Morning: In the morning, I would have a lean protein shake.
Late Morning: Then around 10:30 a.m. I would usually have an apple or pear.
Lunch: And then for lunch, I would have a salad kit. (A salad kit is a ready made salad, that’s in a bag, that you can buy at the grocery store.)
Late Afternoon: And then around 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon, I would have some chopped up vegetables that were already portioned out.
Dinner: Now for dinner, I like eating Tuna Creations, which are vacuum-sealed pouches of tuna, and I would add some steamed vegetables. To mix it up a little, I would also get pouches of chicken and salmon.
Late Night: And later on that night, I usually had another protein shake before I went to bed.
That’s it. I consumed shakes, salads, vegetables, fruit and chicken, tuna or salmon that were all, portioned out in advance.
I also stopped drinking sodas and started drinking water.
I bought a big water bottle and took it with me everywhere, so I would drink a lot of water every day.
Guess what? The weight started falling off of me!
It was crazy how fast the weight started melting.
And I wasn't very hungry at all.
The 10 Pounds in 10 Days
Weight Loss Challenge
Weight Loss Challenge
I was one of those guys who joined the gym in January and quit in February...the only difference this time is that I didn't quit.
I kept going and going.
Here I am, one year later.
I Did It In Spite of:
1. Being a recent kidney transplant survivor (I started training 5 months after surgery).
During my post-transplant rehab I gained 20 pounds and my body became very weak.
2. Being 51 years old.
As your body gets older, it slows down dramatically and it's a lot harder to grow muscle and get in shape.
3. Having low testosterone (around 340. Normal is around 700 or so).
Your muscle needs testosterone to grow muscle.
Low testosterone also causes fatigue (I take naps most every day).
4. Near zero prior weightlifting experience. (I did endurance cardio for years, but never weightlifting. I wasted many years on the treadmill.)
I Had Limiting Beliefs
It's true. When I was 20 years old, I lifted weights using one of those old circuit weightlifting systems in a dungy, cold room, while stationed in England serving in the Navy.
I had ZERO idea what I was doing.
I tried to build my chest and it never worked. I never grew.
So I always thought my body couldn't be muscular or fit looking and I wrote off weightlifting.
I'm not even sure why I tried it again all these years later, but I'm glad I did because what I believed was a myth. It wasn't true.
I could grow muscles with the right program, effort and eating plan.
Now I'm convinced anyone can grow muscle and look fit with the right program, effort and eating plan.
But I let my limiting beliefs stop me from trying for over 30 years.
My Eating Plan
My eating plan was very simple. I eat mostly food with single word ingredients (i.e. chicken, fish, spinach, carrots, etc.).
I eat whole foods and I drink water (and some decaffeinated herbal tea in the winter).
Is my diet bland? To the every day unhealthy eater...yes. To me, not at all.
I look forward to my high protein monster salads (my salads are huge).
I spice them up with yogurt dressing and Mrs. Dash spices.
I ate 6 meals a day (until my last 10 pounds) with my lunch being the largest meal.
People Thought I Was Weird
I noticed when I ate healthy, many of my friends made fun of me and thought I was weird.
The eating habits of our society are so out of whack, they think healthy eating is weird.
I would always tell them, "YOU are the weird eaters. I'm the "normal" eater."
Up until the 1950's everyone ate the way I do.
How I Lost The Last 10 Pounds
My meal plan was this. I got up around 5 a.m.
I had a protein shake.
I went to work out by 6 a.m.
After my workout, I had another protein shake.
Around 1 p.m. I had one tuna pouch.
Around 5 to 6 p.m. I had a big, high protein salad.
Before going to bed, I had some decaf herbal tea.
That took off the belly weight.
I was usually a little hungry, but after awhile your body gets used to it.
My Supplement Plan
I consumed protein shakes and vitamins.
For recovery, I also had some glutamine after workouts.
I drank water mixed with BCAA's most of the day.
But I didn't drink any souped up pre-workout drinks or muscle building supplements like Creatine, Beta-Alanine, Betaine, etc.
Personally, I think all of those supplements only factor in to about 10 percent of your success.
Perhaps I'm wrong.
How I Stayed Motivated
I implemented "motivational systems." My weight loss students are familiar with these.
Motivational Systems are things you put in place to force you to dig up the motivation or willpower to do an activity long enough for it to become a habit.
For instance, I took my son every morning at 5:30am to a scripture class. Instead of going home, I went on to the gym.
I found a lifting partner. I got a weight loss accountability partner who I sent pics of the scale to every day.
I looked in the mirror to see my progress.
I had a picture of my eating plan in front of me all the time.
I used alarms on my phone to tell me when to eat and when to go to bed.
I used a weight loss chart that hung over my scale to keep track of my progress every day.
I watched YouTube videos of my "virtual" fitness mentors like Scott Tousignant, Vince Del Monte, Mike Chang, Rob Riches etc.
I used measuring cups to measure my lean meats and healthy carbs.
I became friends with and talked to fitness folks.
I read fitness articles and books every day.
I taught other people about health when I could.
I did even more than this.
All these things combined helped me to find the motivation to do my Daily Healthy Activities so I didn't have to rely strictly on willpower.
Eventually, my Daily Healthy Activities became every day habits. If I didn't do them I would feel very uncomfortable with myself.
My Weightlifting Routine
I didn't waver much from my weekly routine.
I did a traditional 6 day "push, pull, leg" split routine.
Monday - chest, triceps, shoulders.
Tuesday - back, biceps, traps.
Wednesday - legs
Thursday - chest, triceps, shoulders.
Friday - back, biceps, traps.
Saturday - legs
I tacked on 10 - 15 minutes of abs 3 days a week.
I did very high volume workouts (meaning I did lots of different exercises with many sets and reps).
I'm not sure if that was necessary, but I got results.
I did hurt both shoulders in the process. I finally got a cortisone shot on my right shoulder, but it still hurts some when I work out.
I now try to avoid shoulder intensive exercises like overhead pressing or bench pressing.
My motto has become, "I lift to lift another day."
The older you are the more careful you have to be.
Is All of This Vanity?
Yes, I'd be lying to you if it wasn't.
But, in my opinion, not any more than women putting on makeup or donning a lot of jewelry.
More than anything, it gives me an immense amount of energy, it makes my body feel good and healthy
I would also like to think it adds years to my life.
It's addicting, but I'd rather be addicted to working out and eating healthy than some other addictions that aren't healthy.
The Dark Side of Fitness
Lifting can be very addicting and can make you focus too much on physical appearance.
When you get fit, it's hard not to judge others that completely abuse their bodies with junk food and unhealthy habits.
This has been something that I've worked on personally.
I try to refrain from judging overweight people and friends.
I allow them to live their life the way they want and if they express an interest in knowing how to be more healthy, I try to help them.
I want to live a healthy, balanced life.
I don't want to go to the extreme (but even a normal healthy weightlifter is seen as extreme by the average unhealthy person).
I want to eat foods I enjoy every now and then.
And I don't want to be obsessed about my body.
There are so many things in this life that are so much more important than our bodies. The Bible says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit but if we obsess over it to the exclusion of spending time with our spouse and children, giving service to others, or making a living, then we are living an unhealthy unbalanced life. I don't want that.
By the way, my life can be taken away or disabled by disease or an accident tomorrow.
So I understand that spending time with my family and helping others are the things that will bring me long lasting happiness, not necessarily building the muscles of my body.
Was It Worth It?
Yes, it was worth it.
Without your health, life can be very emotionally depressing.
Being healthy and getting fit requires time and commitment.
There is always an opportunity cost for everything. But it's worth it.
Thank you to my wife, Ingrid, who supported me. My wife is a long distance runner so her healthy lifestyle helps to motivate me.
A HUGE thank you to my kidney donor, Erin Neth. Without her, I would be hooked up to a dialysis machine 3 to 4 times a week, withering away.
Thank you Erin. Words cannot express my gratitude.
Okay, it's 5:30 a.m. and I gotta get to the gym. Hope this inspired a few of you!
P.S. Why do most people lose weight and gain it back again?
What is the key to losing weight and keeping it off forever?
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