Working The Beat

Salad-slinger by day, beat-maker by night, Clifford Lefevre’s journey spans back to his early-20s, when his weight-loss began. But it wasn’t until he traveled to music festival South by Southwest with his band two years ago that he was propelled into his mission to not only be fit, but to take his fitness evolution to the next level.

Fast forward to today and Lefevre is now 75 pounds lighter. Here he shares how he maintains his fitness while juggling a day job and a hectic lifestyle as drummer for local electro-soul band, The YEAH Babies.

What first motivated you to get fit?
I started running in my early-20s, and aesthetically I wanted to be in better shape. To gain better confidence, ya know. Being overweight brings its own set of insecurities. Even though I’ve always been outgoing and good at making friends, I was insecure. Especially when it came to talking to girls. Back then, I worked at Subway and was drinking a lot of pop. I was kind of athletic, but still a bigger guy. So I quit drinking pop and started running more. Mixing the running with dietary changes, I noticed weight coming off. It was cool because my dad has been running in marathons here in Columbus for about 16 years, and after I was in better shape I was able to run a marathon with him a few years ago, which was pretty awesome. He’s definitely an inspiration.

How hard is it to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle as a musician? 
It can be a big challenge. It’s all about finding a balance between all the aspects of band life while trying to maintain a healthy life. The hardest thing for me is getting enough sleep. Sometimes we have band practice and shows going into crazy hours of the night. Then it’s like I have to try to get up at 8 a.m. to make breakfast and workout. Eating breakfast is important to me, so to make sure I eat a good breakfast and go to CrossFit class is key to having a great day. Add working and band responsibilities and it can definitely be tough to stay on track. I’ve learned to make time for my health, just like I make working on music a priority.

 So CrossFit is part of your main workout, how is that? 
I love it. I strive to go to CrossFit Grandview five times a week, and I’m constantly working to reach new goals. Whether it’s scaling up in a workout or lifting heavier weights, I’m challenging myself. CrossFit is no joke though. It’s all about combining correct form and body movement to execute the workout efficiently and then eating food that’s equally good for my body. So I pretty much eat the paleo way. Having discipline helps for sure. When we travel for shows, I try to run when I can.

Give me a little snippet of what you eat in a typical day.
A trainer friend of mine at Lifetime Fitness, Kate Lonsinger, hipped me to this awesome meal plan that’s given me great results. For breakfast I’ll eat like three eggs and two egg whites sprinkled with Sriracha, oatmeal with almond milk and a glutamine protein shake with Stevia and cinnamon. After CrossFit, I try to make sure I get another protein shake in. This time I’ll put in some strawberries, blueberries and spinach. Lunch is usually pretty simple, like some turkey or lean beef with kale, sweet potatoes and balsamic vinegar. Dinner will be maybe some fish or chicken with brown rice, almonds and Sriracha. Did I mention I like Sriracha?

 Can you sum up three things that really helped your weight loss?
Number one was definitely cutting the pop out of my diet. I was drinking way too much of it while working at Subway back in the day. I really noticed pounds dropping when I quit drinking that stuff. Then I got into the groove of making exercise a regular habit and really knowing what I was eating. Making informed decisions about what food I eat has helped me tremendously.

You gotta have a vice or two. Care to share?
Well, number one is that I definitely struggle with smoking cigarettes. I’ve seriously cut back but it’s a nasty habit to kick. And I can’t seem to get away from sugar cravings. I can go most days without eating sugary stuff, but when I cheat “bad” I’ll have a Fudge Round and a Coke. When I cheat “good” though, 88-percent dark organic chocolate is where it’s at!

Last but certainly not least … to someone in your shoes, trying to get fit and stay fit, what advice would you give to them?
Don’t be afraid … just go for it! Keep pressing toward your goals and do whatever you can to make smart, informed decisions. Your fitness evolution depends on your choices. Work towards eliminating failures and don’t reward yourself with food. If you fall off the wagon, that’s ok. Get back on and stay motivated. Never lose sight of who you’re doing it for: YOU. •