I’m going to give you my history with fitness, first.

I have a tenuous relationship with fitness. Not doing the actual workouts, because I love being at the gym, but staying fit. Diet is where I suffer the most. I’m going to take you way back to the beginning, though, so hold tight.

I was a skinny kid, up until puberty, then I was a chunky kid. Fortunately I’ve been tall since I was 13, and stalled out around 6’1” or 6’2” depending on your measurement. That’s inches, by the way. Between 13 and 15 I was heavy — around 230, I guess. However, by August of the year I was 14, I had lost down to below 200, and was playing High School Baseball. It helped that I had found a girl to keep my attention, too, and drive to stay fit (that’s my now-wife.) So, I hovered around 200 for several years, until I was 19, when I joined the Air Force. When I graduated USAF basic training, I weighed 174lbs. I looked sick, but I was also pretty healthy. My Air Force career was cut short, and my wife and I ended up expecting our first child shortly after I came home. I put on a little weight while she was pregnant, bringing myself back up to around 200 lbs again. A little after our baby’s first birthday, I went to Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA. (It still had the asterisk in the name, then.) And when I came home, I was certain that I wanted to be in better shape. SO! Over the next several years, I was up and down in weight and muscle size and definition, finally gaining up to around 225 in 2016. I didn’t like it, so I hopped on Intermittent Fasting (LeanGains 16:8) and chiseled it away. Now, the thing that made IF (Intermittent Fasting) easier than other diets for me, was that I could pretty much eat what I want (in my calorie window) as long as it fell within my feasting period (that is, the eight hour window allotted.) It worked, too. Now, I’ll say this: IF is a lifestyle change, more than a diet, and it worked tremendously well. I ended up taking a promotion at my day job, and put it all back on, and found consolation in my eating. Bad, bad, habit. Now, I write this in 2019, currently down to 228lbs, but I was weighing in at 239 at my highest. I was unhappy with myself. Now, it’s time for me to do something about it. I have a new child, almost a year old, and a nine year old. They need a healthy, fit dad.

All that history behind me, I want to talk more about IF (Intermittent Fasting) because it’s done so much for me, and I’ll touch on my weekly regimen right now at the gym… Intermittent Fasting has so much going for it, including different ways to attack the change in your eating habits. 16:8 (that’s fasting for sixteen hours, and eating for eight) is the most popular method, because it’s also the easiest to achieve. I usually do my eating between 2pm and 10pm and my fasting from 10pm to 2pm the next day. The best part of that is that 6-8 hours of the fasting time is spent sleeping. Now, going without breakfast may sound awful to you, but recently published findings say that people who eat breakfast have an overall heavier weight than those who don’t. You get used to it, though. It’s hard for me, as a man who really enjoyed pancakes, bacon, and sausage, you just have to have breakfast for dinner sometimes. But in the case of breakfast, your mom was wrong. It isn’t necessary. The tough times really come when you’re in between when you wake up and when you finally get to eat, and that gets easier too, but sometimes you get hunger pangs that are rough. (And no, when you start having hunger pangs, you aren’t in the early stages of starvation!) When you finally get to your feeding time, then you get to have the fun. As long as you take in your daily recommended calorie totals (use this calculator), you can eat whatever you want. Just remember to include your beverages, and still stay away from soda, if you can help it. Then, finally, at the end of your fast, you put everything that has calories in it away, and ride on the feeling of a full tummy until it’s time for bed.

Now, this has worked for me time and time again, and it’s working for me again, already. Having started two weeks ago on IF and watching my calories, I’m down to 228lbs (fully dressed, and with a phone in my pocket). That being said, I also hit the gym pretty religiously. Currently, I’m going five days a week, here’s my basic split:

Monday:
1 Mile of Cardio (4.5 speed on treadmill, or bike.)
Chest Day
Tuesday:
1 Mile of Cardio (4.5 speed on treadmill, or bike.)
Back Day
Wednesday:
1 Mile of Cardio (4.5 speed on treadmill, or bike.)
Arms (Biceps, triceps, and forearms)
Thursday:
1 Mile of Cardio (4.5 speed on treadmill, or bike.)
Legs (Glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves)
Friday:
1 Mile of Cardio (4.5 speed on treadmill, or bike.)
Shoulders, Traps, and Abs

I take weekends off the gym, right now, because I’m usually doing something active at home (whether it’s to-do lists, playing with the kids, or planning something, but I’m rarely dormant). On the days I’m at the gym, I usually spend between 1 hour to an hour and a half.

Maybe if I get brave enough, I’ll include progress pictures. We’ll see.

For more on IF, check out the Reddit page here. I’ll include more information on my transformation, and what I do on specific days that yield the best results.

 

 

P.S. I used the word “Now” a lot in this post.

 

 

 

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

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