This post is more about a journey than an end result. Fitness was never something I took seriously (and from conversations with my peers, I don’t seem overly alone). About a year ago, I saw a doctor who informed me I was not only overweight, but was putting myself at risk. Fueled with a strong desire to not die, I set out to fix my health. Being an engineer, I decided to break things up into phases: fix my weight, fix my strength, and fix my cardio. Now, these things to all intermingle, but I can say after a year of trying different things I got the best result focusing on one until it’s goal and then focusing on the next while maintaining the previous items.
To be perfectly honest, it all begins with The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. March of 2010, I clocked in on my home scale at 238 and 241 at the doctor’s office. It was the heaviest I’ve ever been (my previous max to my memory was 225). Nice dinners prepared with creams and butters were standard, I loved bread, and I could eat a pound of fruit a day if given the chance. All of that would need to change if i was to get back to a moderate size. After my realization I was fat, I went to the internet to research. I loved The 4 Hour Workweek, so on a whim I bought his new book. Without reviewing the book heavily, his plans are best described as an ROI dream; maximizing your return for the smallest unit of effort. Equipped with this, I set out on with a plan.
Given my girlfriend is celiac, cutting the flour was probably the easiest- there’s never bread in our house anyway. The rice could always be skipped, and the sugar was mostly avoidable since I never really drank soda or had a sweet tooth. Out of all the choices, this was by far the easiest.
At the hard end of the spectrum though, “quality breakfast” is still something I grapple with even today. Getting up early every morning to feed yourself when you’re not hungry is hard. Trying to be creative at 7 am is also hard. Many times I fail here, but I’ve backed myself up with a few “products”. They are my lifeline to eating in the morning. When I don’t have time to make eggs, and didn’t have an awesome bean-filled leftover at the ready, these have come through in a pinch.
Think Thin Bars 20g Protien for 0g Sugar (be warned, it has Sugar Alcohol). These are also Gluten Free, which made them the default food item at our house for emergencies. I’ll save you some trial and error- the orange ones taste awful.
Clif Builder’s Bars 20g Protien for 20g of Sugar, but it’s rice syrup and evaporated cane juice instead of the fake sugars.
Diet alone has taken me from 241 down to 198 at my lowest point. I tend to fluctuate within 3 pounds of the 201 mark now that things have stabilized, and that is just from the diet alone. More importantly, it’s a maintainable plan. It’s moved from a “diet” to “just how I eat”.
So the diet and weight are stable, and I’ve found what my body needs to maintain its current health. With that variable under control, it’s time to do the next experiment: strength. To begin, I’m undertaking a crossfit-style workout here at LinkedIn without making any adjustments to anything else. It’s certainly a lot easier to run when you’re not shuffling around an extra 40 pounds, and at least in the last three weeks I’ve noticed an additional uptick in my available energy by the end of the day. Given a few months, we’ll see how this goes as well.