So recently I blew out the candles on my 36th Birthday cake. As much as it was wonderful being spoiled and loved seeing my family all around me singing well wishes, as the smoke cleared I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror; I came to a sudden and very demoralising realisation, I had gotten seriously out of shape.
It is fair to say I am not blessed with the best genetics. I would say that I am a stereotypical endomorph; I can put lots of muscle mass on quickly but sadly that typically is accompanied with an allied quantity of body fat.
I had seriously gone against the genetics and let myself go; I had blamed the fact that my clothes were being shrunk in the wash and had a heightened level of disillusionment about the way I looked. I noticed a correlation in the ‘friendly’ fat banter/comments being sent in my direction at work and in social settings was definitely on the increase. But the killer was seeing a side on profile picture of me in a seated position scanning a patient; I thought ‘what the hell has happened to me?!?’
Since my early years I had played lots of sports, rugby, hockey, swimming etc and gone to the gym. I was always a big guy and was always going to be the big guy; but it is important that there is a huge difference between making the best of what you have rather than settling for a what you have got and watch it slow degrade which I had fallen victim to. A lot of this was down to moving away from my home town and moving to a more rural area where Gyms weren’t typical open to cater for those who can only train during unsociable hours. After glancing at myself through the birthday cake mist had made me realise where I currently was at and what I now needed to do.
Straight away I got on to the scales and took measurements…….
I was 126KG, 5ft 10″ which straight away put me in the grossly obese section – now playing front row in rugby even at my fittest I had to cope with my BMI being somewhat off but if the measurements were right I could cope with……but they weren’t: I had a 20″ neck, 44″ waist and 54″ chest I was in bad shape – possibly the worst of my life.
At a loss of where to begin I started googling relevant articles and trawled YouTube trying to regain some motivation; and I found it.
Firstly I decided to do a 3 day water fast: Why? because I had read enough around the topic and seen enough transformation videos to know that this was, by no means the correct, ongoing way to be healthy, but it would give me an effective enough kick up the arse I needed that hopefully would allow me to see some quick changes and it did. I lost 8lbs and felt surprisingly ….ok despite the horrible coated tongue and reintroducing food which was much weirder than I expected it to be.
My ventures around viewing YouTube diet videos led me to associated topics, one of which really caught my eye – Intermittent Fasting (I.F).
Now when I usually explain this to people, they say “oh the 5:2 thing?” in short…no not the 5:2 thing. The 5:2 seems to be based around calorie restriction 2 days per week. With I.F. and paraphrasing Terry Crews….it is more of an eating protocol than actual dieting and for me it has worked. The plan is that from your first meal you have a set amount of time to eat; in my case opt for an 8 hour eating window. It seems to work most optimally around prepping your meals as with any diet but can still be conducted in an unorganised day when utilising calorie tracker apps such as MyFitness Pal.
So although it is a long road ahead, I have seen very productive changes in body comp while adhering to this eating plan in alignment with a three day split weights programme. 19″ neck, 38″ Waist 50″ Chest. It’s the best I can do at the moment with workload load and home life but hopefully gym opening tiimes are soon to extend and home life will get more organised.
The only way is up.