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De’Mar Hamilton, 27, Bucktown
Drummer for the Plain White T’s
Lost 65 pounds
I made the decision that when I turned 27, I had to lose weight. I was inspired by seeing other friends who lost weight and celebrities like Jonah Hill. Probably a week after my birthday in April, our guitar tech introduced me to Insanity [a 60-day DVD program of high-intensity workouts that focuses on interval training with short rests in between extreme bursts of exercise; beachbody.com]. I chose it because I could do it from home and on the road. You didn’t need to buy any weights. When I first started doing it, I was so sore I couldn’t walk. But I could feel myself getting better. I felt like if I was going to put all this work into it, I wasn’t going to eat badly. So I cut out dairy and fried food and alcohol for a long time. Now I eat lots of salad and lean meat and try not to eat lots of carbs, definitely not after 6pm. I’d have to do the workouts in my dressing rooms while the other band members were all sitting there. I’ve had to change pant sizes four times; I went from a 40 to a 33, and I haven’t plateaued yet. My ultimate goal is to have a six-pack, and I feel like I’m not too far from that. It’s almost like an addiction; I love it. I feel like if I can do this, I can do anything.—As told to Jessica Herman
The trainer says One of the biggest obstacles to squeezing in workouts is the list of reasons you can’t make it to the gym…a late night at the office, crappy weather, too many snooze-button pushes. “It’s great to have the easy option of doing these workouts at home,” says Julia Mix, personal training manager at Equinox in the Loop. “But schedule it into your calendar just like you would an important work meeting so you don’t blow it off.” And try to find a happy medium during these sessions: “Keep moving, even if you’re just jogging in place,” Mix says. “But if something hurts, stop doing it—your risk of injury is higher when there’s not an instructor watching your form.”—Liz Plosser