the you know, first month I was like going out drinking a bit but you know, with all my friends is the kind of a celebration. But yeah, I started and then I decided stupidly that I want to go straight into a bulk you know, I've been cutting for you know this amount of time and I went straight in bulk and I definitely overdid the bulk. So I went off like six kilos between August and December. And then between December and about two months ago, I added another 10 kilos, so I was up like 15 kilos between but but you know, but I had kept pretty much off I think six kilos increase from where I was was probably to be expected in some ways, reintroducing kind of some of those stuff into my life. But anyway, so for the last two months I'm back down six kilos again and so I've another you know, five kilos I went back into a calorie deficit and yeah, so I have another probably I'm running a marathon in September so I have another probably five kilos six kilos to lose by the time the marathon comes in September.

Turo Virta:

So is this something that is it's it's such an inspiring story. So is this now as a like you are as a coach, is this like now something what you how you feel at the moment now like when you had that at the moment that you knew what is going to make you lose weight, but then kind of shifting that to something else like was obviously it depends on every person, how long you are able to be in a calorie deficit. It's it's really hard and it's also getting, at some point impossible to stay in it if it's that you have to go to maintenance and like you said that it's so scary. Probably to go back starting to eat more. And of course, it's probably like what your body needs, but mentally, your your mind is telling that you can't do it or you have that fear of gaining everything back going back where you used to be. Yeah. Did you overcome that struggle?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

So well? I actually I love food, like I love it. So I didn't have a huge problem, increasing the calories a little bit. But it was more for me. I just wanted to maintain the exercise habits. That was the key for me. And eventually it got to the point where I wasn't able while I was maintaining my exercise habits but I had left the food go completely and that's why I started to like put on weight so I'd still be like running and go to the gym but I'm probably eating like three and a half 1000 calories a day. And so that's that's at the point where I started to kind of put on the weight so I can understand most people might struggle with, you know, that fear of eating a little bit more. And I do see that in clients after they finish their journey. They're almost hesitant to go back to a maintenance calorie level because they think oh, I'm going to you know, backup. I didn't have that problem. I had the opposite problem. Like I love food and I wanted to enjoy my new kind of waist and I just want to make sure I maintained my exercise habits that was kind of my grounding point.

Turo Virta:

How did you start to add that food or use it to you didn't track calories at the point when you raised your calories or it was just going a little bit step by step back or how did you

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, exactly like that. It's going to step by step back. So if I was going out for a meal or something like that, I probably like 2000 calories and I wouldn't track it but I track it on the days that I didn't feel like going for like 3000 And you know, which 3000 is about my maintenance at that exercise level. And so yeah, it was though it was those kind of meeting meals that are then a night out drinking with my friends, which obviously became more more common. So they'll have it's the kind of that I've gotten rid of. And so they're the habits again that I had to I had to change in the last two months in order to get back down this this kind of five six kilos. Yeah, because like and it's good to know your triggers. That's super important. You know, mine is definitely like because I'll go out drinking I'll be hungover and I'll eat crap food the next day you know not crappy I don't think there's good and bad food but just I did poor amounts of food you know pizzas you know just very calorie dense stuff. And so that that's that's what I've gotten gotten rid of in the last six months to get back to and back to like tracking you know, very very accurately. I think when I'm when I'm kind of when I have this mental attitude of being almost like crazy with it. That's when I'm most successful. Everyone's different but that for me that's that's when I'm most successful. I'm like weighing everything you know and getting it into my fitness pal.

Turo Virta:

Yeah. Do you feel at this point? That you need to to maintain everything? Do you need to track your calories or would you be able to do it without or is there coming those creeping kind of old habits in

Bryan O´Keeffe:

I think I won't be able to do it with age but I actually enjoy tracking calories. It just start having that level of control over like the same way I track you know, my progression in the gym. You know, I'm every day I'm checking what I did in the last session. So can I push it this session? Can I get an extra rep out? And so I just enjoy having that level of control over so I think I would be able to do it without and like I have been able to do a few meals out like I live in Marbella. And now I've moved from New Yorker and my my my mom lives here and you know what my family come to visit quite a lot. So I've had I've been able to lose weight despite having some meals out, which was actually a big change for me because of meals out. As I mentioned before, we're actually a huge trigger for me, I wouldn't be able to control what was happening in the menu. And so that's one thing, that relationship with kind of going out and eating and that relationship has has really changed which which is great. Because he had to change that if I was going to be successful.

Turo Virta:

So what kind of them like physical changes and and just the mindset that sifts during this process like what how, what, what, how have changed your life when you have now that ability to do like a lot of physical stuff. How you feel like now you are training for a marathon and triathlon, how it has affected to your life?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, I mean, yeah, incredibly, you know, I'm in a relationship now. You know, I wasn't even able to even go up and talk to a girl you know, for 15 years. So that's, that's been a huge one. You know, gi just feeling like, you know, in my head I'd always considered myself this kind of athletic person because I know I mentioned like, I played like, a bit of rugby in my teens at a decent level and even at 150 kilos, I was considered and there's this cognitive bias, you know? Yeah, I just, I just, I still thought I was athletic and fit even though I was 150 gear, so obviously wasn't the case. But that's, you know, how we trick ourselves. And so I I've now kind of just have the confidence that I am that you know, I you know, I can I can run you know, distances that most people can't I can lift weights that most people can't and so I feel like you know, the fate healthy, you know, confidence, you know, person, which is like a far cry from where I was a year and a half ago. But yeah, like, it's funny, like, that was my goal. You know, what a lot of people say when they start a weight loss journey, that you have to be concerned about your health. That has to be the number one goal if you're going to, if you're going to lose weight, that wasn't my number one goal at all. Like it really wasn't my number one goal was to get back in being an athlete like competing in sport pushing myself to to be better, and really to achieve something that no one thought I could. That was my goal, you know, I'd fail so many times that no one thought I could achieve I knew that you know, and so that that was my goal. And so when I finished my journey, I was really worried that okay, I don't have another goal like that. And so now what I do is I keep a list on my phone. Of all these kind of crazy goals, not crazy, but like goals and a lot of people achieve so like obviously the marathon coming up in September, I want to be able to no very varied, want to be able to do a human flag, you know, where you, you hang off the side of a pole. Just kind of interesting kind of little girls, you know, 140 kilo benchpress you know, all these things that like very few people achieved I have a list of them on my phone. I just want to knock them off one by one, because I need that kind of striving, yeah to work towards kind of a very tough goal in order to keep myself on track. Yeah,

Turo Virta:

no, because this is this is how we are all different like, because there are people who are who need to have that kind of all the time like for next two months or you have a marathon in upcoming in September you are working toward something or you have 140 kilo benchpress what is then that you every workout you might be getting closer, you know what you are working towards, and then in over a long period of time you're able to exceed them. For someone else like I used to. I'm my background, I used to be a professional ice hockey player. I had also kind of all kinds of performance based goals but at this point I don't I don't need to lift I had like 200 kilos squats but I don't need like I still enjoy lifting heavy but I don't that that's not motivating me anymore. Yeah, I don't I don't care how much I lift. I do it because I know that it makes me feel better in the long term but I don't care about numbers or I had a I made it up to a professional ice hockey player. And now I feel like I don't need to accomplish another marathon or something. But for me the driving is is my health actually. So okay. This is for me like I my dad passed away at the age of 70. And seeing that, that he's losing his health at so young. It was kind of pushed that okay, this is my motivation. I'm not going I'm going to do everything I can to not end up losing my health too early or earlier. And this is kind of it's funny how we have all kinds of different themes, what motivates us and how you make yourself to take action, especially in those days when you don't feel like it?

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Absolutely. So that's exactly what I was going to say you got to know what your motivation is like yours is held to mine was kind of achieving something no one thought I could achieve are proving people wrong, you know. And if you don't know what your goal is on those days, like when it's gonna get tough, you're gonna have low, low motivation and you can't you can't, you know, have that relationship to this is why I'm doing what I'm doing. You know, this is why I'm trying to lose weight or this you know, this is why if you don't have a why here it's going to be very difficult to push through the tough moments.

Turo Virta:

Exactly. Or if that you're wise is not enough. Like this is this is what I when I start with someone I always that is the first reason why you are actually doing it then going for your beliefs lead a bit deeper to find that kind of ultimate motivation why you are actually doing it because if your goal is just that it's even so important goal to lose weight, or look better when you are in your swimming pants or naked. It's a great goal but it's not going to be enough for those days when you don't feel like it but if you have that kind of deeper goal, why you are actually doing it that's the point when you start to have that goes that it's it's we are all struggling with motivation at some point or like you said and for me also it's most of the days I don't enjoy naturally doing my workout but I know I need to do it. In order to feel better in long term and more consistent. You are able to do it easier it get it Oh, it's not getting easier to take action but then it makes you feel so good. That it's kind of always that it's kind of that reminder of why you are doing it.

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yes. Yeah, exactly. It's funny. It's one of the things that that annoys me the most and very few, very little that annoys me. But when I hear people say, you know, I just don't have the motivation. That drives me. It drives me crazy, because it's not motivation. Like as you said yourself, you have low motivation most days to do it. I had low motivation to get off the couch Sheila's cell phone. I was hobbling to this half into the bathroom or getting to bed at night. You know, it's not about motivation. It's about building habits into a disciplined routine. Not everyone's motivated to get off and go to work every morning. They still go they still don't just say oh, I don't have the motivation to work. I'm not gonna go to work. That's not what happens and that's what you have to do. If you want to like lose weight. You have to you have to build a habit. It's not motivation that drives me crazy. I hear it all the time people message me going, you know, I wish I could do what you did. I just don't have the motivation. It's not motivation.

Turo Virta:

And this is kind of saying like you have children, maybe you are not motivated to be parent or take care of your kids every day but it's your own IQR you got to do it. You do baseball again. And maybe some days you aren't the most amazing parent and some days you are going to be okay. But you still do the best what you can and it says that accessing your efforts and doing the best that you can but that motivation, it will never be there. So before we wrap up this episode, do you have some kind of tips for someone who is obese listening this and how to get started with their journey? Right? You talk a lot about habits and everything so

Bryan O´Keeffe:

so I think the first thing is, you know, anyone who's obese has definitely tried and failed at losing weight numerous times. This isn't their first time trying after listening to me. And so the most important thing you can do is analyze your failures. The last few times you tried to lose weight and it didn't work. What were the triggers that occurred that made you lose the habits that you have, find that common thread and try and create an environment where that will not get in the way anymore. That's the number one thing. After that you can start looking at building habits slowly don't go from zero to 100 that is a big mistake. I know I went from a lot but I went over five weeks from zero exercise to four to five hours a day. But like I had the time to do that. If you only have like an hour a day to train and before you know six months ago, you're losing weight and you're training my five times a week. Don't go back day one or week one and try and train five days a week straightaway. Build it off, go to the gym once go to the gym twice. Then the next week, try another session then the next week, try another session. Don't go back and try and go from zero to 100 It's such a mistake. It's a process of building and building and building and building. It's not zero to 100 I now I'm going to maintain this speed for six months. It's like I don't mean the age old cliche it's a marathon not a sprint like that. That's that's probably the best advice I can give to anyone trying to start

Turo Virta:

awesome so I'm those are I can't create more love if you're listening please take that advice and and Brian, you are very active in your social media. If as a as you have went through this yourself, where people can find you very if somebody wants to work with you. You're doing voting so feel free to share everything you want.

Bryan O´Keeffe:

Yeah, thanks to her so I am at Brian O'Keefe dot com and on Instagram and on all social media it's at the dot O'Keefe So yeah, if you need if you need help just to in any help or advice with your weight loss I'd like I reply to anyone that messages me so I just love helping people lose weight. I know how much it affected my mental health. So even if even if you don't need one on one coaching, if you just need some advice on how to find your calorie deficit, whatever it is, feel free to reach out and message me because like yeah, I love hearing people's successes as well. So if you've any wins recently reached out with them as well.

Turo Virta:

Awesome. Thank you so much and that I can only like I'm not telling you this but if you are obese doing it with someone who have actually went through this whole prior knows exactly what you are going to how you are going to feel it so there is not a better coach like someone who has been through through this journey by himself. So definitely reach out talk to him and it's not that he's there for helping you and not only trying to get them most clients even obviously that is his job, but he loves helping people so reach out Brian I will add a link to show notes. So thank you again for listening. Thank you Brian for coming to my soul

Bryan O´Keeffe:

ties tour. I loved it. I really enjoyed it.