Here at Myprotein, we’re privileged to have Former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod share his life-changing story of becoming a triple amputee – and how his motivation levels remain high!
Mark explains his life of a becoming a bilateral, above-knee amputee and why it’s so important to lead a healthy lifestyle and fuel your body properly.
Mark Ormrod Talks Life As An Amputee
“One of the biggest things that most people don’t realise about being a double above knee amputee is that it takes between 300 and 500% more energy to do anything than it would for an able-bodied person which is why nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are so important.
If you woke up in the morning and spent the entire day jogging around from one place to the next instead of walking, if while you were stood still you were jogging on the spot, and if you wore a weighted vest when you were doing things like get up off the floor or standing up from a chair that’s pretty much the same level of energy that it takes for me to get through a normal day as a full-time prosthetic user.
As a bilateral amputee I effectively have to live every day of my life like an athlete if I want to get the very most out of it and achieve all of the things and I want to achieve. The day that I realised this was the day that my life started to change for the better!”
Mark Ormrod | Nutrition
“Before I was injured I used to eat pretty much whatever I wanted – whenever I wanted – because I knew I could just go and run it off or work it off in the gym.
After I was injured my mentality remained the same with respect to my diet and it had a hugely detrimental effect on my initial recovery & caused me to gain a lot of unwanted weight.
After meeting lots of other amputees & discovering the facts and figures about energy consumption, how hard it was going to be to become a full time prosthetic user and after getting tired of always being tired, I decided to make a change and started pro-actively looking into ways to change my diet to suit my needs and the needs of my body.
The first thing I had to do was lose the weight:
✓ I reduced the amount of junk food I ate, cut my carb intake and eliminated alcohol – I’m not ever really hungry, I don’t count calories.
✓ I did what I could in the gym from my wheelchair and as the weeks and months passed the weight dropped off.
✓ After about a year of going backwards and forwards I reached a weight which I found to be optimal to my lifestyle.
The main nutrition changes:
✓ I started to eat 5 to 6 meals a day and to eat little and often rather than three large meals as I found that eating big meals took a lot of energy for my body to digest… and I needed all the energy I could get.
✓ Eating little and often also helped to maintain my metabolism and gave me a steady energy release throughout the day.
✓ I also found it extremely beneficial to take the right types of supplements. Even though I was eating well because of the constant demands on my body there was still a short fall in certain areas.”
Mark Ormrod | Rehab & Recovery
“After quite some time of rehab & recovery I got to a point where I was fully independent and happy. I re-introduced things into my life that I did pre-injury which to this point I had only dabbled with!
✓ The main thing I re-introduced was training within a gym environment (something that I’ve loved to do from an early age).
Now adapting my training, figuring out how to target muscles areas and trying to understand how to get results is a whole other story!
✓ One of the main challenges of getting back into some sort of training routine was that now my body was screaming out for even more nutrition. So I had to take another look at my diet & nutritional intake & figure out how I could train and see results but still have enough energy to handle that 300-500% more energy demand my body had just to get around after the training was over.
…Now I’m not an expert, I’m not a nutritionist, I did seek advice but only really minimal advice and I just started listening to my body to see what it needed!
For quite sometime I got it wrong. I looked at various plans, programs and advice and every time I decided on one I went at it full steam ahead & was strict to the letter. A lot of the time it didn’t work. I was forgetting that my body doesn’t work like everyone else’s & its not really ever resting (except while I’m sleeping) and so I started to ease up a bit & listen to my body, I mean after all I’m not a professional body builder – yes this was about trying to look good but it was really about functionality as an amputee.”
Mark Ormrod | Diet Today
“After lots of trial and error I think I’ve now found a happy medium.
I always try to stay hydrated & take on board BCAA’s whenever I can, I like to have a high protein diet but carbs are not my enemy! On Friday’s me and my family enjoy what we’ve dubbed ‘Fat Boy Friday’ which is effectively a cheat day!
It has taken me sometime and some discipline to get to this point in fact I’ve probably spent about 2 years trying to figure this all out. Benefits have been worth the struggle. I can now get around all day with enough energy to get by, I enjoy each day by not being overly strict with too much, I am back in the gym training and enjoying that feeling that comes with a good workout!”
Motivational Take Home Message
“The key thing to take way from this is that everybody is different not only in how their bodies work but also how they live their life. If your job involves you being sat at a desk all day your going to want to eat & train differently than if your job involves you being active and working outside where you’ll be burning more calories.
✓ Do your research and look into eating habits and workouts that will work for you.
✓ Listen to your body and see what its telling you – make small changes and see what happens.
✓ Slowly develop routines and habits which are most effective not only to your physical wellbeing but also to your mental wellbeing….There’s not much point in having a killer body that looks good if you’re constantly miserable trying to maintain it and everyday feels like a struggle; believe me when I say that because I’ve been through that process several times myself.
…Oh and lastly don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have no idea where to start then look at getting a customised meal plan/workout plan created for you… You’re investing in your health and in yourself….
And on that note I’m off to the gym for a leg workout! Yes I do train them!”