Milos Planic (@milos_the_raspberries_farmer) moved to NYC from Serbia on a work and travel visa. He had a few goals for himself during his time in the US—live in the moment, travel more, and lose the weight he had gained during college.
His transformation plan wasn’t loaded with weight training and HIIT workouts—his new job actually played a major role.
This is our straight Q&A with Milos about how he fell out of shape and successfully got himself back on track.
How did you fall out of shape?
I started gaining weight during college. In total, I put on about 50 extra pounds while I was at college. I attributed the weight gain to late night studying, falling prey to fattening foods choices in college cafeterias and a lack of physical activity.
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When did you realize it was a serious problem?
At my heaviest I weighed about 210 pounds. I stepped on the scale and was shocked – it was a really painful experience weighing myself and seeing that I had put on 50 pounds, seemingly out of nowhere. This weight gain could have put me at risk for obesity-related health issues, so I knew I needed to make a change.
What were the first things you changed about your lifestyle?
I started with changing my diet, I reduced sugars and carbohydrates as much as I could and based my diet on proteins, fats and vegetables. This was the same time that I started working at Dumbo Moving, and moving is a very physical job, so this extra physical activity really added to my lifestyle change. After moving jobs, I practiced exercises every day and ran on the nearby field. I began my weightless journey during the summertime, so I also swam on Brighton Beach almost three times a week.
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What specifically about the moving company helped you with this transformation?
With moving, tasks usually require complex movements — you’re not just simply lifting something up and down like you do in the gym because you’re constantly in motion – so moving allows you to incorporate cardio while lifting. Majority of the job is carrying items to and from the truck, and because Dumbo is based in NYC, we had to carry a ton of items up many flights of stairs in order to move people into apartments.
When did you begin your transformation and how long did it take you?
After 45 days I checked my weight and I was stunned, seeing that I had lost 10 pounds, which motivated me to keep going further. A huge part of losing weight is believing you can do it, and realizing it’s not going to happen overnight. The only way you can see results is if you stay consistent. All in all it took me about five months to shed the 50 pounds I had gained in college. I know my “transformation” is never really complete, however. I’m healthier than I have ever been before, but I know that there is always room for improvement. I continue to exercise almost every day and I continue to eat clean, because healthiness really starts from within.
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What has this transformation taught you?
I learned so much about myself during this transformation and I’ve never felt more confident, happy or healthy. I realized the true strength of self-motivation and consistency, and surprised my own self with my ability to stay on track with this transformation. All of the effort and sacrifice I put in was so worth it because I was just so proud of how far I had come all on my own.
I did this whole transformation while visiting the US on a work and travel visa from Serbia. Those six total months in the US were truly memorable and were a huge test to my independence, survival skills, endurance and patience.
What’s your best piece of advice for anyone struggling with their weight?
Eat less, exercise more. Consume foods with high fat and protein to feel full longer and then you will eat less frequently.
Rely on your supporters—share your plans to lose weight with any one close to you. This will make you accountable, and you will be motivated as they cheer you on.
Take on a part time job that requires movement, you will make more money and reap the health benefits.
Take a photo before you start. If your scale fails to show weight loss, compare your photos. You could be dropping fat but adding muscle, causing the scale to not really move. Many people who eat right and exercise quit when they don’t initially see that they are dropping weight – this could help keep you motivated.
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