Growing up, Jon Over struggled with his weight, but always managed to lose those extra pounds by playing sports. After college, Over began working in construction and eventually started his own company. And like most entrepreneurs, the now 36-year-old prioritized his business over everything—including his health.
Working left little time to hit the gym or make healthy meals, and Over gained weight, which impacted his mood.
“The issue was that outside of work, my enjoyment or participation in things had dwindled,” he tells Men’s Health. ” This was due to my rapid weight gain over a few years. Social occasions filled me with anxiety.”
Over consumed alcohol to manage his anxiety and gain confidence in social situations.
“The issue would be that I didn’t know when to stop,” he says. “Drugs also became part of my life as well for a short period of time.”
In December 2017, Over hit a low. At the time he weighed 294 pounds and was severely depressed.
“I knew that this had consumed me to the point I wanted to give up. The issue is I don’t give up on things that easily.”
Around that time, he’d started following Ultimate Performance (UP)—a UK-based gym that specializes in body transformations, on social media. Although he was unable to afford UP, Over, who lives in Brighton, England, started going to cycling classes and worked with local personal trainers for roughly a year.
“My goal throughout 2018 was to try and get into a position [financially] where I could go to UP.”
In 2019, Over finally signed with UP after an initial consultation. He was assigned a personal trainer who explained the basics of counting macros and tracking calories to create a calorie deficit. Over says this was the most useful part of the program because it made him think twice about what he was eating.
Additionally, Over focused on lifting heavy with the help of his trainer.
“It’s amazing what a combination of three hours of weight training and a brilliant trainer can help you a produce in a very short space of time,” he says.
Now, Over weighs 167 pounds and wears a small or medium. Before, he wore an XXL and sometimes struggled to find jeans that fit.
Even more satisfying is the way that Over feels mentally.
“My mental health benefits are also dramatic,” he says. “I have suffered with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. There is no cure for these—just maintaining and managing them. Exercise is my way of managing them. To think with a clearer head has paid dividends for me and has not only turned my life around but also my business around.”