It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it.-Epictetus
OK I gotta come clean and admit something. I’ve gained some weight over the past year or so. My lowest weight, back around 2012 was around about 180 lbs. Back then I could honestly claim I lost over 120 pounds. Well, as of April 1st, 2014, I’m back up to 200 pounds thanks to a bunch of factors. I put on too much fat mass!
I let myself go. Time to change.
I’ve gotten lazy, I haven’t been working out as much as I’d like, and I’m letting myself slip too much. I also think I have a low-grade pseudo depression that causes me to lack willpower and motivation a couple times per week. It might be a form of seasonal depressive disorder or something of that nature. It was a long winter, after all. Whatever, either way I fell off the bandwagon.
I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is. Literally. I’m officially going to use the next 6 months to completely change my body composition. I’m sick of being somewhat skinny-fat, I want to look more like these guys. While I’m not going to be as obsessed about getting 6-pack abs or maximizing my strength as these dudes, I want to at the very least get stronger and drop my body fat by a few notches. I want more muscle definition and I want to be healthier overall.
What is my motivation?
Well, for one, I signed up for two different obstacle based 5k’s, the Warrior Dash and the Rugged Maniac. They’re a test of my willpower and my ability to stick to a goal. I need to train and get healthier if I’m going to do halfway decent on them. I’ve done them before and I know I need to train myself if I want to get a decent time.
Here’s the kicker: I’m literally going to BET MONEY that I can lose the weight. If you’ve never heard of it, there’s sites that you can bet money on your own weight loss (see below). I’ll be dropping a significant amount of cash on these. I am literally putting my money where my mouth is. I can talk and write about these various weight loss techniques, but it doesn’t mean schyt if I can’t talk the talk and walk the walk. I know I can do it, I’ve done it before.
2014 will be a year of change
I’m sick of eating crappy foods, I’m sick of making excuses, and I’m sick of looking fat-ish. While I’m still much thinner than I was 5 or so years ago, I can still go lower. The problem is my motivation has been lacking. So this is it, this is my motivation to practice what I preach. I want to show everyone the power of simple dietary alterations and decent exercise. It’s both easy and difficult at the same time. I’m going to be 28 this year, and I think I should do this while I’m still fairly young.
It only gets more difficult as you get older.
Current stats as of April 1st, 2014:
5′ 11”. At 200lbs, my BMI is ~27.89. I personally don’t pay much attention to BMI and weight as a metric for health, but there it is.
- Chest: 40.75″
- Abdominal: 40″
- Thigh: 24.5″
- Suprailiac: 38″
- Bicep: 14″
- Neck: 15.5″
This puts me at about 25-30% Body fat. Body fat percentage is fairly difficult to estimate without expensive methods, so I’m not going to worry too much about it. I’ll use tight-fitting clothing to see how much it loosens as I drop the fat. It’s the poor-man’s body fat percentage estimator. I immediately jumped into keto to prime myself for some major loss of fat mass.
As of April 12th, I managed to find a bio-impediance body fat scale that gave me a digital readout of my composition:
According to this, I need to lose at least 14 more pounds before I’m considered “healthy.” The thing is, this is going by BMI. I don’t care about BMI because it doesn’t account for muscle mass vs. fat mass. I’m going to lose at least 15 pounds of FAT MASS and slowly build muscle mass.
Here’s some of my BEFORE Pictures for comparison: Warning: shirt-less Yossif pictures here.
How will I do it?
My methods to lose weight:
- Keto for times when I’m not weight lifting to control hunger
- Daily intermittent fasting (which is probably the only thing I do naturally anyways!)
- I will begin running once or twice a week as training for 5k’s
- I will try to bike to work as much as possible
- Walking while in fasted state is best for fat loss
- Keep drinking milk kefir to optimize immune system
My methods to build muscle:
- Visit gym AT LEAST 2 times a week for weight lifting
- Paleo to keep muscles ready for weight lifting
- Leangains protocol once I’m lifting regularly again (see below)
I haven’t been weight lifting like I used to for one important reason: I don’t trust my form.
It is very important if you want to lift heavy. If you’ve got bad weight lifting form:
- You’re not building the muscles properly
- You’re risking a painful and expensive injury
- You’re wasting your time and effort
I used to have a 200+ pound squat, but doesn’t mean anything if my form was bad. I’m working with a form coach who will slowly but surely set me straight. I need an expert eye to make sure I’m doing things right the first time. I’ve had to un-learn a lot of bad form, so this will take time. Even if I have to start over, I’d rather do it right than get hurt.
How will I eat to lose fat mass?
I personally prefer the paleo and keto methods of eating because there’s very little you need to measure. I HATE calorie counting with a passion. I’ve tried it many times in the past, but I really don’t want to worry about it so much. I like to just make something up, throw it in the oven and get back to whatever I was doing. I will attempt to watch my daily calorie intake more closely from now on.
In theory, the optimal way to prevent fat storage and encourage weight loss is to eat under your daily basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is roughly the number of calories you burn on a daily basis to stay alive. My rough estimate is around 2,000 calories a day. If I can stay under that during non-workout days, I’ll be golden for weight loss. The ideal number is about 1,800 calories. For training days, I’ll aim for about 3,000 calories for proper muscle building.
Seems simple, right? We’ll see…
One simple but powerful secret for success:
I’m not going to drive myself crazy sticking to a plan perfectly. I’ve had that happen too many times in the past. I go crazy trying to stick to a plan, and once I fail I throw everything out the window. Next thing I know I’ve eaten ~6000 calories and wasted all that effort.
If my buddy wants to go out for a few beers, so what? If I’m REALLY craving something sugary, I might indulge a bit. Hell, I might even have a doughnut at work at some point or go to the buffet with my girlfriend. 6 months is a long damn time, and no one is perfect! You have to plan for cheat times.
As long as I don’t go more than a day or two of falling off the bandwagon, there’ll be very little to worry about. Mindset is almost as important as what you put in your mouth! I’ve got a lot riding on this, and I really want to get serious for the first time in my life.
If you want to do the same as me and bet money on your weight loss, check out Dietbet and Healthywage. Money is a powerful tool to keep people on track. Use those and my methods to really make a difference.
I’ll keep updating and recording my progress as I go. Wish me luck.
(Images via Reddit.com)