Growing up, I was the skinny kid. Though I liked to play sports, I was usually the last picked in school games and I hated “shirts v. skins”. Being 6’5″ and 150 pounds soaking wet, I was very self-conscious of my body as a teenager.
After high school, I did gain a little bit of weight over the years. In 1990, as I approached 22, I started to start lighting and learned what I could. I didn’t have much money for supplements, so I ate quite a bit. The first 20 pounds to 190 were easy. After that, I got stronger, but had plateaued in my weight. No worries. For the next several years, I lifted regularly and did ski patrol during the winter. Then we had kids.
I took too many years off and when I finally got back to working out on a regular basis, I was over 200 with a 36 inch waist. I wasn’t in the best of shape and looked forward to gaining some more proper weight. That was about two years ago.
The first year back, I used the 200 pounds of dumbbells I had at home, pulling each heavier set out of the garage when I reached their need. It was humbling to start at 5 pounds, but that is life. During this first year, I noticed I was still gaining in the waist, so I started cutting back on sandwiches and at more salad. It made a small, but noticeable difference.
A year ago I upped the game.
Now all sandwiches are out. Gluten was giving too much weight gain in the gut. I also really started to cut my sugar, fructose in particular. The more research I did on sugar, the more I realized what a poison it is for the human body. Artificial sweetners are not much better. Best to get rid of it. I also cut back on beer, chocolate, pasta, tea. I greatly increased the amount of water I drank in a day to at least 3 liters. More lean protein, brown rice, red potatoes (sometimes sweet as well), more fiber, good fats, nuts.
My workouts also changed. I had been doing many of the workouts Steve Holman gives in his articles in Iron Man Magazine, but now I did them more split. I also started to look at the suggestions and articles of others. I was spending too much time in the gym. I upped the intensity and aimed to finish in an hour, warm up and stretching included. Now sets were 20-30 reps, done in 1 second positive/2 seconds negative caidance. I did hyper-extensions and crunches before every workout.
Then came November and the planking challenge.
The first few days were easy, but once it got to more than a minute, it became tough. I mean very tough. My abs shacked. My shoulders shacked. I had to pause, then go again. The results, however, spoke for itself. My abs started to get tighter. It helped my squats. It helped my dead-lift.
A year later and the result is I went from average 209 pounds to 215, but my waist is now an inch smaller. I went from a 35-36 inch waist to 34-35. Yes, a year to lose an inch. Me. Mister High Metabolism and eat anything. Because, I can’t eat anything I want. My cheat days consists of a single doughnut. No more going crazy over the weekend. The crap food I used to eat now makes me ill. I’ve not gone fully Paleo, but I am headed that way. Eat like the government tells you and you will gain weight. That is a given. Eat like you should and the results will be their own encouragement.