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Aaron Callaghan


Vital Statistics Before Current
Age - 19
Height 5ft 10in -
Weight 101.6kg 67.8kg

From a life of overeating and smoking, Aaron Callaghan turned his life around with a love of running and clean eating!

After seeing a photo of him in hospital, he was horrified at his own body – vowing to transform himself the moment he left hospital.

He started with help from his friends in the gym, the transformation stories right here on Muscle Food for meal plan advice, and he lost a massive three stone in his first few months!

And after switching his routine to running for greater weight loss, he’s never looking back – taking inspiration from Mo Farah to drive himself to achieving the life goals he set.

Proof that anyone can achieve transformation greatness! We had to speak to him about what it took.


Interview with Aaron Callaghan

Hi Aaron! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us the full story of your transformation up to now?

Greed, Partying, Overeating, Smoking, Poor Lifestyle. These are the words that describe me before I changed my life around in 2016.

Aaron

It all started when I was taken to hospital due to a ruptured appendix in November 2015. Once I had recovered for my operation, my mum, who knew I had to change my lifestyle, showed me a picture she took of me whilst I was asleep and I was totally disgusted at what I seen.

I had let myself go so badly. Even though I was always the chubby kid/teen, this was bad.

Well, I had enough, after giving myself enough time to recover from my surgery (and Christmas dinner) I made a new year’s resolution, not only to change my weight, but to change my life.

And so, that’s what I did - I joined my local gym (Larne Leisure Centre (Northern Ireland)) and pursued a path which I had no intentions in stepping off.

I started on the first Monday of January and forced myself to go to the gym every single day and eventually after a week this became pretty routine for me.

I started off by doing weights, not really knowing what I was doing until my friends decided to also join the gym. My buddy Calym had been going to the gym for years and he showed me the basics. The more I learned the more interested I got - I would spend hours upon hours of spare time at home researching into proper dieting and how to work it with a solid training program.

Months went by and it was March - I had already shed a huge 3 stone, people were starting to notice and it felt great. Going into the local supermarket getting second looks off people.

I was happy at 3 stone but I had a goal that I wanted to reach it faster, so I decided to take a break from weights every day and try a little running.

After all it is the best way to lose weight I had read, and boy I’m glad I did it! I hated running at first, but the more I ran and the more I researched into running, the more I became to love the sport!

Again, months went by and I was on track to 10.6 stone. By July 2016, I reached that goal.

Aaron

Now my life revolves around running - I train every single day and mix my training up from Sprints and Tempo Runs to Steady Paced.

My training is very strict just like my diet, but I know it will be worth it in the end, and watching my pace improve weekly is highly satisfying.

I would love to one day run alongside my idol, Mo Farah - even having a conversation with him would be an amazing experience. After all it was his videos and documentary online that motivated me to take my first few steps into the world of endurance running.

I am thankful to him not only for inspiring me but inspiring everyone across the UK & Ireland with his performance within athletics and racing - simply inspiring - and now my goal is to see how far running can take me. My ultimate goal is to represent my country, to do my friends and family proud.

But all that weight didn’t come off without some mental assistance. My journey was lucky, because I have such good friends and family who backed me every step of the way from losing weight to now pursuing a dream in running, from Mum & Dad to my older brother & sister (and Steve, don’t worry, I didn’t forget you).

Finally, I’d like to thank two absolute gents for my journey so far, Andrew McKinstry and Hugh Curran, both Personal Trainers and close friends of mine at Larne Leisure Centre. Without their laughs, top class friendship and guidance on a daily basis, I don’t know where I would be!

What inspired you to start changing for the better?

Definitely the very flattering pictures (NOT!) my Mum took off me in hospital. It made me realize how big I was and how It had to change, but she took others also just before January - which helped make me realize I had to change.

Tell me about your life before the transformation?

Smoking, Over Eating, Partying and Poor Lifestyle. That was my life, and I am so glad that’s all in the past, I no longer Drink alcohol at all and I quit smoking just after Hospital. It’s as if I’m a new person - I like to think I am anyway!

Aaron

Did you focus on one big goal to achieve, or did you split it into separate smaller goals to make things more bitesize?

At the start losing weight, it was small goals - first from 100kg to 90, 90 to 80, 80 to 70 and so on.

Now I’m 67kg and although my end goal has changed to endurance running, my planning around my goals haven’t. I split my pacing up weekly and try to beat the previous weeks pace. I’m currently running roughly 6 minute miles for an average of 3.5 miles, and I know I’m going to keep improving.

Now let’s move onto the Diet part of this interview. What was the thinking behind building your meal plan?

At the start this was the vital part, but with the great articles on the Muscle Food website, it became that little bit easier and less stressful as I just drafted my diet from pieces of transformation stories at the time until I had made one which suited me.

Losing weight, I was in and around 1600 Calories per day - mostly chicken, wholegrain rice/pasta and eggs.

Now I eat to fuel my runs and workouts in order to get the best from them. I keep it very clean and strict Sunday.

I like to really treat myself on Thursday, Friday & Saturday - it works well for me. It helps me look forward to my weekends and gives me something to reward myself for all the hours of training I put in.

What are your Muscle Food favourites?

Definitely the Chicken Breasts - it’s no wonder they won a Good Taste award!

They deserve more than a Good Taste award let me tell you - and the pizza… Where do I even start with the pizza?

If I started to tell you how good they were when I was fighting off cravings at the start, I wouldn’t stop, so I’ll leave it at that. The site is full of tasty food - lean meat and high in protein and without it, I would have struggled, so Muscle Food my message to you is simple: THANK YOU!

How far ahead of time do you meal prep? And how do you keep yourself motivated to do so?

I would prep all my meals for Sunday. Thursday on Sunday and Friday & Saturday are days I grab whatever I fancy - usually a Chippy on a Friday and Pizza on a Saturday.

I keep myself motivated by imagining where I hope to see running take me and how the hard work, both in and out of the kitchen, is going to take me there. Mo Farah once said “Don’t Dream of Winning, Train for It.” That’s exactly what I follow both in and out of the kitchen.

Aaron

Now for your workout – do you have a favourite exercise?

Following the rest of my interview, this one’s pretty obvious - running of course!

And one you loathe doing??

They have to be done, but I hate Hill Sprints! Don’t get me wrong, I love the results they bring to my pace and strength in the end, but during them? Don’t even start me about how I feel…

Have you ever fell off the wagon? And how did you keep yourself motivated to get back on?

I’ve always had a goal in mind - first to lose weight and now to see how far running will take me - perhaps to make my dream come true so I personally have never fell of the wagon. I never want to, but if I did, I would pick myself up and try and try again.

Quick fire! Favourite music to work out to?

A variety, I’m a huge Billy Joel fan - We Didn’t Start the fire being my favourite, that one helps me run a little faster… Plus, I can listen to some party classics too, Universal Nation by Push being another favourite, mainly Billy though.

Favourite Movie?

It would have to be Charles Bronson at his best in “Once Upon a time in the West”, what a show!

Would you rather be a vegetarian, or have to hunt for your own meat?

I’d rather hunt. That would keep me active and I’d still be doing what I love - running.

Last few questions – what are your plans for this new chapter in your life?

As I say, to be the best I can at running, focus on each day as it comes. In my eyes, progression is a marathon, not a sprint.

And do you have any inspiring words for the thousands of Muscle Foodies who read this?

Don’t Dream of Winning, Train for It and Don’t be afraid to fail.

Aaron Callaghan
Muscle Food Final Thoughts

Every transformation story featured on Muscle Food outlines that a good diet and a good workout plan are essential to achieving the results you desire. All transformation stories, exercise routines and diet plans are provided by the customer and have not been checked by a nutritionist or doctor. Results may vary for different individuals.