thoughts health Working Towards Less (of Me)

Saturday, Jun 2, 2018 — 873 words

I’m not sure exactly what I weighed last fall. It was somewhere around 245 lbs.[1]

While my height (6’) is a bit taller than the national average for men, it isn’t tall enough to hide that amount of weight. Especially when so little of it was muscle.

But that was then. At the time of writing this, I’m down to 205 lbs. Which is much better. I’m not at my target weight yet, but it’s now in sight.

Ultimately, I just want to get rid of my gut and look good in a t-shirt. That’s all that really matters, right? [2]

The Journey So Far

I’ve dropped 40 lbs over the last 6 months. Which, when I say it like that sounds pretty impressive, huh?

So how did I do it? Here’s an overview of my path[3] to better fitness (so far)…

I started on the Keto diet. A lot of initial weight melted off pretty quickly. But I found the carb restriction a little too severe… My GI tract wasn’t happy with it either.

After about 3 months of Keto, I transitioned to Paleo/Primal. I increased my carbs from <20 g to 60–100 g a day.

Recently I started intermittent fasting. I’m going with a 16/8 style, which is 16 hours of fasting with an 8 hour eating window.

I consume several varieties of pre/probiotics, for an improved microbiome.

Daily walks–Lots of them. I get up from my desk every hour and walk at least 5 minutes. A couple times a day I’ll extend that walk up to 30 minutes. I’m averaging about 30 miles a week.

Go to the gym 2 times a week. Generally, I warm up on the treadmill or row machine, lift weights, maybe play a little basketball, then cool down with a walk on the beach. I try to do something else active each week like a long walk/hike. Play some sport or something to that effect.

Patience… This is actually the hardest part. The more you work out, the easier it becomes (less soreness, more energy). Once you find the eating style/pattern that works best for you, it becomes a habit that you no longer have to think about. But patience… The “I wanna be fit now, dammit!” mentality is hard to shake. I remind myself that it took a long time to get into such bad shape, it’ll take a while to get out of it.

Going Forward

Here are some things I’d like to incorporate in the weeks to come:

  • Going to the gym 3 times a week – But no more than that. Might make the last “gym” day actually just a bodyweight workout at the park or beach. Gotta keep it fun and interesting.
  • Remove/reduce foods that cause insulin spikes. See The Personalized Diet or this video.
  • Start doing tabata sprints, or some other HIIT exercises. That would be a great 3rd workout for the week, come to think of it.

Lessons Learned

Some things I’ve observed about myself, and in general, over the last few months.

  • I’m very carb sensitive. Too much, too little, and most importantly what kind all make a big difference.
  • When eating whole/real foods, intermittent fasting is super easy. It’s become my default way of eating.
  • I need to be regimented in my appearances at the gym, but not in my workout routine. It’s best if I don’t do the same thing every time. It gets soooo boring. Instead, I just try to hit all the major muscle groups each time. Usually with different exercises (Although I do have my favorites–I’m looking at you weighted rows). It’s best for me to make sure there’s a “fun” factor involved. Sports or running on the beach, etc.
  • Important: I didn’t go on a diet. Going on something just reinforces the idea that you’ll wind up going off of it. I’ve changed my diet.

Links

Here are some of the things I’ve found interesting and think you should take a look at if you’re interested in taking control of your own weight and health.

If you’re caught in the “calories are king” mentality, start here: Diet Wars.

Articles

Books


  1. Boy I hope it wasn’t more than that. After a certain point, I stopped looking at the scales. And the mirror, if I could help it. ↩︎

  2. Well, that and being healthy and pain-free, but I’d assume that’s a given. 🙃 ↩︎

  3. It’s important to note that I’ve done a lot of research over the years and am comfortable conducting personal experiments like this. But I’m not prescribing this routine to everyone. In fact, I recommend that you do your own research, read and dig into the actual science to find the eating style and pattern that works best for you. ↩︎