Bernard Creed, a 52-year-old accountant from Dubai, shared the results of his 12-week body transformation with Men’s Health, and revealed the surprising mental benefits of his new routine.

I have always worked out and tried to make healthy food choices. Even during Covid, I stuck to my workout routine at home. I’ve never been heavy, but after turning 50, I noticed that things were starting to catch up with me, and my metabolism was not what it once had been. I was no longer able to get away with my past habits, and I’d started to put on weight and feel uncomfortable in my clothes.

I knew I had to make some changes, so I started working with my trainer, Tawfik Bakkar, at Ultimate Performance Dubai. In addition to our thrice weekly weights workouts, I also spent a lot more time on cardio: I began taking daily walks, and maintained 15,000 steps each day.

The biggest change for me was learning about macros. This really was a revelation. I’d known that keeping my protein up would help me maintain muscle level, but hadn’t paid attention to the healthy fats that I needed, and the effect of carbohydrates on energy. Tracking my macros and keeping within my daily goals forced me to make much better choices, and ended up having a huge impact.

I’d had trainers in the past, but never got far. Tawfik taught me how the combination of weight training, macro goals, sleep, fluid intake and daily walking were truly transformational. He checked in with me daily and kept pushing me—having this professional support was great.

Overall, I lost a total of 13 kgs (28 pounds) and managed to build 1.5 kgs (3.3 pounds) of muscle in a span of 12 weeks.

While the physical transformation was pretty drastic externally, I have to say that going on daily walks of over an hour every day actually led to the biggest change internally. It brought an element of mindfulness into my day, and allowed me to have some quiet time to think and reflect. This combination of physical and mental changes was something I had never experienced before.

Additionally, I’ve suffered from lower back pain for years—but since training with Tawfik in a way that avoided putting pressure on this area, I haven’t had any issues with my back since.

I’ve kept up with my training sessions, my macro goals, and my daily walks, and I feel really great about the choices I’ve introduced into my lifestyle. Tawfik has recently started me on the bulk phase of my training, which I’m loving. I’m building more muscle and increasing my calorie intake, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this next stage of my health and fitness journey will take me.

My advice to anybody who wants to get into better shape, is to find a program and a trainer that will work for you and your needs. Having someone who will push you, knows what they’re doing, and will listen is key. If you don’t have the budget for that, there are a lot of apps and forums out there full of useful information. But remember to tune out the noise from detractors and only focus on what is helping you pursue your goals.

Finally: taking a daily walk is free, and will surprise you with the impact it can have.

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