Time To Get Active
In January of 2015 I took a stocktake of my weight and waist size. I was 115kg with a size 102cm waist. My initial reaction to lose weight was that I had to find an exercise program to get active. After all, being active was what I was missing from my daily routine as a desk bound accountant.
Looking for an exercise program, I wanted one that was cheap and could be done at home. I came across P90X, a 90 day exercise program that I could do from home with minimal equipment requirements. It was a pretty demanding regime with one hour workout sessions over six days of the week. Those workouts consisted of resistance and high intensity cardio workouts. The program also included yoga, that’s right yoga. Initially I wrote it off thinking it was stupid but I was wrong, it’s one of my favourite routines.
Trying to follow the program as best I could I lost at best 25kg, going from 115kg to about 90kg. However I was struggling to fit all six days of the program in a week. As a result, I could never do it within the suggested 90 day time span. Thankfully, P90X3 was released and it had shorter 30-minute workouts that suited my schedule.
P90X and P90X3 served me well for a number of years to get active again. It helped me to lose at best 25 kg and helped to keep my weight between 90kg to 100kg. The problem was it was a 90 day program that needed six days of the week and I struggled to maintain it. I was constantly stopping and starting it. I also wasn’t sure how to tailor it for the long term and shorten the workout days. As a result of my inconsistency to maintain the program, my weight started to go back up. The search began for an exercise routine that I could do on a weekly basis for the long term.
Looking at other alternatives, I came across calisthenics or body weight exercises. It suited me because again it didn’t require much equipment and could be done at home. In fact, a lot of calisthenic exercises were implemented within P90X and P90X3 which was meant they were familiar. The great thing about calisthenics is that you start with basic exercises and progress through different variations of those exercises. For example, starting with standard pull ups and moving on to around the world pull ups.
In January 2017, I found some online beginner body weight exercise routines and built my own program. It focused on performing two rounds of exercises targeting the full body for about 45 minutes. I would perform this routine three times a week, with a rest day in between to allow my body to recover. The routine included basic exercises like standard push ups, pull ups, chin ups, dips, squats and leg raises. I did this routine for a few months because when I first started I struggled with just doing a few reps. It was important at the start to focus on getting the basics right.
Once I was some what competent with the basics I then setup a new program progressing on those basics and moving to different variations. Again I did this for a few months until I could get the reps up and the form right as best I could. My main aim for my routines was to be active and lose weight and not necessarily build massive muscle mass.
The Only Diet Adjustment
During a visit to my doctor to get more medications for another gout attack, he suggested losing weight to decrease my chances of gout and he referred me to a dietitian. The dietitian would help review my diet and outline which foods I should and shouldn’t be eating to avoid triggering gout.
The dietitian told me stuff I already knew, like avoiding foods high in purines. High purine foods increase uric acid levels in the body which in turn cause gout. As a result, I don’t eat prawns or shellfish, monitor how much red meat I eat, don’t drink soft drink and avoid cauliflower and broccoli.
He also had these life size plastic models of various foods to show the correct size portions people should be eating. When we reviewed my meal portions, no joke every meal we discussed I was eating at least double the correct food portions. Growing up I was accustomed to eating big portions and having more than one serve. After meeting with the dietitian I decided I’ll still eat pretty much everything but I would look at reducing the portion sizes and number of servings I would eat. So during my exercise only attempt to lose weight, this was the only diet change I made.
Something Was Not Right
Moving forward to September 2017, I was still doing and enjoying my calisthenic workouts. My body frame was feeling stronger but once again like I did with P90X, I was struggling to get pass the 90kg barrier. I kept fluctuating between 90kg and 100kg. Something was not right. I was active again but my weight and physique weren’t progressing. Also I was doing my best to be diligent with my workouts, it’s not like I wasn’t putting in the effort. Although I was doing a different exercise program, applying the same effort, my weight loss progress was plateauing once again. This was pretty frustrating.
Then I thought maybe it has to do with the foods I was eating. All this time I was still eating everything albeit in smaller portions. I even tried to increase my protein levels to feel more full. This even included trying meal replacement shakes and kale and fruit smoothies as substitutes for breakfast. So even with reducing how much I ate and trying to substitute meals with shakes, I still could not see the weight loss results I was hoping for.
I then started trawling Google for answers to see if my weight loss issues weren’t exercise related but diet related?
Click here to read how I discovered a video that would change everything.