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dwayne oconnor


Vital Statistics Before Current
Age 23 25
Height 6 feet -
Weight 220lbs /
100kg
200lbs / 91kg

Meet Dwayne. His story began in the same way that many of our promises to change start – with a breakup.

An affair after four years destroyed his confidence, forcing him further into his spiral of junk food eating and little exercise.

But something changed in him – a want to be better. He learned not to adopt the anxiety of setting yourself huge goals, but rather set yourself far smaller tasks that feel much more attainable.

Two years later, and with the help of Muscle Food, he is ripped! We had to talk to him about his amazing transformation.

Dwayne Oconnor

Meal Plan


Interview with Dwayne O'Connor

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

The transformation started 2014 September. I decided to start working out in 2015, but knew the gyms were going to be busy in January!

Because I was overweight and had zero self-confidence, I decided to start just before the new year.

The transformation itself was a surreal experience! Each day, I chose to focus on one thing to slightly improve. Normally, we all have big dreams and try and achieve them too fast – but this method inevitably fails and we become disheartened.

So, by focusing on one thing at a time, the dream became far more achievable e.g. drinking a gallon of water a day, eating 3 portions of veg a day or going on a run after work.

The next thing was accountability - going back to the "dreams" again they sound great in our heads where their safe from ridicule and that way no can will or can judge you if you fail!

But for once in my life, I wanted to be judged and I wanted to be seen. With that in mind, I decided to tell my friends, my family and my work mates that I was going to make a big leap towards health fitness and a better me. I also posted weekly social media updates with my body weight and photos -even if I looked good or bad in a photo - because of this, I learnt perseverance.

As for the reason why I wanted to change - for the same reason as many, I was just fat. I was the kid at the beach in the oversized t shirt, the teen who would play spin the bottle and if it landed on me the girls refused kiss (that one hurt).

I did excel in basketball, but due to a serious ankle injury, I couldn’t play anymore. So, I was fat, unattractive and the one thing I was good at was taken away from me.

But one side of things looked good for me - I somehow met a girl and fell in love. However, after 4 years the relationship ended with her having an affair. I was at rock bottom – without the support family who I wasn’t close to, so I was alone in a crappy apartment, with only my thoughts and my big gut in the mirror to keep me company.

I fell into clinical depression to the point that going to gym alone gave me great anxiety. When doctor was handing me anti-depressant tablets, I pushed his hand away and vowed to make a change!

Dwayne

What inspired you to start changing for the better?

I felt generally unhappy with how I looked, my energy levels were low and because of the junk I was eating I even had to take medication for Digestion.

Of course, I wanted to improve the way I looked but that wasn't the main reason - my unhealthy life was making me unwell, slowly but surely, things had to change.

Things did not start well for you – tell me about your lowest point after the split?

The lowest point of the break up. Before I was in a relationship, I was already using the gym casually in college. I also played basketball a lot I was a good, optimistic and independent athlete.

It was the sudden realisation that I had not only lost five years of my life and my partner, but also myself. I pushed all those things aside for a relationship - realising that I gave up on who I was. I had to rebuild back up a lot of friendships, and teach myself about healthy eating and lifting.

Being disregarded by someone you care about isn't easy, but I have great family and friends. They had my back.

Dwayne

You focussed on small goals during your transformation. Do you feel that helped you focus better on improving yourself?

Small goals are key… Anytime people mention their goals or dreams, they’re often so big that they seem unattainable.

This makes people walk away from them, frightened that others will judge them for not for filling these dreams, but you can break them down!

For example, "my goal is to lose weight" can be improved to " want to lose bodyfat,” and further tweaked to "I want to lose 3 percent Bodyfat in 50 days." You see? Now we have a definitive goal and because this we have a way to track progression.

Always have a start, middle and end point. These smaller goals always gave me a sense of achievement because they were easier to for fill, I still do this now and it's helped me in all areas of my life.

You’ve been very open about your transformation on social media. How do you feel that has impacted your transformation?

Social media is a powerful thing. I didn't think anyone would be interested in me losing a few pounds. But apparently, they were.

People’s words really keep me on track - not in the way of Begging attention, but in the way that my efforts were being recognised. Also, because I was posting things regularly on Facebook, it held me accountable and forced me to stick to my diet.

Dwayne

And to follow this, how do you feel social media impacts health & fitness in general?

I’m a bit of an old man when it comes to social media… I only got Instagram this year. I was surprised to see so many guys and girls into fitness.

Although this is great I do see a lot of misleading things - from editing photos to the "supplements" people are using. Take everything with a grain of salt. I'm on social media for people like me, who were out of shape, and want to improve their physical health naturally and permanently.

Now let’s move onto the Diet part of this interview. You’ve got a cracking food plan! What are your Muscle Food favourites?

Food is the most important part of my fitness plan.

I’ve been using MuscleFood for 2 years now and even if I didn't transform myself, I would still be using you guys until I'm old and grey.

The reason why is the quality of meats - the chicken is the best I've ever tasted! It’s never watery or stringy. I have full confidence in the company and I've never been let down by the service or quality.

My food plan is quite simple - high protein, high fat medium cards and loads of veg.

  • Protein: chicken breast, Soy protein, grass fed mince, egg whites
  • Fats: coconut oil, full eggs, nuts more peanut butter, avocado
  • Carbohydrates: Brown rice, Dr Zak protein bagels, fruits, sweet potatoes, oats

When I'm not dieting, I will mix things up! Quest bars, carb killers, Walden farms sauces but my favourite from MuscleFood has to be the mighty meat pizza!

I'll tell you a secret… I cook two of the pizzas at the same time and 5 minutes before there done, I'll grab your low-fat cheese and grate that bad boy all over the top of one of the pizzas. After this, I slap the other pizza on top, cheese that up too and cook them both together like a pizza sandwich!

The result is a meaty, cheesy meal of the Gods! A treat that I may feel ashamed to admit, but tastes SO good.

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

I meal prep every 3 days, so the food stays fresh and tasty. I eat 5 meals a day, just because it suits me and my work hours. The best way to prep food is the way that works best for you.

I don't eat well to look good, I do it because it makes me feel good and you don't need motivation to feel good.

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

My favourite exercise is "incline bench press." My upper chest is a bit weak, so it really helps develop that area also it's one of my best lifts

I work out 5-6 times a week, hitting everything at least once a week. My workouts are based around compound lifts. I tend to use very low reps between 1-4 on big lifts and 8-10 on non-compounds.

I used to lift to be stronger and feel great, now my goal has changed… I'm now working out to shape my physique, I will be focusing on better balance and bringing up my many weaknesses. I will look better than ever in 6 months’ time!

And one you loathe doing??

I hate squatting! I like to squat deep so that I go through the full range of motion, I’ve only started training legs properly for a year.

Now that I've learnt more about balance and bodybuilding. I've been squatting a lot more to build up my weakest area, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of it!

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

I have never fell off the wagon since making the pledge to better myself.

The highest my bodyfat has been since my transformation is about 15 percent (injury and unable to train). I don't mind not being shredded all year around, because it's very taxing mentally and socially!

So, I plan periods in the year where I will use the extra calories I'm taking in to increase my lifts and add a little muscle. If I did fall off there's 3 things I would do to get back on the right track:

1. Make a big order from muscle food
2. Set a bed time so I get enough sleep
3. Cut out drinking, fast food and sweets

Dwayne Oconnor

Quick fire! Favourite music to work out to?

Music hypes me up more than anything else. My music choice depends on what I'm doing. I know that’s pretty strange, but it helps!

POP/CARDIO Nsync, Michael Jackson, Backstreet boys. I love that 90's feeling

RNB/POSING Tank, Day 26, Chris Brown and Usher

ROCK/COMPOUNDS Paramore, Bullet for my valentines, Linkin Park, Rob Bailey

HIP HOP/GENERAL LIFTING Lil snupe, Meek Mill, Drake, Jadakiss and Future

Favourite Movie?

I don't have a favourite movie but I love "The Walking Dead.” Season 7 is off to a great start.

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

I'm all about the meat! I'm eating chicken while I'm typing this! Pretty much a carnivore, just call me Dwayne-osaurus-rex.

Last few questions – what are your plans for the future?

Every 5 years, I set myself three goals that I want to achieve.

They can be big or small, about fitness or family life. I've just come to the 5th year of my goals this July, and I'm happy to say I've achieved all of them:

  • 1. To have a paid job involving fitness
  • 2. To buy a house
  • 3. To be Happy with who I am

My next goals are:

  • 1. To place top three in a natural show
  • 2. To gain recognition within the fitness industry
  • 3. To further my education
Dwayne

Going back to question 3, if you ever met your ex-partner again, what would you say to her and why?

My friends ask me this all the time!

My first thought was to call her every name under the sun, for what she did. But honestly the first thing I would do is apologise to her.

For her to do the things she did, she must have been quite unhappy and I must have been a bad partner. I would thank her for the good and bad times because they have made me who I am now and I couldn't be happier.

I have no interest in becoming friends, because I've moved on and I hope she has too. I would say for me now the sky's the limits but there's foot prints on the moon. That’s a reminder that I've still got a long way to go, I've got to keep working hard.

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

I guess I should say something like try hard and never give up. However, our lives aren't cheesy movies where everything just works out in the end. Sometimes working harder just isn't enough.

Instead of working harder, work smarter. We must always be honest with ourselves. Money, time, effort and current knowledge are all things to be taken into consideration. This means you must be ready to give if you’re ready to receive.

Buying high quality foods, paying for a credible personal trainer and missing nights out with your friends. Don't be surprised when in your quest for your best self, you’re asked to sacrifice something, more importantly still do not be discouraged.

I'm not a famous, fitness icon. Hell, I don't even have a lot of followers on social media! I'm just a person who had patience and a lot to prove to himself.

So, I say that nobody this world is more special than anyone else – colour, race, gender – they’re not important. We're all born equal, and what sets us all apart is perseverance. We can all achieve greatness.

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.