It’s Not Magic, It’s Diligence…
I made a commitment for the New Year as part of my New Year Resolution on 12/31/19 to get more fit and lose weight. To get healthier for not only myself, but for my children, so that they can enjoy having a very active, healthy, long living dad. So that I can actively engage and play with my future grandchildren and their children.
I have revised and updated this article from when I originally posted, to now Nov. 11th, 2020. Which is eleven months into it. As I am re-writing this article, I have lost over 30 pounds while maintaining it, then gaining 10 pounds in muscle. I am down three waist sizes. Muscle increase from 1″ to 2″ in size. I returned to karate, earned another Back Belt, and back to instructing classes. I sleep much better, and lowered my Resting Heart Rate by over 20. I feel much younger, nearly like I did in my twenties.
So you may be wondering how I did it, or how I am continuing to do it.
This is how…
The journey began after my son and I completed the 1000 New Year’s Day Kicks at our Karate Dojo with some other students as an Annual Tradition.
I started out with the Personal Mission Statement saying and cliche of,
“Getting Lit and Fit, while saving plenty in 2020.”
The Fit part was obviously referring to my fitness plans of exercise and healthier eating habits. The Lit part was to use my talents, time, and treasure more to make a positive impact in the lives of others and honor my faith.
Saving plenty was the commitment of completing Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey and strive to be a better steward of my finances, get completely out of debt, and save money for emergencies, vacation, and a better future for my children and I.
For my “Fitness Challenge”,
I initially chose the #75Hard Challenge. However, I seen that it was not reasonable to launch into something so arduous right away. So I created conditioning phases that divided the plan into thirds. The first phase was called #21Start, and the second phase was called #40Medium. The 21 and 40 meant the number of days of the challenge just as 75 is 75 days for #75Hard. Here is what the #75Hard mandates for 75 days straight. With the #75Hard if you miss a day, or cheat on anything, you have to go right back to day one and start the 75 days all over again:
1.) Choose an Eating Plan and stick to it to the letter
2.) Drink 1 gallon of water a day
3.) Exercise/Workout twice a day for at least 45 minutes with one of those workouts being outdoors
4.) Read 10 pages of a non-fiction self improvement type book a day
My “Conditioning Challenges” were simply 1/3 of the #75Hard for the 21 days for the #21Start, and 2/3 of it for the 40 days for the #40Medium with the exception that if you slip with one of the 4 items in a week you do not have to start back to day one unless you miss two or more.
I did fairly well with my challenges and in the process have developed a healthy routine that I feel as if I can make it a away of life. In other words, something I can manage and maintain for the long term, most likely the rest of my life, verses a certain amount of days or weeks of a challenge. Here it is:
1.) “Mediterranean Diet” (with cheat days on special occasions) with Intermittent Fasting (16/8) beginning 3/2/2020. My 8 hr window is 2pm to 10pm
2.) Drinking 1/2 gallon (2000 ml) of water a day
3.) Daily exercise and/or work out routine with Sunday being a complete day of rest. (see Daily Plan below)
4.) Reading 5 pages of a non-fiction/self improvement book a day
Below are the details of my eating habits, diet, workout/exercise programs. Again, it is not magic, it’s diligence. You must make a decision, and a commitment you can follow not just for an interim, an amount of time, or period of days, weeks, or months. You must dedicate yourself and be diligent about a different lifestyle to accomplish your health goals. You are not only worth it, your children and their children are worth it.
My Workout/Exercise Program:
The above plan isolates certain muscles groups each day giving them at least a day to two days off to recover while working a different set of muscle groups.
Now let’s talk a little bit about Sabbath Sunday. I set this day aside to rest, relax, up-plug, and re-charge. I strive to make sure most devices are off, and not often in my children or my hands. Especially at the table. We unplug to more plug into not only our relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ for church services, but in to one another. We enjoy a nice breakfast, lunch and dinner with one another, friends and family. If it’s nice, we grill out on the back deck, and enjoy one another’s company, and some good music. If I am alone, I still grill out, listen to music, read, and watch the son sit.
Sometimes we also have what I call, “Sabbath Sunday” with our Men’s Ministry or other church group where we have a pot luck dinner, or dine at a restaurant together with my Men’s Ministry Group, or other Church Group. During football season, we most definitely like catch the games together whether at one another’s home, or out.
I do not work out at all on this day. It’s a time for my muscles to re-charge and rebuild. Although, with my children, we walk in the park, go to the beach at a lake, or to the indoor or outdoor malls, my focus is not to exert myself, but to relax, enjoy relaxing, reflect, and re-charge.
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.
The main components of Mediterranean diet include:
- Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats
- Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
- Moderate portions of dairy products
- Limited intake of red meat
Other important elements of the “Mediterranean diet” are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine and being physically active.
The foundation of the “Mediterranean diet” is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant-based foods.
Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the “Mediterranean Diet”, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally.
Healthy fats are a mainstay of the “Mediterranean diet”. They’re eaten instead of less healthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, which contribute to heart disease.
Olive oil is the primary source of added fat in the “Mediterranean diet”. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds also contain monounsaturated fat.
Fish are also important in the “Mediterranean diet”. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.
(IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.
Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat. As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.
In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.
Fasting is also often done for religious or spiritual reasons, including in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.
During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.
These are the most popular methods:
The 16/8 method: Also called the Lean gains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between. This is the Fasting method I have personal selected as of 3/2/2020.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.
Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.
Around the 1st of March, 2020, I have also added Rule 1 Protein mix after my workouts, and a Extend Post Workout Recovery mix after my work outs. In addition, I drink a pre-work out mix before some workouts. I add raw honey as a sweetener if needed. I also add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a mix daily with EmergenC powder mix.
Non-Fiction / Self-Improvement Book Reading:
There are so many nonfiction and self improvement books out there. I chose books such as the bible, devotionals, health and fitness books/magazines/articles, sales training books and other motivational books. You should choose what you feel is best for you. Just commit to reading a certain amount of pages a day. I chose 5 pages a day.
Supplements and Vitamins
I mix Emergen-C (1000 mg vitamin C), 3 to 5 mg of Creatine, Apple Cider Vinegar into my Gold’s Pre-Gym workout drink. I also take 50mg of Zinc, a B-Complex, and Ahwagandha on a daily basis. I also try to take a Vitamin D, Calcium, and invest about 5 to 8 minutes in a tanning bed every other day in the cold and dark winter months to help produce vitamin D.
Remember, there is no magic pill, no quick fixes here. If you are out of shape or over weight, you didn’t get there over night, therefore do not expect to lose weight and get fit over night.
It will take commitment, dedication and diligence. It will take developing a habit, and I do not think 21 days is logical or proven to develop a habit. I believe and have experienced it takes at least 45 to 90 days.
This plan has and is working for me. However, not every person is alike. We all have different bodies, and metabolisms. ALWAYS first check with your medical physician before launching into any exercise program, diet, or change in eating habits.
~ Bro 24, Blessed Dad, Writer, Christian Biker, Sensei, Mental Health Class Facilitator, YouTuber, Business Catalyzer, Encourager, Business Cloud, Digital Marketing, & Telecommunications Specialist, .