Several months after a breach had brought Brandon Lim's bodybuilding career to a halt – a broken wrist trying to achieve maximum purity and jerkiness – Lim glanced at himself in the mirror and had to admit a harsh truth: He would let go. "I saw this bloated, heavy stomach sticking out so far," he says. "That's where I knew I wanted to change my lifestyle." 21-year-old Lim, a student and personal trainer based in Northern Virginia, says he's been involved in weight bouts in the past. Back then, when he had taken part in competitions – and won – he had risen to almost 225 pounds. "Besides, my ego told me that I look awesome and that a" real man "should weigh at least 200 pounds," he says.
Lim knew he had to let go of that mindset, and despite his injury, he was still determined to achieve a slender, torn physique, as he did with the competitive bodybuilders he admired. Lim, however, knew he could not do it to achieve that goal. "I spent hours researching to learn how to properly break down fat and told myself that I would do everything right with science," he says. "After many, many hours of learning, I finally sat down, calculated my macros and made a plan to change my life." So Lim came in the best shape of his life.
You mentioned that most of the weight gain during an injury took place after a bodybuilding competition. What has contributed most?
My diet was probably the biggest factor ̵
How was that for you? From the physical high state to the relatively sedentary state?
After learning what it means to be overweight, I have to say it was much harder to keep up with everyday life than it is today. I weighed my worst in my present age. At 225, it was so hard for me to fall asleep and wake up because I just felt uncomfortable about carrying unnecessary weight with me. For example, my eyes would strain and every time I bent down to tie my shoes, liquid would leak into my nasal cavity. Any type of cardiovascular activity would be a death sentence for me, as I only had the ability to do low-intensity exercises.
What were the biggest changes you made to get back into shape?
The very first change I made was to go into my kitchen and throw away all the highly processed, sugary, empty calorie foods that I had and enjoyed. Although extreme, I knew that I could not be surrounded by temptations. I went out and bought all the natural, raw ingredients like whole oats, salads, chicken, the usual drills.
It was definitely hard to learn how to love the new lifestyle I was trying to live, especially when it came to eating my macros. Along with this diet, I trained six days a week, with Sunday being my special rest day and "detox" in the sauna.