First off let me explain that this feels a bit like bragging…truth is it probably is bragging. But I excuse this blatant self praise by hoping that some middle aged fat bastard might read this and grab a hold of life again. It feels EXCELLENT to be stronger than I have been in 35 years. Heck I might even be stronger than that…regardless it is doable. You don’t have to be a fat ass, but you have to want it. I hope that my blatant bragging might be enough to get someone off their asses and get their youth back.
January 2011 after getting my big fat 245 pound ass kicked by the flu, first time my family ever saw me in bed sick, and then being told I was too fat to get the best rate by a medical exam for life insurance (flu scared the wife into realizing I wasn’t going to live forever) I decided it was time to stop abusing my health and do something about it. This would be the third time in my life that I lost a lot of weight. The first time was at 30 years old when I stared into the mirror shaving one morning and a fat bastard with a big belly looked back at me. The second time was some years after quitting smoking when I gained all my weight back that I had lost 7 years previous. The first time I lost my weight I did it by riding around 2 to 4 hours a day on my bicycle in Las Vegas. I don’t remember my diet but I know I was eating a lot of pasta. The second time, at 46, I did it by using Atkins. Matter of fact I can remember the exact day I fell off my diet…had the kids with me walking into Albertsons grocery store and the evil bastards had a Krispy Kreme display by the front door. Well hell I picked up a dozen glazed and finished them off by myself before I got to the register…think I might have growled at the kids when they asked for one.
Here I am in January 2011. Fat bastard hit 245 once…didn’t tell the wife cause it was too embarrassing.
Right about this time I am reading Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes. I had read Good Calories Bad Calories the year before so I had zero excuse regarding my weight. At 54 years old after a lifetime of sports from Judo to Cross Country Motorcycle racing I was officially a fat-body. Was this it? Was this all I had? Was this the moment in time when I chucked feeling good out of the window and accepted being an old fat-body full of arthritis, pain and suffering…or did I have it in me to get well, get lean and get strong one more time? I got started…with a vengeance.
Having bought Gary Taubes book Good Calories Bad Calories the previous year I knew how, I just had never followed through. But I was finally realizing that by being a fat-body I was risked not only being round and weak, but much worse, I was actually risking not being present when my kids 7, 9 and 13 grew up and had their own. Of course, losing weight is no guarantee of living forever but your odds go up and making your odds worse by bad choices seems wrong.
With “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It” I went to work. Cutting out all forms of sugar cold turkey I saw immediate results. Within a very short time I had lost around 15 pounds and then I ran into an article in Men’s Journal “Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie“. Doing a bit of research into Rob Shaul of Mountain Athlete I discovered that I wasn’t too old to get strong again…no indeed not. Contacted Rob and he sent me a 6 week program for endurance athletes as I didn’t want to join a gym and didn’t want to hurt myself lifting heavy weight as I didn’t have a spotter. Fantastic ass-kicking program that had me getting strong at the same time that I was getting lighter and lighter. Then I stalled at 205 from 245 and nothing I did seemed to be able to get me down below 205…I was officially stuck. This was not going to do.
By this time I had finished the 6 week endurance athlete program and stunned my wife with my new found looks and strength. Indeed one night after watching a movie she dared me in front of our 3 children to carry her across the house, I simply reached down and picked up my gorgeous 6’2” 165 pounds of stunned wife and carried her across the house, it was so easy. But I wasn’t satisfied, I wanted strength and I wanted to get to 190. Read an interview with Gary where he said that as we get older our abuse of our body makes it harder and harder go lose weight by simply cutting out carbohydrates . That was depressing…I knew that insulin had something to do with it but didn’t know how to correct it beyond what I was already doing…staying in mild ketosis all the time.
5 weeks ago I came across a study that showed Intermittent Fasting might help repair the damage done to my insulin sensitivity. So I immediately started eating once a day 5 days a week. I skipped breakfast and lunch 5 days a week. On weekends I eat normally. In two weeks I dropped 8 pounds and by the fifth week I dropped to 195. But I don’t think this is all there is. I have just read about caffeine damaging insulin sensitivity. Given that I might drink 5-8 diet cokes a day I know what I need to do. I wonder what the results will be?
Here I am one year later. About 4 months ago I moved away from weights and started body weight exercises. If you are interested pick up Convict Conditioning. The other day while working out at the beach at LSU Lakes I was doing 5 sets of 5 handstand presses with 5 chin ups between sets, a group of young guys walked up. One of them said that they wouldn’t be doing THOSE…heh. Yea I am pretty happy with the results! Not done yet.