By John Sonmez January 11, 2018

How I Changed From Fat Weirdo To A Good Looking Guy (Fitness Transformation)

Some of you might not know, but I was not that good looking guy and fitness model since I was born.

I was a big fat weirdo in my early days and some people are beyond surprised when they see how much of a difference and how much I've changed since I was young.

A lot of people ask me: John, how were you able to change so drastically? What have you done?

It was a complete fitness transformation. You can lose weight with the proper diet.

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: 

Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from I did this video where I talked about—what was it? Man, I can't even remember what this video was on. Uh, let me see. Why can't I do it now? What was this video? It was something about—oh, yeah. La, la, la, la, la. I know what it was. It was like do you need to be good looking as a guy, like do you need to be attractive, like does looks matter, something like that. You can check out the video here.

All right, so I get this comment on the video. This guy said, “Ma bro. I would really appreciate if you make a video about how you went from fat guy to bodybuilding guy.” This is from Carlos Garcia. In that video, I had this like before and after picture where I showed myself—maybe we'll show the pictures here of me, fat, kind of ugly, nerdy, pimply face kind of John to—well, to me that I am now, the stud that I am now.

A lot of you were like, “What the fuck, dude?” like there was a lot of comments on that and this is where this comment came from. I thought I would talk about this a little bit, address this, answer this question of how I went from fat guy to bodybuilding guy. I'd have to tell you my whole life story to really get into the weeds here, but I'm going to give you sort of the short, condensed version. Maybe I'll do some more videos talking about some more aspects of this. Let's see. Where to begin? What should we talk about?

The transformation is not exactly what it appears like from those 2 pictures. I actually went through multiple transformations in my life and I'll say it too. I want to say this by saying that most of the transformation that has occurred in my life have not been physical in nature. They have been mental, psychological in nature and the psychological changes, the inner changes are the changes that manifest themselves outwardly. You will always manifest the reality externally of what your current inner reality is. What you believe about yourself, how you feel about yourself, what your perceptions are, your self-identity is, that will determine what your external reality is. It really will. Not just from your physical reality of your body, but also your environment, your financial situation, your relationships. All of those things that exist outside of you are influenced greatly by what is inside of you. Change begins internally. You change mindset and then that becomes outward.

To give you a little bit of back story, I, as a kid, I was very shy, very lazy. I've talked about this before and I eventually ended up becoming—like changing who I was, like deciding—I've told this story. You can listen to the story here on the five things every—five soft skills every software developer should know. I talked about that in this talk, about that moment, that experience I had. I'll give you a quick rehash. Basically, at one point when I was around in high school, I had this mindset. I woke up one morning and said, “Well, why not me?” Why can other people like do these things or be these things?” and I was kind of this dork. I was kind of lazy. I was overweight and out of shape and I wasn't athletic. I didn’t have any style and girls didn’t like me, and all these things. I had this whole list of like being this dork and nerd. I said, “Why me? Why not me? Why can't I just be what I want to be?”

I envision it in my head who I wanted to become, the best version of myself possible. Let's start pretending like I was that person. Start acting that person, like that person, and I eventually became that person. It took time. I'm still on the process of it. I'm always on the process of it. I'm always envisioning who I want to become and stepping into that role pretending that I'm already that person, but that was sort of the—that was the hack that I discovered in life.

When I discovered that—I didn’t immediately have all the changes. I didn’t become the person I am today or you can see just in my videos in the past four or five years how I've changed drastically as a person, but I've had so many transformations in my life from fit to fat, from fat to fit, from all of these types of things based on what was going on internally as I torn apart my psychology and myself, and rebuild it up in different ways. Hopefully, in most cases with a stronger foundation everytime. At least I know that's where I'm going now. It might not have been where I was going before, but, again, I don't want to make this too long.

Essentially after that, what happened was, at least in my high school days, I enrolled in track, in wrestling, football. I started to actually visualize myself as an athlete. I said I can be and I started becoming an athlete and I had never really done physical activity in my life. I started lifting weights. I started running. I started, like I said, doing track. I did pole vaulting. I did wrestling. I did the football team. I didn’t end up staying on a football team because I had so many other activities going on, but I ended up doing that. I ended up changing how I dress. I ended up changing how I talk and what I thought about myself.

Again, not as confident as I was—as I am now. Definitely had a lot more deficiencies, but I stopped being lazy. You know what I mean? I changed a lot of things about myself. Eventually, what ended up happening after I graduated high school is that I got a little bit more into fashion and I had started looking good. I started to shape my body and I got approached by a modeling agency and I became a model in a modeling agency, and I did some acting as well. I got signed on with an agency actually in Costa Mesa where I moved to—if you followed my career story, which you can check out the career story here. This is kind of the back story I didn’t talk about and that I ended up going and signed with this agency that was in Costa Mesa. It was around the same time that I took this job with doing contracting for Xerox. It's a $75 an hour job. I was 19 years old. It was awesome. Again, you can check it out in that career story video, but that's where I was at that point. I've got some online pictures. Maybe we'll throw some up here. They're kind of embarrassing. Rodrigo will—it's an embarrassing photo year apparently because I have got—this video will have lots of embarrassing photos.

I was fit, I was fit. I was in shape. I was looking pretty good. I didn’t have the confidence that I have now. I didn’t have the—I still had a lot of—I don’t want to tell you that like I had figured it all out because I was so—I was like 10% of what I've got figured out—not even 10%, 1%, okay? I was 1% as confident. I was 1% of everything that I kind of depict today. I don’t want to pretend like that happened.

What ended up happening was I had a fall from there. I've maintained my fitness level. I did good, but then what ended up happening where I really had the fall—what ended up happening was that I tore my pec—Okay. I've told this story before and it totally devastated me. I lost my identity because my identity was wrapped up in being the biggest guy at the gym. Again, I was not fit at that time, like I wasn’t ripped like I am. I never was. I never achieved the physique level that I wanted to. That was my mindset, but that was big. At one point, I was close to 300 pounds or about 300 pounds and benching 405. Actually, benching more than 405. I was definitely like big, but I tore my pec.

After that happened, I ended up actually losing a lot of weight because I couldn’t really lift and then I actually ended up gaining a bunch of weight. I went from like 300 pounds of maybe 20% body fat, which 300 pounds and 20% body fat, that's pretty freakin' tank mode, okay? I went from that to 300 pounds and more like 30% body fat or 35. I don’t know. I was fat. You could see it on those pictures, my dorky pictures with my long hair. My skin went to shit. You would not have guessed that like five years before that or so that I was actually a model doing modeling and acting, and then I was getting signed to do like modeling shoots and do runway, and all this stuff. Not of that ever—I never made it big time in the modeling or acting. I'm not going to pretend like I did, but I was getting signed to do stuff. I was going on casting calls like I was—I had a potentially promising career before I went full bore into software development because—or else I wasn't going to make any fucking money doing the modeling and acting stuff. My mindset actually is different now. Now, I could have actually killed that shit, but I didn’t believe in myself at that point.

My point is that—okay, so I had that transformation and a lot of it was mental. You could see it in my skin. I mean like when you look at me as a person there, it was—a lot of it—again, if I can describe this, what I would say is that I had a false—like some part of me did change. There were definitely aspects of me—I mean you should have seen me before that way, way back when in high school when I was a dorky, whatever, but some of that change was not permanent. It was still an illusion. I was still fucking fooling myself. I was still operating at this level where I wasn't fully changing and embracing that change. I changed in some ways, but there were still a lot of underlying deficiencies. There's a lot of fears. There's a lot of deficiencies that I hadn't overcome in my life that I didn’t face, a lot of obstacles I didn’t face and my identity was wrapped up in this thing. At one point, it was wrapped up in my looks. At one point, it was wrapped in being the biggest guy at the gym. My identity got fucking smashed with a fucking hammer. I lost it all and everything fucking collapsed and I had to rebuild it up. I had to really—no. There were some changes that were still there. I mean I was a hard worker at that point. I had a lot more wisdom than I had before. I had more confidence, but a miniscule amount compared to what I have now. There were some good foundations that were laid there, but I had to break it all down when that identity shattered and I had to rebuild it up.

How did I rebuild it up? How did I go from fat to fit in that case? A lot of it, like I said, is the mindset. A lot of it changed in my mind because I had this moment where, again, I said, “You know what? You need to build a new identity like you're never going to be the biggest fucking guy in the gym again. That's fine but that doesn’t need to be your identity,” and that's where things started to change.

The best thing I could point you to is I did this video on what my life was like seven years ago. I know I'm linking a lot of videos on this one, but you should watch that video and that explains more of that. Essentially, what happened was that I regained that—I started reading a lot of positive books. I started looking into self—personal improvement and self-development. I started focusing more, more, more on the inner game on changing. Instead of just making money, instead of just like trying to change my external world, instead of seeking validation from other people, I started to care about changing myself internally and growing as a person. What shifted from the fat John to the bodybuilder John that you see today was a shift from my external validation, wanting the world to validate me. Wanting women to validate me. Wanting other people to validate me. Wanting people to tell me I did a good job or telling me that I was worthy. That shift to wanting to actually really dig deep and grow myself, and build myself as a person and become the person that I want to be, become the best person possible from an honest level. Not just from a superficial level, but from a core identity. I really am this. I really own this level, so I started reading a lot of books.

I'm going to wrap up the video here. I could talk about this more and more, but that's a good intro. Maybe I'll do a part of this video and I'll talk more about making that actual change, but it was developing that bulldog mindset. It was all about changing to that internal growth. Once I started to focus on that internal growth and start growing internally, I've gotten the best physique, the best shape I ever got in my life. I got more shit done than I ever fucking did in my life. I accomplished so many—I mean in the last year, I've ran like—I mean changes have happened. Now, I've ran like—what's it like—nine marathons, a full marathon like—just like all kind of things have changed and grown in my life because of that focus. I've gotten in the best shape, I've gotten in the best physique and it all has to do with that internal change that has influenced the external.

Again, I'll probably do a part two on this. If you guys are interested to hear more. Give me some questions and stuff about this that I can answer in a part two and talk more about that shift of going from fat to fit from—what's the comment? I appreciate if you can make a video from fat guy to bodybuilding guy. I want to give you guys the honest background though, so that—because it wasn't like I just like had one transformation and I just went from fat guy to bodybuilding guy. I did that transformation, but there were some other curves in the road before I got there, and then recently in the last seven years I made that transformation.

I could talk more about that exact process of how that happened if you guys are interested, but I need some questions. Give me questions that you want answered about that and maybe I'll do part two. All right. That's all I got for you today. I hope that if you found this useful, you'll click that Subscribe button below and click the bell so you don’t miss any videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."